Laurent Perrier + David Fenech – Plateforme #3
Format : LP
Label : Bam Balam

Release date : June 20, 2020
(for Disquaire Day 2020 / French Record Store Day 2020)

Tracklisting : 

Side F : Plateforme # 3.1 – David Fenech (18’01”)
Laurent Perrier : Buchla + Serge modular synthesizers
David Fenech : Electric guitar, Percussion, composition, mix

Side P – Plateforme # 3.2 – Laurent Perrier (18’51”)
Laurent Perrier : Eurorack modular synthesizer, composition, mix
David Fenech : Prepared electric guitar

After two albums on Baskaru with Felix Kubin, Lawrence English, Gianluca Becuzzi (2014) and later Francisco López, Tom Recchion, Christian Zanési (2016), Laurent Perrier continues his Plateforme series by inviting French musician David Fenech. Plateforme is a concept, a restrictive framework Perrier imposed on himself: to create an electronic music piece using solely a set of sound recordings provided by a collaborator.

“I simply asked the musicians to send me raw stuff close to their sound style” explains Perrier. “Some sent me a lot of material, others very little”. The result shifts between Krautrock on side F (produced by Fenech) and Electroacoustic Music with a taste of Ralph Records on side P (produced by Perrier).

Laurent Perrier is a French electronic musician who composes and performs exclusively on modular synthesizers. An ex-member of the French cult industrial band NOX and founder of the record label and record shop Odd Size Records. He’s now releasing his own music under the many monikers (Zonk’t, Pylône, Cape Fear, Heal). He’s also deeply involved into composing for dance companies, plastic art, theater on top of working in sound design and teaching modular synthesizers in a training center. The missing link between Kraftwerk, Giorgio Moroder and Pierre Schaeffer.

Plateforme #3 was an idea Laurent Perrier had, inviting some musical collaborators to submit a selection of raw material of themselves, unrelated to each other, and challenging himself to assemble pieces built solely from that material. In the third of his own series, Perrier invited David Fenech to oversee the first of the two eighteen-minute, vinyl-LP-friendly pieces. The result is not nearly as disparate or chaotic as the concept might suggest. The first part is one large self-contained evolution, in a direction not too often travelled, beginning with fairly upbeat rhythmic, acoustic percussion and slowly transitioning, over more than quarter of an hour, out of rhythm and into a gently abrasive drone space. The second part begins much more mildly, with sporadic soft melodies floating in nothingness, before heading off in a different direction again- gradually bringing in glitching, stuttering synth patterns and delving deep into 70’s style analogue meanders. This time around the slow progression is from calm to tense, with delayed percussion and more structured patterns appearing as time goes by- though this loops back to sparkling and cathedral-hollow melodic ambiences at the end.

It’s a bold pair of works, and an intriguing pair in the way they contrast against each other. It fuses a more traditional analogue synth form with some fresh touches, and it’s a strong example of how to maintain interest without drama. Quality stuff.

Stuart Bruce – Chain D.L.K – Feb 2020 (link)

Released via Bam Balam Records is the third installment of Laurent Perrier’s “Plateforme”-series in which the French artist creates music solely based on recordings sent in by a collaborating composer / musician. Teaming up this time with the, also French, Musique Concrete-leaning David Fenech the result of this conceptual approach are two extended compositions both hitting the 18+ minutes mark in terms of playtime. With “Plateforme #3.1” the result is a brooding, somewhat feverish and ritualistic piece of ever so slightly changing Tribal / FutureTribal featuring several layers of hypnotic percussions, droning, spiraling low ends as well as expertly crafted background string atmospheres for post-apocalyptic sunsets before evolving and turning into thrilling Deep Space Ambient soundscapes around mid-track whereas “Plateforme #3.2” weighs in a tender, subaquatic Ambient feel at first before switching gears towards the exploration of percussive, yet minimalist modular sequences accompanied by a sweet, simple and seductive, sort of retro futurist motif and eerie, dreamlike and spatial ever shifting high frequency sound waves.

Baze Djunkiii – Nitestylez, March 1 2020  (link)

This is the third instalment of ‘Plateforme’ in which Laurent Perrier (also known as Zonk’t, Pylone, Cape Fear, Heal) works solely with the sound material given by another musician. The first two were CDs released by Baskaru and saw him using sounds from Felix Kubin, Lawrence English Gianluca Becuzzi, Francisco Lopez, Tom Recchion and Christian Zanesi. Each of the pieces was twenty minutes back then. Now it’s time for David Fenech, who describes himself as “a kind of punk musique concrete” and who has worked with Nurse With Wound, Jad Fair, Tom Cora, Pascal Comelade and many others. He produced the first side of the record, ‘Plateforme #3.1’ in which Perrier handles Buchla and Serge modular synthesizers and Fenech electric guitar, percussion, composition and mix. The second, not surprisingly called ‘Plateforme #3.2’ sees the latter on prepared electric guitar and Perrier on euro rack modular synthesize and composition/mix. They both have their interests, which are shown in these two pieces. Both pieces, while taking up the whole side of a record, contain various sections. In “# 3.1” it starts with a looped rhythm that is not dissimilar to the world of krautrock – the endless guitar flow, reminding me of Manuel Göttsching no doubt, added to that. In the second half of the piece, the rhythm is gone and the drones have completely taken over. Both the guitar and the synthesizers are now tuned down and slowly bringing a mighty iceberg-like sound in. In Perrier composition, it all starts a bit more careful, with a multitude of loose sounds before it arrives, and then we are already halfway through, into something more sustaining and coherent spacious sound. There is a level of abstract approach on this side compared to the other, which makes a fine contrast. A fine showcase of musical collaboration might do.

