Plateformes

Hervé Boghossian, Matthieu Saladin & Stéphane Rives

℗ 2006 (1.8)sec.records

JAZZ WORDS

Ken Waxman - august 2006


Just how far can you stretch a strident, staccato line? The three Paris-based improvisers featured on Plateformes are evidentially determined to find out, as their more-than-48-minute CD consists of parallel horizontal wave forms expelled in the same direction, without pause, and with few variations. A shill, jumpy variation on minimalist music, the CD chafes rather than soothes – which is obviously its intention. By the same token however, it isn’t musical solipsism, any more than the vision of other improvisers or composers. Concentrate long enough on this aural grisaille and the infinitesimal tincture variations that go into the playing to make it three dimensional become progressively evident. For instance no sooner do your ears get used to one, seemingly endless triggered envelope of sound from Stéphane Rives’ closely-miced soprano saxophone which vibrates in concentrated direction, that it’s then replaced by oscillating feedback from Hervé Boghossian’s electric guitar. Quivering with an intensity midway between an AC/DC electrical signal and flanged loops, it’s subsequently swapped for yet another triggered sequence of circular pulses from Matthieu Saladin’s amplified bass clarinet Rives, who recorded a disc of reductionist solo reed tones in 2003, plays with other lower-case improvises like pianist Sophie Agnel and Norwegian percussionist Ingar Zach. Marseille-born Boghossian has collaborated with like-minded players such as British cellist/electronicist Mark Wastell and German percussionist Burkhard Beins. Saladin is currently a PhD student in musical aesthetics at the Sorbonne and a member of the electro-acoustic band Archipel. Built most of the time on unison triple counterpoint between the two reeds and the guitar, before variants of three-part harmony pan across the sound field, mid-way through, individual pitches break through the solid, near impenetrable drone. Quivering organ-like drones from the clarinetist, split tones from the saxophonist and the guitarist’s solid buzz stand out throughout. As the pulsed reeds squeakily inflate in volume, the affiliated partials that resonate along with the original frequencies are more obvious. Not the first improvisers to generate similar concentrated pulses, the trio’s solid tone with benefits is particularly memorable, since the single-minded drone it creates as a signature continues to echo even after the CD ends.
The posed question is answered with notable sounds.




ETHERREAL

Fabrice Allard - mai 2006


Alors que Plateformes est avant tout une formation de scène, c'est sur disque que l'on découvre le trio d'improvisateurs, avec ici l'enregistrement d'un concert à l'Espace Jemmapes en juin 2005. Au sein de Plateformes, on retrouve des noms connus, régulièrement croisés sur ces pages et sur scène, puisqu'il s'agit de Hervé Boghossian, Matthieu Saladin et Stéphane Rives. On trouve ce disque sur (1.8)sec.records, un label canadien que l'on découvre pour cette occasion, fondé par Chris Bryan et dédié aux expérimentations minimalistes. L'objet est superbe, simple carton glacé plié en deux, une photo signée Taylor Deupree, et le CD glissé à l'intérieur. On parlait de minimalisme, la pochette ne trompe pas, et cette rigueur est de mise également dans la musique du trio. On débute par un sifflement aigu mais varié, qui subit parfois quelques ruptures, et l'ensemble forme une sorte de mélodie, insaisissable, étonnante. La musique composée de façon hors norme, est parfois difficile à saisir : ce sifflement est-il produit par le saxophone ? La clarinette ? S'agit-il d'un larsen ou encore d'un mélange de tout cela ? Si rigueur il y a, ce n'est pas au dépend de la beauté. Beauté du son dans son épure, beauté des enchaînements quand un drone grave prend le relais sur le sifflement, mêlé à une tonalité linéaire. Les sons s'enchaînent, se superposent en strates qui évoluent lentement, apparaissent et disparaissent de la même manière. Si l'esprit y est, on est quand même loin de l'album rvb d'Hervé Boghossian dont le minimalisme pouvait rebuter. Ici les instruments finissent par se dévoiler, et on entend vraiment le saxophone ou la clarinette qui viennent poser une couche supplémentaire, joignant l'acoustique à l'électronique (ou à l'électrique devrait-on dire peut-être) sans en dénaturer le sens. Ces apparitions se font aussi rassurantes, alors que l'on pourrait voir dans ce disque qu'une succession de drones et notes interminables. Au contraire, on se prend même à suivre les ondulations des signaux sonores, on les suit en se demandant si l'un ou l'autre ne va pas se rompre, se casser, alors qu'il semble en équilibre sur une corde raide. Mis à part quelques couinements de cuivres qui apparaissent au bout d'une trentaine de minute et dénotant un peu sur l'ensemble de la prestation, on tient là un excellent disque d'improvisation minimaliste tendance ambient. Conseillé aux amateurs d'un label comme Line (division expérimentale de 12k).




DISQUIETING DUCK

june 2006


Helfransk trio på kanadiske (1.8)sec.records. Hervé Boghossian spiller elektrisk gitar, Stéphane Rives sopransaksofon, Matthieu Saladin amplifisert bassklarinett på ”Plateformes”. Feedback (Boghossian og Saladin) og sirkulasjonspust (Rives) benyttes i utstrakt grad og bidrar til at forventningene man eventuelt måtte ha på bakgrunn av den nokså streite instrumentbesetningen, brytes. Andre forventninger derimot – av det slaget som bygger på kjennskap til musikerne og deres tidligere arbeider – bekreftes i all hovedsak. ”Plateformes” har en spilletid på nærmere femti minutter og består av én lang remse sammenhengende lyd. Denne er relativt dynamisk og elegant, men samtidig er den, sammenlignet med annen dronebasert musikk, ofte konvensjonell og typisk. ”Plateformes” tøyer de fysiske grensene for instrumentene i bruk. På den måten utmerker den seg, uansett målestokk. Musikken som følger derav mangler litt nyanser og egenart.




VITAL WEEKLY

Frans de Waard


The press release mentions 'Plateforms' to be the title, and the artists being Herve Boghossian (electric guitar), Stephane Rives (soprano saxophone) and Matthieu Saladin (amplified bass clarinet), whereas I though Plateforms was the name of the band. Either way, it's not really important. Boghossian runs also the List label, and has shown us a couple of times on his own label, his own radical sound approach. The label describes this trio in terms of 'free improvisational jazz', which is stretching terms a bit further. The three play around with the notion of feedback, long sustained sounds coming from their instruments, opening with a fiery high end tone, which abruptly, after a while, fades over into something very deep, bass end hum. Over the long course of this recording - a live one from june last year - you may recognize something that can indeed be a saxophone or a clarinet (the guitar keeps humming and is never strummed), moving carefully through all the various possibilities that feedback can offer. In a way the influence of Alvin Lucier is never far away, but what 'Plateforms' does is much less rigid in terms of concept and much more playful and within their self-chosen system of sound, indeed much more musical and open for repeated listening (something that is not always the case with Lucier's work). A fine, delicate woven work.