Etienne Jaumet: “Night Music”

This one arrived a couple of days ago and it’s been hard to stop playing ever since. It’s the debut solo album of a French guy previously known as half of the Zombie Zombie duo, who I vaguely recall as being Krautrockish, but not as interesting as they were made out to be. I need to check them out again, I think.

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This one arrived a couple of days ago and it’s been hard to stop playing ever since. It’s the debut solo album of a French guy previously known as half of the Zombie Zombie duo, who I vaguely recall as being Krautrockish, but not as interesting as they were made out to be. I need to check them out again, I think.



Because “Night Music” is a giant cosmic electronic throb which works pretty tremendously, all told. The opening 20-minute track, “For Falling Asleep”, sets out Etienne Jaumet’s stall rather brilliantly, placing him deep in the territory of Manuel Gottsching, Klaus Schulze and, more recently, Lindstrøm circa “Where You Go I Go Too” (Lindstrøm has a new one coming, with a singer, Christabelle, that I should be getting next week, by the way).

If Lindstrøm powers his kosmische fantasias with disco beats, however, Jaumet seems to favour gliding Detroit techno as his motor, and in this he’s assisted by Carl Craig, credited here as producer (According to the credits, “Mix directed and imagined by Carl Craig,” which I assume means production). The last album I can recall working this way was Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom’s “Days Of Mars” on DFA, though I think Russom’s latest incarnation as Black Meteoric Star is this way inclined, too (I need to hear that album out, too).

Jaumet is less minimalist, mind, and keeps piling on the good stuff: great banks of slow timelag saxophone that very obviously connect with the Terry Riley of “Poppy Nogood” or “Happy Ending”; vigorous ululations from Emmanuelle Parrenin, who also contributes some Alan Stivell-ish harp to the final comedown minutes of “For Falling Asleep”.

“For Falling Asleep”, in fact, sets a terrifying standard for the following four tracks, but they’re still fairly excellent. As “Mental Vortex” (for God’s sake…) moves into, well, “Entropy”, there’s a sense Jaumet is progressing towards more orthodox, modernish electronica; well, late ‘80s/early ‘90s as opposed to ‘70s. On “Through The Strata”, you can just make out Parrenin’s ecstatic groans beneath the thudding beats, sundry cosmic ephemera, and a quavering drone melody that sounds like a synthetic equivalent of bagpipes; Breton ones, maybe, which when combined with Parrenin’s presence, suggests Jaumet has a taste for the French equivalent of psych-folk. If anyone has any leads and recommendations with regard to Parrenin, please let me know – a brief Google makes her look fascinating.

Finally, the Terry Riley saxes come back with a vengeance in “At The Crack Of Dawn”, for the requisite levitational closer. “Entropy” is playing at Etienne Jaumet’s Myspace, along with some other stuff.

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