Spell-binding minimal electronic composition from 1987 here. Michel Redolfi did indeed travel into the desert for Desert Tracks, extracting certain tones from the atmosphere and building them into these impressively spacious pieces. Originally released by the authoritative INA-GRM, now reissued by Sub Rosa.

Vinyl LP £15.99 SRV418

LP on Sub Rosa.

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CD £12.49 SR418

CD on Sub Rosa. Includes bonus track.

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Desert Tracks by Michel Redolfi
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8/10 Laurie 08 December 2016

The brilliantly-titled Desert Tracks tracks French-born composer Michel Redolfi’s journey through several desert landscapes with his portable mic and a thirst for finding spiritual tones. I don’t really buy into much spiritual philosophy, but by God has this guy found some incredible electroacoustic tones on his travels.

I mean, it’s not surprising that he’s an expert sound designer. He’s been working in pro studios since the 70s, and has even worked alongside the ancients of processed music - Pierre Henry and Luc Ferrari, to name a couple. I’ve only got 2 of the tracks on here to review, but there’s only 4 on here (lengthy, too) so it should be enough.

‘Death Valley’ begins with some spectral dissonance, a harsh, tense example of experimental digital music. This dies away quite sporadically, to be replaced by some enhanced desert foot-trudging, as if to dramatise   his wandering. Things get occasionally violent, with smashes and bashes arcing between the ears. Some mouthwatering textures here, presented in collagic sequence. Things get watery on ‘Palm Canyon’, as if he’s bumped into an alien in an oasis while a warm wind blows and flies buzz around a goat’s dead corpse. Yeah, this shit is weird.


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