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JEAN-FRANÇOIS LAPORTE : Soundmatters
23five009, Compact Disc
published in 2007
$12.98, plus shipping

The compositions of French-Canadian sound artist Jean-François Laporte have rarely emerged beyond of the context of international electro-acoustic competitions and festivals. His only widely distributed piece has been Mantra, which Metamkine published in 1997 through their Cinéma pour l’oreille series. This exceptional work of acoustic minimalism drew considerable notoriety thanks in part to a public misidentification that Laporte sourced the composition on the resonant frequencies of a Zamboni, the ice-resurfacing vehicle used exclusively in ice rinks. With its luminous sounds gracefully shifting between the gentle mechanized purr and excited metal vibration, we can easily forgive those who wanted to assign authorship to an eccentric machine. Yet, Laporte reports that the source to Mantra is an air compressor, albeit one that resides in an ice rink. With the original publication of Mantra long out of print, 23five Incorporated is delighted to present Soundmatters, an anthology of Jean-François Laporte compositions including the aforementioned 25-minute masterpiece Mantra.

The four accompanying compositions on Soundmatters all share the unique sensibility found on Mantra which balances formal precision and intuitive expressionism, resulting in a series of visceral compositions that build upon the traditions of minimalism, graphical composition, and phonography. Here on Soundmatters, Laporte reveals his colossal talents for experiential composition through deftly processed recordings of tumultuous windstorms that would make Chris Watson proud, spiralling drones that he’s polished to a Haflerian sheen, the majestic bellowing of sustained horns in the empty cargo hull of a decommissioned ship, and of course the metallic growl of his immaculate Mantra. Given the numerous parallels to Xenakis' smoldering electroacoustics and Tony Conrad's delirious harmonics, Laporte’s work demands the attention as an under recognized genius in the realm of avant-garde composition.





REVIEWS:

Brainwashed
June 2007

This collection of compositions shows how much Laporte is in love with the subtleties of sound and atmosphere. Shifts in timbre and slight changes in texture are the order of the day, the end result being five wonderful pieces that each explores the physical nature of sound. He avoids needlessly complicated ideas and instead lets the sounds that would normally go unnoticed come to the fore. Like Chris Watson and BJ Nilson's recent album Storm, "Électro-Prana" captures not only the sound of a storm but also, short of actually getting wet, the feeling of being caught out in it. It is hard not to shiver and look for cover when listening to Laporte's recordings of ice storms made from many recordings of the wind whistling through doors and windows. It is great fun to listen to it in bed, wrapping the covers tight even though the real weather outside far warmer. Laporte reproduces the atmosphere of the storm perfectly, it is possible to hear each whistle and whine distinctly. By far the most interesting of the five compositions is "Dans le Ventre du Dragon." Here Laporte records music being played in an empty cargo ship. A massive natural reverb warps the instruments, the brass wind instruments sound like they are buzzing past like giant insects. It is a very simple concept but Laporte makes sure it sounds extraordinary with his clean recording and postproduction. It is easy to imagine a huge, rusting juggernaut with a few musicians skulking around the bottom, every sound they make swallowed up by the emptiness and the void around them.

A lot of electroacoustic composers get sidetracked by theory and utilising software that is interesting from a music technology point of view but not so interesting to listen to. Laporte steps away from all that malarkey and concentrates on capturing fascinating sounds. Each of the five pieces that make up Soundmatters are feasts for the ear; Laporte combines the right amount of intellectualism with buckets of beautiful noise. He does not seem afraid to move outside any comfort zone he might have; none of the compositions sound like each other as Laporte utilises different techniques to recording sound and vastly different sources of sound (from the traditionally musical to the mechanical to the natural). Soundmatters is a rich listening experience and a joy to listen to. The attention to detail in terms of sonic nuances is amazing. All of the pieces are utterly engaging: there are so many intricacies and fine alterations in tone that it is impossible to take it all in. However when armed with a comfortable chair and a nice set of headphones, the challenge of taking it all in is a task well worth pursuing. -- John Kealy


