Reviews that mention Pascal Battus

April 1, 2013

Pascal Battus/Bertrand Gauguet/Eric La Casa

Chantier 1
Another Timbre at 55

Paed Conca/Stéphane Rives/Fadi Tabbal

Under The Carpet

Ruptured RPTD 009

Fresh, somewhat puzzling expressions by two French saxophonists who have previously staked their claim to quivering reductionist textures, characterize these trio CDs by Bertrand Gauguet and Stéphane Rives.

Alto saxophonist Gauguet, who in the past has established himself as an enthused explorer of adroit microtones alongside the likes of Viennese trumpeter Franz Hautzinger and Paris-based pianist Frédéric Blondy, fully commits himself to industrially oriented field recordings on Chantier 1. His associates are also French: Pascal Battus with his rotating surfaces and found objects and Eric La Casa, who brings microphones and recording equipment to the site-specific date. Meanwhile on Under The Carpet, soprano saxophonist Rives, who is now Beirut-based, appears to have replaced the deconstructed reed techniques he previously explored on his own and with numerous fellow reedists and electro-acoustic technicians, to almost exclusively concentrate on laptop computer timbres. Lebanese guitarist/sound engineer Fadi Tabbal and Swiss electric bassist and clarinetist Paed Conca join him here. MORE

December 10, 2011

Benjamin Duboc

Primare Cantus
AYLCD 098-099-100

Burkhard Stangl

Hommage à moi

Loewenhertz loew 020

Howard Riley

The Complete Short Stories 1998-2010

NoBusiness NBCD 21-26

Roland Keijser & Raymond Strid

Yellow Bell

Umlaut UMADA 2

By Ken Waxman

Traditionally, holiday time gets people thinking about CD box sets as gifts. But merely offering multi-disc best-of collections hardly shows originality. Instead the most valuable multiple CD sets are collected because, like the talented players featured here, the musicians literally had more ideas than could be expressed on even two disc. Take Paris-based bassist Benjamin Duboc for example. Probably the busiest and most inventive player of his instrument in French improvised music circles, Primare Cantus AYLCD 098-099-100 (7320470141892), a three-CD-set, highlights a different facet of his work on each side. A treat for double-bass fanatics the solo work on Disc 1, demonstrates that by also by using his voice, and extended techniques the spatial program not only expresses the fascinating bass timbres but does so in a way that the resulting sounds seem electronically processed although thoroughly acoustic. Meanwhile Disc 2 and 3 are equally excellent showing how his mature style adapts to input from radically different ensembles. Accommodating his jagged bowing and hearty string smacks to the vibrations from saxophonists Sylvain Guérineau and Jean-Luc Petit plus cunning percussion asides from Didier Lasserre, results is concentrated sounds that are as accommodating as they are opaque. The fifth untitled track for instance, perfectly matches low-pitched double bass arpeggios; while track 9 climaxes with majestic glissandi from both reedists mated with Duboc’s speedy string scrubbing that completes the initial challenge between the bassist’s strums from and subterranean snorts from Petit’s baritone plus fortissimo bites from Guérineau’s tenor. Pascal Battus’ guitar pick-up and the subtle introduction of field recordings give Disc 3 more of an electronic cast. Overall, with Sophie Agnel concentrating on fishing out unexpected note clusters from her piano’s internal string set and Christian Pruvost mostly propelling pure air from his trumpet, the thesis is timbre expansion not swing. For instance, the bassist’s concentrated ostinato underpinning Battus’ bottleneck flanges, the trumpeter’s strained grace notes and Agnel’s mallet popping on the strings creates mercurial dynamism. Additionally suggestions of billiard balls being racked or magnetic tape reels reversing provide unexpected tinctures in a sound field otherwise consisting of agitated bass licks, quivering piano strings and squealing brass. Overall, an aviary explosion from Pruvost, shaped by Agnel’s metronomic pitter-patter and Duboc’s pedal point is as exciting as anything recorded by Roy Eldridge with Oscar Peterson and Ray Brown. MORE

August 7, 2010

Pascal Battus/Christine Sehnaoui Abdelnour

Potlatch P110

Magda Mayas/Christine Sehnaoui Abdelnour


OlofBright OBCD 28

Probing the furthest reaches of saxophone texture and timbre has been the preoccupation of altoist Christine Sehnaoui Abdelnour’s improvising during the past few years. Recorded within a month of one another, Teeming and Ichnites capture two significant performances by the Paris-based reedist.

Together they’re notable sonically and sociologically. Sonically the atonal fragmentation of breath, reed and metal in which she specializes is presented in different duo contexts. All-acoustic, Teeming teams Abdelnour with Berlin-based prepared piano explorer Magda Mayas. On the other CD, her partner is Paris’ Pascal Battus who uses motorized components from old walkmans as exciters, vibrators and resonators on cymbals and objects made of, among other substances, plastic, paper and cardboard. Sociologically, Abdelnour who is of Lebanese background, and who in the past has mainly played and recorded with improvisers on the Beirut-Paris axis, here establishes her own style with new partners, who while equally non-traditional in their playing, share similar creative DNA with her. MORE