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Best of 2023

Roxane Metayer

Éclipse des Ocelles (LP, Red Vinyl)

Label: Morc Records

Format: LP, Coloured

Genre: Sound Art

In stock

An absolutely stunning debut by Roxane Métayer - reissued in a limited edition of 150 vinyl copies by Morc Records - 'Éclipse des Ocelles' is the perfect European counterpoint to Henry Flynt and Tony Conrad, and so much more. Combining field recordings and vocal interventions with thick modulating violin drones, percussive and textural playing, and subtle processing, it's emotive, stunningly beautiful, creatively brilliant, and not to be missed.

**Repressed! 150 copies on Red Vinyl** It’s rare that a debut LP comes out of nowhere and blows our minds, but that’s exactly what Morc Records’ latest LP, Éclipse des Ocelles by Roxane Métayer, did with a bang. Filled with rich drones, delicate textures, and intricate ambiences - all marked by a stunning level of creative vision - it was love at first listen and has continued to unfold with every turn. Easily one of the most exciting debuts we’ve heard in years, take note, a brilliant new artist has entered our midst.

Born in France and currently residing in Brussels, Roxane Métayer is a multidisciplinary artist, working as a visual artist in video, drawings, and sculptures, in addition to her musical practice - heavily focused on the spontaneous - dating back to her childhood when she began studying the violin. While Éclipse des Ocelles is her solo debut, Métayer has been active for a number of years on the European experimental music scene, working in the duos Gebogen Ogen and Sage Alyte, who released an equally noteworthy LP on Vlek earlier this year.

Éclipse des Ocelles is an exploration of the sonic possibilities of the violin, combining field recordings and vocal interventions with thick modulating drones, percussive and textural playing, subtle processing, and a bubbling undercurrent of melodic elements that have whispering roots in folk. Stunningly beautiful and marked with a striking sense of sensitivity, responsiveness, and interplay that feels like the perfect European counterpoint to Henry Flynt and Tony Conrad’s decidedly American forays into similar realms.

Emotive, stunningly beautiful, and creatively brilliant - forward thinking while somehow rooted in the primal truths of organized sound - we couldn’t possibly sing enough praise for Roxane Métayer’s Éclipse des Ocelles. It’s a consuming and mesmerizing debut that leaves you wondering what she’ll deliver next, before sending you diving back for more. 

The first of these was a CDr, entitled “Lo Becat”, issued in 2017 by Soleils Bleus, documenting Barkas’ longstanding bagpipe duo with Lisa Käuffert (sometimes taking the name Lise & Lisa). It is the same recording that is reissued by Morc, marking the label’s debut release with the pair. With a catalog already counting artists like Soccer Committee, Roxane Métayer, Annelies Monseré, Pefkin, and Luster, all of whom work at the junctures of experimentalism and folk, the match couldn’t make more sense. “Lo Becat” is a long-form composition that stretches across the two sides of the LP. Drawing upon both artists’ roots in both traditional European folk and experimental music, the piece unfolds as a hushed and droning overture as the pair explore s and intertwines the harmonies emerging from, and uniting, their two bagpipes. As the piece progresses in all the glories of tonal minimalism, it slowly evolves into a sprawling instrumental reinterpretation of “La belle va au jardin des amours”, a French traditional that’s usually sung, rendering it as a striking storm of tonality, before harvesting a small portion of a French traditional dance tune, “Bourrée”, that builds a sonorous bridge between that ecstatic and trance-inducing drones and folkloric dance music.

Staggeringly beautiful, utterly captivating, and creatively brilliant, once encountered it’s hard to understand how Lise Barkas and Lisa Käuffert aren’t already household names, or how “Lo Becat” has remained in relatively obscuring for the last six years. It’s an absolute marvel and easily one of the best records to be reissued this year, made all that much more special by how fresh and new it feels. Unquestionably essential. Morc Records has done it again. We can’t possible recommend this record enough!

Cat. number: Morc 83
Year: 2021