Fibres

Stéphane Rives saxophone solo

℗ 2003 Potlatch - P303

LES INROCKUPTIBLES

Joseph Ghosn - mai 2004


Stéphane Rives est un saxophoniste bien inspiré, qui n'hésite pas à maltraiter son instrument pour lui prouver son amour. Son album. solo, désarçonne: il ne sonne pas comme un disque de saxo classique et Stéphane Rives s'inscrit ainsi dans une tradition de détournement et de filtrage. Y pénétrer est une affaire ardue: Larsen et Le Roseau #1 est un long sifflement, autour duquel tournoient des bruits microscopiques. Pendant près de neuf minutes, le saxophoniste module son instrument qui siffle, se métamorphose doucement, vrille la tête. Ce premier palier franchi, Granulations #1 et #2 mettent en perspective d'autres modulations, des sonorités concrètes, des bourdonnements, enregistrés à faible volume. Fibres est ainsi un précis des possibilités du saxophone, observé sous un microscope extrêmement précis.




REVUE & CORRIGEE

Michel Henritzi - décembre 2003


Je découvre ce disque sans les assurances d'usage que peuvent donner un nom connu, la renommée d'un musicien, une appartenance à un clan ou à une caste. Rien, si ce n'est le label Potlatch et les autres noms qui s'y associent, certes pas des moindres : Derek Bailey, Joëlle Léandre, Evan Parker, Keith Rowe, Michel Doneda, Axel Dörner, Xavier Charles... engagés dans l'improvisation internationale, cette déjà vieille Histoire, devenue un idiome, mais peut-être toujours un espace d'expérimentation, de ratages et d'accords parfaits. Aucune biographie à laquelle s'accrocher pour entendre (pour comprendre le mouvement d'un instrument vers le son qui se donne là). Juste les titres, peu littéraires, comme : granulations, larsen et le roseau, ébranlement. Quatre mots qui contiennent en substance toute la musique de ce disque, comme un retrait dans le son, ses propres histoires, leçons d'acoustique et de météorologie.


Après s'il faut trouver une parenté, on ira du côté d'un Tamio Shiraishi (ce son dans Ies aigus d'altitude et de souffrances sonores) et des Jean-Luc Guionnet (l'organique et l'abstract sound), John Butcher (sans le côté appliqué et brillant de ce dernier), Bhob Rainey (une même interrogation des sonorités électroniques sans le recours aux machines).
On comprendra que Stéphane Rives s'inscrit dans le courant d'une improvisation des matières et des textures plus que du jeu et des thèmes. Plus trivialement un putain de son qui tarabuste le tympan et affole les marteaux, ouverture de gouffres dans l'entendement. Doubles sons simultanés, high pitch dans le splendide isolement des cimes et souffle proche de l'asthme, proche du sinewave et du vent qui passe en force sous la porte. Il en résulte une étrange abstraction presque inquiétante, tant on n'entend plus un saxophone mais tout autre chose, sans pouvoir pour autant nommer cette autre chose.


N'aIlez pas croire qu'il y a là une prouesse, que finalement cela ne tiendrait qu'à de la technique, à un pouvoir de dissimulation, ce serait peu de chose au regard de la musique sur ce disque. Dans les granulations, on atteint une telle décomposition de ce qui constitue pour les académies la musique, qu'on est littéralement sonné, troué par cette vrille sonique, ponceuse à métaux appliquée à l'oreille humaine, sons tournants roboratifs arrachant des copeaux de nos fondements culturels, incertitude de ce qui se joue et comment.


Fibres est un album bruitiste comme ceux de Merzbow pouvaient l'être, sans l'hystérie et la dépense, encore que j'imagine la torture que cela a dû être de se tenir droit dans ce son plein d'aspérités, de granulations métalliques. Gargarisme sonore pour laver les fondements d'une improvisation besogneuse, dans l'écart et la monomanie des obsédés du son absolu, du son sale parce que vivant, foutrement vivant. Pas un corps d'humain soufflant, mais une pompe à air embouchée aux poumons, souffles continus à hauteur toujours égale prolongeant au-delà de l'humain, coureur de fond d'une apocalypse bruitiste.


