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CD Feature/ Mathias Delplanque: "Le Pavillon Temoin"

img  Tobias

This album once again proves, just how silly and plain wrong the distinction between “serious” and “popular” music really is. Not that we expected anything different from Matthias Delplanque, whose various projects, from his participation in the Drone supergroup The Missing Ensemble to his commissioned work for museums and his Lena-dub project, already point at a deep suspicion of seperating “art” from “entertainment”. With the feathery, yet deep brushstrokes of “Le Pavillon Temoin”, however, his point becomes especially clear.

Maybe, and please note that this is a mere suspicion, the simultaneously light and artistic touch of only his third release under his civilian name relates to the inward search for a French element in experimental music: Jean-Francois Daussy contributes melancholic Accordion strokes, Charles-Eric Charrier grates dry slices of his heavy accent on the slowburning summervision of “It’s Spring on the Moon” and there is an overall mood of laisser-faire, of sipping hot black coffee on sun-drenched terrases hanging all over these tracks. Delplanque, who was born in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, has embarked on a long journey to find his roots (which he described as “floating” on a previous work) with stays in Montreal and releases on Belgian labels among many others and has now arrived in his music’s heartland. Nothing is forced here, everything is ambiance, atmosphere and articulate charm and “Le Pavillon” strolls from glassy drones and flimsy crackles to lazy drums and circling music boxes with a freshly smelling baguette and the latest edition of “le Monde” rolled up under its arm. The human element always remains audible in often barely three minute long scenes and songs, with acoustic instruments debating with synthetically manipulated material on eye level in these intangibly moving chancon-collages without words. “Le detecteur de mouvements” features bowed bass slaps, curly chello melodies, stuttering percussions, myriads of microstructures and babbling noises, but it always remains casual about its plenitude and stays clear of pretentions or overly iconic allusions. A wonderous summer album, no less.

It is seldom that a work reveals astounding craftmanship in its treatment of sounds and textures as well as stimulating arrangements, while never failing to hit an emotional spot and offering its service as background music as well. Delplanque will be aware that this release will be regarded as “popular” music by some, after his more “serious” approach on “Ma chambre quand je n’y yuis pas”. But to him, these different layers of perception should not and need not be seperated. And anyone who has dared to surrender himself to “Le Pavillon Temoin” without prejudice will be likely to agree.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Mathias Delplanque
Homepage: Low Impedance Records

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