I Am A Vowel: Et Op La Bang
Fang Bomb

The textural sound-sculpting on Et Op La Bang, Nelly Larguier's I Am a Vowel debut album, is so restrained it begs to be labeled introverted (said restraint even extends to the album's twenty-five-minute running time). The Paris-based musician creates tiny vignettes of ambient stillness from voice fragments, guitar, laptop, and tiny pebbles of sound. The album's eight modest pieces scatter ghostly vocal swirls with interference (“Et”), present the chatter of tiny organisms and droplets striking the water's surface (“La”), and mix cuckoo-like clock noises and serenading vocal sounds (“Une Etoile”). Larguier sometimes shifts the focus from natural noises (clicks, rattles, whirrs, wind tones) to stuttering voice fragments (“Bang” and “Bang Bang”). Et Op La Bang isn't a bad recording by any means but its brief running time makes it feel slight and sketchy, and therefore hard to get too excited about. Had, say, forty-five minutes of equivalent material been issued, the resultant album probably would have made a stronger impression.

February 2008