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Luc Ferrari Labyrinthe de Violence

Containing the four soundtracks realised for an A/V multimedia performance at the Galiéra Museum in Paris, ‘Labyrinthe de Violence’ is among the most visceral and captivating of Luc Ferarri’s works from a golden era of experimental composition. Previously unreleased as a complete work (it was issued in abbreviated form in 2009), the four part, 82 minute piece epitomises the objective of the Atelier de Liberation de la Musique workshops at Ferrari’s pioneering Studio Billig, whose objective was to “Liberate music from the constraints of style and aesthetic” by taking a more intuitive, communal approach to the creation of organised noise. Ferrari, together with a collective of musicians - Martin Davorin Jagodic, Philippe Besombes, Alain Petit and David Jisse - manifested their shared intention to stimulate the imagination in previously unexplored ways that undid the idea of a solitary artist-genius type, and with a focus on representing a sort of socialist-realist purview that freed their work from abstraction and conventions expected by traditional concert audiences. Forming a visceral kind of documentarian cinéma pour l'oreille, ‘Labyrinthe de Violence’ is a staggering piece of work in its immersive breadth and scope. Following the themes of Power/Profit/Violence/Pollution, it uncannily echoes the concerns of the post-’68 movement as much as our modern anxieties, using a vast range of recordings of urbanity - worksite clangour, revving engines, rabbly crowd noise, sferic electronic disruptions - to evoke the reality of the modern world via the prism of Paris in the mid ‘70s. Each piece is titled for the room it soundtracked and limns its subject with a mix of objective clarity and room for imagination, ranging from the ambient noise pollution of radio and TV intersecting sputtering exhausts in ‘Pollution’, to a straight knockout side of gnawing, swarming metallic drone and depitched bombast that arguably lays the ground for Peter Rehberg & Stephen O’Malley’s KTL 50 years later in the ‘Violence’ section, thru to the ringing tills and celebratory/aggy crowd noise of ‘Profit’, and the mechanical grind of ‘Power’ characterised in the proto-robotic bleeps and clanks of ‘Mechanique Paysage Danse.’ Ultimately this is one of those masterful concrète sides that returns your faith in the genre’s power to evoke rich imagery and question/reflect the world, rather than just test one’s patience, and stands exemplary of the pleasures at the core of Ferrari’s incredible oeuvre. Kinda unmissable if you’re on the crankier spectrum!
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