to Brighton based label’s biography, “Dorine_Muraille is the alias of Julien
Locquet, a 25-year-old Frenchman” who has a strange way to compose songs:
“instrumental recordings (double bass, voice, piano, guitars) are taken into a
powerbook, arranged and processed through various software, before the results
are reconstructed in the final mix on computer.” I suggest that we call
Dorine_Muraille’s music ‘laptop music’ because it seems that all the
singing and voices, all the instruments melodies and rhythms are altered by
laptop processing, which generates a lot of cracks and digital noises. Most of
the tracks are very slow-paced, sparse and floating bits of soundscapes filled
with laptop electronic noises. There are just constantly evolutional bits of
music, devoid of conventional song structures and made more attractive thanks to
the addition various kind of voices.
those who like Dorine_Muraille, it sounds like minimalist and highly
experimental pop surrounded by electronic sounds, sometimes close to lullabies
thanks to the voices (“se flinguer/piquer une porsche”, “madrague”),
sometimes close to Múm in the music, sometimes close to Brigitte Fontaine (“madrague,
retour” for example) or to Kim Gordon’s SYR 5 (recorded with the help of
Ikue Mori and DJ Olive – “perdre” for instance). For those who dislike it,
it probably sounds like a radio tuned to two or three stations at once or an old
television which does not pick up the channel correctly. Being compelled to
write this review while someone else is watching TV in the same room, I have to
admit that I had difficulties distinguishing between the cd’s sounds and the
TV’s !!!!!! Some listeners will wonder to which extent this album is music.
Well, let’s say that it is laptop chaotic music. The pace of the album is only
disrupted by welcomed extremely quiet successions of piano notes which are a bit
reminiscent of G. Ligeti. This cd might be a new form of contemporary music as
well… Anyway, it is very bewildering.
ABOUT FRENCH LYRICS FOR NON-FRENCH LISTENERS:
My problem with reviewing this album is that most of the spoken words are French and as a matter of fact I happen to be French. The lullaby songs remind me of French lullabies which my grandma scarcely sang to me to put me to sleep. However, spoken words appeal to me when they have an unusual dimension and when I can let myself be carried by the music accompanied by these often hushed words (that’s why I like very much Meanwhile Back In Communist Russia and some songs on the last Piano Magic album to mention something close, that’s why I like bands such as Arab Strap as well, and The Velvet Underground of course…). When these words are in English, they acquire an unusual aspect in my mind because I’m not used to hear a soft female English voice gently uttering words (seemingly close) because I live in France. The problem is precisely that I’m used to hear in my everyday life soft female French voices gently uttering words. That’s why Brigitte Fontaine bores me to death (even when Sonic Youth is playing with her despite the fact that I am a die-hard Sonic fan). In addition, I am a French native speaker so even when I don’t particularly pay attention to the lyrics, I understand them automatically while when the lyrics are in English I have to listen carefully (or at least to concentrate with a minimum of effort) to make sense with them even if ‘my taylor is rich’. What I’m trying to say is that when I listen to Dorine_Muraille, I understand the lyrics right away while when I’m listening to say Arab Strap, if I don’t focus on the lyrics I don’t understand everything. That makes the difference because if the lyrics are French, they’ll have to be very good to appeal to me. And I believe that this is not true for English native speakers because they are so used to listen to English lyrics that it does not particularly bother them (according to several conversations I had about that with English native speakers), but French lyrics (or foreign lyrics) might appeal to them because they do not understand them and they can unconsciously let themselves be carried by the music.
PS: If someone has something to say about this topic, they should send Only Angels e-mails (to Igor).
/dec 15th 2002/