Sylvain Chauveau – Nuage (Type) LP
Those of you who admire Max Richter’s blend of neo-classical composition, post-rock and electronica are strongly urged to investigate the work of Frenchman Sylvain Chauveau. At first glance, the two artists seem to have the exact same modus operandi. However, Chauveau’s music eschews the simple, melancholy loveliness of Richter’s compositions, in favour of a rather thornier aesthetic.
The Black Book of Capitalism, Chauveau’s first album, presented a startlingly lo-fi take on chamber music – with musty strings coming under siege from ominously chiming guitars and primitive sampling. More recently, his 10″ single S displayed a new-found mastery of digital signal processing – with shards of piano and guitar refined into ornate glitches and stutters.
But the best place to start – if only because it bares the closest resemblance to Max Richter’s work – is the quite staggeringly beautiful Nuage. Some wag recently noted that the rise of eclecticist composers like Chauveau and Richter may be related to the fact that soundtrack work is one of the few ways recording artists can still make a living. Whether or not this is true, the facts remain that Nuage is indeed a collection of music composed for films and that it often recalls the mellower soundtrack work of John Zorn.
Hopefully, Cheavau will gradually gain the recognition he deserves, which will allow him to build a discography as diverse – if not as voluminous – as Zorn’s. The available evidence suggests he has both the talent and the attitude to succeed on these terms. To give Sylvain Chauveau a helping hand, you are strongly urged to buy Nuage from Forced Exposure.