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Kassel Jaeger: lignes d'erre & randons

img  Tobias Fischer

In these times of maximum transparency, Kassel Jaeger's musical personality remains remarkably elusive. From an aesthetic angle, he is a field recorder working with a high degree of post-processing. From a performative perspective, he is an improviser working with field recordings. To historians, he is a sound artists in the Musique Concrète tradition. As lignes d'erre & randons proves, all interpretations are as true, to a degree, as they are irrelevant. These recordings of wind and water, Parisian pipelines and German rivers, of insects and algae are always just points of departure, the result by default a composite of fact and temporal distance. Jaeger doesn't just accept the limitations of faithfully re-assembling the past, he actually considers them a primary source of creativity. Through the lens of transfiguration, everything appears both more beguiling and bewildering: On "vultighjime", the sounds of ultralight aircraft motor engines on Corsica are assembled into a subtle score of pitched points, bent curves, discrete drones and the occasional aerial chord. "windshore", similarly, hinges on a duet-like interplay between breaking waves and ghostly breathing sounds. These pieces are clearly carefully constructed, and yet they appear perfectly 'real', showing the inner world as a natural extension of physical manifestations. In these times of maximum transparency, Jaeger is always one step ahead of the listener when it comes to his approach, aims and choice of tools, which lends his compositions a slightly unsettling touch. Clearly, mystery remains a precious commodity: Would I like to visit the places Jaeger's depicting? I'm not sure, but it's hard to avert my ears.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Kassel Jaeger
Homepage: Unfathomless Records