(Empreintes DIGITALes)

A member of BEAST (Birmingham Electro Acoustic Sound Theatre), Adkins is an English composer who studied with Jonty Harrison and Simon Waters. This audio DVD presents over 93 minutes of excellent, modern-sounding acousmatics that show what’s possible to accomplish when precise parameters are set at work to represent something that, in the end, is almost pure indetermination as far as aural imagery is concerned. As in every recording that I listen to in this musical field, I much prefer bobbing and weaving through the liner notes, which – Adkins being no exception – somehow create expectancies and influences by which I don’t want to be deluded. The music that a composer envisions before it goes on disc is never the same that we finally enjoy, thus a moment-by-moment description of each piece appears futile and pointless in cases like this. Mondes Inconnu must be taken as a whole, a pictorial album of phenomenal appearances in which Adkins’ splendid work of juxtaposition immerses the listener in a synthesis of elaborated information that might or might not sound imaginary or, to quote the title, “unknown”, but it’s as detailed and (in)coherent as the most lucid of REM phases, in that it mixes concrete sources and fetching backgrounds in such a distinguished manner that the two galaxies mesh in progressively contrasting, thoroughly stimulating abstractions. All tracks were exclusively produced by Adkins except “Still Time”, which features a gorgeous interpretation by Alejandro Escuer on flute against the pre-recorded material.

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