Laurent Peter’s second album under the Tresque moniker is a formidable, difficult, at times hypnotic recording that must be heard to be fully appreciated. There are beautiful moments, thoughtful moments and moments that will make your ears hurt.
It is an album perhaps best appreciated when you’re tired, and most susceptible to his aggressive use of repetition. If you let it, Vai e Vem will transport you.
Peter produces music out of Geneva, Switzerland. He’s also recorded as D’incise, YouthManSteppa and Honoré Feraille.
The name Tresque dates back to medieval southern Europe. Described as “an open chain circle dance” in the album’s notes, it is a useful metaphor for this collection of five new pieces.
“Tre Cavalli” opens the album with a repeating backward-tracked sample. Beneath it, slightly out of sync, is a techno beat, which in turn is matched with a snare-like sample. These three beats run together, building in complexity over about eight mesmerizing minutes. Then it all falls apart, like a spinning top that run out of energy.
The first ear test comes next, with “Cikade.” The low end is punishingly deep. It is physically uncomfortable to listen to, and it persists – brilliantly – for close to 10 minutes.
The three tracks that make up side B of the vinyl release are easier listens. “Mwen Se Be” comes close to ambient techno. “Tendresse” and “Afoxç” are more in keeping with Peter’s love of musique concrète.
Repetitive compositions like this are often dismissed as lacking in creativity. Peter demonstrates here just how unfair that criticism can be. This is an extraordinarily imaginative, moving collection of recordings. It may draw a modest audience, but they’ll be thrilled by it.