(Waystyx)

Christian Renou, aka Brume, is certainly one of the European mainstays in the history of the so called post-industrial movement (which usually includes practically everything unclassifiable elsewhere), with particular reference to the late 80s and early 90s. In recent times there has been a kind of “rescue the relics” urge as far as this kind of music is concerned, with excellent Russian labels like Waystyx and Monochrome Vision assuming the protagonist’s role in terms of retrieved materials and reissues of old tapes. Such is the case of this couple of CDs, which were sent to me as a pair even if I honestly don’t know if they should be considered as parallel or independent releases. “Accident” was originally published in 1989, “I’m…” is from 1992, both issued by Tonspur Tapes at that time. The first represents Brume’s alienated side, so to speak: a sort of cheap-means-but-great-fantasy musique concrete mostly based on obsessive loops, reiterative circuits, tape collages, crazed vocals. Anything goes to achieve the aim, from exotic instruments to coughs and laughs used as a rhythmic foundation. On an inattentive listen it could almost result as scarcely digestible yet, when we manage to go with the flow, the “naivety of the absurd” factor lets us swallow the whole rather comfortably. All the more difficult is appraising “I’m… I come… I was…”, something that can easily be defined as a completely deranged opera (the lyrics, if you’re able to decode them, are by Renou himself and Lautréamont), with the use of (heavily) altered voices at the basis of a sometimes hilarious, sometimes utterly abstruse aesthetic that only the most open-minded supporters might be able to appreciate. Either way, Renou’s purity of intents is what really stands out, his ingenuousness mixed with a curious penchant for finding peculiar shapes even in what might have been designed normally. The not exceptional sound quality of the original cassettes adds a welcome touch of vintage fascination.

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