Pernice, Laurent – Humus – Musiques immobiles 5-15

Mister L. Pernice has a long history as an innovative musician, according to his bio. Since the eighties he has been involved in music making from industrial rock to electronic jazz. The release we have here is a practise in ‘immobile music’.

A lot of tracks on ‘Humus(…)’ consist of single-layers of rough sound-manipulations. Noise in a very sober way, as if each track is a different machine that is put on and off, with small variations in the looping noise of the machine. Some tracks break this atmosphere of machine-generated monotony, like ‘Fluide’ for example, that has a very gentle, yet barely audible drone and sparkling tinkles.

When a track opens, the bad (?) thing about is, that you immediately have an idea of what the track will be like. There are no surprises to be expected, everything keeps on going the way it started out. But Pernice is aware of this, as he states: ‘it also became apparent that this music did not tell a story (…) calm leading up to a final climax (…) but that it created an atmosphere, a changing climate capable of continuing endlessly.’ This is exactly the reason why he called his music ‘immobile’: it doesn’t move.

Track four called ‘Accrocs’ is based on a high-pitched drone, little random clicks and a repetitive sound. ‘Apres coup’ has more tension. The atmosphere can be considered as dark and mysterious. A decent dark-ambient track: compelling, frightening and subterranean, but ends to abruptly, leaving the listener with an anticlimax. It is succeeded by another minimalistic, high-pitched piece of experimentalism, named ‘Frolements’. Track seven is quite harsh, but also dynamic, with changes in volume; assaulting the listener in a pleasant way.

Pernice has quite a clear, determined view on his experiments, he knows exactly what he is doing, not surprising since he’s been a musician for such a time, but this release is in my opinion a little too inaccessible, a little too unsatisfying, a little too monotonous.

The record definitely has some good tracks on it, but it’s hard to keep your attention to sounds that can go on forever. I guess I’m more into ‘mobile music’.

artist: Pernice, Laurent
label: Monochrome Vision
details: 10 tracks, 60 min, 2004 [mv01]