Restock arriving end of Feb
Edition of 300 copies, handmade textile artwork w/ printed inner, incl. download
See also - Sylvain Chauveau - Le livre noir du capitalisme
Two doses of elegantly rendered neo-classical composition from Sylvan Chauveau, one a recording of a recent performance at Cafe OTO and the other a reissue of the debut album originally released in 2000. Much of Chauveau's extensive catalogue might be reasonably classified as 'minimal', which makes the qualification in the title of Ultra-Minimal particularly instructive - we're down to the bare bones here. It captures the French composer performing for the first time with solely acoustic instruments, each track refined to its very base elements, a lone guitar figure, a single piano study or harmonium drone, but never more than one thing at the same time. It's beautifully paced and performed, an immersive set of tracks so involving as to belie their minimal makeup. immersion is something that's been in Chauveau's work from the start, a fact evidenced on listening back to the new edition of Le Livre Noir Du Capilali. First released at the turn of the century, it broadly fitted into the orbit of artists who were moving out of the increasingly codified strictures of post-rock into classical composition - think Stars of the Lid, Rachels, A Winged Victory for the Sullen, Labradford et al - and foreshadowed the huge surge in popularity around modern composition ushered in by the Erased Tapes universe of artists. While the songs are often pretty, they never verge on being too polite, Chauveau holding a little glitchy dissonance in the background, connecting some dots between Talk Talk and the respective worlds of Mille Plateaux, Kranky and Sonig, not unlike what Pan-American had started working towards around the same time. Mostly it's great to receive both these albums at the same time, a map of the artist's commitment to minimal aesthetics across a few decades. The end results as now achieved in different ways, but the overall vision is unwavering.