Review: Moon RA – Promenade Magnétique (Czaszka, May 29)

Promenade Magnétique is true computer music, every bit a “magnetic walk” through the annals of the software plugins and hardware used by Marie e le Rose to create these six short sound pieces. A faithful yet original homage to classic concrète music, Rose’s “field recordings of artificial landscapes” take on abstract physical forms in their impossible movements and synthetic contortions, almost completely isolated from any pure source material used. Each track is chock-full of detailed progression, never really following any sort of predictable linearity but instead exploring the possibilities of this unfettered magnetic landscape in increasingly complex ways. Rose’s manipulations are restless and kinetic, the tension barely contained even in the most reserved moments like the unstable drone that threatens to burst at any moment at the start of “D,” digital clicks and taps and oscillations expanding into shifting weaves of plasticky sonorities. As is common—yet never any less surprising—in even the most removed of electroacoustic compositions, the artificial soundscapes begin to evoke real-life phenomena in the mind of the listener: “A” adopts the tubular configuration of air flowing through a pipe, “C” mimics the bubbling motion of boiling liquid, “2” vibrates like an agitated metal surface. Despite the modest rules Rose gave herself to create this work, Promenade Magnétique is a formidable and far-ranging work of abstract electronic music.