Monday, December 10, 2018

Michele Mercure - Beside Herself [RVNG Intl. / Freedom To Speed]

Released as a collaboration between the great RVNG Intl. and its sister label Freedom To Speed on November 9th, 2k18 is "Beside Herself", an anthology and archive of tapes self-released by the Harrisburg / Pennsylvania-based electronic music pioneer Michele Mercure somewhat between 1983 and 1990. Not only a sole artist but also producer for theater, film and performance music, activities covered in detail in the extensive liner notes, Mercure developed her own musical language based on experimentation and advice of several mentors, creating storming, yet stripped down and heavily miniatures like the fascinating opener "A Little Piece" which turns into a surprisingly melodic little tune over the course of 132 seconds whereas the follow up "Ghosts Before Breakfast" seems to be influenced by cascading SynthWave and Library Music, "Dreamplay 2" fully harks back to calm, widescreen Production Music with twangy guitars and a late summer nights feeling before "Beside Myself" weighs in a certain Industrial darkness beatwise nicely contrasted by very 80s synthesizer chords and field recorded vocal loop techniques. Celebrating "Liberation Day" we see Michele Mercure weighing in echoes of SynthPop, slightly asiatic melodies and subtle influences of cut-up and scratch techniques from the early HipHop scene, "The Sky Is Falling" provides quite a mixture of what  seems to be lo-fi video game music and dramatic synth chords pointing towards Berlin's Ingenious Dilettantes movement of the time, "Beginning" re-introduces cliche Asian sound aesthetics before "No More Law In Gotham City" provides an ultimate mental thrill due to its hypnotic abuse of multilayered backward vocal loops and experimentalist, dark electroid atmosphere of dystopian nature despite cascades of synthesized repetition introduce climaxing beauty throughout the further progress of the tune. The "Time Piece" seems to even incorporate elements of Country into its melodic, Synth-based foundation, "A Void Dance" is getting deep into cold science fiction realms before revealing distinct metallic lo-fi rhythms and minimalist bass melodies reminiscent of highly experimental P-Funk or Dub, "Mother" trips out on layers of reverb-heavy melodies and psychedelic simplicity, the title track "Beside Herself" explores synth-based romanticism and contemplation on top of syncopated beats and "Dinosaur Dancing" caters fascinating water droplets for a rhythmic structure whilst the crystal clear Synth works evoke memories of other electronic music greats of the time, like Jean Michel Jarre. Furthermore "An Accident Waiting To Happen" opens with noisy, militant Industrial rhythms and presents itself as the most aggressive track on this album with guitar and bass works resembling what would be become known as Chemical Beats later in the 90s, "Reverie" brings forth the exact opposite of its predecessor with distinct minimalism and, once again, Sinotronica whilst "De Dunk" turns out to be a dark, minimal and Phonk-infused affair once again revealing parallels to Berlin's Ingenious Dilletantes. Finally Michele Mercure's "Night Music" provides a score'esque touch for lovers of Tangerine Dream or Klaus Schulze, "Antigone" is on a more naturalistic tip, musically depicting green meadows along an untouched shoreline under attack from giant subsurface forces of evil and the concluding "Antarctica" waves goodbye on a level of large scale harmonic production and ethereal, angelic non-vocalisms alongside kitsch-dripping, slightly esoteric guitars. Defo an interesting glimpse into a window of mostly unknown or unrecognized electronic experimentation, this.

Album artwork on Instagram!


Post a Comment

<< Home