Assurément l'un des plus beaux disques sortis sur Potlatch avec celui du trio Butcher/Charles/Dörner, un certain cousinage, l'élégance en moins, la dépense en plus.




PARISTRANSATLANTIC

Wayne Spencer - january 2005


Fibres brings together seven circular-breathing soprano saxophone solos, grouped by Rives into three categories. The two tracks classified as Larsen et le roseau feature a stream of breathy emissions underlying a separate continuous high-pitched line shifting in frequency and intensity as a result of what appear to be both controlled modulations and the inevitable irregularities in the demanding process of simultaneously breathing in and blowing out. In the three Granulations the high-pitched line is dispensed with in favour of an exclusive focus on the microscopic world of unpitched respiratory flows through the interior of the saxophone. The final group of two tracks that bear the title Ébranlement (harsh) are rather more difficult to describe, and perhaps the siren-like Ébranlement #1 and the stridulous Ébranlement #2 ultimately share little more than a certain quality of harshness. However that may be, Rives’ work across the CD is uniformly excellent. Recordings of experimental solo saxophone run the risk of degenerating into quasi-scientific reports of isolated sonic effects divorced from any interesting musical application, but Fibres fortunately avoids such sterility, not least because of its incorporation of frequent, subtle and engaging shifts of pitch, volume and texture within each track. I was particularly taken with the Granulations, a set of almost aquatic coursings and undulations that seem to represent a signal advance in the peculiar poetry of percolating phlegm that a small band of advanced reeds and brass players have been developing over the last decade. This is without doubt difficult and demanding music that demands repeated close listening in favorable circumstances and may well prove wholly inaccessible to many, but it is well worth expending some time and attention on, for it holds out to the sympathetic listener a rewarding intricacy of improvised passages with which to engage.




BANANAFISH

Stanley Zappa - november 2004


It seems like only yesterday that Franz Hautzinger made Gomberg, Dörner released Trumpet on A Bruit Secret, and Bill Dixon compiled Odyssey - documents of each man's work with trumpet sound, stark and singular, evocative first of breathing, second as industry's inevitable appearance as applications ofbreathing (vacuums, kettles, car washes, hoses). Stéphane Rives's Fibres CD (Potlatch) likewise opposes crafted lines against rich harmonic backdrops and the disparate feels scrapbooked on Chain of Accidents. Rives's soprano sax-playing might not owe anything to Hautzinger and Dörner in terms ofinspiration or information, but they are researching and working with the same set of sounds and sound-concems.


A painterly minimalism informs Fibres, bringing to mind Seth Koen's white oil paint skid on plain canvas seen on the cover of the Fetish record Object (less so the music, though it too is related in its mission.) Both are concerned not with the big picture but a protracted stare at the little one: the drama of non-linear micro-textures in oil against the somewhat regular texture of the canvas; exaltation of the "stuff:' the smallest constituents of sound; a look at tone through a microscope; an extremeIy narrow focus where pitch, tempo, volume, and harmonic variation aren't the issue.


Fibres shares Trumpet's single long flow, which can be punitive at times, delivering on its self-proclaimed interest in "shaking up the listener's psychological security:" While this is done in part via sound, the notion that one day we might call this world of micro-variation and monomaniacal pursuit of the minute "home" is also rather alarming. Because of the work's austerity, one welcomes a saxophone quartet with Jean-Luc Guionnet, Bertrand Denzler and Marc Baron if for no other reason than to hear Rives in the company of others (Iikely to be sympathetic to his aesthetic); the shift in musical priorities within a pronounced musical demographic is plain to hear.


