december 12th 2000
[pictures at moïd]
05: chère rastel
08: peut Fout
10: happy traffic
Is this art or is it music? (in as much as music isn't art already)
Judging by the audience attending, the location of the
performance, and the general atmosphere, it is art. But it’s most definitely music as well. See
it as a crossover between John Cage, abstract noise, sampling,
improvisation, and custom made instruments, played by a bunch of
hobbyist, experimental musicians.
First thing I noticed, was the stage, which had shrunken in size- it
certainly wasn’t 110 meters square large (as at the first time I saw
it), and it was mostly Pierre Berthet who suffered. In 110m² at De
Hallen van Schaerbeek in October ’99, he had set up a bunch of metal
closets, with the needed microphones and ‘equipment’ to get some
sounds out of it as well. There was no sign of closets in here, and he
had only just enough space to play his other instruments.
They started off with one long, monotonous hypnotic track, which lasted
for almost 15 minutes. It was as if they were making a statement- this
isn’t going to be a casual popconcert. Frederique LeJunter was
making himself heard with a microphone, some wire and a rotating disc,
while Pierre Bastien was playing hypnotic strings on an improvised
guitar/violin. DJ Low, Rudy Trouvé and Pierre Berthet were sitting
down, getting comfortable on stage. After the epic, hypnotic piece, a
tone is being set for a more digestable atmosphere. Rudy tinkles his
guitar, Pierre Bastien turns on his little machinery made from
mecanno-toys, making a rhythmic noise. DJ Low starts to play around with
his samples and turntables, and Pierre Berthet is trying his best to
make as interesting sounds as possible from as basic objects possible.
After two more songs, a first song with vocals starts off. Fréderique
puts on a strange hat, with a distorted microphone attached to it. He
sings, he screams, he shouts in French. It’s almost a song.
The first (ahem-) ‘real song’ follows, with Rudy doing vocals. Dishes
is the title, and is in a typically Rudy Trouvé intimistic atmosphere.
The rest of the band guide him, which works remarkably well, in the end
DJ low even samples Rudy’s vocals and let him repeat the same line
over and over again. Nice.
After Rudy’s first moment in the spotlight, DJ Low takes over with an
excellent dubby, ominous track, with samples and later on,
accompanying sounds by the rest of the band. Later on, another song by
Frederique LeJunter follows, and another highlight is when Pierre
Berthet starts to manipulate a vacuum cleaner of some sort, of which he
lets the twirling ‘tube’ move across other hollow tubes, making for
a more-varied-than-you’d-expect sound. The set is ended by a
second Rudy Trouvé-song, Happy Traffic. It sounds excellent, one
of the few moments there really is a band on stage, all playing
the same song. In between are lots of experiments, improvisations, and
from time to time, chaos. Sometimes you get the feeling there is a band
on stage, on other moments it’s five individuals doing their own
thing. Opinions on which part was best were divided- some liked the
unpredictable, improvisation/chaos bits, other liked the more structured
parts which were overall more ‘comprehendable’.
The general feeling is very positive though, as the limited audience
attending all spontaneously applaud for more. The musicians return on
stage, and a third Rudy Trouvé-song follows. Afterwards, the audience
wants even more, as they manage to get everyone on stage again for a
second encore. This time an instrumental track, with a more chaotic
structure, and probably lots of improvisations. Afterwards, some people
want even more, but the band is out of songs, I guess.
A bunch of people crawl on stage to inspect the instruments more
closely, and everyone sounds extremely positive about the performance.
I thought it was nice as well, but I can’t help but feeling 110m² has
a bigger potential, if they would rehearse more, act more like a genuine
band. Still, nice to see at least some musicians around aren’t afraid
to take risks and participate in experimental projects. More like this,