Review: Fissures – Morphosis (self-released, Jun 21)

Belgian sound artist Ludovic Medery (who often uses the alias Fissures) has had a very impressive year so far in terms of output. Right at the beginning of 2019 he released Rituels (reviewed here), a spectacular half-hour piece drawing largely from swampy, aquatic sound sources. In March the ambitious Les Voix du Matin was presented, a series of improvised and concrète miniatures that soundtracked voice samples. After Benvenuti in April, which I have yet to here, we have the arrival of Morphosis, perhaps Medery’s most developed release so far this year. Comprised of 11 untitled tracks, most of which are under five minutes, the anatomy of Morphosis is one of scrabbling objects and mechanical electronic manipulations juxtaposed against more organic environmental recordings. Fittingly, the album is preoccupied with changes of state, and it’s often the case that the synthetic elements slowly start to sound more natural, and vice versa. This is especially apparent on the ninth track, where closely recorded thuds and muffled clatters initially sound bizarrely out of place in the presence of rustling leaves and birdsong; but as the piece progresses, the nature sounds begin to dissociate into something much more spectral, and the claustrophobic electroacoustics ends up resembling the soothing sounds of bending, creaking tree trunks. To listen to Morphosis is to venture into a sound-world where the dichotomy of natural and artificial is hardly as defined as you might expect.

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