Alexei Borisov/Jérôme Lorichon/Olga Nosova/ Quentin Rollet

Shampanskoye
ReQords REQ 006

A pleasant oddity recorded in 2014 but not released until now, Shampanskoye combines one French duo and one Russian duo for seven quartet tracks which stir together concepts from many genres. From the Gallic side are saxophonist Quentin Rollet, who jumps between improv and avant rock sounds and Jérôme Lorichon, specialist of Buchla synthesizer playing in groups like Zombie Zombie. From the east comes guitarist Alexei Borisov, whose touchstones are Techno and experimental sounds and drummer Olga Nosova, who has played with Thomas Lehn. All contribute additional voice, electronics and effects textures.

As can be expected field recordings from telephone operators (on “Telephone Call”) and chorister voices harmonized in a parochial or children’s chant (“Umka”) are also heard. Like the mumbled singular male and female voices audible throughout though, words are incompressible and become mere sonic elements fed into the mix. Electronic oscillations add to the mulched expositions with timbres that could come from rocket ship launches, radio signal static, ghost haunting cries and duck calls. More pivotal is how this clamor intersects with the so-called real instruments: mostly imaginatively. “Chainsaw Zombies” for instance mixes whooshes and buzzes with vocoder-like voice encryption that is then matched with hand hammered guitar string pops and lowing saxophone slurs for an intermittent exposition. Freed flutter tonguing and mumbled vocals prevent “Yellow Jacket” from turning into a full-fledged Metal guitar showcase and oscillating electronic synthesis and vocal whispers modify Rollet’s ascension to Free Jazz-like squeaks on “Escopados”.

Overall the polyphonic mix of snorts, pummels, drones, twists and rattles combines into a program that’s most notable as an outlier. It’s likely this particular group confluence may never happen again, which also may have caused the seven year gap between project completion and its release.

—Ken Waxman

Track Listing: 1. Telephone Call 2. Lyosha 3. Escopados 4.Outrock 5. Yellow Jacket 6. Umka 7. Chainsaw Zombies

Personnel: Quentin Rollet (alto and sopranino saxophones and effects); Alexei Borisov (guitar, electronics and voice); Olga Nosova (drums, voice and effects) and Jérôme Lorichon (electronics)