After two digital compilations released in 2017 and 2018, the Fair_Play network is now releasing, in association with the Tsuku Boshi label, an album based on a simple and clear concept: four artists have been asked to provide the sound inspirations behind all the tracks, in the form of a sound bank. In addition to this simple principle that unites all the tracks, it is freedom above all that is the key word of this very successful project.
Freedom of source, first of all, for the four composers who provided the sounds. Indeed, no imperatives or rules were laid down, and the artistic personality and sensitivity of each of them can be felt in the sounds they made available to the other participants: Laryssa Kim's "Love Them All" was a separate track between electro and pop/soul warmth; Carol Robinson 's sensual clarinet melody lines and electroacoustic treatments; Sage Pbbbt 's percussion and throaty voice; and Zineb Soulaimani's wide range of electronic sounds, outdoor natural sounds and radio interviews. They were also free to compose or not to compose a piece to join the ensemble.
Freedom of the aesthetics present on the album as well, based on a principle of co-optation. Thus, each protagonist, Tsuku Boshi, Fair_Play and the four artists, had to invite ten potential artists to join the project. In the end, about thirty musicians answered the call. They were able to do so according to their own wishes, either by remixing, reusing, distorting, hijacking, or even mixing the banks provided with their own sounds, with the only constraint of not exceeding eight minutes. It is therefore a work of great diversity of approaches that we are faced with, but also based on many distinct styles, as many sound worlds.
However, the reference to a common sound bank and also, perhaps, an energy proper to the emulating magic that can emanate from a project, gives it a certain unity to the listening. Indeed, we felt a certain je-ne-sais-quoi running through the tracks, of the order of ritual, of trance, as well as an atmospheric flavour, based notably on frequent large reverberated sounds. This is music that takes the time to express itself and to get to the bottom of things, to the essentiality of sounds. However diverse the tracks, from pop to experimental, one feels that one is entering the same world.
It would be impossible to list all 32 tracks here, which total nearly three hours of music. Let's immediately specify that the few subjective choices of highlighting that we make are in no way based on judgements concerning the quality of the tracks present on the album, all of which would amply deserve to be considered, but only on the imperative of concision of a review article. Each listener will easily trace his own path and personal selection within this fertile musical jungle. But since we have to choose, we have retained among others the remix of Laryssa Kim by the Brussels artist ++juanitaa++, "xx Love Mall xx (bb Don't You Leave me Unfolded)" (1), for the juxtaposition of a soaring softness of the electronic sounds with the roughness of a saturated breakcore rhythmic, an effect we particularly appreciate:
the fruitful collaboration between Carol Robinson and the formidable double bassist, singer and improviser Elise Dabrowski, 'The Again-ness', like hearing the earth quiver (3):
Chra's fascinating dark ambient setting the mood of 'Die Magie des Klangs' (4); Catherine Robin's repetitive and hypnotic work on 'Elle s'ensuivit' (7); the refined pop of Fleur's 'Disruption.2' (13); Méryll Ampe' s excited saturations and crackles on 'No Real' (21):
the mysterious and timeless ritual of Sage Pbbbt's "Null Zone" (24); the sumptuous atmospheres of Aline Clair structuring "Tremo" (26), which concludes with the meditative ecstasy of a drone:
or the rich jukebox of personalised rereadings that Trinh Lo proposes in "Tangentes" (27).
This album marks the beginning of a collaboration between Fair_Play and Tsuku Boshi, which will continue with "splits" between two artists answering each other on 20-minute tracks. Let's add to the success of this project the magnificent illustration chosen by the artist Jonathan Gillie, who offers a very nice visual setting to the whole. Inclusives is a unifying project, and we are definitely on board!