Fibres is an artifact from the outer reaches of the saxophone in the year 2004. To those ends, vote for and congratulations to Rives for going this way and this far with his music. Breaking down the saxophone, reevaluating it, pushing into the new, into the not-yet-ruined-by-capitalism - just as Dixon, Hautzinger, and Dörner have done with the trumpet - is a revolutionary, selfless act, in a culture as hostile as our, an economically suicidal one.




CODA

Andrew Choate - september 2004


This album of solo soprano saxophone improvisations could easily be audio discharge from an industrial combine factory. I mean that in the most positive sense. Rives' explorations of the farther reaches of the saxophone have a scientific feel on these seven tracks, as if they were found recordings of abandoned machinery or aural documents of a chemistry lab in the midst of equipment tests.


The most prevalent sound is a thin, high-pitched whistling: everything you ever wanted to know about shrill. Larsen et le roseau #1 and Larsen et le roseau #2 account for 27 minutes of the disc, and both explore the minute variations to be found in clear, unwavering lines of shrill soprano emissions. What's remarkable is how engaging it becomes once you give yourself up to the experience of long intervals exploring tightly focused instrumental effects. When the sound palette is so small, the deviations are that much more intense - pauses are like earthquake alarms. Though the sounds themselves resemble something like magnified mechanical consequences of manufacturing, something overwhelmingly human and fragile emerges from the minor shifts of articulation and breath over such long durations.
Granulations #1 and Granulations #2 move the spotlight over to wet, spluttery sounds: sucking up the last bubbling bits of iced juice through a straw, Rives' music ebbs trom a screaming cauldron of spit to a fizzle. A solid goose-like honk pervades Ébranlement #1. Again, Rives doesn't run his fingers up and down the keypads of the saxophone; instead, he makes a sound and holds it, letting it bend and wiggle in small trembling variations over time.


This album requires and inspires a level of patience that even my veteran ears are not accustomed to, but it keeps luring me back, rewarding repeated listenings.




SIGNAL TO NOISE

Michael Rosenstein - july 2004


By now, the advanced sound-world of the soprano saxophone seems like a weil trodden path. Improvisers Evan Parker, John Butcher, Michel Doneda, and a younger generation of players like Bhob Rainey and Alessandro Bosetti ought to have pretty weil tapped out the possibilities for sonic surprise.


But then this solo release by French soprano player Stéphane Rives cornes along and forces listeners to reassess their assumptions. Not that Rives is exactly working in entirely unexplored territory. There is the use of extended breathing techniques, microtones and pad pops, skirling sheets and sections of hushed micro-gestures. But these seven solos quickly prove that he has developed a unique and personal way of structuring these elemental sonic materials with intensely focused deliberation.


Similar to the way that John Butcher's recent Fringes recording, Rives divides the recording between a handful of strategies. The Larsen et le roseau series extends high-pitched, circularly-breathed multiphonics with slightIy fluttering oscillations, sounding at times almost like electronic feedback. The two Ébranlement pieces take a similar approach, but instead blare tones that quaver with the faintest of modulations, playing games with a sense of sonic placement. The Granulations series is all about pitted and scrubbed textures, amplifying gurgles and breathes with the subtlest shifts and pops of the keys of the hom.


And while the technique itself is nothing new, the hyper-concentration elicits images of sonics beamed in from the inside of a solar storm. This is one of those releases that command careful listening. Based on this impressive solo outing, add Rives to the list of improvisers to keep an eye on.