Tiny Mix Tapes
Best of 2007

Mr. Laporte composes music from unidentifiable sources. Sans liner notes, you’d be hard-pressed to figure out that "Electro-Prana," after its first few minutes, is processed wind noise or that "Dans Le Ventre Du Dragon" is made of horns helped along by the natural reverb of an out-of-commission ship’s cargo hold, practically granting them a grasshopper buzz. Starting out with three shorter pieces before moving into its bulk with two long-form tracks, Laporte’s lasting impressions are made over time. Never have air compressors sounded as incredible and threatening as they do on "Mantra." This is actually the first release of the track in its true form, having been previously shaved to fit a 3-inch CD, and even a couple more minutes of the compressor’s chopped drone is a blessing. Elsewhere, "Plentitude Du Vide" starts with minuscule scrapes and vibrations and gradually accumulates sound until it peaks with a bizarrely harmonic drone. Soundmatters can either be thought of as a compilation of Laporte’s most notable pieces from the last few years or a debut. But rarely do musicians came out of the gates this strong. One of the year’s very best minimal releases. -- Julie


Neural
May 2007

An almost mystic sensitivity pervades, in this project, the multifaceted inspiration of Jean-Francois Laporte, a French-Canadian electro-acoustic experimenter. The first track, 'Electro-Prana', is calibrated on pretty 'physical' and 'classical' bases for this kind of musical research, since it investigates the sound quality, auditive combinations and the suggestions of the wind in closed spaces, going across doors and windows, modulating intensity and tone. In 'Boule qui Roule...', with a space minimalist form, the composition, which starts from the manipulation if a single computer sound made by a Silicon Graphics machine, is very rigorous. One shouldn't let himself be carried away by the author's (who studied civil engineering and composition) synthetic mantras, because, in these fascinating sounds there's a strong scientific attitude together with the need to explore the reality in its more intimate and unexpected folds. -- Aurelio Cianciotta


E/I Magazine
April 2007

Sufi mystics tend to exclaim that vibration acts as the key to the order of the universe. Every entity vibrates at a certain frequency and human beings possess the unusual capacity to tune themselves up or down. That said, the medium is all but invisible to the subject submerged in it, the water is unknown to the fish until it tastes the air, and so Jean-Francois Laporte aims to provide a tonic for this delirium, pulling one out of this bee’s nest of sounds and placing one into a controlled yet spontaneous environment in which one may identify and "tune-in" to these vibrations, to these mantras which are mouthed by commonplace objects everyday. The first composition focuses on a house perched in Montreal which was haunted by a succession of ice storms during the winter of ‘98. One hears wind whistling through creaky doors creating a palpable hum of tension, rattling windowpanes emitting tones which are layered and slither wormlike, gliding over one another as they thicken and thin the music. Without any processing or effects, "Dans Le Ventre Du Dragon" was conducted inside an empty cargo hull stuck in the belly of a pensioned-off ship. The hull takes the dimly glowing tones from the Quasar Saxophone Quartet into its maw and emits a pall of reverberating, nocturnal timbres. As homage to the "simple" and the near-nothing, "Plenitude Du Vide" shows a fine ear for pitch and continuity, building from the most miniscule of rustles, chirrups, and flutters from the bowls of a saxophone and the beating of aluminum tubes to develop naturally into a glowering, low rumbling drone, pregnant with unexpected, long resonant spans of harmony, which overflow and animate the once barren womb of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste church in Montreal. Moksha might not lie in wait, yet these recordings possess the curious ability to rearrange the fields of self. -- Max Schaefer


