Thursday, August 26, 2010

Gymnorythmies


Been looking through some more French library records and thinking how rad they are. Somebody really needs to spread the gospel of Unidisc music/movement LPs. It's hard to describe but the music always seems to fit seamlessly with the sleeve art, together conjuring up some parallel art school universe where the children of Marx and Coca-Cola get together and do calisthenics. One Unidisc record I keep returning to is Patrice Sciortino's Gymnorythmies. There's something very Stereolab about the twinkly mallet-propelled pop art abstractions on this record. It's all very crisp and echo-y and inside-out and floaty, and surprisingly accessible for an avant garde percussion record. Below is my favorite track "Exercices Avec Cerceaux, No. 2" (half the tracks are intended for exercises with hoops, the other half for baton-work). Sounds like the weird instrumental prelude to a song off of Stereolab's Sound Dust, right before the bass guitar part kicks in, and in this respect it's a useful track to play for friends who don't know or care about library music ("No seriously, you'll like it, it sounds like Stereolab"). I also love the stick-figure graphics and Miami Dolphins color scheme. See Lunar Atrium and Continuo for more info on Unidisc, and see here for some great images of Unidisc LPs. I have heard a disturbing rumor that Sciortino is an arch conservative who composed fanfares for the gendarmes but I have yet to verify this and so probably shouldn't even be saying anything about it. That would suck though.

9 comments:

  1. Patrice Sciortino, one of the most avant garde French composers of all Production Library music? I'd find that difficult to believe.

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  2. Well, he studied at Pierre Schaeffer's GRM studio, late 1950s-early 1960s. I posted his first LP a while ago, for those interested. And Unidisc definitely rules when it comes to educational records.

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  3. Completely brilliant! Thanks for this, Ben. Spot on about the 'lab similarities, in fact it's made me want to go and give their later albums another go.

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  4. This is really good! How's the rest of the album?

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  5. You know, I remember it being good but I haven't actually listened to it in a while. It's similar to Chronoradial, maybe a little less dark. I'll give it a listen tomorrow and see.

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