ALL MUSIC GUIDE

François Couture - february 2004


The saxophone as an aeolian harp; the saxophonist as the wind -- that, in a nutshell, is Stéphane Rives' approach on Fibres ("Fibers"). There is no attempt to be musical or to organize sound into composed or instinctive or even emotive structures. Rives' intention is to let the soprano saxophone change the sound of his circular breathing as if it were an audio filter. Each piece consists of a single long breath, an uninterrupted flow of wind passing through the embouchure of the instrument and running inside its body. Rives manages to keep the sound within the range of the barely audible (brilliantly captured by recording engineer Nicolas Guérin), on the threshold of lush multiphonics and awful squeak. Some pieces whine like a sine wave ensemble, others gurgle and bubble like an abstract piece of musique concrète or laptop sound art. The sounds are in constant flux, as they are natural and breath is never truly even and fingers cannot remain motionless in a half-open key position -- and yet the music is tightly controlled. So Fibres offers a very intriguing listen, one of the most puzzling of late, extremely difficult as it stubbornly refuses to provide the listener with any anchor point (there is not even a word of explanation on the inlay card). One can only wonder "how he does it" and marvel over the fact that the very existence of these pieces illustrates a unique kind of virtuosity. If Rives' approach is opposed to Evan Parker's own extended techniques (stillness versus perpetual motion), other improvisers have explored his path. But neither John Butcher nor Alessandro Bosetti -- no one! -- has taken microsonics this far before.




THE WIRE

Julian Cowley - february 2004


Listeners who have digested those bold revisions and extensions of saxophone language made by the likes of Evan Parker, John Butcher, Michel Doneda and Bhob Rainey will find further food for thought on Stéphane Rives's solo soprano sax recording, Fibres.


The two Larsen et le roseau pieces make a virtue of shrillness, issuing in continuous piercing, needle-thin strands, occasionally fraying but held together at length through circular breathing.


The three Granulations tracks appear to force air through heavy spittle or some other contaminant moisture, sounding the horn as a bubbling pipe. Amplified by close recording, the soprano turns into a chamber of crackles, squeals and raw noise, unwanted stuff used as the music's main matter.


The two Ébranlement tracks offer sonic disturbances, as that title suggests. Sustained, urgent multiphonic drones agitate the air and the psyche with penetrating, confrontational edginess.




DUSTED MAGAZINE

Jason Bivins - january 2004


As we lurch forward into the 21st century, aficionados of improvised music might well wonder if there is any possible further development in the world of extended instrumental techniques. When guitars have been atomized à la Rowe, saxophones deconstructed à la Butcher, and drums liquefied like Beins, where do we go? Well, Stéphane Rives – a young French soprano saxophone specialist – has surprised me quite a bit in coming up with a recording of solo pieces that sounds new.


You’ve probably heard the phrase “he really gets inside the horn.” Usually, this phrase refers to a player whose knowledge of and facility with a saxophone is consummate. That may be so with Rives, although his saxophonic language is so far removed from “conventional” playing that such assessments may be moot, but if we were to apply the phrase to Fibres, its literal accuracy might reveal something of what’s new in Rives’ approach. In these intensely focused improvisations, most of which concentrate on a single aspect of the instruments sonic capabilities, you can hear the horn’s metal, its varying resonances and vibrations, and its meeting with the player’s breath. As the label’s promotion aptly indicates, Rives’ “musical expression is close to an ‘acoustic-concrète’ approach to the instrument,” which focuses on the grain and the texture of sound itself rather than line or harmony.


What, then, separates Rives from similarly-obsessed sopranists like John Butcher, Bhob Rainey, and Michel Doneda? I would say first that the similarities are there and they should stand as a commendation of Rives abilities (in addition to which, Rives claims some of these players – along with Evan Parker and French trombonist Thierry Madiot – as inspiration). But I would also note that what distinguishes him is the way in which he personally transforms these shared elements into his own private, sometimes densely coded language. There are no squawking staccato runs here, no skirling tapestries of Parker-like sound, no duck calls or abstracted lyricism. Just sound: granular, laminal, and, yes, fibrous.