Bad Alchemy
March 2007

Dieser frankokanadische Elektroakustiker ist durch Mantra (1997), seinem Beitrag zu Metamkines kultiger Cinema pour l'oreil-3"-Reihe, als Kapazität ausgewiesen. Mantra, eine dröhnminimalistische Ohrenschraube, die auf den Geräuschen einer Zamboni, einer schnurrenden Eisbearbeitungsmaschine, basiert, die mit ständige hin und her wandernden Dopplereffekten jeden Quadratmeter der Eishalle ableckt, ist hier wiederveröffentlicht und mit 26 Minuten der kühle Kern der Zusammenstellung. Bei "Électro-Prana" pfeift eiskalter Wind durch Tür- und Fensterritzen. Für "Boule qui roule..." sampelte Laporte "a shelving filter with the Cecilia software running on a Silicon Graphic computer" und ballte daraus eine dröhnende Kugel. "Dans la ventre du dragon" nutzt den Hall im hohlen Bauch eines Schiffes im alten Hafen von Montreal für das Röhren eines rituellen Blasorchesters. Der Deep Listening- und Zisterneneffekt dieser Brassorgie ist gewaltig. "Plénitude du vide" (2005) schließlich stellt ein Quartett aus Baritonsaxophonen, Saxophonmundstücken, Kupfer- und Aluminiumrohren mitten in die Kirche Saint-Jean-Baptiste in Montreal. Ein Spieler des Quasar Saxophone Quartets pustete tuckernde Laute, wie von einem Motor, der einfach nicht anspringen will. In dieses Gestotter mischen die anderen aus unterschiedlichen Distanzen feine, nur ganz vorsichtig angeblasene Dröhnklänge. Das Stottern im Vordergrund verstummt, die sirenenartigen Klänge, die sich im Hintergrund kreuzen, beginnen die Szene zu beherrschen. Es entwickelt sich eine Polyphonie aus den unterschiedlichen Timbres der Blastöne, die immer schneller und höher werden und in einem kollektiven Vibrato kulminieren, bevor die Klangsäule wieder in sich zusammensinkt.


Rockarilla
April 2007

"Electro-Prana" è il suono del vento durante una tempesta di neve che si è abbattuta sulla citta di Montreal in Canada. Il Suono dell'inverno che passa sotto una vecchia porta de legno. Nelle mani di Jean-Francois Laporte, une musicista elettro-nico canadese che studia di Parigi, questi suoni hanno poi assunto qualità timbriche inconsuete rivelando tutta la loro magnifica natura. Su Soundmatters sono state raccolte cinque opere del compositore canadese, quattro risalenti ad oramai quasi dieci anni fa e una del 2005. Laporte costruisce i propri strumenti per generare mantra abissali che risuonano a frequesnze inaudite e colpiscono l'orecchio umano con innumerabili stimoli di pressione. Da ascoltare in cuffia. -- Roberto Mandolini


Blow Up
May 2007

Noto più che altro nei ristretti circoli delle competizione e dei festival elettroacustici, Jean-Francois Laporte ebbe i classici cinque minuti di celbrita (beh, si fa per dire...) nel 1997 quano una sua opera del periodo venne prescelta dalla Metamkine per apparire nella prestigiosa collana Cinéma pour l'oreille. Da lungo tempo fuori catalogo, quella composizione (Mantra, n.d.r.) veine ora ripubblicata nell'antologia in esame con un'altra serie die lavori che vanno da quello stesso anno fino al 2005 e che forniscono un quandro del ventaglio espressivo del compositore frano-canadese. Tempeste di field recordings, risonanze cave, miagolii, lenti e circolari e sofisticate narrazioni concrete (come per 'appunto la riverberazione timbrica del continuo rimbombo mantico de un refrigeratore per piste di pattinaggio impiegato nella sua partitura più conosciuta) rendono giustizia ad un autore che meriterebbe maggiore attenzione al di fuori del limitato ambito di riferimento. -- Nicola Catalano


D-Side
May 2007

Entre phonographie et musique contemporaine, le travail du Québécois Jean-Francois Laporte n'est que rarement sorti du cadre institutionnel. Est-ce à dire que sa musique serait trop frodiement intellectuelle pour être considéré en dehors de l'univers sclérosant de la musique site "savant"? Lon s'en faut, et c'est sans mal que l'on rapproachera l'oeuvre de Laporte d'autres explorateurs du son, tels Thomas Köner ou Toy Bizarre, avec lesquels il partage une même conscience de la musicalité de éléments naturels, ainsi qu'un art de la composition à partir de ceux-ci qui l'éloigne du field recording proprement dit. Pour l'heure réduite à une simple participation à la collection Cinéma pour l'Oreille de Metamkine en 1997 avec Mantra, la production discographique de Jean-Francois Laporte peut aujourd'hui être appréciée dans sa diversité sur Soundmatters qui, aux côtés de Mantra (épuisé depuis des années), présente quatre qutre pièces enregistrées entre 1997 et 2005. On y découvre la matérialité du processus de Laporte qui, aux manipulations de studio préfère les "bricolages" live, souvent enregistrés d'une traite, comme le fameux son de compresseur de Mantra, filtré à travers des tubes de PVC et résonnant sur des plaques métalliques pour une pièce littéralement envoûtante, le vent d'une tempête résonnant à travers portes et fenêtres ("Electro-Prana") ou des résonance d'instruments traditionnels captées dans l'énormité d'une coque de cargo désaffecté ("Dans le Ventre du Dragon"). Vastes structures à la fois composées et "naturelles", les pièces de Jean-Francois Laporte évoquent la rigueur d'un hiver sans fin, des environnements désertiques et hantés où l'on s'égare irrémédiablement à la poursuite d'un écho, d'un mirage, d'un souvenir... -- Jean-Francois Micard


