Discoveries | MSQ CONCRETE

These days, in which content can be reached worldwide with a simple click, it is a struggle to even decided what to listen to, especially when it is new. In this column – the Discoveries serie – I’ll try to give a solution to this big question: in the upcoming weeks I’ll show you some interesting and underground music I have found during my researches.

I decided to open this serie with a genre that on Bandcamp is defined Musique Concrète. This genre was born in 1948 with the experimentation of the French engineer and musician Pierre Schaeffer, in which he reached another expression of classic music thanks to the manipulation of the sound.

Schaeffer established the foundation of our modern electronic music, but even if not so many people knew about this pioneer, his ideas continue to live in different ways. One of the best example is Arturo Stàlteri, former musician of the progressive italian rock band Pierrot Lunaire, that simply shows how wonderful can be this mix. In ……E Il Pavone Parlo’ Alla Luna (“..and the Peacock spoke to the Moon”) we can hear the beauty of the sounds mixed with the timber of classical instruments, especially in La Pescatrice di Perle (“The Pearlfisher”):

At the border of this genre, but still fascinated by the vibration and the pureness of the sound, there is the young canadian musician Luna Arakawa, by whom I would like to advise the EP Kioq Parade, released last year. As quite standard for experimental music, it is just made of a long piece in which classic synth effects fade with the crystal sounds of xylophone:

Approaching Nothing is another extreme of the Musique Concrète. Lawrence English builds his song using the sounds of the environment, making them “play” as instruments, with their rhythms and melodies.  His goal is to put the listener in a rural scene, but at the same time to build a structured composition, as can be a score for an orchestra:

I did not find many information about the american Threshold Consciousness, project that has the oscillator studies as the main strength of its compositions. In particular, なしの順序と (“And No Order”) seems that wants to create a geometrical structure of listening, that ends up on a classic noise ambient:

Controlled distortion and the greatness of an organ-synth: this is the short description of the project Royal Hungarian Noisemakers, a duo that is not afraid to show the delicacies of a long pitched noises and artifacts voices in a whirl of fade in/out:

Musique Concrète was the answer to the need of modernity that the classical music felt to prove. It was also the realization that the world, as it was known after the two world wars, needed to be different and should have had improved. The change of the decades, together with the growth of new technologies, transformed the experimentation in new waves, giving the possibility for genres as martial, drone and noise, to develop into something well known for the (not mainstream) music public. This is just a small excursus on the surface of what we can hear today, but this world is growing, eager to give new expressions of itself.