Memorabilia

by Yannick Franck

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    7 tracks, total lenght: 38:16

     

  • Compact Disc, Silken Tofu Records 2011
    Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Includes unlimited streaming of Memorabilia via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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"Among the best ambient albums of the recent years." AUFABWEGEN

"An awesome ambient work that will make even insomniacs drift into a hypnotic state of sleeping." VITAL WEEKLY

"On this day to agitate your molecules in time with the slow crawl of the universe, tune in to Yannick Franck‘s Memorabilia (SILKEN TOFU STX.15). Fine construction of ambient music in the noire-mode from this Belgian sound artist who wallows freely in the inexplicable ambiguities of life. For him, all mysteries lie beneath a solid crust like that surrounding the globe, and his layered and burnished grumbly rumblesome textures have been fashioned from something fairly earthy and elemental, like deep silty mud from the heart of a peat bog. I particularly like the pessimistic tenor of ‘Urban Disease’ which, with a few clipped guitar notes plangently ringing inside a bowl of droney murk, effectively sets the seal of doom on every modern conurbation from Croydon to Djakarta. I also like Track 5, which may be called ‘The Answer’ (the tracklisting as printed is confusing); you just can’t beat the effect of muffled and mumbling voices piled up in absurd disorder and whispering dark secrets that invite the prying ear to make sense of the jumble of phonemes, at the same time disentangling the dream-state from reality. And ‘Self Loading Defeat’ wins the prize for one of the most acutely depressing titles of 2011, a perfect encapsulation of the futility of the endeavours of a man trapped into inertia by his own self-hate; I like the idea that this modern affliction is now so efficient, it loads itself into your system like a computer virus. Regarded as a sleep-inducer in some quarters, this record is one of those that can’t fail to induce rich and menacing nightmares during the fitful half-sleep of which it is the grim harbinger. Triple gatefold digipak, decorated by Franck with suitably vague texture images." Ed Pinsent, THE SOUND PROJECTOR

"Yannick Franck’s work is well documented on his personal site. He runs the Idiosyncratics label and is very active both as a solo performer and with his Y.E.R.M.O. project. From what I can gather he seems to be branching out into new areas, more research based recording projects. Hopefully I’ll be able to review some of the outcomes in the near future.

If you like his past work, you’ll enjoy this. But from what I’ve listened to in the past, I’d say that this new album has a more refined or sophisticated quality and comes over as an exercise in restraint. In terms of technical resources, things are quite straightforward -the artist tells me that he mostly uses analogue gear, ‘processing samples of my own voice and real instruments, and of course some software based instruments as well, but used only as a part of the composition process’.

Diving headlong into definitions, the music is ambient in some of the senses that Eno mentions in his Music for Airports liner note though there is a quality in the production that draws the listener in more than perhaps Eno envisaged. There are also ‘dark tendencies’, a cinematic concern with atmosphere and mood brought about by the use of dense textural layers. There are six pieces – one or two of the titles giving away Franck’s concern with the darker side, for example Urban Disease and Self Loading Defeat.

So what are the most evident characteristics of the album as a whole? Restraint first and foremost, most evident in Vides Linja where the feeling is that of holding back from the big overpowering gesture or texture which would break the spell.

Overall we find the same tonal (pitched) layered textures as in earlier works, a preference for the low to midrange, with the occasional gesture or contrasting layer, a light crackling and high frequency tones in Invott/Elements, a digitally modified birdscape in Helsingin Subterranean. We have looped pulses of timestretched instrumental sound offset with the occasional percussive flourish, as in Urban Disease. This piece had me travelling back to early Pink Floyd, waiting for a delicious Dave Gilmour solo to burst in. Very well balanced, high production standards, all evidence of a profesiional sound designer at work. Nothing too intrusive. I’ve heard music like this composed by less adept listeners which gradually starts to irritate as certain midrange frequencies are left running.

Good use is made of the back to front perspective: normally you’d play at spotting the clever use digital reverberation software, but in Invott/Elements and Helsingin Subterranean in particular the illusion of large mysterious spaces is beautifully fabricated – I’m hearing the space and not the software, if that makes sense.

A sense of narrative emerges at times, especially strong in The Answer which introduces background voices over (mostly pitched) modulating textural layers. The collage of these different nationalities speaking in English is offset by ‘stuff’ crashing about in the background. Towards the end I could pick out what sounded like quotations from various films.

The only track that did break the spell was Self Loading Defeat with its hint of synth and drum beats. But, and this probably says more about me than the music, I had inner visions of ‘bad things’ being done to victims, perhaps inappropriately clad virgins locked up in some crypt or another. All this without the use of corny ‘scary’ clichés.

The cleverest thing that Yannick has managed to do here is to make gentle statements within an idiom that doesn’t really thrive on gentleness. In a very unique manner, the music manages to be dark without being harsh or unpleasant.