Sands-Zine
June 2007

È una porta che si chiude, due volte, la tangente che lega l'appartenenza dell'unico soggetto - il vento - in "Electro-Prana," composizione del '98, che come in un quadro testamentario, risale le correnti mantriche e le tensioni smaterializzanti dell'intera ossatura minimalista dell'opera di Laporte. L'opera di questo autore, orientata già dal nascere attorno alla costruzione di microintervalli nervosi intessuti su minimali architetture cicliche, esige, nel buon nome dell'elettro acusmatica, un'assegnazione quasi-sensoriale tra le file della musicologia 'impostata', sia perché nel suo lavorio sonoro Laporte ha privilegiato sempre la natura cinematica e paradigmatica dell'orecchio, sia perché questa è una di quelle opere che si confrontano con una certa donazione sinestetica e diagrammatica del suono. Certo, scrivere di Soundmatters è molto più semplice di quanto si possa credere: le composizioni, quasi tutte monocromatiche, ruotano intorno ad un sustain piuttosto delirante che tende, sul rapporto spazio-distanza (peccato sia assente la quadrifonia) a ciclizzare il movimento creando cerchi e spirali ovunque; è un suono invertebrato, assai ripiegato sulla sua natura a blocco e che discende, come in una danza sciamanica, una fusione singolare con la sua coda mirando sui suoi vertici. L'anastomosi tra le componenti e la natura zoomorfa dell'intera operazione scientifica di Laporte mantiene quasi naturalmente un rapporto di profondo distaccamento con la materia creazionista e con il vitalismo sonoro che resta sempre compresso dentro la sua costellazione e delimitato nella stretta morsa delle sue evoluzioni mantriche: così tutta l'economia spiraloide del sistema laportiano più che tratteggiare aree nello spazio, ricicla punti di connessione e li materializza per poi farli sparire. È il movimento più lineare che possa esserci ma l'intensità di cui è concentrato si determina proprio dall'ambiguità con cui queste sfere paralle s'innestano senza passare per il tempo ma solo dentro uno spazio raggelato e senza più riferimenti. Talvolta Laporte gioca con la modulazione, e forse lì, e non altrove, la sua opera appare debole e profondamente irrigidita: questo è il caso di "Danse le ventre du dragon," che si ricicla dietro restauri saxofonici basati su respirazione circolare e su rari momenti di slittamento complessivo; e forse proprio in questi casi, venendo a mancare la radice dronica, si avverte una profonda debolezza strutturale in un'opera che cerca disperatamente di recuperare la molteplicità di uno Xenakis e la ripetizione senza ripetizione di un Conrad. È un percorso difficile: il disco è il risultato di quasi un decennio di sperimentazione ma la sensazione che si riceve è che nulla si muova, dal momento che queste composizioni, mescolate a random, ed ascoltate tutte di fila, sembrano figlie della stessa ossessione laportiana: mantricità, sospensione, assenza di durata. -- Salvartore Borrelli


