Academic drone-artist and former pro skateboarder (seriously) Duane Pitre returns with Bayou Electric. Completing the trilogy started by his last two records, this piece is built up around a field recording rich with personal resonance, around which the sonic resonances of the ensemble were built. On Important Records.
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This latest album from once-sk8r boi Duane Pitre is a lofty endeavour, acting as a conclusive chapter in a trilogy that began with ‘Feel Free’ and ‘Bridges’.
Composed as a whole suite for synth, field recordings, violin, cello and field recordings (all cycled around in custom software), Bayou Electric has a renewed sense of personal ambition, an ‘I can do it myself’ outlook, though the album isn’t exactly a statement about himself. By recording some Louisiana land that has been in his family since 1922, Pitre focuses on the continuity of the sounds through time, how his father heard them, and his father’s mother, and his father’s mother’s father before him, wait that’s probably too many. And his son will hear it after he’s gone, and his son’s daughters, etc etc. What’s important here is that the field recording is used for a definite reason, other than to just take you somewhere else, a token gesture. He’s left it bare, untreated by the allure of modern processing, instead working those elements around the centrepiece.
So you’ve got one constant pedal note droning on throughout, with some strings and synth lines ebbing and flowing all over the shop with a level of patience that can hardly be matched. It’s a very chill experience, played in a constant major key so you know it spells peace. I would highly recommend this for people who enjoyed Mariner’s Willow by Jeff Stonehouse (with its emphasis on heritage) and Tor Lundvall’s The Park. All very nice and constant. This is the element that’s problematic for me, the progression of the whole thing isn’t quite dynamic enough. Sure, it helps it feel cohesive or whatever, just a change of pace or timbre would be a nice addition. If you’re after pure relief however, then go 4 it.
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