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
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more