Paris Transatlantic
June 2007

Unless I'm mistaken this is only the second disc to appear featuring the music of Jean-François Laporte, after a mini-CD entitled Mantra in Metamkine's Cinéma pour l'Oreille series a while back. That's now out-of-print, it would seem, but fear not: the full-length version of the piece, all 26 minutes of it (five too long for the 3" CD format) is one of five pieces on offer on Soundmatters. "Electro-Prana" (1998) is composed exclusively of the sounds of wind during the ice storm that hit Montreal in January 1998, recorded through cracks of doors and windowpanes. On "Boule qui roule" (1997) Laporte takes the sound of machinery (unspecified, and it makes no difference anyway as the raw source recording is transformed beyond all recognition) and passes it literally hundreds of times through bandpass filters to create a cloud of slowly shifting glissandi, as rigorous and uncompromising as Xenakis, yet as sensual and slowmoving as Radigue. "Dans le ventre du dragon" (1997) was recorded in the empty hull of a boat moored in the port of Montreal, and the real star of the piece is the space itself, with its extraordinary 15-second reverb, as the rich overtones of Laporte's instruments (not sure what they are, and more information would have been welcome) resonate throughout the vast space. Epic stuff. "Mantra" (1997) is a 26-minute long recording of a cooling compressor for an ice rink, whose overtone-rich power hum is subtly filtered live by the use of PVC tubes and metal plates. Think Gen Ken Montgomery meets Phill Niblock. The most recent piece on offer, 2005's "Plénitude du vide," scored for saxophone quartet and self-designed instruments, including the sax-trunk, siren organ and circular-breathed Tu-Yos ("tuyau" is French for pipe, if that gives you a clue), is the hardest to access but the most rewarding work on offer. This is a superb disc that should appeal as much to devotees of contemporary composition, both instrumental and electronic, as to fans of 23five artists such as Michel Gendreau, John Duncan, CM von Hausswolf and Francisco López. -- Dan Warburton


Quiet Noise
June 2007

Die zweite beachtliche Release innerhalb kurzer Zeit auf dem in San Francisco beheimateten 23five Label widmet sich mit Jean-Francois Laporte diesmal einem Künstler, der sich seit Jahren under the radar aufhält. Sein bis dato einziges im größeren Maßstab erhältliches Stück datiert bereits zehn Jahre zurück – das wunderbare 'Mantra', einst durch Metamkine im Zuge der Cinéma pour l’oreille – Serie veröffentlicht. Zu recht auch auf vorliegender Anthologie enthalten, ist dieser 25 Minuten lange, unterbrechungsfrei aufgenommene Soundwalk rund um den ratternden Kompressor einer Kältemaschine in einem Eisring eine faszinierende Nahaufnahme im alltäglichen (Klang)Wahnsinn der post-industriellen Ära, dem Laporte scheinbar mühelos ungeahnte hypnotische Qualität abzugewinnen vermag. Auch in den weiteren vier enthaltenen Stücken wetzt Laporte angenehm abseitig an den dem Material oder einer Idee inhärenten Details. So verschnürt er beispielsweise im Eröffnungstrack 'Électro-Prana' Field Recordings von durch Fensterritzen und Türspalten moduliertem Eiswind, aufgenommen während der extremen Kälteperiode die Montreal 1998 lahm legte, zu einer frostig pfeifenden Klangcollage. Seine Aufmerksamkeit gilt aber auch den bespielten Klangräumen; in 'Dans le ventre du dragon' entlockt er einem alten Frachtcontainer mittels verschiedener Instrumente ganz spezifische Soundsignaturen, die er, wiederum unbearbeitet, nachträglich arrangiert. Dasselbe Prinzip wendet er im abschließenden Stück an, hier sind es allein die Klangfarbenmodulationen von Blasinstrumenten, die sich – live in einer Kirche aufgenommen – minimalistisch und hypnotisch zu einem flächigen Dröhnen hin entwickeln. Das schöne an den Arbeiten von Laporte liegt einerseits in seinem technisch überaus versierten, fast schon perfektionistischen Umgang mit dem Material, andrerseits und besonders daran, dass seine schrägen Einfälle zu so spannenden Ereignissen, wie auf vorliegender CD dokumentiert, führen. -- Tobias Bolt


