Sylvain Chauveau – The Black Book Of Capitalism (Type)

This dusty selection of modern classical compositions originally released by Sylvain Chauveau in 2000 [and re-issued in 2002] is once again available on Type Records! This was Chauveau’s debut album, originally titled in French as Le Livre Noir Du Capitalisme, and released on a Dijon (France) based experimental and ambient label, Noise Museum [which is now defunct]. This album has been long out of print, and I’ll admit – since it never reached US, it totally fell off my radar. But thanks to Type, this remastered version [although still limited to only 400 copies] can be heard again!

Throughout the years, Chauveau has experimented with sound applying self-imposed principles that amount to just these three:

to stay as close as possible to the abstract beauty of ‘silence’;
to make sure that each sound committed is absolutely necessary;
to find [my] own roots within [my] cultural and personal history.

Chauveau’s collection of albums range from solo piano pieces to minimal experimental drones. For an interesting minimal exploration of fragmented sound check out the last five-track album, simply titled S. [Type, 2007]. Chauveau also has composed soundtracks for films by Sébastien Betbeder. The latest release, Nuage [Type, 2007] compiles music for two films, Les Mains D’Andréa, and of course, Nuage.

But back to The Black Book Of Capitalism, which, incidentally, shares its title with a French book published in 1998, which is a collection of essays covering everything from African slave trade to the era of financial globalization. This original album is very much different from Chauveau’s current experimental pieces. It is quiet the opposite, and one might say “full of sound”. And immediately, one track after another, start to receive five star rating on my player, falling along the roster of my favorite works by Peter Broderick, Goldmund and Max Richter. Through the crackling grooves of a record the images of early European films flood the airwaves with ghost-like beautiful melodies that have only matured since their original birth. Music like his doesn’t age. It is classic. Highly recommended!

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