The Le Duo, snwstrm | Album Review | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

The Le Duo, snwstrm 

Album Review

cdreview-theleduo.jpg

(Aether Everywhere, CD, Digital download)

Recklessly tabulated swirls of live sound make up snwstrm, the appropriately titled sophomore release from Burlington-based open-improv/experimental noise outfit, The Le Duo. The group is one of a large set of experiential outfits at work throughout the region under the collective label Aether Everywhere — many members of which appear on this release. Fans of more humanmade, packed-powder genres will want to stay off the roads during this sonic weather event; the acoustical black diamond veers perilously close to the boundary separating noise and sound.

The Le Duo is not, in fact, a duo but a revolving cast of noise artists headed by Burlington sound collagist J.B. Ledoux. The two-part LP — available as a free download or on CD at the group’s performances — is a live recording captured at Winooski’s venerable Monkey House last December. At times the record is as sonically deafening as driving snow is blinding, leaving the listener to metaphorically shovel what remains. By recording’s end, one is left to contemplate any inherent, subjective beauty in it.

Whether by design or an accident of an awkwardly captured live recording, Ledoux’s energetic percussion takes center stage. He vigorously pings cymbals and high-pitched toms. The surround instrumentation is too cacophonous for the listener to make out any kind of harmonic phrasing, experimental or otherwise. Whatever interesting improvisational creations might be happening here, they’re hard to grasp.

Even in the widely cast, anything-goes spectrum of experimental noise, this snwstrm never truly develops from the percussive din of its “Pt. 1.” A few scant clarinet phrases pipe up, and there are sometimes audible tape loops and seconds of barely discernable electric guitar. Only on the album’s waning minutes is any cohesion apparent — a combination of loops and distortion.

It’s tough, and perhaps unjust, to give low marks to a musical form so dependent upon attendance at its conception. Snwstrm is more an acoustic documentation of an event than a conventional collection of recordings. But local listeners weary of the area’s prevailing musical moods might delight in The Le Duo and their Aether Everywhere guild. Find out by downloading snwstrm at aethereverywhere.com.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

More By This Author

About The Author

John Pritchard

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in Album Review

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2020 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation