Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Michel Magne - Musique Tachiste (Cacophonic)

'Perfection is naturally my first prerogative - without compromise', said Magne in the original sleeve notes from 1957. Ah, the idealism of youth - still, why not aim high? Musique Tachiste is full of wonders and almost perfect. The first six tracks vary in mood and content; the opening Mémoire D'un Trou being especially impressive with it's use of the cimbalom. Self Service would sound like a chirpy soundtrack for a motorway café ad if not for the disruptive pounding percussion and effects which lend a frantic atmosphere, as if a riot is about to ensue due to the quality of the soup....which, let's face it, is unlikely in France, but quite probable on the M4.

Magne uses concrète effects more formally than his fellow countrymen working with tape, so we get water running throughout Carillon Dans L'eau Bouillante whilst strings rise and descend to disorientating effect. The closing three-part Concertino is a treat, marrying sometimes discordant strings with Jazz sections (Paul Castanier on piano is superb) that swerve towards Third Stream cool but the arrangement is progressive. The first movement features the laughter of a small crowd, as if Magne predicts the response of conservative ears to this adventurous recording, whilst also having a good chuckle himself.

Cacophonic is an imprint of Finders Keepers

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