Nicolas Cante
Improvisium 2.1

Records 21.03.2021

Nicolas Cante, by the diversity of his influences and inspirations, is a pure product of our time. Trained in the school of jazz at the Conservatory of Aix-en-Provence, he opened his ears and his piano to many other aesthetics: rock, noise, experimental music and techno. It is in the free parties of the 90's that he probably experienced his greatest youthful emotions when, already, in the power of decibels, he dreamed with his feet in the mud and his head in the stars of the Pythagorean musical universe. He knew how to take advantage of it, and the fact that this album is entirely made in Do it Yourself, from the composition to the production, is certainly not innocent.

Improvisium is his experimental project for electronically prepared acoustic piano. It took almost ten years for this second opus to be released, after a very successful first album. This album is different. Less radical, it reflects the evolution of the pianist/composer's personality, while integrating in a calmer way the aesthetics that have shaped him. After this decade, the album no longer embarrasses itself with evocative or descriptive titles: all the tracks are laconically titled with the abbreviation "IV2" followed by the general tonality ("IV2Abm", "IV2Am", "IV2Eb"...). However, the abstraction claimed by the musician, who is interested in acoustics, vibration and the physicality of sounds, does not prevent the expression of a wide range of sensitivities, deployed throughout the CD.

While "IV2Abm" (1) begins the record in a modal way, resolutely turned towards the East, "IV2Am" (2) continues on a bewitching repetitive architecture, evoking a Philip Glass who would have met a drum machine on his way. The dreamy harmonies of "IV2Eb" (3), followed by the chaotic "IV2Fr2" (4), give way to a dancing, martial and sarcastic piece: "IV2Cm" (5), a frenzied, playful and grand scherzo with well-defined carrures. Then, after the ecstasy of "IV2Ab" (6), where the piano strings buzz, resonate, squeak and vibrate in a thousand ways in a suspended space-time, the stylized nostalgia of "IV2Dm" (7), the noisiness of "IV2Fr1" (8) and the new repetitive edifice of "IV2Em" (9), the modal and melancholic arabesques of "IV2C7" (10) close the loop of a quasi-palindrome stylistic record.

Between the trance of a rave party in its full swing, the mugginess of a jazz club in the last fires of the night and the lonely piano bar populating the conversations of the guests in a nostalgic background, the sounds of the extended piano are all beautiful without distinction, whether electronic or acoustic, and the atmospheres are chiseled with care. This is the record of a musician who has entered the age of maturity.

Guillaume Kosmicki

Kantatik Musik, 2020


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