Phaeton Dernière Danse ‎– Théurgistes In Situ

SPH ‎– SPH050
Cassette, C48


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June 2, 2012
Coming in one of SPH's own unique plastic sachets with a blurred, oil-painting-like colour cover, this is apparently the 50th release on this label!
Side A opens with "La Révélation Du Puits Secret", which appears in loose fragments of Ethnic drumming before a grinding, crashing, smashing roll of noise joins in, almost masking the deep beat. The cacophony of noise, strangely rhythmic in it's churning, gradually transforms, adding noise to noise before concluding. "Tarentula" follows similar style, although the loose drumming is absent. Is this made from a series of loop-tapes? I think so somehow - the smashed, slaughtered sound is just too rhythmic to be all real-time playing. This is a more interesting track than the opener, showing variety & composition within. The sound is of various metal objects being battered, dropped and generally abused while a machine hum rises and falls in the background. "Sauveur D'Aurores" is more a factory sound although the looping, fractured effect is obvious. This track fades in from a distance, gaining in dimension as if utilising the acoustics of a huge warehouse.

Side B again has three tracks, opening with "Tropicale Saga", a more composed piece with a wild-sounding sequencer scampering in several directions at once like a terrier in a room full of rodents. Beneath this assumed white noise percussion & further sequencers of broken sound build the sound up gradually, growing more dissonant with each passing second, a huge, rising tsunami of grating noise which finally abates in tatters. "Les Cycles Et Les Signes / Expectative" opens with droning male voice over which rise other voices and the smashing metal/glass sounds, which transform steadily, never into something nice or attractive, always grating into your very soul. "Dans La Boue De L'Evolution" concludes the album, this one having a strange sequentiaL sound which tends to break up now and then, while a muffled bubbling noise occupies the bass end of the scale. This is probably more obviously rhythmic than many of the other tracks, although I wouldn't advise trying to dance to it. It again has an Ethnic feel to it - music from some lost Industrial tribe?

I can't really think of anyone I can easily compare them to. SMELL & QUIM? DUE PROCESS? MERZBOW, THE HATERS, THE NEW BLOCKADERS etc.? I cannot really say, but if you like these groups - this more dissonant area of music, PHAETON DERNIÉRE DANSE may appeal to you - a little lighter perhaps, but full of interesting, noisy event which will keep you playing it again and again.

Originally reviewed for Soft Watch.