Personally (yes, I know that my personal likes or dislikes are irrelevant) I liked this album the more I listened it. Yannick Franck strikes me as someone who knows what he wants and why he wants it. He also knows how to do it." James Wyness


"...this is pretty interesting soundscape. There is a lot of heavy droning and noises built into the music, but it shifts a lot and makes use of a considerable amount of silence to break things up." CHAIN DLK


"Que souhaite-t-on réellement garder de ses souvenirs, et en quelle mesure la musique peut-elle y aider ? Je crois d’abord, mais c’est sans doute se tromper de sens, je n’hésiterai pas à rebrousser chemin dans un instant, je crois d’abord que, peut-être à un degré moindre que l’odorat mais assez puissamment tout de même, la réécoute d’une musique stimule des images ou des contextes qui ont accompagné sa première découverte, ou un autre passage, pourvu que ladite musique ait pris une part importante, consciente ou non, à l’impression globale. Mais voilà, ce que je crois plus encore, c’est que la musique peut éveiller des sentiments mêlés, apparentés à une mémoire reconstituée, y compris une musique que l’on n’a jusque alors jamais entendue. La musique a ce pouvoir, et plus particulièrement le type de tissage bourdonnant auquel Yannick Franck apporte sa fibre. C’est une musique d’éveil au paysage, un fluide qui, si l’on n’aperçoit pas sa source, charrie ce qu’il a décollé des fonds d’un esprit encore rétif au langage. Pourvu qu’il le reste, la musique n’en garde que plus de pouvoir, et je sais qu’à chaque tentative de cette sorte, chaque traduction, j’attente à son charme. Pourtant… ces Memorabilia ouvrent les mêmes tiroirs que la poésie des profondeurs. Un ciel de brume, des nuages qui y courent rapidement, en reflet d’un sol qui ne lui dérobe qu’un peu de sa noirceur. L’ocre y domine encore, et ce que l’eau ou le vent pourraient procurer de mouvement dans ce paysage d’un soir arrêté, le rayon du drone l’exprime dans la musique. La ligne est décorée de plusieurs épaisseurs, qu’elles évoquent la lumière mélancolique de Troum, ou les banquises de Thomas Köner ; elle se courbe, s’augmente de souffles, remonte jusqu’au sol ces alluvions qu’elle a décollées. Ailleurs (sur le deuxième morceau), le relief apparaît, cordes et fantômes de percussions. En bordure, contrefaisant des chants éthérés, les fréquences ondoient à la manière de l’air chaud dans l’été. Voilà autant de souvenirs feints, ou plutôt portés par la musique. Ce sont les dessins de fond, les coups de pinceau les plus larges. Le détail y abonde aussi, tout aussi abstrait dans sa forme (répétons-le, en dehors du deuxième morceau, l’harmonie l’emporte toujours sur le rythme, et la mélodie est absente), résonances métalliques, aqueuses, filins grondants, réverbérations lumineuses, mais ce sont tout autant de détails orchestrés avec délicatesse, cousus sur la trame, donnant au décor de ces paysages recréés le creux et le saillant, le point et la crête, que l’esprit happé par tant de belle mélancolie finit d’inscrire au registre des émotions retrouvées." Denis Boyer, FEAR DROP

"YANNICK FRANCK Memorabilia (Silken Tofu Records, STX.15): Wer auf Silken Tofu, Kaspar Hauser, Humpty Dumpty und Idiosyncratics Records - seinem eigenen Label - veröffentlicht, kann sich meines Wohlwohns sicher sein. Der Mann aus Lüttich entspricht der Erwartung mit Dröhnminimalismus der intensiven und daher effektiven Sorte. 'Urban Disease' gibt er durch O-Ton eine städtische Atmosphäre, wobei vor allem dunkles Bassstrumming die Gefühlsfasern zum Schwingen bringt. Als wäre man in eine der geheimnisvollen Städte von Schuiten & Peeters unter eine mysteriöse Glasglocke versetzt. Das Gedröhn ist sonor, aber melancholisch angedickt. Singt jemand Aaaah, klingt es wie Ohhh. 'Viides Linja' evoziert mir das Bild eines Bahnhofs, der zugleich Treibhaus und Vogelvoliere ist, pfeifend ruft jemand einen Vogel. Als ob Züge nur noch ins Imaginäre fahren würden. Bei 'Helsingin Subterranean' flüstern und murmeln fragende Stimmen durcheinander: What is the answer? Ich verstehe: No answer, oder 'No' is the answer... A secret is what no one knowns. Fahren da die Geister von Ödipus und Hamlet U-Bahn in Helsinki? Bei 'Self Loading Defeat' wirkt das Dröhn-Ambiente industrialer, ein fabrikhaftes Rumoren, über das sich aber ein besonders dunkler, ein tubadunkler Himmel wölbt. Und wenn man mit dem Kopf durchstößt nach 'Draußen', ist da wieder nur Nebel, ob Milchstraße oder 'Horsehead Nebula'. Die 'Erbsensuppe' ist nicht nur global. Was einen da umsuppt, ist der universale Ocean of Sound." Rigobert Dittmann, BAD ALCHEMY

Label presentation:

Silken Tofu is proud to present the debut album of Belgian sound artist Yannick Franck, known as the founder of electroacoustic noise project Y.E.R.M.O. and head of Idiosyncratics Records.

Seven dreamlike, deep and highly trance inducing soundscapes evolve in a subtle, oceanic progression through intense yet obscure atmospheres.

Electronically processed instruments, voice, field recordings and samples form the basis for this truly evocative, inspirational soundtrack.

“Memorabilia arises from my fascination with the relation between memory and present, dreams and existence - the grey areas where inner and outer life merge.”
Yannick Franck, May 2011

‘Memorabilia’ is limited to 500 copies and comes in a 6-panel ekopack.

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released September 6, 2011

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