(Hinterzimmer)

When composers decide that their music will need, in the midst of everything else, environmental or concrete elements to better depict their vision, they’re entering the classic “some folks got it, some folks don’t” territory. Kiko C. Esseiva certainly “got it”, as this superb record demonstrates. Esseiva stands among those sound artists who – like, say, Cedric Peyronnet (aka Toy.Bizarre) – are able to provide an impression of ongoing life to their structures, thus rendering them not only palatable but also highly gratifying, a sense of delight hanging on even in the most dramatic sections. Although the sources are definitely too many to be listed or just guessed – and I know for sure that most soundscapers aren’t too anxious to reveal secrets – the essence of “Sous l’étoiles” is strictly electro/acoustic, in that we perceive the presence of real instruments amidst the unfamiliar ambiences created by the practised studio handler. Every incident is placed exactly where and when it should be, episodes succeeding according to a far-sighted architecture that nonetheless tends to forget rules every once in a while in favour of a healthy anarchy (well-regulated, too). Esseiva’s music is “hybrid” in a very interesting acceptation of the term, in that he constantly meshes the properties and the characteristics of the chosen bits and pieces to fuse them into a nimble-footed consecutiveness, where a natural occurrence is all but the obvious consequence of a scheme made of knowledgeable choices and subplots. This is the kind of listening experience that often leaves with the mouth agape, wanting more when the disc is over. Then it’s back to the miserable normality of “regular” everyday noise.

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