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Klimperei - 2005 - "Patamob"

(16 tracks, 53 min, Gazul)

TRACK LIST:                             

Too long & bulky to put it here

All tracks: by Klimperei. Produced by Klimperei.


Christophe Petchanatz - piano; guitar; piccolo-flute
Francoise Lefebvre - mini-xylophone, toy percussion

Prolusion. KLIMPEREI is the solo project of Christophe Petchanatz, a French composer, formerly of Los Paranos, who is joined here by Francoise Lefebvre. These recordings were made between 1997 and 2001, unreleased until now.

Analysis. Every now and then I am completely surprised by a CD that arrives for review. I'd not heard the music of Klimperei until I popped "Patamob" into the player. "Patamob" is a collection of 24 tunes, which shift in tone and mood throughout the album, but are tied together by their playful nature and peculiar instrumentation, which must include a number of toys and found objects, sounding as though a children's nursery served as the recording studio. The influences of Debussy, Satie and Ravel can be heard, though the compositions are hardly derivative. If you think of the spirit of Golliwog's Cakewalk, particularly as interpreted by Isao Tomita (only replace the synthetic sounds with instruments of a more natural timbre), you begin to have an idea of the impish mirth and energy, which imbues Klimperei's music. Occasionally the zaniness of the tunes begins to sound like demented carousels or calliopes, though. The distinctly intentional out of tune instruments will be either charming or the musical equivalent of Chinese water torture, if the listener finds less than perfect intonation an irritation. It would be absurd to try to describe the instrumentation for each track, so suffice it to say that instruments include, but are not limited to piano, guitar, accordion, xylophone, flute, ocarina, percussion and various clunking, clanking, popping, crunching, tapping things and possibly even the employment of a pogo stick and ping-pong ball.

Conclusion. This is one very quirky, off beat album. The pieces are all very short and are quite fun when taken in small doses. Although the individual tunes are entertaining, I must confess that an entire album of this sort of music can become tedious taken all at once and would be best played in a rotation with something else, a bit less busy, as this is very busy music. Petchanatz would do well to allow the listener some opportunity to catch their breath, some respite from the frantic pace. It is said that "all work and no play makes Jacque a dull boy," but conversely, all play and no rest can simply become wearisome.

KW: Agst 25, 2005

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