From the opening Larsen et le Roseau #1 (the compositions are apparently named for sonic areas Rives is currently exploring, and he returns to each at least once throughout the hour-long record), the insanely high-pitched continuous tone will startle you. Even someone who listens to just a ton of improvised music can’t help but be impressed by the intensity of holding this single tone over the course of several minutes – it could actually fool some people into thinking they were listening to a Sachiko M or Toshimaru Nakamura record! – and then, very slowly, transforming it into a rawer, rising sound that abruptly ceases. Occasionally he is able to summon a ghostly saxophonic double (I kept thinking that over-dubbing was involved, but apparently this is not so) by producing a shadow tone in the low register, producing a sympathetic vibration in the horn, or using keypads to create a weird counterline. Elsewhere on the recording, Rives shows a facility for drone material, creating a huge shower of sound on his Ébranlements, and for seemingly pulverizing his saxophone and reducing it to a gurgling, wet wreck on Granulations. This is extremely rich, rewarding music which succeeds at the difficult task of expanding the language of the soprano saxophone while helping to establish the personal language of its practitioner, M. Rives. And, fascinatingly, Rives claims to have “no strictly musical intention” but seeks instead “to create new ways of shaking up [the] listener’s psychological security.” These improvisations can lance through the sunlight hours of your day, or surround you with eerie nighttime shadow. Listen to this one.




BAGATELLEN

Brian Olewnick - november 2003


Among free reed improvisers, the soprano sax seems to garner more attention than its relatives, especially among the post-Evan Parker contingent. You have Butcher, Doneda, Rainey, Bosetti, all excellent musicians, all apparently drawn to the extremes afforded by the instrument, perhaps due to the comparatively anonymous, non-personal sound that's possible to evoke from that smaller horn. While all reed players have a baggage issue to come to grips with, pity the poor young soprano player trying to carve out his own niche in this heavily trodden territory. There are several potential avenues of escape. One might simply play melodically, using lessons learned from the highly abstracted music of one's forebears to fashion a new sort of "traditional" music; that road is all too rarely followed. Another is obsessiveness, honing in on small slices of one's sound world, worrying them no end, hopefully transfiguring them into something wonderful. This latter is the approach taken by French saxophonist Stéphane Rives and it's a pretty successful one. Similar in this regard to another young European reed player, Thomas Ankersmit, Rives chooses one precise area to explore per piece then delves into it with single-minded purpose and abandon. There's something of a tradition in this strategy, dating back to Anthony Braxton's solo work which was often a catalog of saxophonic attacks: a buzz piece, a trill piece, one imitating dog howls, etc. Here, Rives displays three separate mini-genres, each examined two or three times.


Larsen et le Roseau, played in two variations, takes Parker-like arabesques and pushes them out a bit further into a banshee screech zipping in and out of multiphonics. The first time through, Rives contrasts ultra-high whistling with a grainy substratum, occasionally skidding into multiphonics. His second take is lengthier and adds a couple of new elements including key tapping and a ghostly, hollow tone midway between high and low. The Granulations series, as the title implies, investigates a quiet realm that integrates breath tones with bubbling action occasioned by spittle. It's a surprisingly fascinating, even pretty soundscape that, after several minutes, becomes quite immersive. Each subsequent variation adds another sound, first a kind of windswept roar and finally an echoic percolation as though the saxophone is drifting down an underground stream. The two Ebranlements investigate drones, the first staying in the lowest ranges of the instrument and casting forth immense slabs of sound. The second is an extremely intense though short piece that contrasts a harsh, high overblowing with equally harsh breath tones.


The closest comparison is probably Michel Doneda who shares an intensity of focus with Rives but this younger player has raised the bar just a bit, venturing into fresh territory and keeping the discoveries viscerally and emotionally interesting enough to result in far more than a science experiment. Fibres is a very fine disc and Rives is clearly someone to keep a close ear on.




SKUG

Noël Akchoté - december 2003


Some records are like that, since the very first second you play them you know you're facing a serious question and a possible answer. Stephane Rives is a french saxophone player involved in sounds and textures to the highest level of integrity. Altough you can't exactly call this music »studies«, they, to some extent, are. Like a work in progress trying to overpass artistic and moral questions into as harsh and concrete as possible facts. The saxophone taken to some limits or even after the instrument one may say. After the instrument (or even without any), is a genre in itself that we've been often facing these years and therefore I would like to say that it can't quite be seen as something in itself.


