Review: Mathias Delplanque - Ma Chambre Quand Je N’Y Suis Pas [Montréal] (2006)


artist: Math­ias Del­planque
release: Ma Chambre Quand Je N’Y Suis Pas [Mon­tréal]
format: CD
year of release: 2006
label: Mondes Ellipt­iques
dur­a­tion: 45:14

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

Ma Chambre… is a concept album, based on a sound install­a­tion Math­ias Del­planque made for an exhib­i­tion. The sounds are cre­ated in their entirety from record­ings made in the exhib­i­tion stu­dio when it was empty and ‘quiet’. Using this method, the listen­ers focus is drawn towards the sounds that still remain when we believe a room to be quiet, which is of course a rel­at­ive concept. These sounds are amp­li­fied and manip­u­lated to a great degree, giv­ing way to a detailed and layered ambi­ent tex­ture.

The 45-minute track res­ult­ing from this pro­cess is an inter­est­ing piece of ambi­ent sound explor­a­tion. As will be expec­ted by any­one who has an ear for unusual sounds and attent­ive listen­ing, a ‘quiet’ room will show many inter­est­ing things to listen to, that nor­mally would be hid­den. On this work, the source of the sounds is not recog­nis­able, which lends the whole a rather abstract char­ac­ter. This is enhanced by the geo­met­rical draw­ing on the cover and the three double-sided insert cards, all by Dove Allouche.

There is an inter­est­ing mix­ture of low-frequency sounds (throbs and beats) and higher-frequency static, beeps and noise, which lends the track a rich level of detail. What I did find rather dis­ap­point­ing was that some of the sounds recur almost through­out the entire album, which sup­presses any devel­op­ment that might be found in the sounds. There are some subtle dif­fer­ences on a lower level, but not strong enough to really keep this album inter­est­ing enough to attent­ively listen to for its whole dur­a­tion.

I can sum this up as great concept, great present­a­tion, great sound, but mediocre com­pos­i­tion and struc­ture. Cer­tainly a very inter­est­ing album if you enjoy sound explor­a­tion, but it could have been more inter­est­ing music­ally as well. I always enjoy it when artists are able to com­bine the two ele­ments in ori­ginal ways. Nev­er­the­less, this is still pretty inter­est­ing for the right people.

Reviewed by O.S.

Track­list:

1. (45:14)

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