Charlemagne Palestine / Joachim Montessuis


by John Garratt

11 September 2011

cover art

Charlemagne Palestine/Joachim Montessuis


(Sub Rosa)
US: 5 Jul 2011

The title Voxorgachitectronumputer is an unpronounceable mouthful. It also tells you everything you need to know about what’s inside. Taken from a 2007 duet performance, this hour-long piece has deceptively few elements to it. Minimalist composer Charlemagne Palestine provides the organ and a few vocal contributions and Paris-based noise sculptor Joachim Montessuis gives you the dominant vocal performance and the coloring electronics. One chord, or perhaps a simple interval, sustains about a third of the piece while overtones come and go only occasionally in the form of a pulse. The varying, interjecting noises can vary between subtle and jarring, the latter of which is especially strange. Most delightful of all is Montessuis’ downright creepy voice manipulation, a presence puncturing the damage that Palestine’s altered harmony has already done. The fact that it’s so moody and non-musical is what makes it unique.



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