Una Volta –  Piles (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

884775The most adventurous music takes you way beyond the usual concerns and questions normally found surrounding songs and hopefully makes you  debate what music is even about. Where do the boundaries between music and art, between the frivolous and the academic, between bold exploration and musical deconstruction actually lie? Like most creativity activities too, it answers none of these questions, instead leaving that purely up to the listener whilst it gets on with setting up the next topic for discussion and musing.

Piles is a project based around drumming, a continuation of Guigou Chevenier’s work with experimental trio Les Batteries, it favours beat and groove over melody and conventional song structure and wanders paths that link experimental kosmiche sounds, tribal hypnotics, repetitive industrial noise, intense and singular drone sonics, improvisational jazz and modern classical sound art.

Although tracks such as Mort Aux Cons do wander into more guitar driven territory and Materials in US feels like the secret recordings of an off-shift car plant crossed with the less obviously musical bits of a Vangelis sound track, largely beat is king. From the skittering jazz work-out of Chambre D’Echo to the unadorned polyrhythms of Ulrik to the strange Bauhausian  soundscapes of Drones and Piles, it’s a fascinating and unique journey. Okay, you are hardly going to be putting this on as you get ready for a night clubbing, but if you do, I really need to know the name of any club that you feel that this is the perfect warm up to. It sounds like my kind of place.

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