Music Reviews

Artist: Elizabeth Anderson
Title: Trilogie Janus
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: empreintes DIGITALes
“Trilogue Janus” is a collection of three sonic compilations, each almost exactly ten minutes, and each made up of shorter sonic vignettes collated and contrasted into a soundtrack that’s mostly frenetic- there are fleeting moments of calm due to a reduction in elements but the pace never really lets up fully.

It’s all about the electroacoustics here, with sound structures made out of organic found sounds, electric sparkles, and various shades of noise. Pitches shift and bend across the stereo field, at times almost comically squeaky, at other times almost impenetrably rumbling and deep. It’s rough-hewn at times and definitely reminiscent of some of the more energetic and sinister-sounding moments of the Radiophonic Workshop’s back catalogue, to the extent that with the possible exception of the mastering and the breadth of the EQ, it would be possible to believe that this was recorded over 20 years ago, but it wasn’t.

While each of the three pieces have more than a few elements in common, opener “L’éviel” ends up feeling the most sinister, spending a lot of time in the lower registers, whereas there’s something a little quirker about “Chat noir” and its twisting of higher-pitched bell tones. Of the three pieces, “Neon” has the most sedate sections, with flittering noises that sound like digital birdsong opening up into a bizarre alien parody of an idyllic countryside-meets-beachside environment, though this shatters and rebuilds in a manner more akin to the other tracks after the three minute mark.

“Trilogie Janus” is also, notably, the first empreintes DIGITALes digital-only release. Format purists will slate me for saying so but a release with such dynamics and use of pure tone notes was never ideally suited to analogue formats anyway so personally I welcome the shift.

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