L`incertitude des signes
Internal Fusion is a prolific project based in Brittany in the West of France. Metaphorically, their first album on attenuation circuit could be described as a structure built from flotsam and jetsam found on the Atlantic shores of that peninsula, swaying and cracking in the incessant wind, holding up precariously, but never giving in, never falling down.
But the title of the album and its single, 55-minute track translates as “The uncertainty of signs”, and the inscription on the rear cover asks “Je cherche des signes, mais de quoi?” (“I'm looking for signs, but of what?”). With this in mind, one should not perhaps rely on a metaphorical description of the music. More matter-of-factly, then, the album could be described as a mixture (more collage than fusion, the cuts and contrasts not being softened but foregrounded) of approaches.
Opening with a cut-up of what seem to be field recordings and/or media footage of undecipherable origin (uncertainty of signs indeed!), the sound only gradually begins to take on a musical quality. This is achieved by both frequency and rhythm. The sounds are morphed into tones which eventually coalesce into harmonic drones. Related to this development, but not necessarily parallel, off-kilter rhythms start to fade in and out – not straight metric beats as a digital sequencer (or a trained drummer) would create them but something that sounds as if single percussive sounds were being spliced together by hand. But the result is tight enough to drive the music along, while the audible precariousness of the whole construction only adds more suspense: Will it hold up? Will it collapse? Where will this all end up? This sure makes for an exciting journey.
sound art, dark ambient, IDM
factory-produced CDr in cardboard sleeve
Released in 2021
limited to 100 copies
price: 7.00 EUR (excl. postage)
photo by Dan Penschuck (feindesign.de)
design by EMERGE
Oddly enough, the name Internal Fusion came up in a conversation recently. I had not thought about Eric Latteux' project in a long time. In fact, I am surprised it still exists, even when there is little reason to think it disappeared. I heard a few albums in the 90s, also the one he did with Dessacord Majeur as Tlön Uqbar. When the name came up recently, I thought the music was similar to that of Dessacord Majeur, and I also think that in my book both borrowed quite a few ideas from Muslimgauze and Rapoon. "I'm Looking For Signs, But Of What", is the title of this new release, of which is the most remarkable thing it is cut as one long track, fifty-five minutes. The mastering here didn't get too much attention, very compressed so everything is on the same dynamic level, which becomes after a while quite tiresome. What I remember of those early Internal Fusion albums, is what I recognize here too. The music is heavy on the use of rhythm, mechanical and tribal (or maybe that should be tribal yet mechanical), and swirling around that, organ-like drones, moving in and out of the mix. An additional third component is where Latteux plays around with the effects, which is a signifier that a piece is going to morph into the next section. The entire piece is one, long driving force, going from mid-tempo rhythm to a bit down-sized one, going up, with lots of minimalist drones to accompany the piece. Because the sound energy never changes, this is a bit of a hard affair to go through, but I enjoyed it all the same, especially when the beats showed a bit more tempo, especially those at the beginning, which was a curious mixture of tribal meets medieval sounds.
L`incertitude des signes (ACU 1036, CDr) führt in die Bretagne, zu INTERNAL FUSION. Das ist Éric Latteux und bei näherem Hinsehen ein alter Bekannter, der schon erstaunt hat mit Jérôme Mauduit (Désaccord Majeur) als Tlön Uqbar mit "La Bola Perdida" (1999) auf Staalplaat, wo er zuvor selber mit dem Vajrasattva-Mantra "Om Vajra Sadva Hum" zu hören war. Ungewissheit ist bei ihm das A und O und trieb ihn dazu, vor dem Spiegel immer wieder "Mais qui êtes vous ?" [Aber wer bist du?] zu fragen. Und dabei setzt er selber doch mit 'Noöh', 'VirHatem', 'Horr', 'Innoha', 'Achan', 'Nahal', 'Häni', "Octon", "K.O.M.S.O.M" schwer zu deutende Zeichen - oder meint "Suon" wirklich nur Klang? Der Klang hier wird über 55 Min. immer wieder in einer Zentrifuge zermahlen, in geräuschhafter Abstraktion, in metalloid schlurchender, surrender, anschlagender Konkretisierung. Und taucht doch immer wieder aus dem rauschenden, sirrend und zerrend loopenden Mahlstrom auf als sich unaufhörlich drehendes Shoegaze-Mantra, mit orientalistisch schlängelnden Bläsern zu pochendem Tamtam, mit orgelig hypnotisierendem Dreh zu sonor gestrichenem Bass und mit tribalistisch getrommelten, postindustrial verzerrten Übergängen von einem zum andern, die vage Erinnerungen an Muslimgauze wecken. Es ist Musik, wegen der man Art brut und 'primitiv' genannt hat und die Tropen traurig. Latteux zeigt damit, wie gut Schmutz und Ungewissheit als Gleit- und Klebstoff taugen zwischen Rand- und Übergangszonen.