Nevertheless Rives is here pushing the direction very far but sometime forgetting some sort of joy in music or from music. That is my main problem with all these experiments: it's fuckin dry and austere without never touching the limits of another restricted area which are mysticism and theology. In other words: extatic beauty. A serious album.




FAKE JAZZ

Adam Strohm - march 2004


Certain labels have strived for, and achieved, a signature sound of their own. Whether through production or selective signing, certain imprints have given listeners a good idea of what they'll hear with every new release, and they've done it with mixed results. There's something to be said for a label striving to keep some form of coherence, though doing so by releasing all like-minded artists can be a quick way of painting oneself in the corner, and ensuring that the artists on said label will be quickly pigeonholed. Some have been able to succeed with this mode of operation, though it's not an easy task.


Paris' Potlatch Records is one such label. Concentrating (mostly) on European improvisers, the label deals mainly in the quieter side of improv. Whether the artists are solo performers or members of groups of five, six, or even eight, Potlatch's releases feature a subtle, restrained sound, albeit one that's explored in numerous different ways. Stéphane Rives' Fibres is a solo soprano saxophone recording that fits in well with the rest of the Potlatch roster, though it's muted sounds are only so in volume. The disc contains seven tracks, though they each fit into a series of studies on one of three themes. Larsen et le Roseau #1 is eight minutes of high-pitched whistle with only tiny bits of breath action rolling underneath. Like the distorted feedback of a hearing aid, the track can be hard to endure, though shifts in pitch and the inherent frailty in the track brought on by Rives' occasional need to inhale offer variety, if not respite, to those in need. The second track under this moniker is more of the same, though it spans eighteen minutes. Rives' Granulations of which there are three, are expectedly gritty affairs, the sound of a coffeemaker whose liquid contents have been augmented by gravel or an extended mix of the world's most infamous everyday bodily functions together as one. Ebranlement #1 contains more of Rives' droning qualities, though, this time, his lightly oscillating tone is of a deeper, richer sort.


Fibres is a challenging and singular statement, and a fine addition to the Potlatch catalogue. Hopefully, it's only the beginning of future work with the label, as Rives would be interesting to hear within the context of a larger improvisational group, especially with some of the other purveyors of extended soprano saxophone technique that have found their way on to earlier Potlatch releases.




ONE FINAL NOTE

Ken Waxman - march 2004


When it comes to the farthest reaches of improvised music, solo saxophone sessions are no longer a novelty. Pioneers such as American Anthony Braxton and John Butcher and Evan Parker from Great Britain have furrowed the ground to such an extent that young saxists attempting a singular effort can only hope to attain some sort of attention rather than major breakthroughs. Both French soprano saxophonist Stéphane Rives and Japanese alto saxophonist Masahiko Okura acquit themselves admirably on their recent releases. However, in retrospect Okura's Solo (Hibari Music) may draw more adherents than Rives' Fibres (Potlatch).

With his admixture of microtones and vibrating air, Rives, whose work posits a unique acoustic-concrète interface, definitely creates the more original output on the seven selections on his disc. But with the total program running to a nearly exhausting more than 59 minutes, the little more than 29 minutes on Okura's single track become more palatable. Furthermore, since Solo isn't exclusively reductionist and offers rhythmic variety when the saxman literally blows into a bass tube to spell his reed work, the careful listener experiences more emotions than mute admiration.

Not that there isn't much to admire from Rives, a member of Parisian Improvisers Collective Ivraie, who has adapted the influences of Butcher, Parker and fellow Frenchman Michel Doneda to produce grainy and textural, nearly imperceptible sounds here. His extended showpiece unrolls on the 18+-minute "Larsen et le roseau #2". "Le roseau" is reed, but the identity of Larsen is open to conjuncture. Starting with a shrill, relentless single pitch, Rives soon introduces rippling harmonics at the very top of the saxophone's range. One-third of the way through, his gyrating overtones turn more rounded and less strident, but they're soon succeeded by resonation within the body tube that becomes increasingly muted. Eventually the single tone expands, picking up harmonic overtones along the way, hardens and then dissolves into single note explorations. As he blows harder, a secondary growl arises then becomes a squealing whistle until it too fades. "Ébranlement #2"—loose translation: "shaking"—follows this, almost three minutes of strained, high-energy pitches that take on aviary-like qualities and seem to be played without the saxman touching the keys.

