Bruno Karnel — Evaporation des Voix Off
(Bandcamp no#, 2020, DL)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2021-02-03
Nearly a year ago we reviewed an album titled Amra by singer / lyricist / multi-instrumentalist Bruno Karnel in collaboration with modular synthesist Frédéric Gerchambeau, an interesting album if there ever was one. Now Karnel has released Evaporation des Voix Off, the most recent in a long string of album and EP releases going back to 2011, this one however is for the most part a “lockdown livestream” rock trio reworking of an earlier 2018 EP Satellite 3, a new version of “Îles Espace” (featuring Gerchambeau) from the Amra album, as well as two cuts from the 2019 EP Satellite 4, that’s eight tracks total for around 39 minutes. The trio includes Julien Wagnon on bass guitar, Sonia Lambert on percussion and backing vocals, with Karnel on lead vocals, guitar, and charango — but the trio plays live with with pre-recorded backing tracks by Karnel on keyboards, programming, guitars, mandolin, charango, saz, domra, balafon, and percussion, the mix of world instrumentation makes for a most interesting blend of sonic textures. In addition, as previously mentioned, the nine-minute “Îles Espace” track features Gerchambeau’s modular synth. Karnel’s lyrics are all in French, and given that this writer only understands about one French word in five (and a lyric sheet is not provided), there’s a whole dimension to the music at hand that completely escapes me, but Karnel’s vocals are excellent and those who are fluent should find plenty here to enjoy. That said, the textures of world instrumentation mixed with Karnel’s top notch songcraft here offer a quite unique, pleasant, and powerful listening experience.
Related artist(s): Bruno Karnel
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