Boulevard de la Chapelle
Gigantonium GR 077

Fifty-odd years ago violinist Jean-Luc Ponty’s contribution to improvised music was that he played his electric violin as if it was a guitar rather than following previous jazzer’s attempts to use it like a saxophone. Delphine Joussein, another French improviser, is attempting do the same for the effects-attached flute.

On this CD Paris-based Joussein uses her voice and electronics to not only propel astringent patterns from her transverse instrument, but adds pressurized slurs, quivers and fluctuations to an overlay that at points resembles electric guitar licks or organ washes. Aiding her quest is Lyon-based drummer Sheik Anorak, whose hard-core associates include the likes of Weasel Walter and Colin Webster.

Propelling a pervasive backbeat, Anorak hits as many hard and repetitive ruffs and culled cymbal slaps as he would if driving a Metal band. Yet these splatters and pumps are articulated in such a way that Joussein’s sonic expanse including curving puffs plus guitar-like distortions and tremolo pressures that are clearly heard. Sometimes using a stop-start interface and other times amplifying her expression with vocalized cries, the flutist meanwhile runs through the tracks as if she was challenging a Noise band.

The entire session exits with processed explosions, percussion splashes and slams and mouth-propelled coordinated pulses that link flute organ and guitar textures on “Magic Doctor”. However the primal instance defining Boolvar’s close partnership occurs on the title track. Creating a concentrated duet of positioned percussion backbeats plus ascending and descending flute trills, the climax occurs when polyrhythmic drums and the polyphonic transverse pipe unite for a multiphonic narrative.

Joussein and Boolvar have devised a unique flute interface. The challenge will be to determine if it can further refined and in what directions.

—Ken Waxman

Track Listing: 1. Flute is not Dead 2. Boulevard de la Chapelle 1 3. Boulevard de la Chapelle 2 4. Your Beautiful Planet 5. Magic Doctor

Personnel: Delphine Joussein (flute, voice and effects) and Sheik Anorak (drums)