Total Normal — Total Normal
((Not on label) no#, 2010, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2011-06-01Total Normal is Thierry Vaudor, a French Canadian multimedia artist applying his electroacoustic background from the University of Montreal to create interesting musical compositions. Total Normal is Thierry’s labor of love spanning 2005 – 2010. Using micro-samples (one or two notes, a fraction of a second, residual noise, a word or phrase, field recordings, etc.), Thierry layers, transforms, and rearranges them into new and sometimes unusual compositions. This self-titled release contains 15 two- to five-minute compositions tangentially related to electronica. Where this genre can rapidly bore the listener, Thierry’s deft manipulation adds new and interesting elements, changes directions, and doesn’t belabor an idea. All 15 songs are the right duration. Thierry uses found sounds for their intrinsic qualities, not for reference. However, the discriminating listener can identify Nina Simone, Bill Cosby, some specific movie dialog, or a recognizable riff or bass line on different tracks. In addition, each of the 15 tracks uses a different sonic pallet and thus a different listening experience. Some are fast and energetic and others more serene and ambient. Standout tracks for me are “Soft Cage” with its slow and melodic bells, chimes, and Asian guitar samples and “Une Main Glaçée” with its cold/sterile female vocal sampling with more than a nod to Stockhausen’s Gesang der Jünglinge. Then there is a complete reworking and repurposing of The Chordettes’ 50s hit "Mr. Sandman" that has to be experienced to be believed. Overall a quite enjoyable independent release that I recommend investigating.
Related artist(s): Total Normal
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