Scènes LINE_ 093 – Fluid Radio (UK)

Scènes LINE_ 093|   Digital | November 2017

The various interlocking scenes of experimental and ambient music are geographically dispersed but nonetheless close-knit, and the effects of significant events in these genres ripple out far and wide. Such was the case with the untimely death of Mika Vainio, a founder of Pan Sonic and producer of numerous landmark recordings under his own name and the moniker Ø, in April 2017. “scènes” is Canadian sound artist France Jobin’s tribute to her friend, offered in her own distinctive language of minimalist ambient music.

The album fades in with a warm breathing chord, joined later by steadier tones. The music is quiet and subdued, barely there at times, before returning with slightly more intensity. The second ‘scène’ is more present, with major key tones gently tumbling over one another. A repeating melodic motif injects more energy, though the piece remains fairly quiet. The sense of calm and peace is palpable across the first half of the album, derived from major key harmony, low volume, and an unhurried pace.

The minor-key drone and fluttering, trembling tones of ‘scène 3’ make it the only track on the album to resemble a typical musical expression of grief. Mid-way through the piece, the drone fades almost to the point of inaudibility, then returns with stiller, more stable tones, losing some of the earlier distraught quivering. ‘scène 4’ also flutters, but rather than sounding distraught instead pulses with energy; to me, its driving rhythms feel like a positive celebration and affirmation of life. Music needn’t shy away from pain or grief, but it is also able to remind us why we struggle. “scènes” is able to look sorrow in the eye, but at the same time remembers the good, and holds on tightly to the light.

Nathan Thomas (February 2017)

singulum LINE_075 – etherREAL (FR)

LINE_075 | CD + Digital | limited edition of 400 | February 2016

Février 2016, le label Line sortait 2 albums, le premier de Tomas Phillips, plus expérimental, et le second de France Jobin, plus doux, plus porté sur l’ambient. Si nous avons déjà parlé de ces deux artistes, notre préférence se portera ici sur le travail de la Canadienne dont on apprécie tout particulièrement l’approche à la fois expérimentale et sensible.

Singulum est composé de 4 titres, simplement intitulés nlm et s, justement des lettres qui composent le titre de l’album. Sur la forme, on trouve 2 titres de 7-8mn enserrés entre les deux autres de 14-18mn, des durées en phase avec le style ambient du disque, dans une tendance minimale.
Commençons avec les 17mn de n, un titre sur lequel on a spontanément envie de revenir. Débutant dans un quasi silence, il dévoile progressivement des tonalités scintillantes et régulières, et quelques glitchs éraillés, fins, précis, comme des erreurs, comme si l’image sautait pendant une vidéo. Disparaissant lentement, ils nous laissent petit à petit avec une ambient minimale, les doux flottements d’une nappe synthétique.

S’il est plus court, l semble être construit selon le même schéma, avec ce qui ressemble d’abord à de réguliers accords de cordes, ponctués de petits frétillements métalliques. Mais à 2mn de la fin c’est une nappe-drone imposante qui s’installe pour un long final statique.
Plus discret, m s’appuie sur des nappes métallisées, d’abord oscillantes et lumineuses avant de se stabiliser sur une teinte plus minérale. Mais là encore, c’est l’apaisement que l’on retrouve sur un superbe final, plus classique et synthétique.

L’album se termine avec les 14mn de s qui se distingue par un son plus grave, une sorte de drone lointain qui nous fait penser au lent passage d’un avion dans le ciel. Il s’agit là du morceau le plus linéaire, le plus statique, qui retrouve la lumière sur sa deuxième moitié et l’arrivée de lents accords mélodiques. Une fin naturelle, comme un cœur qui ralentit avant de cesser de battre, concluant un superbe album.

Fabrice Allard (October 2017)

singulum LINE_075 – Musique Machine (UK)

LINE_075 | CD + Digital | limited edition of 400 | February 2016

Here’s another release from the esteemed Line label, presented in its usual format: a simple, sombre, card wallet. The front has an odd, black and white image – perhaps a collage, perhaps a magnification of cells – whilst the back contains track details, and a short spiel on the release from Jobin. The spiel explains that the album was created by putting field recordings ‘through a series of editing and manipulation processes’. Singulum has four tracks, ranging from six and a half minutes in length, to nearly 17 minutes.

