paradis paysan | feu follet
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"I have always considered myself a fan of big cities: Frankfurt (where I lived for five years) and Berlin were centres of inspiration for me, because they would grow and proliferate according to a fascinating logic of their own. Lately, however, I increasingly found my views challenged by what I perceive as a a pronounced incapacity for renewal on the side of the metropoles and the incredibly aluring calm and comfort offered by visits to the countryside. Of course, these fresh perspectives are at least partially rather like fantasies, influenced by books such as "Knulp" by Herman Hesse or by my own imagination. And still, a process of rethinking my position and direction had begun. ‚Paradis Paysan‘ is a way of answering these questions musically, a sort of poetic excursion into the blue on an unbeaten path – ready to go wherever it would take me.
Originally, I wanted the album to be composed of several short, but interrelated pieces to differentiate it from past works. When I sent out a promo to Gruenrekorder, however, I had lazily left the tracks glued together in one piece. As it turned out, it was this what especially attracted the label: A long composition made up of several scenes, which really forces you to listen from beginning to end. Listening to it now, I think they were absolutely right in persuading me to leave the music that way."
1 Track (39’09”)
CD-R (50 copies)
Tobias Fischer / Münster / May 2008
Gruenrekorder / Germany / 2008 / Gr 055 / LC 09488
01 Frans de Waard | VITAL WEEKLY
Tobias Fischer’s Feu Follet project has so far a nice bunch of releases – or rather a bunch of nice releases on his own Einzeleinheit label, but also for others. Here, on Gruenrekorder, presented with a great, professional cover, he presents us one piece in five distinctive parts. Fischer belongs to the young and exciting new drone musicians from Germany, next to say Ex Ovo/Mirko Uhlig. The way they handle their material is great. There is lots of space, sometimes in a literal way such as the opening bird sounds here, through carefully constructed drones, probably constructed on the computer, but there is always that bit of extra, like a looped cricket sound, a sorrowing organ, or even Asmus Tietchens‘ like sound processing. That gives the music an extra bite which is sometimes missed in some of the other drone musicians. A fine solid work, with fine dynamics, changes in all the right places and throughout a very fine release. (FdW)
02 Tobias Bolt | quietNoise
Feu follet ist das Solo-Projekt von Tobias Fischer, Chefredakteur des tokafi-Webzines und unter anderem Gründer des Einzeleinheit-Labels, hier mit seiner ersten Veröffentlichung auf Gruenrekorder. Ein knapp vierzig Minuten langer Track findet sich darauf, lose in fünf Segmente aufgeteilt. Den Beginn machen Field Recordings; geloopte Verkehrsgeräusche wiederholen und verdichten sich, in ein feines Netz aus verhaltenem Ambientgeflüster eingesponnen, zu einer seltsamen, wunderschönen Atmosphäre, irgendwo weit draußen zwischen Organums »Vacant Lights« und Biospheres »Autour de la Lune«. Im weiteren Verlauf hantiert Fischer dann mit abstrakteren, flächigen Sounds, die sich, von feinen Knisternebeln durchzogen, nicht weniger atmosphärisch entwickeln, ausbreiten und hypnotisierend über den Bewusstseinsrand schwappen. Dort haken sie sich dann fest, die Andeutungen, Ahnungen, die Zwischenräume, die dieses ungewöhnliche Nachtschattengewächs so bemerkenswert gedeihen lassen.
03 Stephen Fruitman | sonomu
Tobias Fischer runs (at least) two labels, maintains a highly informative website where he writes eloquently about music, but above all meticulously crafts his own, very distinctive sounds, putting him in the vanguard of a new generation of ambient and drone composers. The special niche carved out by the Gruenrekorder label is field recording, and as Feu Follet, Fischer fits right in.
Though the title of the album Paradis Paysan naturally causes the mind to conjure up a bucolic landscape, we seem to be dropped right onto the central reservation of some busy urban mainstreet as the sounds of cars, trucks and automobiles whiz by. Fischer slowly insinuates his double-breasted drone, high and low pitches interweaving, as the traffic continues to rush by on rain-soaked pavement, introducing an element foreign to the environment and ultimately overtaking it.
This forty-minute piece goes through five distinct movements, and the "landscape" becomes more internal than external as it proceeds. Fischer may be suggesting an escape hatch provided by concentrating on other sounds than those which overwhelm urban man in his daily life. By the fifteenth minute, a few subtle organ notes even lend a brief sacral element to the proceedings, but for the duration various soundscapes from the most earth-bound to a sense of deep outer space relieve one another, finally winding down with I can only liken to a church service for crickets.
04 Ron Schepper | textura
Say the word “Gruenrekorder” and field recordings come to mind. In that regard, Budhaditya Chattopadhyay’s Landscape in Metamorphoses—in essence, field recordings of India—is perfectly in keeping with the label’s reputation. Paradis Paysan, on the other hand, a recording by Tobias Fischer under the Feu Follet guise, surprises by being less a pure field outing and instead more of an ambient work. […]
Fischer’s Feu Follet recording lists five track titles on the sleeve but presents itself as a continuous thirty-nine-minute piece. The explanation? Fischer intended Paradis Paysan to be a collection of short, interrelated pieces but when he submitted the promo to Gruenrekorder he inadvertently presented the tracks as one piece—serendipitously it turns out, as the final product is best heard as a single, fluid composition comprised of several scenes, rather than separable and interchangeable units. Conceptually driving the work is Fischer’s disenchantment with city centres such as Frankfurt and Berlin and his concomitant attraction to the calm and comfort afforded by visits to the countryside. Not surprisingly, then, the recording migrates from the busy traffic sounds (cars racing past, honking) that initially dominate to a progressively more tranquil and “pure” sound design that’s cleansed of its machine-like qualities. As traffic noises slowly recede, the soft synth tones that have also been sounding placidly grow more audible until they’re supplanted by the flute-like exhalations of a church organ at the ten-minute mark and then crackling noises (a fireplace perhaps?). The piece subsequently oscillates between the two poles with both industrial rhythms and sparkling tones emerging during the minutes following but, in essence, Paradis Paysan grows ever more delicate as it advances towards its conclusion. Liquid pools of shimmer and spectral flourishes relaxedly intermingle but the most appealing part arrives during the last quarter when the gentle tones of the church organ, slathered in nocturnal forest chatter, return. Fischer’s sensitive handling of the piece’s contents and his careful execution of its transitions help make this episodic work a captivating travelogue.