Tambour pas tant (Insubordinations Netlabel; 2011)
The deconstruction of the music industry over the last decade has resulted in a lot unfortunately things. But one of the positive byproducts was the rise of many strong independent labels and artists releasing their own music on their own.
Labels such as Rune Grammofon, Clean Feed, Brooklyn Jazz Underground, Audio Tong among others, globally have reinvigorated the creative scene. One new label has also taken the independent spirit one step further--Insubordinations Netlabel.
Insubordinations feel more like an artists collective than a label. The artists issue albums both as available downloads and physical CDs. Many of the artists and their material is very forward thinking. One artist that has captured my attention this year has been French drummer/experimentalist, Sebastien Bouhana.
Sebastien Bouhana solo release, Tambour pas tant (Translation: Drum Not So Much) is a real treat and challenge for any listener. And drum not so much is a good description of how this project moves along. Built around atmospheric themes and improvised movements, Tambour past tant is a refreshing look at the soundscapes an artist can create with the drum. "Evoquee" sees Bouhana sounding like searing guitar or a buzzsaw than drummer. It's an adventurous and dense piece that moves rapidly but very concentrated focus.
"Une Vieille Connaissance" provides a host of colours, crackles, swirls and found sounds that are like slow broken down train moving through a tunnel. "Tres Nettement" rounds out the three lengthy pieces on this disc. Consisting of the same elements as the proceeding pieces it does develop a small beat and rhythmic pattern underneath the chaos. Bouhana works in a similar realm as Jim O'Rouke or Sonic Youth. He is helping the listener search for their own conclusion within the soundscape--and that's the best thing music can do for a listen.
Tambour pas tant may be a challenge for many but its one of those records that will have asking questions of yourself. It is intense and will have you concentrating on every aspect of Bouhana's movements. Challenge and refreshing.