January 26, 2010
US CD Killer Pimp PIMPK012
Marc Ngyuen - guitar, keyboard and electronic
Guillaume Ollendorff - laptop and electronic
Live en San Antón is the result of a three day session of improvised music committed by Marc Nguyen and Guillaume Ollendorff recorded in the barrio San Antón, in the southern Spanish city of Alicante in April 2008.
Marc & O. have known each other for 13 years: they once worked together for a company that sold missiles and celebrity magazines; they later played and toured together in Marc's electronic-rock band project, called Colder. Guillaume has made music here and there (Tsé, The Mainstream Ensemble, Dust and Chimes) and now, has a life as an independant publisher of Philosophy. After all these years, this is the first time they have actually recorded together.
The intent of Scratoa! should be understood at the very moment you press play. It sounds like it is named. As some kind of big musical lapsus,the kind of ones kids do everyday with toys. A Vomited and improvised - somehow elegant, sometimes not - non sense. A musical role playing game experiment in ten parts, where Tex Avery, Baruch Spinoza and Herbie Hancock's spirits have been called over three nights to conduct a crowd of gorillas, frogs, cats, birds and ducks in heat, forgotten cartoon characters, families of gypsies and guitars, local pagan marching bands, and drunk kids armed with fire crackers.
Experiencing Scratoa! will probably not cure any disease nor it will help you improve some social skills either. But listening to this first session may however be recommended for all these tiny moments of your life when all you fancy is just a good old fix of primitive poetry.
For more information see myspace.com/scratoa
"BOLD Musique concrète, primitive sound montage poetry." - WVKR
"An inventive approach to recording and bringing together different sounds, and imbuing these sounds with a sense of humor and at times sadness, marks this collaborative album recorded over a period of three days, almost two years ago, by the Parisian musician Marc Nguyen Tan (of Colder; fans of Tan's former work will be interested to hear how different these far less structured recordings are than Colder's music) and his longtime friend Guillaume Ollendorff (of Tse, The Mainstream Ensemble, and Dust and Chimes), recorded in Alicante, Spain. Sounds of animals; scratchy, manipulated electric guitars; electronic or looped percussion and drums; human voice; cartoon soundtrack effects; electric piano; synths; and finally, a crowd watching fireworks, are placed together at seemingly random intervals. The album at first seems fairly static, but on repeated listens shows its changes slowly, and the extent to which electronic overdubbing and a dry studio sound are used plays on the idea of the "live" music of the title, so that a large part of the album is centered on studio panning and the place in which sounds appear relative to one another within a pair of headphones. The problem here is that because so much of the recording plays on the idea of irony and anticlimax, it can at times come off as being too vague: how did the city of Alicante affect the musicians, for example, in that it clearly inspired them? What was it about this city that they involved its identity as a place so much in the recording? However, when the effect of the album works it is like listening to two friends making a concert, in the style of "Music for 18 Musicians," for imaginary players, and then going about inventing those players; album notes say that the concept here is a "musical role playing game experiment in ten parts, where Tex Avery, Baruch Spinoza, and Herbie Hancock's spirits have been called over three nights to conduct a crowd of gorillas, frogs, cats, birds and ducks in heat, forgotten cartoon characters, families of gypsies and guitars, local pagan marching bands, and drunk kids armed with firecrackers," and a strange passage from Spinoza appears in the liner notes. This recording is certainly well worth the listener's time in checking out for its ideas and the intelligence with which those ideas are expressed, but it can also leave you with not much to remember it by." 7/10 - Jordan Anderson, Foxy Digitalis
"Liner notes (?) in English and Spanish, credits in German and Spanish. A duo of one Marc Nguyen (guitar, keyboard and electronic) and Guillaume Ollendorff (laptop and electronic), who recorded this in the nights of 14, 15 and 16 of April 2008 in Studio San Anton in Alicante. Its a bit unclear why it took almost two years to release this, maybe they had problems finding a label. Ten pieces, all relatively short of improvised music through mainly electronic means. Nervous playing on the guitar, with scratchy inserts from the keyboard and whatever soundfiles running on the computer. Its improvised for sure, but nothing onkyo or silent. It also side steps the regular improvised music since its all more electric and electronic and quite heavy without being true noise. Not unpleasant to hear, but not great either. One of those things were one thinks: well, yeah, so? Maybe I miss out on the bigger goal of this music, which seems rather a nice thing to do for the musicians themselves." - Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly
"Reminds me of Captain Beefhart and the Steve Reid and Kieran Hebden projects. Kind of. Not really able to describe this properly. Just listen to it!!!" - Music is a Sin
"Colder releases two genius records, then Marc Nguyen Tan drops off the face of the earth for 4 years, to release.......this? It kinda sounds like someone left a microphone on while they cleaned their apartment. I realize it's NOT COLDER, it's a collaboration, but..........DUDE! Please put out a REAL RECORD." - James F McDermott (an Amazon customer review)
"A big 30 minute found sound+keyboard+guitar composition in 10 tracks. A giant mish-mash experiment of everything put together. That is as far as words will go." - KUCI
Il y a plus de 5 ans, Colder, sur le réputé label Output recordings, proposait des traversées hypnotiques et new-wave qui me reviennent régulièrement. Je retrouve Marc Nguyen, il y a quelques jours, dans le projet Scratoa ! avec son ami d'enfance et musicien sur ses tournées : Guillaume Ollendorff. Dans un tout autre registre musicale, ils ont enregistrés trois journée de musique improvisés à Alicante, en Espagne, au mois d'avril 2008. Chacun s'est constitué son lot d'objets musicaux qu'il a talentueusement projeté, transformé, retenu voir vomi avec celui de l'autre. Un rythme faussement mécanique tient sur quelques sons percussifs, attaques de guitares, pierres qui tombent ou quelques fins bruits électroniques. Je ressens la primitivité des rapports entre les sons. La répétition de la structure permet de suivre les jeux et évolutions que propose le duo. Le résultat est très beau. - Thibaut, Hi-Nu
"ya great an album of a bunch of french guys wanking off on their laptops while on vacation...between fishing and drinking beer you made some shit machine noises and now you try to call it art" - Kourtney Roy, Guillaume's wife (and a former fashion photographer)