On other tracks, such as the 13+-minute "Granulations #1"—loose translation: "grainy"—there's no doubt that Rives is dealing with the parameters of what is after all, a metal tube. Pure air forced through the shaft creates barely heard chirruped froth and reedy whistles. Moving into false registers, ghost notes irregularly vibrate from the gooseneck producing bubbling fish tank or wind tunnel sounds, rattling at their most metallic.

There's no denying Rives' skills that often extend circular breathing to boundaries past where others such as Parker have traveled, or strain triple-tonguing into murmuring multiphonics. His sibilant vibrations, overtones and squeals can reference panting and flushing noises, the burrowing of small animals and almost hollow seashell echoes. But if ten or fifteen minutes could have been lobbed off the session, there still would have been enough here to digest and admire.




THE SQUID’S EAR

Nate Dorward - february 2004


The best solo wind-instrument improv is rather like a Houdini show: there are moments when you're genuinely worried if the performer will be quite all right. Listening to Fibres - an hour of fascinating, grisly soprano-sax improvisations – you have to wonder whether by the session's end Rives was stretched out on the floor hyperventilating. Its seven tracks explore three different technical/musical areas at length; each involves a single, overwhelming sound Rives unpacks systematically, as well as fleeting ghost tones and other half-audible layers of activity. The centrepiece of Larsen et Le Roseau (presented in two versions) is an atrocious high-pitched wail which on part 1 he pushes to migraine intensity; part 2, though double the length, is on the whole less harrowing. The three Granulations form a three-movement symphony of spit. Part 1 is thirteen minutes of controlled gargling, part 2 offers six minutes of what sounds more like sucking than blowing (so intimately recorded as to suggest a dentist's vacuum), while part 3 gets a deeper, ickier kind of clogged-drain bubbliness. In the context of this disc Ébranlement 1 is a bit of a reprieve (a throbbing drone that's by no means unpleasant to listen to), but listeners had better not lower their guard, as Ébranlement 2 turns out to be the harshest thing on the disc - four minutes of godawful jet-take-off screech. I recommend Fibres highly: not only is it a remarkable album - anyone who's a keen follower of solo improv ought to check it out pronto - but it's also handy to have around in case you need to clear a room.




TOUCHING EXTREMES

Massimo Ricci


"Fibres" is more about unexpected irregular phenomena than "saxophone improvisation" in a strict sense. Stephane Rives wants his soprano to be considered a modifying machine, an altered extension of his breath waves; that said, we get an impressive array of incredibly "concrete" sonic natures: harmonics never ceasing pushing into the brain, the longest overacute notes you'll ever hear, saliva-and-tongue generated timbres that are a cross between your kitchen sink and the noise of a couple of factories working together at full steam. It's pretty difficult material but, surprisingly enough, it also works pretty well with external life (in my case, it's coupled right now with thunder and rain - and sounds great!). Strange and intelligent.




JAZZ E ARREDORES

Eduardo Chagas - december 2004


Stéphane Rives, jovem soprano saxofonista parisiense, nascido em 1969, assinou Fibres, um disco potente de saxofone solo. Com Frédéric Blondy, Bertrand Denzler, Jean-Luc Guionnet, Edward Perraud, Pascal Battus e outros, Stéphane Rives faz parte da nova vaga de improvisadores da emergente cena francesa. Fibres é muito, muito bom, como poderão verificar os amantes de música improvisada para instrumento solo em geral, e do saxofone em particular. Totalmente transparente, revela um artista fora de série. Gravação do ano passado.