Une autre couche_excerpt
Patience des flaques_excerpt
::: INTRODUCTORY WORDS :::
Un lieu où des matériaux sont mis en présence, déposés, transformés et soumis au travail de la pesanteur, du temps et de l’eau.
Un lieu où le temps s’écoule, où des instants denses sont pris entre des moments “flottants” (rêvasser, traîner, mélanger, regarder, écouter), des intervalles nécessaires au travail de stratification.
Un “récit”, qui se déploie en séquences rythmées et s’élabore par l’accumulation et la répétition de gestes simples (remplir une surface, laisser ruisseler, récupérer…), une stratification où apparition et disparition (tomber, se relever) scandent un rythme de traversée, une sonorité contenue et en attente.
Une cartographie du temps et du travail à l’oeuvre, aussi, sous formes de taches, d’éclaboussures, de peaux, de croûtes sur le sol, les murs, le mobilier, mais aussi sur les tableaux.
Scories déposées par des marées successives, rumeur d’une lointaine ligne bleue, un horizon déplié sous les pieds.
– Philippe Lamy (February 2013)
A place where materials are brought together, dropped off, transformed and submitted to the work of gravity, time and water.
A place where time flows by, where dense moments are caught among “floating” (daydream, lag behind, mix, gaze, listen) moments, required intervals for the stratification labour.
A “tale”, which opens out in cadenced sequences and processes itself by accumulation and repetition of simple gestures (fill a surface in, let drip, collect…), a stratification where appearance and disappearance (fall, get off the ground) chant a crossing rhythm, a contained and pending tone.
A cartography of time and labour at work, also, in the form of stains, spatters, skins, crusts on the ground, the walls, the furniture, but also on the paintings.
Scoria laid down by successive tides, the murmur of a distant blue line, a horizon unfolded at the feet.
(translated by Daniel Crokaert)
::: PRESS RELEASE :::
After numerous appearances on various netlabels, collabs with Pleq, and shortly after the publication of his debut solo CD “Slowfast” on Dronarivm, Philippe Lamy confirms all the hopes placed into him… Years of experience as an established painter and teacher in Plastic Arts, as well as his late coming to the music have allowed him to stand back, and feed his soundscapes with an extreme care for textures & densification…
This expert practice lead him to weave intimate bounds between his visual art, and his sound pieces…
With “Drop diary” he pushes everything further, close to some total synesthesia…
Mix of fluids, cross of breaths,
sketch of outlines, a succession of barely visible, furtive worlds…
fleeting & penetrating moments,
splinters of night…
Rubbings, drip, measure of time,
a notion of universal, permanent flux…
A way of sticking to it, be within its own heart…
follow-up of curves…
The squeezed in words, dissimulated truths,
swirls, veiled cluster of stars…
So many mute guides…
A necessity of merging into, to understand,
to take on a new lease of our surroundings,
enriched by their own echoes, their murmurs…
Captured sources, origin points,
the calm of the brush, the amplitude of the move,
like a gradual obviousness,
an amazing force,
till going back up to the primary water, spurt of lives…
“Drop diary” records the vital impulse,
a compendium of emotions,
it shows that elusive something,
that essential which founds us, yet remains ungraspable…
::: TRACKS :::
2. Une autre couche
5. Patience des flaques
6. Au revoir
::: DURATION :::
::: FORMAT :::
CD ltd to 200 copies
150 first copies come with an additional art card on 300 gr satin paper
::: REVIEWS :::
An effervescent and unassuming record that connects the sound of flowing water with the ineffable flowing of human consciousness. I had the chance to hear quite a few albums from Mystery Sea in 2013. Lamy’s album was the one that embodied the label’s mission statement in the most unexpected way.
Water figures heavily into the mix, but so does an unexpected stream of domestic and humble sounds, like those of a horse trotting down a brick road and the whoosh of wind blowing through the tress. One of the album’s most interesting qualities is the way it connects invisible places in a kind of four-dimensional photograph. Lamy’s studio is almost visible through the noise and the edits, as if it’s waiting somewhere beyond the album’s near-silent conclusion.
Daniel Crokaert’s Mystery Sea label challenges artists to produce music inspired by and infused with the mystique of “liquid states,” whether that means using the sound of amplified water or catching the unpredictable flow of human perception on disc. French musician and painter Philippe Lamy comes at that challenge from both directions on Drop Diary, using the sound of water to focus on the way various environmental and synthetic sounds interconnect. Each piece is stacked with tiny sounds, but the way he weaves them all together gives the album a beautiful, supernatural quality, as open and as alive as the environments used to make it.
