ABDUL MOIMÊME Mekhaanu – La forêt des mécanismes sauvages

Abdul Moimême: Fender Stratocaster and a self made solid body electric guitar, both amplified separately and prepared with small and large objects. In track #2, prepared Gibson Les Paul and a Rickenbacker lap guitar inside a grand piano.

1. Mécanismes Gamma + 2 Mécanismes Delta mp3
3. Mécanismes Theta mp3
4. Mécanismes Pi mp3
5. Mécanismes Sigma mp3
6. Qu’ils appellent Saturne mp3
7. Atmosphères Mécaniques mp3

Download in MP3 (complete album in a zip)(48m30 / 97Mo)
Download in FLAC (complete album in a zip)(48m30 / 220Mo)

CD, 18x14cm, in thin sleeve, 5eur.

Recorded by Joaquim Monte at Namouche Studio, Lisbon, 27th August 2011.
Mixed by d’incise, Mastering by Joaquim Monte.

As an adolescent I attended a Barre Phillips concert in Lisbon. Perplexed by what I had just heard, I went backstage to ask him about the sources of his inspiration. His answer mainly referred to natural phenomena such as the ‘sunrise’ and ‘birds singing’, with Igor Stravinsky’s name included somewhere in between. Expecting to hear the names of other outstanding musicians, I was slightly disappointed with the reply because I considered music as something complacently detached from the surrounding world. Ironically, I now find it increasingly difficult to discern the barriers between the two. The more I listen to the ‘sonic ecosystems’ we live in, the more I discover fascinating relationships and random juxtapositions that spontaneously align in my ears as ‘readymade compositions’.
My current improvisations are frequently compared to the sounds of moving mechanisms. When I play I have no such intention in mind, but the analogy is a reasonable reminder of how, in a digitalized era, the majority of the world’s labour force still works under 19th Century conditions, pulling and tugging at roaring machines. Apart from this sobering fact, industrial sites tend to be interesting places, both spatially and sonically, otherwise industrial archaeology might never have existed. Whether we like it or not, our daily lives are also permeated by mechanical sounds. If we care to pay attention to their patterns, we will begin to hear the first murmurs of “la forêt des mécanismes sauvages”, a territory where wild mechanisms live unbridled by any human restraint. Irrespective of this imagery, I invite listeners to freely create their own associations as the present soundscapes unfold.
As in my previous solo work, Nekhephthu (cs 102), all the pieces contained in this release are improvised. Playing two prepared guitars simultaneously, I usually decide each setup on the spur-of-the-moment; avoiding the use of already tested and thus ‘contaminated’ combinations. The only electronics used here include the dry sounds of two amplifiers and a pre-amp, which can sometimes be overdriven. Otherwise, no pedals, loops or overdubs have been used and thus the effects you hear are exclusively obtained from the resonance of the objects or instruments with which I modulate the guitars’ natural timbre, played in a ‘live’ setting.
Abdul Moimême, Lisbon, 19 January 2012

Musician from Lisbon, he elaborated during the previous years a specific set-up based on two prepared electric guitars and a bunch of objects as springs, metalic bars and plates, etc.
He create a music full of mecanic and industrial images, straight out of his double instrument, without any other electronic devices.
He published a few records on Creative Sources and Insubordinations, with Axel Dörner, Ernesto Rodriguez, Heddy Boubaker, Diatribes, IKB, Variable Geometry Orchetra, etc, and is also architect, saxophonist and writer for a couple of portugues jazz papers


In which Moimême subject two prepared electric guitars to simultaneous improvised assaults. In his notes, he refers to industrial working conditions and the sounds to which they often give rise and this sensibility is clearly heard on the seven pieces presented here. They’re quite guitar-ish, no attempt at hiding the origins of the sounds, very resonant (one track in which the guitar is laid inside a grand piano) and « stringful », bowed, plucked or scraped. I have a tough time getting a grip on anything more than the surface sounds here, the echoing, chiming kind of tones that I associate with, for example, the freer portions of Frith’s first solo recording. The last cut, « Atmosphère Méchanique », manages to transcend these issues, I think by pure dint of effort, almost willing the music beyond the surface limitations, to begin to inhabit and interact with the space in which it was created, to become a powerful form. Listened to thusly, as a search for that moment, the album has an enjoyable (if listener-imbued) narrative. I’d like to hear more in the direction indicated by the journey’s conclusion here.
Brian Olewnick / Just Outisde

