Exposé Online banner

Bi-Ki ? — Quelque Chose au Milieu
(Circum-Disc LX008, 2016, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2017-08-13

Quelque Chose au Milieu Cover art

Bi-Ki ? is the duo of two alto sax players, Sakina Abdou and Jean-Baptiste Rubin, and in concert situations they typically perform from within the audience, the two players following each other, mixing their sounds and avoiding collisions, in an explorative environment where all the sonic possibilities of the instruments can be opened and discovered in various sound spaces. There is a third factor in their sound, that of Jean-Luc Guionnet, who does live recording, mixing, editing, and sound manipulation. The fact that Guionnet is also (and primarily) a saxophone player – although he doesn’t play the instrument here – allows him the freedom to be able to put his ideas into the textural mix; his part is essential to the performances and recording. In fact these recordings took place in various locations in the town of Lomme, in the north of France, places known for their ambient sound qualities that can form, sculpt, and recreate the sounds of the players. The fold-apart booklet included in the disc gives some clues: we see the two players on opposite sides of what appear to be pews in a church, with Guionnet set up with his mixing table of tricks and treatments mid-way between them. We also see them performing in a large warehouse with high cielings and concrete wall, and at the side of a large indoor public swimming pool. Often we hear voices and other ambient sounds that accompany the on-location live recordings. Most of the pieces are slow moving textural pieces, or simple melodic chases, often with the two players in unison with slight variations between them, but occasionally one hears intense, almost chaotic, rapid-fire looping. One might be reading this review and thinking about a sound similar to Gilbert Artman’s Urban Sax, and in fact this has a similar feel at times: the use of saxophones exclusively in various ambient environments, yet Bi-Ki? is not so lush and billowy, instead being far more skeletal and purely explorative – after all we only have two saxophones producing all the sound, although Guionnet’s manipulations make the duo sound much larger than life. Definitely cool stuff for listeners looking for something outside the box.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Jean-Luc Guionnet, Bi-Ki ?

Latest news

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Stick Man - Mysterious Female – Colorado's Neil Haverstick is now simply "Stick Man." For this writer, there used to be some shock value listening to music played on 19 tone (and even more unusual) scales, but after listening to...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues