I asked some of my favorite musicians from Beirut and beyond, to tell me what their favorite records of 2011 were…
French musician Frédéric Nogray (The Imaginary Soundscapes) answered thus:
“N’ayant pas ou peu acheté et écouté de disques récents tous ces derniers mois, je ne suis pas forcément au courant de ce qui est sorti. Et de ce que j’ai entendu peu de choses retiendraient mon attention. Pas assez en tout cas pour en retenir 10. Ce sera donc un Top 1 :
“Honeysuckle Æons” de Current 93. Très bel album, touchant. Ma bande son pour cette fin d’année.”
And for non-French speakers:
Not having bought or listened to that many recent albums in the last few months, I am not well qualified to cite any current releases. And from I’ve actually listened to, very few albums have caught my attention extensively. Not enough, anyhow, to make up a list of ten favorites.
It will a “Top 1”, then: Current 93’s Honeysuckle Æons; a gorgeous, touching album. My personal soundtrack for the end of this year.
THE IMAGINARY SOUNDSCAPES is the electronic version of a meeting between STÉPHANE RIVES, who following his early 2010 solo project, Islets of Memories, uses re-worked samples from his discography, mixed with recordings from his daily life and sound environment, and FRÉDÉRIC NOGRAY, who returns to his early research on feedback, here caused and moderated in real time by three effects pedals, oscillating between minimalism and psychedelia.
A WAY OUT BY KNOWING SMILE is the first recorded collaboration between Rives and Nogray, and is released by the Ruptured label.
Saxophone player Stéphane Rives is best known for his sine wave playing of said instrument, whereas Frédéric Nogray may seem a new name. He plays effect pedals here, whereas Rives limits himself to laptop […] In his laptop Rives [disposes of] samples of his discography, which he reworks in this recording, made in June 2010 in Beirut […] The piece is divided in two parts, both called ‘A Way Out By Knowing Smile’ […] [The music seems to be] generated through improvisation, but it doesn’t actually sound like it. It’s an excellent work of low humming […] sine wave-like sounds, which are cleverly woven together into some highly sensitive, concentrated bits of music […] A fine work, I’d say, with some great intensity and sounding like an improvisation of composed materials, or perhaps a composition of improvised parts […] Great work!
(Franz de Waard in Vital Weekly)
French musician Frédéric Nogray was the guest of Ruptures to present his one-off live performance with Stéphane Rives in Beirut, which took place a couple of days later at Walimat Warde.
Listen: Frederic Nogray part 1 + Frederic Nogray part 2