Review: Ryoko Akama + Bruno Duplant – immobilité

Akama + Duplant - immobiliteMarbles of feedback roll around tiny pillars of electronic interference, doing their utmost to try and establish a sense of stasis. The surface is never entirely flat. Never entirely balanced. The music tilts gently to the left. There’s a heavy-handed correction attempt. The music swings over to the right. The tension throughout immobilité is constant; for every moaning feedback tone that rolls into view, a dissonant counterpart emerges immediately to push against it, trying helplessly to temper the music’s insatiable desire to sway and crook. The first side ends with a drone that sounds like a spinning plate: a constant tone flecked with tiny quivers in volume. The elegance of balance is forever haunted by the twitches of the environment and the inaccuracy of human execution. Duplant and Akama thrive off the constant application of too much and too little.

Side two sounds like the moments prior to dental surgery. I hear scalpels and other pieces of equipment being arranged to my right. Every now and then I hear the meek hiss of vacuum suction, which is immediately reminiscent of that implement used to remove moisture from the mouth. My attention occasionally wanders to the ticking of a clock in the distance, which sonically renders the act of nervous expectancy. As I wait from the drill to start or the scalpel to connect, a monotonous low drone surges in from either side like a wandering headache, like the prophetic haunt of imminent surgical pain. Where side one seems to deal with a stillness of space and objects (or lack thereof), side two concerns itself with the perpetual motion of time; even as I lie in numb, seemingly endless anticipation, I find myself running in parallel with the second hand of the clock. The tick renders me anxious. By generating the sensation of an event mere moments away, Duplant and Akama remind me that something is only imminent if I’m moving towards it.