Last year, French music collector and DJ Julien Dechery put together Le Raccourci, a remarkably compiled introduction to the hauntological music of his elusive fellow countryman, modern classical composer Sebastian Gandera (real name: Eric Morin) for Melbourne’s Efficient Space label. In May, Julien and Efficient Space followed it up with Contre-Sens, a second collection of eerie material from Sebastian’s archive, this time released on cassette/digital as opposed to vinyl/digital.
As will come to no surprise to anyone who spent some time with Le Raccourci, Contre-Sens is a remarkable journey, an extraordinary journey of two twenty-five minute plus halves. After sorting through numerous cassette albums, rehearsal tapes, demos and answering machine recordings for the choicest of cuts, Julien proceeded to put them together, creating an experience equal parts DJ mix and sound collage. Some unidentifiable, but clearly sampled and manipulated noises here, ghostly pitch-manipulated vocal fragments there, celestial synths giving away to piano draped in animal calls, dubby grooves, oneirological conversations, the list goes on; and on.
Contre-Sens doesn’t necessarily demand deep or close listening, but if you let it live and breathe with you, it’s transitions and movements deliver on a deeply rewarding level, dynamic contrasts unfurling and winding up in an evocative and haunting display of tension and release, as rendered through a music that seems to sit just slightly outside of time.