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Various Artists - Un Nuit Dystopia: Hommage Michel Foucault
Tuesday, September 01 2009 @ 02:00 AM PDT
Contributed by: ~Oren ben Yosef

Un Nuit Dystopia: Hommage Michel Foucault

Artist: Various Artists

Title: Un Nuit Dystopia: Hommage Michel Foucault

Label: Doppleganger Records

Genre: Ambient/ Experimental

01 Makryham – Raymond Russel:Dysphoria
02 Bunk data - From Foucault's pleasure
03 Kol Sonzlgn – Neue Panopticon
04 Sara Ayers - La Tache Politique Actuelle
05 Ergo phizmiz - Mystery of Hadness
06 Henry gwiazda - TheOtherWilderness
07 Ryuta.k - Truth got broken since may 1968

With a very obscure and interesting Japanese compilation in tribute for the great philosopher Michel Foucault, Doppelganger Records raise an important question in the field of discussion around what a tribute album really is. A tribute album to a certain band will most likely have cover versions of the certain band. A tribute to books, movies, historical events, these are all possible with "loading" the music with a musical or conceptual element or characteristics of the subject in question. But when the object is an idea, or a set of ideas, how do you make a musical tribute to it?

The seven contributing artists for this compilation are described inside the insert sleeve. Each artist described in means to distinguish her or him from the other, with past and present projects mentioned, like a tiny CV. This, in the way of Foucault, is the secret. While he is the subject of the album, while this is dedicated to him, every compilation album is actually made in order to expose artists and give them stage, whatever the subject may be.

With this in mind, "Un Nuit Dysopia" is a very strange and fascinating album. Makryham begins with a very minimal track. As peculiar wooden whistles fly by a gentle bed of small acoustic sounds. Very meditative beginning to this album. Bunk Data is far more haunting and claustrophobic, forcing the listener to deal with the sound of numerous conversations at once. At times it sounds just like an underground train station, but there are moments where you can almost be sure this is just inside your head.
Kol Sonzlgn bring it back to minimal again, this time with sporadic, yet very sensible guitar strumming. This deep, spacey musical passage is also touched with the a blues like aura and is one of the best tracks on this album. It develops really nicely and become more engulfing and dominant as minutes pass.

Sara Ayers follows with a sublime track of heavenly sounds, covering with their warmth an incomprehensible voice. Her dreamy track is also very powerful and interesting to listen to after the previous one. "Mystery of Hadness" by Ergo Phizmiz is a freak out circus extravaganza, monstrously combining The Residents, The Tiger lilies and a Balkan folk traditional band, all playing different things at the same time. Monstrous and beautiful.

Henry Gwiazda, in a way, continues this way. "TheOtherWilderness" sounds like several improvisation attempts, done at once, in the first few minutes, and this yields some interesting results. It then changes to a vocal mayhem and Gwiazda then manage between the musical elements that were introduces in this track, resulting in an odd musical exhibition. Closing the album is Ryuta.K, with a track that reminds me of the album's opening. The twisting, squeaking whistles are back in a more intense track, growing even more claustrophobic than before. The voices almost bid us farewell before they are swallowed inside the whistles. This night, seven tracks long night, was very demanding and intense. And these seven dystopian stars shining through it have made it all the more interesting and enjoyable.