Chemiefaserwerk-Collagen_”First Impression”

Collagen cover art

Chemiefaserwerk is a French sound artist whose new album, Collagen, is the debut record for the newly formed Falt record label.  A short work of sound art, Collagen quickly displays a collage of different textures gathered from what seems to be office supplies.  If the description of Falt Records is any indicator, the album is comprised of “silent home-dubbing, photocopier machines, typewriters, scissors, glue, tapehiss and intentional noise.”

The album values subtlety above all else with fuzzy peaks of white noise arriving between open spaces with crisp crackles and pops.  Rather than approaching rhythmic territories, frequencies pass by like sirens on the street with the sounds passing from left to right creating a Doppler effect.  Instead of steady beats of traditionally conceived music, this Doppler effect creates rising and falling tension with rapidly varying tempos.  The quick tracklisting allows for the album to achieve a high level of sleekness as there is little room for wasted space.  Chemiefaserwerk uses their transitions wisely, smoothly moving from distorted fuzz to mesmerizing buzzing effortlessly.

It can be a bit hard to gather a meaning from an album like this as melodic specificity is avoided.  The album is forced to create emotion out of tension and droning ambiance making it a bit hard to connect with.  Despite this handicap, Collagen does manage to maintain intrigue through its masterful compositional tactics.  By smoothly transition between songs and portions of songs the album succeeds in creating droning sound conceptions.  In particular Im falschen Film operates in the way a typical drone piece would.  What sounds like a printer beep begins from the very start echoing on for minutes with subdued textures entering over top.  At around the 3 minute mark, the texture changes drastically favoring crackling soundscapes.  The song still operates as a drone piece in it’s development as long stretches of sound still carry the piece from beginning to end.

My first impression of this album was quite positive.  I was entertained from start to finish.  Chemiefaserwerk is especially good at collaging sounds, creating what feels like one large sweep in his album as a whole.



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