TTW#87 – Acid Fountain – Sabina
Illustration – Simon Scott
A2: San Pedro
A3: Goodbye Industry
A4: Heavy Sand
B1: Terres Rares
B2: Étoiles Filantes
B3: Mujer Espíritu
“Sabina” is a suite of improvised music about nature and magic. About the kind of traces we leave or want to leave on Earth. All music on this tape (except A4) was improvised and recorded in one take in Corbeil-Essonnes, France, during the last week of October 2015. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Richard Francés.
Francés is a French composer/musician born in Alicante in 1981 and now based in Paris. His project Acid Fountain seeks to bring together abstract and representational art, improvisation and composition, experimental and dance musics.
Other projects by Francés include Juju, his “électronique libre” duo with Adrien Kanter. He also composes, arranges and tours with French pop artists such as Owlle and Adrien Soleiman, to name but two… As a live performer, he has worked on Julien Lheuillier’s kosmische musik project Pointe du Lac and in 2015 has collaborated with the French art/dance collective (LA)HORDE. Previously, Richard played drums and synthesisers with French underground psych/kraut/drone band The New Reformed Church of Napalm Katia.
In January 2015 Richard founded the label Hylé Tapes: an experimental electronic music label releasing limited edition cassettes by international artists like Takahiro Mukai, Raphael Leray, D. Burke Mahoney, Jay Glass Dubs and Mortuus Auris & The Black Hand.
The Quietus (UK):
Recorded in one take in Corbeil-Essonnes, France, last October, Sabina seems to be the result of Acid Fountain taking inspiration from The Tapeworm label’s wish to get artists sprawling out across the sides of the format. Richard Francés – the man behind both Acid Fountain and the Parisian Hylé Tapes label – has improvised a stellar suite of chugging beats and cosmic tones here. Initially he pummels a drum machine through a stereo spread delay in the manner of Autechre’s epochal Amber for the opening ‘Dreaming/Drumming’ before mutating into beautiful drift of airlock notes on ‘San Pedro’ and then a cute noisy matchup between field recorded bird song and an overture of long sustained keyboard notes on ‘Goodbye Industry’. ‘Heavy Sand’ rounds off the 19 minute A Side with a funkified jazz-techno miniature, clearly scarred from the live recording process, nonetheless utterly ridiculous when one remembers it’s an improvisation. Things remain beatless generally deeper throughout side B’s dreamlike trilogy of tracks. ‘Terres Rares’ is a hall of mirrors composed of degraded piano sounds spiralling around the listener, while the seamless ‘Étoiles Filantes’ and ‘Mujer Espíritu’ could easily be an alternative soundtrack to Blade Runner’s love scenes. Beautifully yearning synthesizer notes stretch out from Francés’ fingers as he gently opens filters and tones linger in a wide open reverb pedal for dozens of seconds at a time. He eventually wiggles notes and climbs scales higher and higher, tracing a melody that abandons Earthly delights and heads straight for the heavens.
Acid Fountain’s previously issued synthesizer-and-drum-machine albums on his own label, are built from similar base materials, though not recorded with such spontaneity. The limitations of the live takes on Sabina force Acid Fountain to bang harder than ever when doing the techno stuff, and evolve the melodies of those softer tunes organically. The results are spine-tingling. [Tristan Bath/Spools Out]