Frans de Waard – Vital Weekly, March 3 2020 (link)

Plateforme è un un quadro restrittivo e disciplinato che Perrier si è imposto: creare un brano di musica elettronica utilizzando esclusivamente un insieme di registrazioni audio fornite da un “collaboratore”. Dalle sue parole: “Ho semplicemente chiesto ai musicisti di inviarmi materiale grezzo vicino al loro stile sonoro”. In questo caso, in cui il collaboratore prescelto è il parigino David Fenech, il risultato e’ krautrock sul lato A (prodotto da Fenech) ed electroacoustic music, con un assaggio di Ralph Records, sul lato B (prodotto da Perrier). Si tratta di “Platforme #3”, appena uscito per Bam Balam Records. Personalmente, adoro la prima traccia, “Plateforme #3.1”. Ipnotica, sensuale, scura. Perfetta per una trance positiva. Vi e’ un loop che continua a girare, con poche sfumature nello sfondo. Per niente noioso, ma molto ispirante. Un lavoro da ascoltare almeno tre volte, come mia consuetudine, per gustarsi i vari dettagli che riaffiorano dopo la prima mera esecuzione. Ad esempio al minuto 4:40, apprezzare la contradditorietà delle tastiere, inquietanti e rassicuranti allo stesso tempo, non credo sia possibile al primo ascolto. Poche note ma pigiate al momento giusto.

Matteo Preabianca – Music Map, March 2020 (link)

Musiker David Fenech dazugeholt. Dieser ist einerseits auch elektronisch unterwegs, spielt aber auch Instrumente wie Ukulele und Xylophon. Das zweite setzt er dann gleich ausschweifend auf dem manischen Eingangsteil von “plateform #3.1“ über knapp 10 Minuten ein. Eine betörende, schnelle Klangfolge auf dem Xylophon saugt den Hörer ein und lässt die Füße nicht ruhig bleiben. Darüber liegen düstere Soundscapes. Dieser Part erinnert mich sehr stark an das Stück Der 1. Weltkrieg (Perkussionsversion) der Einstürzenden Neubauten.

Nach knapp 10 Minuten verschwindet mit dem Xylophon die Beschwingtheit und die düsteren Scapes übernehmen in Form von Elektronik, einer verzerrten Gitarre im Hintergrund und dunkel bummernden Bässen. Das Stück löst sich hier zwar mehr oder weniger auf, bleibt aber in einer einem Soundtrack ähnlichen Atmosphäre und lässt den ersten Part so verklingen.

“plateforme #3.2“ beginnt mit unheimlichen elektronischen Klängen die zunächst nur spartanische Soundinstallation sind. Die Atmosphäre wird mit der Zeit etwas dichter, aber es dauert satte 6 Minuten bis sich durch rhythmische Blubberklänge und wabernde Bässe eine Songsstruktur entwickelt. Über diese thronen weiter die mystischen Geräusche. Dieses kurze Aufbegeren von Struktur ebbt nach knapp zwei Minuten wieder ab und die Klänge werden etwas heruntergefahren. Hieraus entsteht ein pulsierender Sound über dem ein psychedelischer Soundkosmos ausgebreitet wird.

Nach ca. 12 Minuten weicht dieser Klangkosmos einem weiteren rhythmischen Part, der mit schrägen Begleittönen das Stück zu seinem Finale begleitet. Dieses ist jedoch kein explodierender Rausch, sondern eine weitere mythische, fast Ambiente Klanginstallation wie aus einer anderen Welt.

Im Gegensatz zu Plateform #1 (Plateform #2 kenne ich leider nicht) ist Plateform #3 trotz aller immer noch vorhanden Experimentiererei wesentlich hörbarer und teilweise schon fast Songorientiert. Allerdings natürlich nur im Sinne der Rhythmik und den angedeuteten Melodien.
Allein “plateform #3.1“ ist es Wert, einmal in diese fremdartigen Klangwelten einzutauchen.

Ein starkes, hörbares und begeisterndes Experimental Album.

