“Panacea” Jazz Magazine No. 672, May 2015
Given “SHOCK” award (CHOC).
Written by Jean-François Mondot
Here is an album that stand out from the crowd. From the first listening, one is struck by the sheer unpredictability of the routes layed-out in each piece.
Panopticon starts out at top speed, suddenly stops, seems like it crashes against a wall, gets stuck in a kind of languor in which sax and guitar wander off on separate paths with subtle echoes, before entering into a hypnotic mantra spelled out by the saxophone whilst being undermined from within by a wah wah guitar, and then finishes up with a demented sarabande at the end of the song.
The album is thus based on the paradox of this very rocky electric guitar, and impresses with its variety of sounds, textures and colors. The saxophone of David Prez has a very particular inner intensity, often accentuated by the repetition of a motif. The two voices seem to engage in games of mirrors, hide and seek, playing between a false indifference and true reconciliation.
The press release indicates that refined compositional logic are the source of these « sound puzzles » (dodecaphonic inspiration for some songs, or even Morse code). But we never feel plunged into experimental absolutism.
Bassist Frédéric Chiffoleau and drummer Karl Jannuska have much to do, and indeed inject a tense energy into the music. On four pieces, a meteorite landed on the album: Tam de Villiers invited the singer-poet Gabor Winand, whose floating and incarnate voice, along with esoteric syllables introduce a vaporous lyricism.
Blue and lunar reflections then come to rest on these strange labyrinths of basalt that the guitarist will present live in concert to the public on the 29th of May at the Sunset in Paris. •