Fragments Editions: Renaud Bajeux and Mike Majkowski
Over the last decade or so, the artist, Morgan Cuinet, has been the quiet hand behind Hands in the Dark, a label focused on ambitious, contemporary explorations of the sonic field. Issuing widely celebrated releases by Josiah Steinbrick, Byron Westbrook, Tomaga, Razen, Piotr Kurek, Saåad, and numerous others, Cuinet’s singular vision has played a crucial role in illuminating and supporting a broad range of vital, emerging sounds, but his latest effort, a brand-new imprint, Fragments Editions, is easily his most radical and experimental to date. The label’s two inaugural releases, Seeking a Vision by Renaud Bajeux, and Four Pieces by Mike Majkowski - pressed in highly limited, hand-numbered editions of 100 copies on vinyl - plum stunning depths of abstraction through deeply intimate realizations of acoustic and electronic practice, offering glimpses of the now becoming new, future unknowns.
The label’s two inaugural releases, Seeking a Vision by Renaud Bajeux, and Four Pieces by Mike Majkowski - pressed in highly limited, hand-numbered editions of 100 copies on vinyl - plum stunning depths of abstraction through deeply intimate realizations of acoustic and electronic practice, offering glimpses of the now becoming new, future unknowns.
Renaud Bajeux "Seeking a Vision" (LP)
Trained as a cellist, Renaud Bajeux is a French experimental composer who primarily works with field recordings and modular synthesizers. A regular collaborator at GRM (Groupe de Recherches Musicales), he is noted - particularly through the lens of his debut LP, Magnetic Voices From the Unseen, released by Nahal Recordings in 2019 - for his rebellious temperaments and attempts to undermine the rigid traditions within the context of contemporary classical composition, deploying of a wide range of electronic devices to sculpt a unique territory at the juncture of electroacoustic, noise, and ambient music.
His latest, Seeking a Vision - recorded at and partially commissioned by GRM - draws on the sound palette of a Serge synthesizer, combining the instrument’s multiplicity of evolving sounds with field recordings drawn from natural environments. Divided into four parts - Wandering, Elevation, Emanation, Descent - the album morphs into a continuous journey through multiple layers of human consciousness, slowly - over the course of its duration - drawing the realm of electroacoustic practice toward meditative states and sprawling, pointillistic inner landscapes.
Embedding bristling fragments, percolating tones, and poignant dissonances within a sweeping field of ambience and drones, Bajeux’s Seeking a Vision takes sonic abstraction - via the real and synthesized - to startling heights. Beautiful from its first sounding to the last, Fragments Editions has issued the album in a highly limited, hand-numbered editions of 100 copies on vinyl, mastered by Stephan Mathieu, and housed in a beautiful sleeve with artwork by Morgan Cuinet. This is electroacoustic music at its sophisticated and immersive best.
Mike Majkowski "Four Pieces" (LP)
Mike Majkowski is a double bassist and composer from Sydney, based in Berlin, who has been active within numerous fields of contemporary music since the early 2000s, releasing music with numerous projects - The Splinter Orchestra, Gunter Hampel European-New York Quintet, Lotto, etc. - as well as numerous solo recordings on labels like Zarek, Astral Spirits, and Another Timbre, producing a versatile body of sound that challenges the boundaries between acoustic and electroacoustic sounds.
Tracing across ethereally treacherous ground, Four Pieces - Majkowski’s eleventh solo outing - builds upon layered, repetitive structures in constant mutation, probing the spectral qualities of resonance, duration, auditory perception, and the relationships between pulse and stillness. Often defying the aesthetic signifiers of experimental music, the album’s four compositions rest within a fascinating collision of drone, acoustic instrumentation, electronic intervention, and minimal techno, forming glacial, linear movements and evolving motifs that hypnotize the mind, body, and soul.
A nearly additive listen, Majkowski’s Four Pieces is an immersive breath of fresh air into the world of experimental sound, feeling fully radical in its temperaments, without fearing the blissful elements of minimalism and pop. Issued by Fragments Editions in a highly limited, hand-numbered editions of 100 copies on vinyl, with a beautiful sleeve featuring artwork by Morgan Cuinet, we’re fairly certain this is going to be a record that collectors with be clamoring for over the decades to come. Don’t sleep. We only have a limited number of copies and it’s going to fly.