Given that her spiel is quite high-minded, ‘Singulum represents an unattainable goal, the process of decay while conserving a continuation of information’, and mentions Serge and Buchla modular synths amongst her tools, Jobin’s album is actually often rather conservative ambience and drone. Though that’s an observation, not a criticism. The first, and longest, track, n, slowly builds upwards and outwards from a simple loop. Whilst simple, the floaty, ethereal loop is detailed, and accompanied by glitching sounds. It builds into a piece of dreamy ambience, effortlessly creating an atmosphere that might require a reviewer to describe ‘sunlight reflecting off rippling pools’ – trite, but reasonable words for a gorgeous soundscape. As the piece progresses, the glitching sounds become bolder; crushed, and squashed sounds splinter and fragment over the lush drone. After the 10 minute mark, the drones become deeper, more resonant, before dissipating in the final minutes to reveal a looping chime, like a distant grandfather clock. The second, and shortest, work, l, again begins with looping sounds; this time, its ambient patches. These create an ambient expanse, with background burbles, and snips of sound – they really are backgrounded, too. About halfway through, an ominous drone appears, creating a more sinister tone, but also one imbued with much grandeur. This drone magnifies in strength, until it essentially smothers everything. M, the third track, follows a similar path; it begins with dreamy territories, before again building to almost overwhelmingly deep drone – with a distracting buzzing in one speaker along the way. The final piece, s, is cut from a similar cloth to the preceding tracks, but offers different readings. It starts out as a stately, measured drone, strong and warm. After a while, a repeated figure emerges over the drone, a melodic stab; this creates a tone akin to the work of Burial – the melancholy of empty urban streets at night, dirtied by litter, and cleansed by rain. It sounds like a piece of club music, slowed down, and with the beats removed – the hazy memory of the night before.

Singulum, from the packaging, suggests an album of difficult abstraction, perhaps driven by physics, and lead by high-end synth technology. However, whilst there are elements that might reflect these hardboiled things, the truth is that any sonic austerity is largely hidden, and backgrounded. The central focus of the release is much more amenable drone work, often lush and gorgeous in its simplicity. The last track, s, is particularly nice, and evocative. (The track titling is a bit of a mystery, clearly deriving from the consonants of ‘singulum’ – but where’s g?) There’s a danger, perhaps, that the album occupies a halfway house – too glitchy and odd for drone lovers, too much expansive drone for lovers of synth abstraction – but the rigour of the artist, and her tools, is felt throughout the pieces: nothing here is ever cheap or insubstantial. Like all Line releases, Singulum asks for (and deserves) close listening, and like practically every Line release I’ve heard, this is worthy of your listening.

Martin P.

live @ L’Arca – L’Arca – Laboratorio per le arti contemporanee may 12 2016


LINE co-presents France Jobin & Fabio Perletta on May 12 in Teramo Italy at L’Arca – Laboratorio per le arti contemporanee

La geografia culturale della contemporaneità sta indiscutibilmente subendo un’ennesima evoluzione: la vituperata estetica del non-luogo, temporanea illusione post-’90 trascinata ignobilmente per tutta la prima decade del nuovo millennio, è, oggi, quantomai deprivata dai suoi significati più profondi. Il web 2.0 e la connettività ne hanno assimilato i contenuti, liberando lo spazio ‘tutto’ dalla subalternità metropolitana. Riscoprire le identità paesaggistiche, urbane ed umane delle realtà ‘locali’ (e localizzate) è forse, ora, il paradigma più adeguato alla germinazione e crescita di incontaminati e primigeni linguaggi e percorsi artistici. In∩Out vuole essere una presa di coscienza, una dimostrazione di esistenza, una prima azione, visionaria, per vivere una città, Teramo, oltre le sue frizioni interno/esterno e scoprendone valori legittimamente internazionalizzabili.


Sullo sfondo del malinconico transito del tempo, France Jobin ricama trame minimaliste di microscopiche ed infinitesimali delicatezze: biologie cristalline colte nel loro divenire, immortalate nella loro mutevolezza, osservate nelle lente ed organiche trasformazioni. Un sistema impercettibile di rifrangenti equilibri, unico nel suo essere, sublime nella sua discrezione. Nella glaciale irrealtà contemporanea, Singulum ci parla di scienza quale epifania della natura, nelle sue debolezze e caducità indaga fra sensibilistiche relazioni particellari scoprendone l’umanità e la fragilità.

Licenziato da LINE nel Febbraio 2016

Un polittico di visioni spaziali compiute. Genkai 限界, scambio intellettuale e sonico fra Fabio Perletta ed Haruo Okada (JP), produce moduli paesaggistici impossibili e limitati nella loro in-confinabilità. In equilibrio fra sottili e dicotomiche relazioni fra pieni e vuoti, il lavoro a quattro mani del riduzionista abruzzese e del sound designer nipponico, ragiona su soluzioni elettroacustiche metafisiche, dove la ‘rappresentazione’, alterata dall’interpretazione, raggiunge, nella sua espressione minima, vastità meditative Zen, tanto libere e cerebrali quanto scientificamente tattili.

