That moment when sound causes a dance of phosphenes, as my eyes shut tightly to a somewhat soothing melancholy, and in embracing dystopian thoughts with magical sympathy of melodies, I am spellbound by feedbacks in 19 versions.
These somewhat unmusical ideas distilling sonic collages in my mind as I sit are experiments by French artist, Dominique Grimaud.
Introduced to his work through an online alternative cult techno-politan music haven, I was soon dumbly scrolling through infinite choices of unheard sounds. And with Feedback 19, I was brain-wrecked by burning balls of short renditions of otherworldly musical innovativeness.
Calm, folksy and yet invested in the technological, 19 Feedbacks are what the title says they are, but with a slightly contrived air of delirium on the part of the artist, who seems rather hell bent on waking single notes into crescendos. Partly cleaved from sampling well-known ditties of 60’s and 70’s pop-culture, among other illusive rhythms of subverted musical ventures in dub of the 90’s, this offering from an apparent veteran has introduced me to soundscapes of infernal peace.
An aural orb created by electronic sound layers on organ chords In The Middle Of The Dream, given to symbiosis of unprecedented sonic diversity – multiple worlds distilled into singular testaments that trick our fantasy to dive into an imaginary world.
By transmutation of a brassy sample in I Said Tea from its ancient form, laying a strong emphasis on its unheard and distorted bass spectrum, certain colors begin to scale through the maze Grimaud creates. Only when his electronic instruments emerge as principal vehicles of his musical impulses, Dominique subtly, with monotonous repetitive attentiveness, proves that through experiment extra-musical qualities of music begin to mutate.
Hints of chromatic suggestions winding through wryly titled tracks; I still find Daddy a drearily haunting drone of looped bass chords mingled with organ chords hiding in the middle of this dream. Grimaud’s pulsating electronic devices are tuned to provide uniformity, with a series of over-toned adlibs mingling with other musical instruments – this high degree of dissonance is psychopathic acoustics.
Listening to the sibilant start of Green And Blue, deceptively followed by morse-coded pulses twitching in dissonant tones; it is in such synthetic drones, where sound bears resemblance to a cacophony of one’s mind at dawn, that Dominique Grimaud’s 19 Feedbacks crafts an ambient dream within a waking nightmare.
Each mesmerizing experiment showcases crudely joyful hooks of paranoia; sophisticated at times, but draped in a nostalgia, which I suppose results from a love for the music of a time gone by.
And like a gloomy puppeteer, he uses each original as a toy, dangled before us from a stage constructed by our moods. All these feedbacks become like crumblages hinting at a sonic-manipulation aimed towards a defined end that is each artwork.
Perhaps, Dominique is providing a blueprint of sounds for a dystopia currently being inaugurated through global lockdowns? Of that I am not sure, but this collection of surreal allusions to originals remains a masterpiece of its own standing.