Wolfgang Kabsch – musik an sich (link)

Dopo i primi due volumi pubblicati su Baskaru in cui ha coinvolto musicisti di notevole spessore (Felix Kubin, Lawrence English e Giarduca Becuzzi nel #1, Francisco Lopez, Tom Recchion e Christian Zanési nel #2), Laurent Perrier in questo terzo capitolo della serie Plateforme si focalizza sulla collaborazione col solo David Fenech, sperimentatore francese fra i più noti e apprezzati del circuito come testimoniano le sue innumerevoli apparizioni a fianco di Jad Fair, Tom Cora, Rhys Chatham, Pascal Comelade, Jac Berrocal, Ghédalia Tazartès, Steven Stapleton e Pierre Bastien. Il metodo di lavoro rimane immutato – registrazioni “grezze” effettuate da colui che viene invitato a partecipare al progetto, poi rielaborate da Perrier e successivamente dallo stesso autore originario — sebbene di volta in volta assuma forme e connotazioni diverse come accade per il singolare connubio fra il krautrock alla Faust avvolto dai venti solari sul lato a e le incorporee moduiazioni del sintetizzatore sul lato b. Mondi paralleli che derivano dalla stessa materia, animati da forme vitali assai dissimili ma con un medesimo DNA.

Massimiliano Busti – Blow Up, May 2020

French musician Laurent Perrier used to release a lot of material for his own Sound On Probation label some years ago, often appearing under any guise other than his own name – Cape Fear, Heal, Zonk’t and Pylône. More recently he’s been developing this nifty line in collaborations with others, some of them quite significant players, in the occasional “Plateforme” series. We enjoyed the previous outing where he did it with Tom Recchion, Christian Zanesi, and Francisco López, and I’m quite surprised to find that was nearly four years ago. Today he’s managed to hook up with David Fenech, the French composer and guitarist whose Grand Huit record from 2000 was reissued by Gagarin Records, to great acclaim (from me anyway).

I suspect Fenech is something of a hidden treasure; he has great skills which he conceals under a mask of spontaneity and eccentric imagery, all of which are good things. On Plateforme #3 (BAM BALAM RECORDS BBLP069), it seems that Fenech and Perrier didn’t actually shake hands over a piece of brioche, but Perrier received sound samples from Fenech in the mail, along with his usual deliveries of fine bacon from Brittany. In this instance, Perrier’s task is to rework the material into a new piece of electronic music. Two side-long myrmallons result, the two geniuses taking turns to act as producer. On the A-side, a fine piece of guitar-rock trundling minimalism composed and played by Fenech gives way to some contemplative synth mind-puzzles emerging from the Buchla and Serge synth set-ups of Perrier. It might be reasonable to read this 18 minute cartwheel down the corridors of philosophy as a minimalist post-modern take on Heldon and Richard Pinhas; digging the sounds and the playing on this one, but as a composition it feels like we’re not really taken anywhere by the existential journey.

For those who welcome doubts and uncertainties into their Cartesian brain-pan, the B-side might be more suitable fodder for the cortex. Perrier composed and mixed this lengthy isolatory outer-space dripping terror using his Eurorack modular synth array, while Fenech strapped on his gravity boots and picked up a prepared electric guitar. This side goes a lot further down the studio processing route, to the extent that everything soon sounds very alien and unfamiliar, while the pulses and repetitions do a lot to inject tension and tremors of fear. Kiki Pey did the cover artworks, sitting somewhere between 1960s fabric design and a pavilion for a futuristic World’s Fair.

Ed Pinsent – The Sound Projector , August 19 2020 (link)

Ancien musicien d’une formation rock industriel des années 80 (Nox, présent sur de nombreuses compilations), Laurent Perrier (synthés) a entamé en 2014 un travail de collaboration avec différents musiciens, la plupart issus de la musique électro acoustique ou électronique, rencontre actée sous l’appellation de Plateforme. Cette troisième proposition ne s’adresse qu’à un seul interlocuteur, en l’occurrence David Fenech (guitare et percussions). Si le principe de la Plateforme est pour Laurent Perrier de retravailler les apports de ses invités, cette fois il n’en confie pas moins la responsabilité de la première face à David Fenech. Celle-ci, en particulier dans le premier morceau, s’inscrit pleinement dans le krautrock par sa pulsation, en plus feutrée toutefois, qui n’est pas sans rappeler « It’s A Rainy Day » de Faust, offrant par la suite une plage plus mélancolique et planante. Laurent Perrier reprend les rênes (du mixage) pour l’autre face : des sonorités électroniques au grain délicat y dominent, agrémentées de discrets effets à la guitare électrique préparée, au service d’une musique plutôt évanescente, relevant d’un pointillisme sonique parfois insidieux, et créant une atmosphère d’apesanteur quelque peu étrange qui évolue toutefois vers des ambiances plus proches de la fin de la première face.

Pierre Durr – Revue Et Corrigée #125 – Septembre 2020 (link)

Après la rencontre de Pascal Comelade et Eric Hurtado, voici celle de Laurent Perrier et David Fenech. Autre génération certes, mais là aussi deux figures d’une scène musicale française assez large. Laurent Perrier s’est échappé du punk tribal et indus de Nox pour se consacrer à la musique de spectacle et se spécialiser dans les synthétiseurs modulaires. David Fenech traverse la scène et les collaborations (Rhys Chatham, Jac Berrocal, Ghédalia Tazartès…), aventurier léger et doux rêveur. Deux pièces qui naviguent entre un surréalisme électronique et une tension rythmique soutenue, atmosphérique, cosmique et saturé quand il faut !

CorticalArt (link)