"Here we have two discs, received in the same parcel and which share a love for electronics and saxophones. I am never too fond of lumping things together, but it, in this case, is hard to avoid. Duncan Pinhas was born in 1979 and is a guitarist (any elation to Richard Pinhas is not mentioned), while Yerri-Gaspar Hummel (1982) plays the saxophone. Both musicians have a background in serious (read: composed) music and met "around the composer La Monte Young", as the bio says. I found the opening piece, 'Aurora', a powerful piece of intertwining drones, with both instruments playing long-form sustaining sounds. It is a most promising start, especially with that La Monte Young thing in mind, but already in the second piece, they flow into a proper free jazz/improvisation mode, with the saxophone playing short jazzy bits. An album of variations, and, no doubt, it's great that they want to show whatever skills they have in performing their music, but for this particular listener, the variation is a bit too much. Free jazz, drones, a bit of noise guitar at the end (in the overlong 'Lava'), free improvisation; it keeps bouncing back and forth, like being on a rollercoaster. At more than an hour, this is a long ride. Some beautiful vistas and some, well, not so great. Each listener will have a different opinion, I guess.
Romain Perrot, you may best know from his harsh noise wall project Vomir. He has a few other projects, with outsider music projects, such as Trou Aux Rats, Roro Perrot, KILL, Free As Dead, Maginot, Meurs and others. Quentin Rollet is a saxophone player best known for his work with Nurse With Wound, but he also toots his horn with The Red Krayola, Emmanuelle Parrenin, Pointe Du Lac, Jours de Greve and so on. 'Le Vieux Fusible' is their second album, following 'L'impatience Des Invisibles' (see Vital Weekly 1229), and this new one comes with a second CD, 'The Singles', collecting two 8" lathe cut record, a 3"CD and a 23-minute live recording with Richard Frances on synthesizer. What ties this release with the Pinhas/Hummel disc is how both saxophone players approach their instruments; jazzy and free jazzy. Combined with the electronics of Perrot (who also gets credit for voice, drum machine and alto saxophone), this is quite a different release. An odd pairing doesn't describe the music.
Perrot stays clear from overtly loud noise blasts but doesn't hide this background. Maybe because Rollet also plays synth, electronics, voice, and drum machine, the music on their double disc is quite varied. The saxophone is a less dominating feature than Pinhas/Hummel. When it is present, it is very clearly present, but in some of these pieces, the saxophone's role is either less or, in some ways, transformed. Perrot's approach to music remains rough, occasionally leaning towards the noise and sometimes even very loud, but generally, he keeps his stuff well under control. Sonically, this is all quite heavy music, which left me out of breath. There is also some variation to be noted, but not as much as with the other one, and it made a much more coherent album. The element of free jazz is definitely part of this album, but working with the more noisy electronic components makes a surprising album, one I enjoyed quite a bit!" - Vital Weekly