Review: Anton Mobin & Le Syndicat – Le Désordre (Middle Eight Recordings, Aug 1)

French sound artist Anton Mobin’s primary approach to music-making is a distinct and memorable one; he (at least, most notably) improvises within a given space called a “prepared room,” in which modified instruments, trivial objects, and other materials are amplified by electroacoustic transducers and guitar pickups, providing himself with a freedom not often found in even the most extended uses of traditional instruments. Le Désordre is the latest document on Mobin’s label Middle Eight, which is dedicated to releasing his own various solo and collaborative endeavors, and presents a cacophonous interaction with Jean-Marie Onni, a.k.a. Ruelgo, from the long-running collective Le Syndicat. The recordings are hulking and rust-covered, with both participants using magnetic tape to exert control over a mass of industrial-strength bangs and clangs. The woozy, uneasy presence of the tape manipulations, along with Onni’s contributions via digital interfaces, provides an excellent contrast to the metallic din, sometimes tempering the noise with spectral treatments or high-speed dragging, other times melding in uncanny harmony with the clatter—like on “Bazz,” when Mobin’s rattling of an unknown object is accompanied by moisture-saturated fast forwarding and an array of diminutive glitch textures. The two artists’ creations are fast-paced and never stay in the same place for long, but they never fail to craft an amazingly detailed amalgam of sounds, even in the briefest of vignettes.

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