Substunce Sans Scrupule


“Substunce Sans Scrupule” is a dream. A hazy dream born in the emptiness between the words of “Igitur ou La folie d’Elbehnon” by Stéphane Mallarmé. A dream that sought Marcel Proust’s lost time and constituted the light and the black void between the only frame of Gregory Markopoulos. It is the birth and the destruction of the work of art, primitivism and science.
“Substunce Sans Scrupule” is as much Georgios Karamanolaki’s automatic writing on the work of Jean-Marc Foussat as Jean-Marc Foussat’s on the work of Georgios Karamanolakis, imagined and recorded in 2017 in Paris and Athens. The ultra vivid dialogue and communication between the artists creates a completely spontaneous work of 43 minutes that constitutes an immersive ritual of shocking sound, illusionary image and complementarity.

In “Substunce Sans Scrupule” we witness the union of musique concrète ideas with noise, of field recordings with vocal delays, of electroacoustic music with drone.

In “Substunce Sans Scrupule” the faraway splinters of jazz fuse with japanoise, the dreamy with the real, the Magical-Religious with the Scientific.

A document in the form of a 140g 12″ vinyl record in an edition of 300 numbered copies.

Jean-Marc Foussat, born in 1955, is a French-Algerian composer of electroacoustic music who lives and works in France. He began his career in the mid-70s by playing guitar and synthesizer on various underground French experimental prog rock bands. His interest quickly moved on into analog synthesizers and musique concrète tape collages, a fact which led to the gradual conception and recording of the masterful debut LP “Abattage” in his own Pyjama Records in 1983. The ingenious use of EMS Synthi AKS, VCS III synth, field recordings and vocal points all signify “Abattage” as a highly original and influencing work of French avant garde and musique concrète music. Since then, Jean-Marc Foussat has been living in his own improvisational universe where he has recorded dozens of records with various projects, collaborating with Jac Berrocal, Evan Parker, Bill Laswell, Jamal Moss and Joe McPhee, and also keeps his own Fou Records while co-maintaining Potlatch label. As a sound engineer and in situ recorder he is responsible for the feature and release of a huge number of free improvisation recordings, part of which have been recorded over the past 30 years by various companies of the genre. Nowadays, he is particularly active both in discography and live appearances. In “Substunce Sans Scrupule” Jean-Marc Foussat used EMS Synthi AKS, EMS Phase Frequency Shifter, Toys, Vocals, Jew’s Harps, Bird Calls, Ableton Live, Boss SE50, Mix Table.

Georgios Karamanolakis, born in 1982, is an experimental artist and composer-improviser who lives in Athens. He continuously records a wide range of sounds that originate from monolithic drones and end up in noise walls, using many -modified and not- analogue synthesizers, field recordings and tapes. He is influenced by the culture of mysticism, experimental films and the aesthetics of the past, which at any given age can breathe again and become the future. He is the leading mind behind the post-apocalyptic ΟΔΟΣ 55, a band entirely responsible for the revival of post punk / synth wave in Greece. With the noticeable difference that their intense dystopic character and their extensions of minimalism give them a special depth of sound, to the point where you can perceive the musical incidents as distant shivers behind an industrial wall where everything is fluid, primordial and unexplored fields of effect. He is a member of underground urban intervention team OMIO, a group active in outdoor interventions in the urban fabric as well as in film recordings of hidden locations such as train cemeteries, underground tunnels, and war shelters. He runs the record label Ηρακλής, home of his few releases, most of which are in very limited copies. He is the producer of the Athens Inner City Broadcast program at the London Resonance FM experimental radio station. His performance with Hiroshi Hasegawa (Astro) in 2011 has been one of the most important concert events ever held in Athens. In “Substunce Sans Scrupule”, Georgios Karamanolakis used EMS Synthi AKS, Roland Space Echo, Vocals, Max Steel Toy Vocoder, Yamaha Vector Synthesizer TG33.
This release is co-released by Agios Anthropos, Coherent States, Moremars, Noise-Below, Hraklis and Robery Alarm on 300 copies with silkscreen covers. Cover concept Fantomas. Mastered by Giannis Christodoulatos.

Blow Up Magazine
Produced in Greece, but the result of a string of international labels, this vinyl seals the collaboration at a distance between the Franco-Algerian Foussat (born’55), with a substantial career behind that ranges from prog rock to radical improvisation and electronic research , and the Athenian Karamanolakis (born in 1982), part of a group that inspired the revival of synth wave and the multimedia collective OMIO, experimental composer and radio programmer. Using a varied range of analogue and digital instruments, the two interacted with the reciprocal recordings, completing two suites based on free improvisation and editing with concrete musique techniques. Darker and more mysterious the first façade, with references to kosmische musik and japanoise more eclectic, concise and spiritual the second side, between sizzling glitch ‘n’ blips by pioneers of electronics, hissing drones and austere choral vocalizations. An extremely attentive collagism, which mixes a great quantity of ideas and sound sources into one cohesive and twilight one, with a slow and controlled development. (7/8) Vittore Baroni

