december 12th 2000
cc luchtbal
antwerp (b)
[pictures at moïd]

01: drone
02: bert
03: alternance
04: les
05: chère rastel
06: dishes
07: tommix
08: peut Fout
09: aspirateur
10: happy traffic
11: down
12: unknown

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, please!