CD Edition of 300.
It is our honor to present the seventh album by French composer Jean-Baptiste Favory, whose work we first encountered while reissuing a record with the Mexican art collective, Los Lichis. J-B made an annual trip to Mexico to participate in Los Lichis’s musical and visual anarchy (Dog 2LP FTR229, Savage Lichis Religion : El Ultimo Grito LP FTR354), and was considered a full member of this estimable outfit.
We soon discovered he was also the France’s long-running experimental radio show Epsilonia, as well as an exciting solo musician. This led to us releasing his wonderful 2017 LP, Things Under: Compositions for Guitars and Electronics (FTR333). Favory’s main interest remains in electronics composition, so the next project he offered us was Ciels — six gorgeous synthesizer pieces, written and played on a variety of instruments.
The title track was created on a 1981 PPG Wave 2, which is one of the earliest digital synths, and has a “metallic and shiny” sound, that was used to make a lot of ’80s synth-wave music. Under Favory’s touch, it assumes a spacy, pulsating attitude more akin to mid-period Heldon than A-ha.
“The Naked Now” was done on a UNISONO synth with Max-MSP software. Its many layers of action run at a variety of speeds and display multifarious textures. There is a kind of slickness underlying the basic sounds, but they’re all handled in weird ways, with the output recorded via microphone off a guitar amp, so the smooth individual threads are woven into rough aural burlap. There’s a slinky Eastern feel to the music at times, but the small sections into which the piece is divided are highly variant.
“Time on Time” was written and played on Eliane Radigue’s 1971 ARP 2500 during a two week residency at Paris’s Groupe Recherches Musicale. This piece revolves around chiming tone sequences and the moist sorts of edits one associates with word-based assemblages and gently slurped pulses. It moves through the air like a spice worm looking for an angry fix.
“Love Structure” uses a 1972 AKS synth from EMS, which was popular with rock dudes for its rough, straight sounds. Typically Favory bends the poor machine to his will, conjuring up a weightless episode of heavy kosmiche space rotation.
There are a couple other tracks, which I will leave you to discover yourselves. J-B even pulls his guitar out for a bit, but you’ll have to figure out where that happens. I don’t wanna spoil the surprise.
-Byron Coley, 2022