Pubblicazione prossima su LINE


19.00 Fabio Perletta
— esegue Genkai 限界 (LINE_080), in collaborazione con Haruo Okada

19.45 France Jobin
— esegue Singulum (LINE_075)

Claudia Di Giuseppe

con offerta sottoscrittiva

+ 39 0861 240732

Marco Marzuoli

L’Arca – Laboratorio per le arti contemporanee
Comune di Teramo
Canada Council for the Arts | Conseil des Arts du Canada


“France Jobin wishes to thank the Canada Council for the Arts for its financial support.”




singulum LINE_075 – CHAIN D.L.K – (USA-Italy)


LINE_075 | CD + Digital | limited edition of 400 | February 2016

Electronic music composers get portrayed or portray themselves as icy mannequins, ataractic or ghostly entities or robotic hybrids. Even if there’s always a reason of similar (self)portraits and more or less aware representations, a certain humanity could look like a disrupting element of such a cliche, particularly when the technical canon seems coherent to a desired idea of excellence. When Montreal-based minimalist composer and sound artist France Jobin will gradually make her way into your eardrums, she doesn’t opt for brute attacks or epic introduction, but she lets a glimmering breathe of piano tones and light electronic buzzes peep out by a strategy that you’ll be tempted to label as shy. But such a shyness got matched to a grace, that is going to magnetically attract towards her surprisingly interesting sonic world, where sonic particles gently flow till the moment they sound like sparkling a significant process in a rarefied environment. France’s way to organize these fascinating sonic particles seems to have been inspired by quantum physics: in her own words, “quantum physics inspires me to draw a parallel between the fundamental building blocks of physics, sounds and music. I put field recordings through a series of editing and manipulation processes which result in very different sounds from their origins. These manipulations affect time, timbre, harmonics and the essence of each sound, whereas composition influences how they relate to each other.”. I don’t really know how these scientific matters influenced her sound, but I’m pretty sure that she managed to find a path by which minimal electronic music can gracefully sound even more immersive than over-stuffed sonic outputs.

Vito Camarretta

singulum LINE_075 – ATTN:Magazine (UK)


LINE_075 | CD + Digital | limited edition of 400 | February 2016

Singulum arrives like a retriggered memory: not a sudden and fully-formed epiphany, but an image that emerges through a process of molecular restoration, enacted with the same painstaking patience with which memories fade to begin with. Each piece flowers from buds of grainy piano loop or photic drone, revealing slithers of harmonic context and the electronic glitches of corrupted recollection (patches of missing detail, movements conducted in jerky, half-remembered ellipsis). The appearance of a new detail results in the careful reconfiguration of the entire image. The atmosphere shifts in hue. Beautiful chords become draped in gentle shadows of dissonance, while timbres turn dull as the high frequencies fall away. The more I remember, the more my rosy nostalgia becomes tinted by tiny turbulences and traces of nausea. The memory appears differently now; forever brightened, sharpened, dimmed, decelerated. I no longer have access to the original experience. Instead, Jobin plants me within pools of transient hypothesis, adjusting the soundscape as the act of remembering quietly draws circles of speculation around the truth.

I’ve come to love the way in which Jobin introduces sound into silence. On “m”, processed field recordings enter like dawn through a curtain gap, with sound streaming gracefully into space with ever-intensifying warmth. On “s”, an electronic chord seeps in like a pool of water spreading over the floor, crawling in from the right side of the frame. She exhibits a deep, almost reverent respect for the absence of sound, and even though her gestures are gentle in execution, they are also painstakingly deliberate. Chords appear like ink dropped from a pipette, billowing across the silence in slow motion, released at an angle that consciously directs the speed and angle of travel. Sound politely asks to proceed, and silence gracefully gives way.

Jack Chuter

singulum LINE_075 – Stray Landings (UK)


LINE_075 | CD + Digital | limited edition of 400 | February 2016

If William Basinski had used an early 2000s CD Player rather than a tape reel to craft his legendary experiment in sonic decay, ‘Disintegration Loops’, it would probably have some strong parallels with Singulum. The release is the latest offering from Montreal based composer and installation artist France Jobin.

Across her rather substantial career, Jobin has displayed work in galleries everywhere from South Africa to Japan, as well as releasing on a number of different labels. Singulum sees her return to an old residence, LINE Recordings. The label has hosted the likes of Alva Noto, Mark Fell and Yves De Mey since its founding at the start of the millennium, and Jobin’s work finds a fitting home here.

Take the washing flourishes of piano across the opening track, ‘n’. Between fragile buzzes of phone-line glitch, modem scratches linger in the backdrop. Jobin also uses her drawn out structures to give shifts in the production full impact. On ‘I’, creeping arps and digitised chimes linger as long as possible before giving way to Jobin’s faintly ominous drones.

The timidly developing soundscapes of this release build up to its closing piece, ‘s’. The track makes for one of Singulum’s boldest statements, meditative pools of ambience are left void of further embellishment in an offering of streamlined introspection. Towards the tracks latter half a swelling chord makes repeat appearances; a feature that wouldn’t sound out of place in Deepchord or Fluxion’s output.