Liability Magazine
September 2007

La discrétion est un art qui se cultive. Jean-François Laporte est l'un de ces rares artistes, obscur parmi les obscurs, qui n'ont que très peu de traces discographiques à leur actif. En ce qui le concerne, on ne le connaissait qu'à travers "Mantra" qui avait été édité par Metamkine pour la série Cinéma Pour L'Oreille. C'était en 1997. Depuis, plus rien, ou presque. Laporte avait bien créé "Electro-Prana," l'année suivante mais ne l'avait pas, autant que je sache, rendu publique. C'est sous l'impulsion du label 23 Five Incorporated que paraît Soundmatters, compilation de morceaux enregistrés entre 1997, donc, et 2005. Musique acousmatique et traitements électroniques minimaux sont la signature de ce disque sombre et inquiétant. Il importe peu que les morceaux aient été enregistrés à des moments très différents, l'intensité qu'ils dégagent n'en est pas dévaluée. C'est l'avantage de ce genre de musique. Elle ne subit pas les affres du temps et peut s'appréhender de manière tout à fait sereine, sans a priori ou sans sentir de différences d'approche dans la construction sonore. Laporte se positionne dans un minimalisme sombre à la limite de l'opacité et qu'il utilise des sons environnementaux ("Electro-Plana"), de longues lignes électroniques ("Boule Qui Roule...") ou des cuivres ("Dans Le Ventre Du Dragon"), ses compositions s'accrochent à vous d'une manière viscérale et réellement prenante.

Ils sont d'ailleurs assez rares ceux qui arrivent à dégager de tels sentiments. Dans ce créneau on peut vite être blasé, croyant souvent écouter les mêmes choses, trouvant que certains manquent parfois d'imagination ou de force de caractère dans leur musique. Ici, Jean-François Laporte, sans être un rénovateur, sait capter l'attention avec des créations qui sortent de la simple introspection pour se porter vers des espaces sonores fascinants. Des espaces qu'il occupe pleinement, sans discontinuité et sans aucun temps mort. Il installe des ambiances inquiétantes et tenaces qui ont plus trait à la musique industrielle qu'à la musique accousmatique dans laquelle, par facilité, on aurait trop tendance à le cataloguer. Soundmatters, oeuvre compilatoire, sans doute, mais qui reflète parfaitement ce à quoi Jean-François Laporte s'est essayé pendant un peu plus de dix ans. Une oeuvre pleine pour une musique totale. -- Fabien


Dusted Magazine
August 2007

Calling the five pieces that comprise Soundmatters compositions misses the mark. Calling them performances is also inaccurate. They are, rather, a finely wrought hybrid of the two. French-Canadian sound artist Jean-François Laporte uses the strengths of both approaches to work up his organic, highly detailed soundworks, injecting them with the directness and spontaneity of performance and developing them the way a composer takes a well-thought out idea and telescopes it into a full-fledged concept. Laporte applies these strengths to sounds he notices and to those he produces.The evolving drone of “Boule qui roule…” is the product of machine sound interacting with audio software. It’s the most conventional electro-acoustic piece on the record though, as Laporte’s focus lies more squarely on the sounds of the human and natural environment. The album’s centerpiece is “Mantra,” a 26-minute recording of an ice rink’s cooling compressor. Laporte recorded it live, manually manipulating the compressor through various plates and tubes as well as by moving around the machine. The result is a hypnotic audio image. The mechanical purr soothes with its constancy, the gently oscillating bass frequencies mixing with whispered high frequencies and the occasional pulse of a metallic clang. It’s a true no-mind drone, just as effective as anything cooked up by human hands.

Yet Laporte does not equate composition with control. Instead, he allows the sounds themselves, and just as importantly the environment, to dictate direction. “Dans le ventre du dragon” takes place in the hull of an old cargo ship. Various instruments, 15 seconds of reverb and some post-performance tinkering are all Laporte uses to fill the stark atmosphere with rich, full-bodied cries. A similar idea, but more well-developed, is the starting point for the 17 minutes of “Plentitude du vide.” Using copper and aluminum tubes, two prepared baritone saxophones, sax mouthpieces and latex membranes, the Quasar Saxophone Quartet engages in a slow moving dialogue with the acoustics of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church. Purring, rasping sounds, evoking in texture and movement the motion of breathing, get transformed from subterranean whispers to a dense siren song of buzzing overtones and excited beatings. The concise liner notes reveal a lot about the innards of each piece, but they are hardly necessary. One can hear that the desiccated roar of “Électro-Prana” is wind, and that “Mantra” bears the signature of something mechanical. The sounds seem outside, separate from composer, performer and listener alike. This tension between the real and the created, between the objective observation and the subjective perspective, inserts the listeners into a narrative, like that of a first-person camera angle, which forces them to interpret and react to the sounds and their transformations. The audio experience becomes much more immersing and rewarding than more conventional music often allows. -- Matthew Wuethrich


