( RUBBERNECK 1985-2001 16 Years of Independent Publishing)

•Novembre 2001

Formanex are an electroacoustic quartet comprising: Christophe Havard, saxophones & amplified objects; Anthony Taillard, guitar & bass; Emmanuel Leduc, electronics; and Julien Ottavi, percussion & electronics. Having worked in projects linked with dance and experimental cinema Live In Extrapool has the quartet interpreting Cornelius Cardew's graphic score 'Treatise' as a means to improvisation. What links Formanex and Cardew is the music of AMM; like the latter's indeterminacy - where the boundaries between the musicians are blurred - Formanex (on CD) present the listener with the difficulty of determining how exactly their industrial ambiance is created. Havard's sax is used very subtly, and he practically sighs into it on his entrance. More prominent are the gentle tickles Taillard gives to the strings of his guitar and bass, along with other repeating staccato taps, rattles, reverberations and whirling noises. The elongated motorised hum of the last track 'p.43' makes it stand apart from the rest, which, as a whole - with its predominance of electrical sounds - exhibits a machinic coldness. Fibrr Records' accompanying advertising blurb talks of the CD packaging as one of "Extrapool's fine printworks"; what they don't mention is the cheap piece of cardboard that it's printed on. Okay it bypasses the sterility of the homogenised jewel box, but it's pretty shoddy all the same. Mark Greenaway