Robert Hampson – RÉPERCUSSIONS

Editions Mego

That Robert Hampson is more prolific these days is great news. A new record (this one), with another pair due in the autumn, also on Peter Rehberg’s label, and the “reactivation” of Main, whose termination several years ago was principally due to an overwhelming sense of limitation felt by the project’s instigator, fed up with reading guitars mentioned in any review even when there was no trace of them in the music. At any rate, the old axe is being rescued from the closet.
Répercussions comes in a CD/DVD edition (the latter containing the 5.1 surround version), whose three tracks depict different trajectories in Hampson’s work, while continuing to reflect the “galactic wisdom” of his early experiments and their transformation of everyday sound sources into special radiations. The title track employs all sorts of mutated percussive materials – not exclusively instrumental – but the vastness of its acoustic scope pushes it into “Empreintes DIGITALes vs Roland Kayn” territory, high definition and total blur both underscored by a scent of inexorability. “De la Terre à la Lune” might induce visions of celestial geometry having been conceived for a performance at Poitiers’ planetarium, but its menacing sonorities include affecting subsonic activity and sinister fluttering (marvellous looping shapes abound) and throw the listener into the long arms of uncertainty. In the last and shorter “Antarctica Ends Here” – originally released on a split 10″ with Cindytalk, and dedicated to John Cale (remember “Antarctica Starts Here” in Paris 1919?) – resonant piano and marine life represent the essential ingredients in yet another demonstration of Hampson’s ability to portray the kind of insecurity one harbours within when decisive choices are required and doubts linger on.

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