The Daily re­views

The McGill Daily - - Contents - Mariam Salaymeh Cul­ture Writer Check out Anti-matière at archipel­musique. band­camp.com/al­bum/anti-mati-re

In his new al­bum Anti-matière, Alexan­dre Navarro pieces to­gether sound de­sign, sam­pling, and de­lay, in a con­stant search for what he calls a “sen­si­tive min­i­mal­ism.” His com­po­si­tions drift be­tween elec­tron­ica, am­bi­ent mu­sic, and post-rock – a seem­ingly in­har­mo­nious mix. Sur­pris­ingly, Navarro man­ages to smooth over any in­con­sis­ten­cies through a spa­cious use of mu­si­cal po­etry; he ma­nip­u­lates the rhythm to strate­gi­cally evoke emo­tion, lead­ing each song to en­cap­su­late its own nar­ra­tive.

The Mon­treal-based record la­bel Archipel Musique re­leased Navarro’s al­bum on March 20. Anti-matière, meaning ‘ an­ti­mat­ter’ in English, proves to be an apt de­scrip­tion of his nine track col­lec­tion as he ex­plores the lim­i­nal spa­ces be­tween beats. “Sex­tant” dis­plays traces of con­stancy through rep­e­ti­tious tap­ping, but then sub­verts the lis­tener’s ex­pec­ta­tions with the in­tro­duc­tion of new sounds. Mid­way through, the song pauses for an un­com­fort­ably long pe­riod of time be­fore re­turn­ing to the rhythm of soft thuds.

Alexan­dre Navarro was born in France in 1974 and cur­rently re­sides in Paris. Known as a “French master min­i­mal­ist com­poser,” he is a self-taught gui­tarist, com­poser, and in­de­pen­dent pro­ducer. In the early 2000s, he stud­ied elec­troa­cous­tics and con­crete mu­sic at the Con­ser­va­toire de Bordeaux. He also pur­sued an­thro­pol­ogy at the same time, in which he spe­cialised in his­tory of ideas and re­li­gions. To­day, Navarro is the founder of nu­mer­ous la­bels: Sem la­bel, Eko net­la­bel, and DISQ AN. He is also an ex­per­i­men­tal am­bi­ent gui­tarist as well as a sound artist, and had de­cided to fo­cus more on his own mu­sic as of re­cently.

The al­bum closes off with with its ninth track “La Se­conde Porte,” where the sound of fire­works cre­ate an elec­tri­fy­ing spark in the oth­er­wise haunt­ingly empty piece. As the fire­works fade off into the dis­tance, the lis­tener feels si­mul­ta­ne­ously calm and ap­pre­hen­sive – lulled by the de­crescendo yet wait­ing for some­thing to hap­pen.

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