Igloo
September 2007

Soundmatters is a compilation of five works by Jean-Francois Laporte that spans 1997-2005. The flap-like snore of "Plénitude du vide" (2005) has a metallic edge that rumbles about with a to and fro motion. The restless purr is a curious warning. In the distance a hybrid air raid siren slowly moves to midground. The discordance is a disturbing reminder of our times. The near ½ hour long "Mantra" (1997) treats industrial field recordings like collage, ahhh, the familiar pitch of generators spinning endlessly. Laporte has found a way to harmonize the shape of the sound with his own layer of drone reverb, which ominously cascades in and out. Incorporating PVC tubes to mute some of the frequency, there's a directional sense to the sound in a sculptural sense. The track sandwiches gut-massaging lows that offset the crisp high spatters. It's funny how compositions that use the manmade production machine can become somewhat meditative the more you listen. The initial influx of noise is a bit dense and brusque, but in no time, if you close your eyes you may see stars. "Boule qui roule..." (1997), by comparison, is a bit of a test. It's posture seems to be much more micro intimate, with sine wave-like pitches that are scratchy and neon bright. The work plays on sounds that remind us of cartoon space gravities, lunar expeditions and hover craft. I'm most certainly not in Kansas anymore. -- TJ Norris


Eesti Express
November 2007

See plaat sai hangitud ebamäärases lootuses, et sisaldab puhast müra. Seda aga ei juhtunud. Selle asemel on plaadil hoopis looduslik, ütleme siis ebapuhas müra. Seda sümboliseerivad klahvivajutused, mida minagi siin praegu tekitan (eelkõige aga muidugi kujuteldava lintmaki omad, mis on plaadil), väljas uluv tuul jms. Välilindistused, kon kreetne muusika, elektroakustilised kompositsioonid. Täpsem stiilimääratlus: kompositsioonipõhine ambient, kuhu võrdlemisi juhuslikud helid sisse on soetatud. Lood on nurgelised, meloodiat pole. Kõige ärksam on “Mantra”, millega kaasneb (nagu vist iga teisegi looga siin) mingi müüt: keegi olla nimelt väitnud midagi (mille keegi teine ümber olevat lükanud), et tegu on 25minutilise lindistusega jäälihvimismasina tööst. Keegi teine (oletame nt, et autor) olla öelnud, et tegelikult olla seal midagi muud (mida minagi usun, kuigi teisalt – omal ajal sain ka katlamaja ümbrusest selliseid lindistusi, kus kogu tehas täiega meloodilist horror ambient’i pani), kuigi töötav jäämasin olla alghelide allikaks olnud küll. Üks teine lugu plaadiümbrisel räägib mingist väidetavast jäätormist, mis kunagi pahaaimamatult Montreali oli sisenenud, et looks nimega “Electro-Prana” lindistatud saada. Mitte et ma täiuslikult ei usuks, et see võimalik on, aga siiski – “jäätorm” kõlab juba iseenesest nii sugestiivselt, et mis tahes lindistusel pole selle vastu enam vähimatki šanssi. -- Erkki Luuk


XLR8R
June 2007

On Soundmatters, Canadian sound artist Jean-Francois Laporte magnifies life in unexpected places. Wind noises cut through roof shingles and skin in his recordings of a Montreal ice storm in the mesmerizing "electro-Prana," while on "Ventre du Dragon" he uncovers 15 seconds of natural reverb inside an empty cargo ship, where droning brass horns sound like boats being swallowed up by fog. Laporte also indulges in dissonant excursions that challenge attention spans, namely the shrill 26 minutes of a skating rink's cooling compressor on "Mantra," and the sax and drums that struggle to fly in the nightmarish closer "Plentitude du Vide." Fortunately, his noises that whisper still speak louder to the soul. -- Cameron MacDonald