Jobin has cited quantum physics as a strong inspiration for Singulum. She uses a range of audio processing tools to remove her carefully selected field recordings from their original context. In this pursuit, Jobin has endeavored to highlight just how flexible sampling materials can be, creating a release which lingers, its subtle yet graceful motifs rattling around the brain for hours after the final track.

Theo Darton-Moore


singulum LINE_075 – Brainwashed (USA)



LINE_075 | CD + Digital | limited edition of 400 | February 2016

Like her debut release, Valence (2012), Montreal’s France Jobin’s work is from the traditional school of electronic minimalism, in which the sparsest of sounds and instrumentation are utilized to create complex, nuanced sculptures of tone and texture.   Inspired by quantum physics and actualized by a variety of processing and modular synthesis, this album is yet another strong entry in her growing discography.


One aspect that sets Jobin’s work apart in this often-crowded field is her judicious use of dissonance.  Rather than relying on distorted processing effects or abrasive synthetic tones, her work is instead more restrained and nuanced.  Gliding, almost bowed-string like tones cut through dramatically on “l,” as she builds upon simple loops into a richer, almost conventionally melodic sound.  The lengthy opening piece “n” features a swirling, almost organ like tone that fights with pure silence during the opening.  The piece transitions to a shimmering, sharper quality not unlike Robert Hampson’s work as Main in its most stripped-down capacity before blending extreme, yet low volume frequencies in its conclusion.

That is not to say that France’s work is all pure sounds and open spaces, however.  Sustained low-end vibrations stretch throughout “m,” which results in a piece with just the right amount of grit, but one that complements the rest of the piece well.  Even with these darker rumbles and the occasional bit of what most closely resembles digital interference, her use of quiet, almost melodic passages contrast extremely well and give the piece a distinct feeling of beauty.

The 13 and a half minute concluding composition, “s,” makes for the perfect culmination of Singulum and encapsulates her style as a whole.  The opening passages are bleaker and less inviting, exemplified by icy sounds and a slowly pulsing, slightly menacing layer of noises.  It never becomes overly powerful or commanding, but the sound has a distinctly sinister characteristic to it.  However, she uses the piece’s duration to evolve and develop the sound, rearranging the various layers to alleviate the tension she created beforehand.  By the conclusion of the composition, the layers have been shifted to a more open, spacious arrangement that lets light shine through what previously was kept in the dark.

Singulum is one of those albums that requires focused and dedicated attention, as any sort of distraction significantly hinders the impact of the work.  But through these hushed volumes and carefully treated electronic passages, France Jobin has constructed an album of quiet, yet lush arrangements.  While it is difficult to exactly imagine how quantum physics can translate to sound, Singulum is undoubtedly a pretty close approximation.

Creaig Dunton


singulum – LINE_075 – soundnote – hatenablog (Japan)


LINE_075 | CD + Digital | limited edition of 400 | February 2016

France Jobinの新作が〈LINE〉からリリースされました。同レーベルからは2012年の『Valence』以来ですね。France Jobinはカナダはモントリオールのサウンド・アーティスト。研ぎ澄まされたミニマムな電子音響がその特徴です。i8u名義でも多数の作品をリリースしています。



LINE〉は、今回、France Jobinと同時にTomas Phillipsのアルバムもリリースするなど、昨今では珍しく(?)なりつつあるデジタル以降の電子音響/サウンド・アート的な音響作品をリリースし続けており、自分のような嗜好性のリスナーにはとても貴重なレーベルです。昨年で15周年を迎え、この移り変わりの激しい電子音楽/音響界(?)では、いまや「老舗」ともいえるレーベルですが、今年のリリースにも期待が高まります。

singulum LINE_075 – The Answer Is In The Beat



LINE_075 | CD + Digital | limited edition of 400 | February 2016

Typical of the Line label, the latest release by Montreal-based sound artist is ultra-minimal, but it contains moments of beauty. You need to turn it up loud, but it’s worth it, it sounds amazing. The opening track (“n”) fades in slowly, and has very beautiful piano loops and granulated effects. Eventually the loops sort of dissolve into a cloud, but they still retain their beauty, and it ends with an echoing, pulsing bass tone. The other pieces are shorter. “l” starts out with another gorgeous, minimal loop and gradually adds some haunting, engrossing synthesizer drones. “m” starts out a bit darker and more haunting, and eventually seems to drift towards something brighter and calmer, but then it ends up more chilling than before, concluding with a lightly piercing sine wave. “s” doesn’t change too much for the first half, just slowly layering in different synth pads, but the second half has more tonal variation, giving it a half-remembered-melodies feel. Very calm, slow moving, and tranquil.

Paul Simpson