Review: MonoLogue – MICRO

CONTROVENTO / STALLO / MOVIMENTO

Marie e le Rose remarks that this trittico (three-part operatic suite) is partly a tribute to their favourite GRM musicians and an attempt to channel their “compositional thinking”. This is apparent in the precise movement of electronic sound – how they dart around the listener’s head – with some of those slender electronic squiggles seemingly adhering to exact compositional coordinates. Traces of the GRM also manifest in the trilogy’s textures: the miniscule warped-tape insect-scuttles on “STALLO”, for example. Or those strange apparitions that rumble from right to left during “CONTROVENTO”, like sweeper trucks rolling silently through side alleys at night, headlamps bleeding around corners, both ominous and serene. The three parts of MICRO are unified by this ambiguity of tone. Each moment holds the potential to be perceived as beautiful or threatening depending on the listener’s own projected hues, with the music’s sense of scale also persistently uncertain (am I hearing the charged crackles of colliding clouds, or sonified nerve impulses from within my own fingertips?).

Another theme is the notion of dispersal. The three parts have all been released through different labels: “CONTROVENTO” on enmossed in the US, “STALLO” on France’s Falt, “MOVIMENTO” on Grisaille from Germany. As well as generating a compelling macro-level contrast to the meticulous placement of the sounds within, the decision to “diffuse” the trilogy like this brings particular attention to their own idiosyncrasies. “CONTROVENTO” is a stereo version of a quadrophonic work that retains the engulfing scale of its original setting, like a projected interplay of dry ice and laser pointers; “STALLO” befits the label aesthetic of tapes wrapped in paper, bringing greater emphasis to gunky interference, churned gravel and jagged metal detail (albeit with misty alien interludes, seemingly peering back at the first part through a door ajar); the two parts of “MOVIMENTO” start at the same sound and then embark on divergent realities, albeit tethered by a mutual preoccupation with mutation and shadow-play: voices and faux-strings melt into silence, remerge draped in synthesised chimes, and flecked with nanosecond field recordings and electronic droplets.

So we land upon another theme: nonlinear time. These works were all produced between 2018 and 2021, yet the exact chronology within this three-year period isn’t clear – which work was produced first? Were they all developed simultaneously? Each of these pieces has a knack for stopping and hastening the clock, plunging the listener into hypersleep, stalling upon taut drones, hurtling through rapid changes. Time is stretched, obliterated, staggered, separated. Marie e le Rose has a distinct and very vivid style of sonic manipulation running throughout this set, meaning that the trilogy blurs together in retrospect. Disparate sections are mistakenly congealed – drones from “STALLO” twisted into blips from “MOVIMENTO” – producing all sorts of wonderful new hybrids through the fallibility of recollection.

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