Avec un titre comme ça, digne d’un fan de Magma et amateur de zeuhl, on pourrait s’attendre à un énième disque de RIO ou à un hommage à Coltrane. Mais il n’en est rien. Avec ce deuxième solo, Abdul Moimême continue d’explorer la même installation de guitare qu’il utilise depuis maintenant quelques années. Deux guitares électriques, munies d’un ampli et d’un pré-ampli, sur lesquelles sont installés différents objets, la plupart du temps métalliques. Les cordes sont ainsi mises en résonances par différents résidus mécaniques et industriels, et un aspect irrémédiablement industriel surgit de ces improvisations où une large place est accordée aux résonances de manière générale. C’est bien ce son métallique, et ces résonances interminables, qui sont autant de rappels à un univers industriel et manufacturier. Mais si ces pièces rappellent des usines, ce sont des usines désaffectées, vidées de leur substance et de la présence humaine. Car l’univers d’Abdul Moimême est tout de même assez abstrait et glisse le long d’une temporalité assez lente et étirée. D’où, une fois que l’on pénètre dans le son en tant que tel et au-delà de ces références, la possibilité sonore d’évoquer une multitude de paysages. Des paysages fantomatiques et abrasifs, abstraits et résiduels, nuageux et ombragés, ou lumineux et spectraux. Tout dépend de l’humeur et de la pièce écoutée. Un travail sur le son personnel et intéressant, qui s’inspire des préparations de Keith Rowe tout en utilisant l’intensité et la persévérance du drone ou du sludge, avec une utilisation inventive et réduite des guitares, des préparations, des dispositifs et de l’installation sonore.
Julien Héraud / Improv Sphere

In this release, the ingenious Abdul Moimême simultaneously plays two prepared guitars (which means a guitar that has its timbre altered by objects placed on or between its strings). He sets the instruments in motion and lets them sing to each other, nudging them in different directions as the seven tunes progress. The result is a kaleidoscope of resonance: there’s undertones and overtones, clangs and urgent pulsations, scrapes and ancient echoes, arctic winds and dinosaur roars—a veritable feast of sound. In fact the title of the CD means « the forest of wild mechanisms, » which is an apt description of the compelling world that Moimême creates.
This music is immensely pliable to the imagination, which is part of the joy of listening. In the liner notes Moimême states: « I invite listeners to freely create their own associations as the present soundscapes unfold. » And indeed, « Mécanismes Pi, » which has an enigmatic percussive noise like distant marching, as well as a burgeoning drone, could be identified as the sounds inside Godzilla’s ear as he rampages through Tokyo. And the squiggles of high-pitched noise in « Qu’ils appellent Saturne » could be the song of an alien creature living in a subterranean pod on Saturn. But whatever this music sets off in the imagination, it has a wild beauty and a freshness that’s highly enjoyable throughout.
Florence Wetzel / all bout jazz

Studio-recorded in August 2011, in the guitarist’s home city of Lisbon, Mekhaanu—La Forêt des Mécanismes Sauvages, features Moimême improvising using his own set-up of amplified and prepared guitars. With several past releases on the Portuguese Creative Sources label, he has mainly collaborated with his Portuguese countrymen, the most notable exception being his 2010 recording with Diatribe. The obvious precursor to Mekhaanu—La Forêt des Mécanismes Sauvages is his previous solo recording Nekhephthu (Creative Sources, 2008.)
Moimême plays two prepared guitars simultaneously, eschewing the use of pedals, loops or overdubs? the only electronics he employs are for the purpose of amplification. So, anything that sounds as if were produced using « effects » actually originates from resonances of the instruments or the objects used to prepare them. Given Moimême’s use of preparations such as attached springs, metallic bars and plates, he has inevitably been compared to Keith Rowe who pioneered the use of such preparations with guitar. However, such comparisons are not supported by the actual music produced by Moimême, which features the trademark sounds of electric guitars far more than Rowe’s, which has progressively diverged from the sound of a real guitar. To be fair to both musicians, it is probably best to describe Moimême as a post-Rowe guitarist.
Moimême generates an impressively broad spectrum of sounds from his instruments and is adept at using the two guitars to produce contrasting sounds which complement one another well, repeatedly creating the impression that two separate guitarists are interacting and trading phrases. Typically, he pairs sounds which differ radically in pitch or tone, such as high-pitched feedback set off against a low-end rumble. The end result is invariably an appealingly deep soundscape with plenty of detail which makes for stimulating and dramatic listening.
John Eyles / all bout jazz

