Laurent Fairon – Musique Isotype [CD]
Laurent Fairon – Musique Isotype [CD]
Laurent Fairon, of Continuo’s Weblog fame, gives us a taste of his curatorial prowess, playing matchmaker for some strange bedfellows of found sounds. The results of these crude lab tests plays like negative space heavy musique concrète, which staunchly refuses to pander or do tricks. Odd disparities, redactions, and contextual uprooting makes for a challenging listen; layered images never seem to line up in an obvious way, as if provoking one’s ears to do the aural equivalent of squinting. Broken library music, multiple autoplays going at the same time—a great thali of ‘other’. Musique Isotype is also given to highlighting and voraciously turning out individual sounds like a Rubik’s cube, flicking at them like a spring door stop—a style similar to the classics of Anne Gillis with an archaeological twist. Sometimes speech comes largely unobstructed, but in the dizziest of turns, voices get get swallowed up by the grinder when Fairon decides to really get his hands dirty. A total head-scratcher of ADD in slow motion. Any knowledge of the Continuo blog (or the ‘press’ photo of the man in his Tellus t-shirt) should be enough info to hook you in on the one.
2. The Elocutionist
3. Chœur des myopes
4. Roman à clef
5. Musique isotype
6. Rêves de coumbite
7. Tippecanoe 1811
Musique Isotype was recorded in November–
December 2015 in Paris, France.
“The eight tracks of Musique Isotype are intended as vehicles of
surprise. Occasional U-turns and abrupt changes ensure the internal
dynamics of each track, favouring Surreal juxtapositions of disparate
sounds. They allow amalgamated elements of wonder to emerge,
like when an Exquisite Corpse drawing is unfolded.
Little interference was injected into the process. I tended to
assume the role of ‘transformer’, as suggested by Marie Neurath,
creating an interpretation of statistical data. My joy was in conjuring
these aural transformations as a mere in-betweener, like Marie
Neurath herself in the Isotype process, between theoretician Otto
Neurath and graphic designer Gerd Arntz.
Isotype (International System of Typographic Picture Education)
was developed by Otto Neurath at the Museum of Society and
Economy in Vienna between 1925 and 1934 as a means to put
statistical information into graphic form, particularly through
pictorial charts, where repeated pictograms are used to indicate
Likewise, I see the repeated patterns and samples of existing
sounds on Musique Isotype as a mixture of various audio strains:
from the specific pace of poets reading their texts from the 1960s,
to the ‘concrete’ sounds of basketball, dulcimer, Flamenco guitar,
bull-roarer or bird songs, to the sounds of Armenian and Arab
YouTube TV channels.”
Laurent Fairon is a French blogger and record collector based in
Paris. He started making music whilst in art school and, between
1990 and 1993, published four demo albums on two French
cassette labels: Nos Yeux Aveugles and Le Krab. He was then
the director of the literary ’zine Le Reflet for 11 issues, until 2007,
when he launched the mp3 blog Continuo’s Weblog. The latter’s
purpose was to disseminate obscure records and cassettes from
Fairon’s collection, helping raise awareness of overlooked releases.
Through the blog and Wikipedia articles, Fairon documented the
Tellus Audio Cassette Magazine and developed a partnership with
UbuWeb to archive Tellus and some other valuable recordings.
He launched the on-going Continuumixes mixtapes series in 2008,
one of which was performed live at Cafe OTO in London in May
2015 during a rare live appearance as DJ. Since 2011 Fairon’s
been running the Continuo's Documents blog on Tumblr.
Laurent Fairon interviewed by Joseph Nechvatal for Hyperallergic
Mastered by Jacques Beloeil
Edition of 200 copies
Out of print