Matchless

“The supposed vital principle that guides the development and functioning of an organism or other system of organisation”. That’s the Oxford Dictionary definition of “entelechy”, referring to which Eddie Prévost writes that “…in composed music, a score is that guiding principle, but to me, whether this principle exists as a notated score or as an idea in the improviser’s mind is irrelevant”. Indeed, improvised or not, I think of Entelechy as a 70-minute composition in five movements. We’ve recently been on the receiving end of a stunning one-two combination by Mark Wastell, Vibra #1 (w.m.o/r) and Vibra #2 (Longbox), both exploring the resonant features of the tam-tam, and essential listening for getting lost in the sea of metal stasis. With Entelechy, Prévost adds his own contribution to the instrument’s literature, but largely by erasing the “strictly human” factor; the entire title track and a part of the opening “Mixt” derive from a rotation of wire threads – set in motion by a battery-driven electric motor – which raise overtones that vary with the progressive gentle oscillation of the gong. Needless to say, these are the moments in which minimalist aficionados will prick up their ears: irregular dynamics and counter-sentimental harmonics create a tangible aura whose staying power shines until the battery runs out. This cryptic castle of timbral glimpses is almost consonant when compared to the self-explanatory “Scraped” and “Bowed”, which bring us back to Prévost’s harsher side, conjuring up ghosts of rusty wheelchairs and strangled seagulls, all the while maintaining a total coherence with his artistic forma mentis. You realize how powerful a message made of a few well-placed statements can be. Far from any kind of sophistication, Eddie Prévost is able to make us think – hard – with a slap in the face both rational and disturbing.

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