Review – 29 Palms (DER) 2010 – by Stephen Fruitman – sonomu

29 Palms, i8u on Dragon’s Eye Recordings

The vanity licence-plate monicker France Jobin has chosen to work under is intended as a jab at arts-industry consumerism while also proclaiming that the performance of her art makes her audience aware of the process, the better to engage with it actively rather than allow it to “eat” them up as they listen passively.

A little too art schooly for this reviewer´s taste. Because it distracts from the fact that France Jobin is an otherwise accomplished and talented multi-tasking sound and visual artist from Montreal whose works have been installed and favourably received in myriad venues all across North America and Europe.

29 Palms is her sound portrait of the unique desert community Joshua Tree in the Californian desert, and is an attractive addition to the drone genre in its sophisticated mix of highs and lows. Like the desert itself, a cursory glance can leave the listener unmoved, but screw up the volume and prick up your ears coyote-like and you will hear that the wind carries a multitude of sounds and signals to be decoded.

One of the most successfully subtle recordings of the year deserves thus not to be treated as ambient, background music, but requires genuine focus to unveil its laden vastness.

Stephen Fruitman
Sonomu

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