Dusted Reviews

DJ Olive vs. JP Dessy - Scories

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: DJ Olive vs. JP Dessy

Album: Scories

Label: Sub Rosa

Review date: Jan. 10, 2006

JP Dessy is the cellist, DJ Olive the DJ. Scories is mostly drone dependent pieces and shifting chordscapes performed by what would better be referred to as the Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles with DJ Olive (this “vs.” trick doesn’t quite work here as very little of the album is strictly cello & turntable and it rings untrue in a musical tradition not based in the staging of competition). Dessy leads this ensemble at the Liege Conservatory in Belgium, and this recording is the studio version of a couple of “electro-contempo” concerts Olive gave with the Ensemble in 2003 and 2004.

The collaboration, in this case, is more than a gimmick; what Olive brings to the ensemble in these pieces is often quite nice. He uses distorted voices and simple water sounds to powerful effect, and his carefully-placed footsteps add an uncanny element that complements the timbres behind the scapes. However, some of what is there is disappointing – the synth chording that supports the first piece, “Walking Slowly,” is dull and trite to my ears (though it makes an ironic sounding reappearance in the last piece, “Comprovisation a lxelles,” that I quite liked). Dessy and his Ensemble’s parts are predominantly adequate, at times less than adequate (bordering on uninteresting) and occasionally worse than uninteresting (timbrally overcoded): certain trombone bursts and plucked string sections puncture the ambience to ill-effect. There are some great moments of brief idiomatic reference by Dessy, but not much to get excited about.

The album is built like a sandwich: Two longer -scape pieces at the beginning and end and three short “thangs” in the middle. These “thangs” are either too short to develop ideas or built upon a bad idea to begin with. The first of the three, “Ghost Groove,” is both the former and the latter – a piece where Olive repeatedly teases with the beginnings of beat. “Terra Alba” is just the former, altogether too short. “Pass the Potatoes” is the “vs.” track and the battle is over far too quickly. The entire album clocks in around 46 minutes, which is both too long and too short. Despite some interesting rhythmic development and sectionality, the longer pieces seem unsatisfying in terms of the durations chosen for particular musical material; very little here is taken far enough to be more than moderately interesting. Its chronotrips are unmemorable.

It’s nice that people are getting off on different electro-acoustic collaborations lately, even if a lot of it is disappointing. I’d go see this collaboration live if the chairs were cushy enough, though I’d probably leave upset that another project didn’t get whatever funding this one ate up. As a recording, however, Scories certainly doesn’t offer enough.

By Suriku Rineto

Read More

View all articles by Suriku Rineto

Find out more about Sub Rosa

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.