Richard Pinhas – Metatron – Cuneiform Records
Published on August 1, 2007
(Richard Pinhas, guitar/electronics/metatronic process; Antoine Pagonotti, drums; Patrick Gauthier, minimoog; Alain Renoud, lead guitar; Chuck Oken Jr., synth; Philipe Simon, violin; Didier Batard, “splendid bass;” Jerome Schmidt, laptop & loops)
I wouldn’t consider this release jazz at all, but the QuickTime movie which is included on the first CD (for computer display only) has footage of Pinhas performing at the Montreal Jazz Festival, so someone must consider his work jazz. The very informal video is partly shot at various appearances Pinhas made in North America plus many shots of passing sights from his moving car. The music accompanying it is part four of an extended work whose first three parts are various tracks on the two CDs.
Pinhas is one of the cutting-edge experimental musicians in French electronic music, and was the brains behind the 1970s psychedelic/electronic band Heldon. He’s done about 20 CDs including the ones with Heldon. Pinhas is passionate about sci-fi and has a philosophy degree from the Sorbonne. Some of the dozen tracks on these discs feature spoken words from Philip K. Dick, William S. Burroughs and others, but though they were in English, I found little of them intelligible.
The music has been described as a dense river or wall of sound, and often mixes the spacey with the industrial/noise genre. Just from its title alone, I wanted to like the track Babylon Babies. I tried to get into Pinhas’ wavelength but found his Steve Reich-type intense minimalism a bit too strong for my taste. However, thorough ambient/electronica fans may find the boundaries of sound explored by Pinhas well worth visiting.
TrackList: Tikkun Pt. 1, Aleph No. 1, Moumoune and Mietz in the Sky with Diamonds, Shaddai Blues, Metotron/Shaddai/Chabbatoi, Tikkun Pt. 4 (video), Tikkun Pt. 2, The Faulous Story of Tigroo and Leeloo, Metatronic Rock, Babylon Babies, The Ari: Isaac Lauria Song, Double Face of Metotron, Tikkun Pt. 3.
– John Henry