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- Filtre De Realite by Jacques Brodier
8/10 Mike Staff review, 20 November 2012
As the press release makes clear, Jacques Brodier isn’t exactly a musician per se, but an “artist, researcher, writer and inventor”...actually, the press release is so bleedin’ cryptic that I think the best thing to do here is just tell you what it says in its entirety rather than try to sum it up...
“The 'Filter of Reality' is a machine imagined and built by Jacques Brodier - Le Havre, France.
“Penultimate Press is proud to publish the first ever collection of recordings by this unique French artist, researcher, writer and inventor.
“Between 3 and 30 MHz, radio waves have the property to travel around the Earth by bouncing on the ionosphere, which acts as an imperfect mirror, wave-agitated under the flux of sun's particles. The machine explores this boundless electromagnetic ocean, where all radio broadcasts of Terran civilization mingle their voices with noise and strange signals from other places of the universe. That is how, during its odyssey through short waves, the Filter of Reality receives a wide range of this semantic noise and transposes it, so that it becomes audible for human ears.
“The noise captured by the antenna feeds into the Filter of Reality bearing the traces of multitudes of languages and of the events encountered. One can hear swimmers riding on huge waves, the voices of distant lands, a crowd of Babel or the archipelago of terrestrial civilisation tearing away from chaos into a reality carved out in the strange dimension of meaning.
“The Filter of Reality captures and distributes the ceaseless rustling of those spaces on a network of vibrating strings. This is made possible thanks to an optical modulator "played" with light and shade (also invented by Jacques Brodier). What results is a complex musical soundtrack, where the signals weave their own harmonics and rhythms.
“The artefacts captured and compiled for this release are at once unique, ambitious, foreign and beautiful. This is not just a record. Along with the artwork and essays this is significant snapshot of one man's endless years of research and restless experimentation. It is safe to say this is a release is quite unlike any other.
“Jacques Brodier ‘Filtre De Réalité' was mastered by Jason Lescalleet at Glistening Labs and comes in a limited edition lp of 400 copies adorned with 2 stunning full colour reproductions of Jacques Brodier's paintings and a lavish fold out 4 page insert featuring further images and two essays by Brodier, one in French and one English.”So...er...there you go. There’s a photo of a complex and mysterious piece of machinery on the insert which I presume is the “Filter of Reality” itself, as well as a bit more explanation which describes the Filter as “a set of vibrating strings excited by the sound of shortwaves”...basically this is an attempt to harness the noise you hear on the radio that’s not part of the broadcasts...the static and fuzz and rumbles and glitches of the airwaves themselves. Sometimes you can hear music distantly, weirdly, as it morphs around and amongst the drones and crackles and flickers. It’s strangely hypnotic stuff, although those not accustomed to this kind of experimentalism may find it a little long-winded and hard work at times. A fascinating and thought-provoking piece of work though.
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