Dolf Mulder, our free-jazz/improvised music reviewer, did much of the reviews of previous music by Jean-Marc Foussat in these pages and I was thinking that this too is pretty much the work of improvisation, yet it is probably too noisy for our man. Foussat is born in 1955 and since the mid-70s he has been playing guitar and synthesizer in progrock bands and these days handles various EMS synthesizers, Ableton Live, toys, vocals and BOSS SE50. Here he does so with Georgios Karamanolakis from Greece, who also works with a group with Greek name, as well as with the “underground urban intervention team OMIO”, as well as running his own label (also a Greek name for which I am not sure if the copied letters will work, so I don’t try). He performed together with Astro in 2011, and here also plays the EMS synthi AKS, Roland space echo, vocals, max steel toy vocoder and the Yamaha Vector Synthesizer. On the insert it says “recorded and mixed live in Paris, FR – Athens, GR in 2017” and the forty some minutes this LP lasts is quite a blast, but not one without any points of rest or contemplation. It cracks and it bursts but it doesn’t collide under its weight. It is quite some dynamic music, both in terms of loud and quiet (the latter a bit less), but also in terms of energy approach towards the music. Sure there is quite some harsh tones, brittle noise here but also there is room for some chanting (on the second side), or more carefully placed clicks and cuts. Maybe this is free jazz cooked with a hot stew of noise with some sweeteners thrown in? There is something fascinating odd about all of this, and I am not sure what it is, but I would think it is all wonderfully psychedelic. Noise but colourful.

Το “Substunce Sans Scrupule” [Άγιος Άνθρωπος/ Ηρακλής/ Coherent States/ more mars/ noise-below/ Robbery Alarm Records, 2017] είναι μια συμπαραγωγή έξι(!) ελληνικών labels (υποθέτω πως και το Robbery Alarm είναι ελληνικό), που υπογράφουν ο γνωστός στο χώρο του ηλεκτρονικού πειραματισμού Γαλλοαλγερινός Jean-Marc Foussat και ο έλληνας συνάδελφός του Γεώργιος Καραμανωλάκης (από Οδός 55 κ.λπ.).

Για το ποιος είναι ο Foussat μπορεί ο καθείς να ανατρέξει στο δίκτυο (να διαβάσει και ν’ ακούσει). Επιγραμματικώς να πούμε πως ο άνθρωπος βρίσκεται στη σκηνή από τα πρώτα χρόνια του ’70, ως μέλος διαφόρων πειραματικών progressive συνόλων (Phyllauxckzairrâh N° III, Le Lézard Marçio κ.ά.), εγγραφές των οποίων ακούστηκαν για πρώτη φορά στο τετραπλό CD “Alternative Oblique” το 2015 και πως η προσωπική δισκογραφία του (στο discogs) περιλαμβάνει 20 άλμπουμ (πέραν των συμμετοχών του σε άλλες ομάδες). Αυτός λοιπόν ο μουσικός, με τα πολλά και σοβαρά credits, συνεργάζεται με τον Καραμανωλάκη για τη δημιουργία ενός άλμπουμ, που μπορεί να… τρυπήσει αυτιά με τη δύναμη και την οξύτητα των ηχητικών κυμάτων του.

Με ένα κομμάτι ανά πλευρά, το “Substunce Sans Scrupule” δεν είναι ένα LP για τον καθέναν. Είναι ένα άλμπουμ για… τριακόσιους αυστηρά μυημένους στα πεδία της σκληρής musique concrète (από François Bayle, Bernard Parmegiani και πέρα…) και κυρίως εκείνης της εικονοκλαστικής επέκτασής της προς τον ακραίο ηλεκτροστατισμό και τον έντονο, και παρατεταμένο συχνά, θόρυβο. Οι δύο πειραματιστές, και στα δύο tracks του LP, το “Substunce sans scrupule” και το «Μαγικο-θρησκευτικο-επιστημονικά δρώμενα», μετέρχονται πλήθος ηλεκτρονικών πηγών (το κλασικό EMS Synthi AKS είναι βασικό, μα και άλλα διάφορα μηχανήματα, που μανιπουλάρουν φωνές και ήχους, όπως και πιο συμβατικές ακουστικές πηγές, παιγνίδια φερ’ ειπείν ή jew’s harps, που χειρίζεται ο Foussat), κατορθώνοντας να δημιουργήσουν, ιδίως στην περίπτωση του «δρωμένου», μιαν εξώκοσμη και ταυτοχρόνως χθόνια κατάσταση, ανακατεύοντας προχωρημένους ήχους με αρχέγονες παραδοξότητες (και βασικά φωνές). Το αποτέλεσμα αυτής της αυθόρμητης(;) συνύπαρξης είναι πλήρως υποβλητικό ως άκουσμα και πολύ κοντά ή μάλλον πάνω-καταπάνω (και) σ’ εκείνο που, μέσω τίτλου, εξωφύλλου και ενθέτου (στο εικαστικό μέρος αναφέρομαι), οι δύο πειραματιστές προβάλλουν. Τον συνδυασμό εννοώ του παγανιστικού χθες με το ορθολογικό σήμερα. Πρέπει ν’ ακούσει κάποιος για να μπει αληθινά στο πνεύμα…

Additional information

Weight 0,49 kg