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Richard Pinhas

Reverse (LP)

Label: Bureau B

Format: LP

Genre: Electronic

In stock


*2023 stock* "Save for a brief hiatus in the ’80s when he became disillusioned with music, guitarist Richard Pinhas has spent the last five decades making records, both solo and with many groups including ’70s French space-rock innovators Heldon. Lately he’s been more productive, and collaborative, than ever: Reverse is his 14th release this decade, and like most of the others it features a fine supporting cast of accomplished players.

That cast began with Oren Ambarchi, a partner with Pinhas on their excellent 2014 album Tikkun. The pair recorded guitar drones in an initial session, stripped away the parts that they felt didn’t work, and then added contributions from five collaborators including noise legend Merzbow, percussion master William Winant, and Pinhas’s own son Duncan on synths. That’s a lot of large personalities to fit into one space, but Reverse never feels crowded or dominated. Its expansive mix of sounds comes off as democratic.

In fact, if there is such a thing as a star of Reverse, it’s one of its lesser-known participants, drummer Arthur Narcy. On three of the four tracks in an album-length suite called “Dronz,” Narcy’s playing creates a sturdy spine for his colleagues to wrap tones around, while also being agile enough to respond to their amorphous improvisations. In some spots, as during the gradual climb of “Dronz 2 - End,” he starts with a steady beat and tweaks it into abnormal shapes to match the guitars’ thickening clouds. He takes the opposite tack on opener “Dronz 1 - Ketter,” coagulating jazzy sounds until they become metronomic.

The textures that Pinhas and company surround Narcy with are in constant motion, and are dense enough that something new is revealed with each listen. The sound the group conjures is too spacey to be called noise and too busy to be called drone. Its base is rock’n’roll, though there’s little in the way of riffs or single, discrete notes. Reverse sounds more like rock music echoed out into the stratosphere, extracting the essence of guitar chords the way the shining light of a star distills the core of something long gone.

Pinhas has called making Reverse a healing process, coming as it did during a stressful period in his personal life, including the passing of both of his parents. There is a therapeutic aspect to the way the music continually opens up the world, suggesting that looking forward can help alleviate the past. That’s true even in the album’s only drum-less track, “Dronz 4 - V2,” whose whirring treble feels more like a cathartic scream than a medicinal potion. In the sure hands of Pinhas and his comrades, Reverse is big enough to contain emotional multitudes." - Pitchfork

Cat. number: BB249
Year: 2017

Free coverprint for the first 100 orders from the label. Drums recorded in Nantes - Fr Analog synths recorded in Tokyo - Japan Percussions recorded in Oakland - USA Reverse is an Heldontyrell Production ℗ & © 2017 Bureau B Made in the EU