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Car Havana Midi
Salta Girls

JAC BERROCAL, DAVID FENECH, VINCENT EPPLAY Ice Exposure

CD album | gg326
Jac Berrocal is a 1946-born musician (trumpet player), poet and sometime film actor who came of age in the ‘70s Paris improv scene, where the boundaries between music, art and theatre were porous and begging to be breached. Inspired by bebop, chanson, free jazz, beat poetry, early rock ‘n roll and myriad Eastern influences, and with an iconoclastic, anything-goes approach to instrumentation and technique that would later align him with post-punk sensibilities, Berrocal blazed an eccentric and unstoppable trail across the underground throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, both solo and as part of the Catalogue group he co-founded. During this time his uproarious performances routinely wound up jazz and rock audiences alike, but earned the admiration of many musicians: Steven Stapleton invited him to perform on two Nurse With Wound albums, and other notable collaborators in his career include Sunny Murray, Lizzy Mercier-Descloux, Lol Coxhill, Yvette Horner and James Chance. In the 90s his protean achievements were celebrated on the Fatal Encounters compilation, but far from slowing down in the autumn of his life, Berrocal has maintained an extraordinary work-rate, keeping studio dates with Pascal Comelade, Telectu and Jaki Liebezeit, among others. Now Berrocal has found the perfect foil in David Fenech and Vincent Epplay, two fearlessly inventive improvisers, composers and catalysts who create challenging, acutely modernist yet historically aware settings – wrought out of synthesis, guitars, computer processing, field recordings and unorthodox percussions – for Berrocal’s unmistakeable voice and breathtakingly lyrical horn sound to flourish. Fenech cut his teeth in the mail-art scene of the early ‘90s, leading the Peu Importe collective in Grenoble. His 2000 solo debut was recently reissued by Felix Kubin’s Gagarin label, and he has also worked as a software developer at IRCAM, and played with Jad Fair, Tom Cora, Rhys Chatham and James Plotkin; in 2011 he formed a trio with Berrocal and Ghedalia Tazartes for the Superdisque LP. Epplay is a highly regarded sonic and visual artist with a particular interest in aleatory composition and autonomous pieces, concrète, and the puckish reappropriation of vintage sound and film material, with dozens of published works to his name on labels like Planam/Alga Marghen and PPT/Stembogen. Ice exposure is the sequel and companion piece to 2015’s Antigravity, its title couldn’t be more apt: sonically it is both colder, and more exposed – in the sense of rawer, more volatile, more vulnerable – than its predecessor, capturing the combustible energy and barely suppressed violence of the trio’s celebrated live performances with aspects of noir jazz, musique concrète, no wave art-rock, sound poetry and spectral electronics all interpenetrating in unpredictable and exhilarating ways. While there are moments of great sensitivity and even a cautious romanticism, the prevailing mood is one of anxiety, paranoia, and mounting psychodrama: close your eyes and Ice Exposure feels like a dissociative Hörspiel broadcasting from the seedy backstreets of your own troubled mind. This CD version also has two bonus tracks that have not been available before. Full tracklist: 1. Opportunity 2. Car Havana Midi 3. Equivoque 4. Why 5. Lonely Woman 6. Lisiere Island 7. Salta Girls 8. Check Sound Check 9. Blanche De Blanc 10. Lower Mechanism 11. Radio Tashkent 12. Panic In Surabaya 13. Sound Check 14. Ice Exposure 15. Dickinsonia 16. Take My Diction. Price: € 17,-/copy incl. worldwide shipping.

Mit Ice Exposure klingt auch die Zeit von Catalogue ein wenig an. Natürlich ist die Musik auch im Hier und Jetzt angekommen. Diverse Effekte wie Field Recordings, eine gute Portion an elektronischen Spielereien bereichern die ruhig fließende Musik. Natürlich gibt es die eine oder andere Verunsicherung, der Rock n Roller ist immer noch da. Oder ist es der Punk? Seine vielen Arbeiten mit verschiedensten Musikern halten seine Musik frisch. Die Vielfalt der verschiedenen Einflüsse spiegelt sich in einzelnen Titeln wieder, keiner gleicht dem anderen und so macht sie es einem leicht, die Musik öft zu hören. Und überhaupt ist sehr lohnend sich mit Jac Berrocal und seinen verschiedenen Veröffentlichungen zu beschäftigen, ein Unangepasster wie es Ihn nicht mehr so oft gibt!
(Friends Of Alan, March 2020)

The sixteen songs were recorded between 2012 and 2017 and are mostly short, with an average length of two and a half minutes. That brings an interesting dynamic to this album; one that we might label as songs? While improvisation is surely the basis of the music, there is a fine amount other influences, one of this being the somewhat energetic, punky approach in some of these pieces. Be it a drum machine, voices (sung or found), repetitive synth sounds. The trumpet is the one instrument that remains the same, sounding like recorded in a tunnel; oddly enough there are pieces in which Berrocal either plays the trumpet or sings, so that brings some fine variation in the music. (...) This is quite a lovely release, all around.
(Vital Weekly, March 2020)

Ice Exposure, sedici brani condensati in meno di quaranta minuti, conserva quell’afflato jazz che ha quasi sempre accompagnato la carriera di Jac Berrocal, ma incorpora elementi di musica concreta e art-rock in sfumature noir, anche grazie alla preziosa partecipazione di David Fenech e Vincent Epplay, acclamati compositori e improvvisatori. I due hanno fornito il proprio apporto con le chitarre, field recordings, suoni computerizzati e percussioni (a volte anche non convenzionali) a pezzi quasi sempre brevi, che corrono in fretta quasi senza soluzione di continuità. Il prodotto finale affascina nella sua interezza come somma di singoli elementi, quasi come tessere di un mosaico.
(Music Map, March 2020)

Post punk, jazz, no wave, spoken word, impro, avantgarde e computer processing a comporre un affesco oscuro sul quale la tromba di Berrocal crea isole di attesa dove fermarsi prima di affrontare il percorso seguente ricco di incoltrolata inquietudine.
(Rockerilla, April 2020)

In to potrdila z neverjetnim naborom glasbenih rešitev skozi zabeleženih 16 komadov. Tukaj ni formul. Zapisi nimajo praktično nič skupnega. Vsak ima svojo zasnovo, svoj zaplet in razplet. In za uresničitev zamisli se lahko uporabi praktično vse, razen tistega, kar je normalno in običajno v pop muziki. Pa vendarle imamo opraviti z igrivim zvočnim eksperimentom, kjer na daleč odmevajo krautrock, Rock v opoziciji, tudi angleški predindustrijski zven.
(Rockorobje Magazine, April 2020)