Lamy treats the sound of water like a constant in his otherwise stream-of- consciousness productions. In some instances it echoes nakedly, in others it drones on almost inaudibly, masked by waves of digital refuse and processed noise. But it’s always there. Philippe pours it into metal pans and glass cups. He captures its fall from branches and awnings during and after a storm, and he records its sibilant singing as it splashes and cuts down streams and over surfaces.
He combines these noises with other environmental and synthetic sounds, forcing his listeners to imagine each element as part of a larger web of events and motions. Those motions propel his music forward and reshape the rigid digital sounds into a less definite, more accommodating state. The crunch of broken glass mingles with a horse trotting down a brick road, which then rubs elbows with the sound of water trickling through pipes, which tumbles into a burst of digital noise before coming to rest in a still room, with a light storm passing by outside.
Lamy presumably took these sounds from places he knows well, and he uses the proximity of those places to arrange the music. He connects horse hooves to lawnmowers to throbbing, Badalamenti-esque synthesizers in a kind of four dimensional sound photo; not because there’s a secret narrative running between them, but because these things exist side by side somewhere in France, where the album was recorded. That continuity calls into question whether the spaces Lamy recorded are distinct and individual locations at all, and not artificially determined segments of one uninterrupted space. Is it the sound that flows or does the flowing come from the consciousness that connects all the dots?
As the album progresses Philippe removes many of his sound sources. Instead of tumbling over one another, events start to come one and two at a time. Birds sing in the far distance, insects chirp and buzz with them, the sound of water echoes ever clearer. By the time it’s over, Lamy has slowed time down and reduced the music to an almost meditative hum. As the field recordings intermingle, an exciting sense of scope materializes ; a feeling that the very smallest things in the world are all connected, and that something much bigger is waiting just over the horizon.
Like sound, water adopts an almost limitless range of forms and sparks countless connotations – it varies drastically in terms of shape, weight and volume, as well as interacting differently under each treatment and against each surface – and as such, it exists almost conceptually, almost immaterially. When taken in absolute isolation, it’s pure and unambiguous. Yet when applied to the world it inhabits, its distinction dissipates – like sound it exists in its reaction with action and substance, adopting the role of a shapeless, omnipresent lurker.
On first listen, Drop Diary could perhaps be seen as a rather loose adherence to the Mystery Sea label’s thematic basis (written as a poetic paragraph that alludes to the wonder and spirituality of the liquid state), but further inspection reveals that water is everywhere: seeping through the seams of Lamy’s desolate, low activity field recordings, screaming sibilance somewhere in the distance as a monolithic crash of waves, dripping and trickling onto objects. It’s as though the whole record was recorded on a floating platform in the ocean somewhere, leaving Lamy with not only a source of sonic instigation, but also an unavoidable, all-enveloping collaborator.
It’s a record of constant transition and complexity. Elements are always either fading in or out, with faint brushstrokes of ghostly synthesizer making way for clangs of dockyard bells, which pass incidental wooden knocks on their way through. Yet despite its fluid, ever-changing shape, Lamy does a wonderful job of retaining a mysterious and indefinable stasis – each track is an entity rather than a collage, and what could have become a disparate patchwork in the wrong hands feels like a single entity undergoing brisk, continuous evolution.
The only time, I think, I heard of Philippe Lamy before, was when he did a remix of Pleq (see Vital Weekly 767), but here he comes up with an album of field recordings made in his painting studio and ‘some sounds “outside”‘ as it is said on the cover. Entirely different cake here. Unlike many of the Mystery Sea recordings, the connection with ‘water’ is not easily made here in the music (except for some dripping in ‘Au Revoir’, the final piece on this release). Perhaps this is because there is a lot of processing applied to the music? Maybe it’s because it’s all quite soft? The latter for sure: this is indeed all quite soft and no doubt there is a lot of processing here. It makes that the music of Lamy is not easy to decipher. It seems there is an amount of motorized sounds, such as in ‘Depot’ for instance, but most of the times it’s just very hard to know what is going on. The abstract level is very high here, and it results in something that is not always highly original, but it sounds altogether pretty good and pretty intense. You have to stop doing whatever it is you’re doing and listen with all your available senses to the music. You think Main here, or Kassel Jaeger, but then much softer, more pushed away and alienated, and that’s mainly due to the soft spoken nature of the music. Maybe this harks back to the time when this sort of quietness was all new and great, but for me, I wouldn’t have minded to have all of this a bit louder and more present. I like to play a CD straight away and not first having to fiddle around with my EQ to get the best out of it.
Frans de Waard