Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Gilles Aubry - s6t8r

This is the second post concerning Gilles Aubry. It can be considered as a continuation of what we said about “Berlin Backyards” that left a highly positive impression two years ago.
Aubry returned in 2009 with three tracks giving form to “s6t8r”, CD that finds a proper place in Winds Measure catalogue, and, perhaps, is one of the titles more qualified to represent the spirit animating this label.
As should be evident by now, Spiritual Archives loves particularly such a genre of releases where environmental recordings are put to use in a larger compositional structure, which makes explicit a deeper sense of their presence and emphasizes other implications hidden behind phonographer’s choices clearly visible. In this case, the study of social contexts and urban areas related to a sonic research.

“s6t8r” gives evidence to this: over forty minutes, nearly the same length assigned to the three parts and, though the scenario is basically the same too, each of them has a specific identity and shows its own peculiarities.

The recording location was Stralau 68, experimental music centre situated in Berlin, whose activities ended in 2007. Most of the aural effects you can hear were obtained from a combination of what a nearby railway produced in sound and the acoustic response of the building, by reporting different results got in its rooms.

The first part opens with an assemblage of manifold recordings (train passing, rail noises, airflows, as gathered and managed) which brings a feeling of movement, steady, repetitive, and induces spontaneous involvement.
The scheme ends around the fifth minute: the sound becomes more uniform, almost a reductio ad unum of all previous instances, an overlap of sources (indoor responses are more distinguishable now), a prevalence of concrete and mechanical objects in support (for example, the rail impact gives back a striking outcome).
The second track offers a rumbling start, extended for two minutes, then a diffused noise emerges, as introduction to new layers which make the compound more pliable. Passages rich in dull tones alternated to segments built on an interaction of acoustic components, some of which, at times, even instil a sense of musicality to the piece.
The third episode is primarily structured on various sounds coming from trains, whose contribution gradually expands and increases, until a prolonged hiss bursts on the scene.

Aubry cleverly succeeds in amalgamating patterns of very different nature, creating an entity provided with harmonic motion, extracting attractive soundscapes from common materials.
Not self-indulgent at all, quite natural, widely emotional experiment.

Label: Winds Measure Recordings
Cat. #: wm16
Format: CD
Release date: 2009
Notes: limited edition of 300 copies
Package: letterpress sleeve. Designed and printed by Ben Owen

01 - Part 1 (13:24)
02 - Part 2 (14:44)
03 - Part 3 (13:30)


Gilles Aubry’s discography:



Winds Measure Recordings - Catalogue:



Gilles Aubry
Winds Measure Recordings