Artist: Yan Terrien
Release Date: 2015 Sept 12
Genre: Experimental Electronic
License: CC BY-NC-SA
Label: Sucu Music
What do Alain Robbe-Grillet, Michel Foucault, Guy Debord, Paul Nizan, and Boris Vian have in common? All of them are philosophers, and all of them are the focus of Voicetronics by Yan Terrien. This is a work that is confounding, and yet you won’t be able to tear your ears away from.
Voicetronics by Yan Terrien
I almost get the feeling that the works on Voicetronics started as a series of experiments, or a study in techniques for voice manipulation and setting. All of the tracks on this work have that kind of feeling to them. However, when taken as a whole they do transcend such designation.
This is a work in which the spoken word of ideas and thoughts from the philosophers are presented in a way in which allows the listener to form their own experience with them. It’s an interesting, and unusual approach, especially for the listener that is unfamiliar with the subject matter. And yet, somehow, familiarity with the statements doesn’t make a difference. You can just listen to the voices as if they were another instrument in the musical settings.
Speaking of the music, that is another item that bears some talk. All of these works a minimal in nature, and yet have the feeling of being on the level of a pop tune. It’s as if The Beatles had “Love Me Do” transported into the future, infused with a bit of post Berlin School electronics, and then shot through a worm hole.
The overall effect is to make a work that is easily listenable, and yet totally alien. Pieces like “Bhalaad” just make you think that you have no clue what this is about. And yet “Kountz” is almost the opposite: a piece that takes a simple and very familiar idea and puts it in a different frame, making it both instantly understandable, and yet something that you have to think about to understand.
There is a lot of electronic music out there. Some of it more engaging, some of it less engaging. Some of it is designed to be a challenging dense mess that you have to struggle with to untangle. This is kind of the strangest of both worlds. It is highly engaging and extremely challenging electronic music. The simplicity and sparseness of the arrangements still convey the levels of depth and complexity that will challenge your mind for quite sometime. And now I think I need to start an expedition in search of a Yeti. (Listen to the last track for the answer to why…)