Recently I was fortunate enough to snag a couple of releases from the Insubordinations netlabel, which majors in wide-ranging projects of an improv/free and electroacoustic bent. Abdul Moime(me is a Lisbon-based sonic alchemist who also doubles/trebles as a saxist, architect and jazz scribe. He’s also collaborated with trumpeter Axel Dorner (he of the « Reductionist School »), Ernesto Rodriguez and the nattily monnikered Variable Geometry Ork.
« Mekhaanu » comes as a follow up to « Nekhephthu » (almost Magmaesque titling?) and again sees a devilishly customized guitar set-up that’s marshalled by Abdul’s overdub and f.x. free manifesto. It’s a well-measured exercise that could easily be imagined as having purely electronic origins. The ugloid grind/klang of sentient machinery, alongside the feel of rusted gears and metal teeth set permanently on edge saturates the « Mécanisme » five part suite. Part Two has the moans of a prepped guitar positioned in a grand piano while the closer aptly replicates the sound of a vast pair of metal doors being laboriously secured. « Quils Appellant Saturne » meanwhile, is surrounded by the clatter of Pierre Bastien-like automata (albeit on a gargantuan, we-are-but-ants kinda scale), that’s married to a gnarled and sinister shuffling redolent of the destroyed vinyl soundsc(r)aping of Strotter Inst., circa « Minenhund ».
I can only gawp and do the jawdrop at the invention presented here; adding late seventies era pitch black industrial manoeuvres and the faint afterglow of Brotzmann junior’s stringwrench into the free aesthetic. After all, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge since Fred Frith’s « Guitar Solos » album, which was my entry into the realms of distressed/heavily tweaked guitar experimentalism.
Steve Pescott / terrascope

Abdul MOIMÊME travaille donc sur deux guitares préparées. Sept pièces solo pour plusieurs guitares composent ce « Mekhaanu », une Les Paul à l’intérieur d’un piano, une Fender stratocaster, et une guitare faite maison. Nous ne sommes pas loin des paysages du solo d’Anthony Taillard sur Drone Sweet Drone. Ce même attrait pour la six cordes. Que dis-je, une dévotion. Nous sommes un peu aussi dans l’installation puisqu’il joue sur deux amplis et un pré-ampli. Glissandi sifflants, fréquences étendues, respirations et traitement du silence et des séquences en va-et-vient proche d’Oren Ambarchi. Un surplace monté comme une mécanique bien huilée. Qui s’évade vers un mur gentiment bruitiste et pimenté sur (justement) « Mécanisme II ». Sur une tôle qui claque mais ne cède pas. Même lorsqu’une des guitares s’affole et semble jouée plus qu’être préparée. On ne sait plus très bien là et c’est tant mieux. Plus le disque avance d’ailleurs plus cette agréable confusion s’opère. Un disque attrayant…Et un autre quasi essentiel. Belle pioche.
Cyrille Lanoë / Revue & Corrigée

Avec un catalogue rassemblant une quarantaine de sorties (en mp3), le net-label suisse Insurbodinations, création de Laurent Peter (alias D’incise) ne compte pas s’arrêter en si bon chemin free impro expérimental. Huitième sortie en CD de l’officine genevoise, Mekhaanu. La forêt des mécanismes sauvages d’Abdul Moimême (ah, ah, ce nom) n’est pas exactement à ranger du côté easy listening.
Proche d’un Z’ev en mode radical total, le musicien portugais explore une approche quasiment jazz indus où grincements et bruitages insèrent leurs membranes vénéneuses largement au-delà des clichés étroits des étiquettes. Par moments, on songe à une vision ultra-grinçante des Sonic Youth 1981 en mode noise unplugged, ailleurs on laisse s’exprimer les échos tardifs d’un Chris Corsano déguisé en libérateur d’un outillage sidérurgique prisonnier d’une friche désaffectée entre Florange et Seraing. Qu’en penserait Latchmi Mittal ?
par Fabrice Vanoverberg /le son du Grisli

Joël Pagier / Improjazz

Abdul Moimeme, a guitar player from Portugal. He plays two prepared electric guitars, at the same time, which are connected with a bunch of objects, as springs, metalic bars, plates and such like. He has played with Axel Dorner, Ernesto Rodriguez, Heddy Boubaker, Diatribes and others. The seven pieces on his second solo CD are quite nice. He works only with amplification and no other sound effects (which is not always easy to believe), and it leads to some interesting pieces here. In his playing, which probably holds somewhere in between a sound installation and improvisation (although surely all of the actual music was of course improvised), he works with feedback, the rumbling of objects against each other, sometimes in a carefully construction, but sometimes also crude and heavy, with a fair amount of distortion. This makes the music more like an electro-acoustic ensemble of sounds than a work of improvisations on two guitars played by one guy. That aspect is perhaps one that I really liked, as it moves away from the more traditional paths of improvised music, into something that is more like ‘sound art’ (for the lack of better word). All along this is all highly musical, such as the metallic percussive sounds of ‘Atmosphere Mecanique’.
FdW / Vital Weekly

Mekhaanu fait suite à Nekhephthu. Cette fois encore, c’est l’occasion d’écouter de près les techniques si particulières d’Abdul Moimême, qui joue de deux guitares électriques préparées simultanément. Chacune des sept improvisations propose une palette sonore (légèrement) différente. On se perd dans les paysages sonores que tisse Abdul, au point où, à un moment donné, on cesse d’essayer de comprendre le comment pour mieux apprécier le quoi.
Mekhaanu is the follow-up to Nekhephthu. This solo album is another opportunity to study Abdul Moimême’s unusual techniques up close. Moimême plays two prepared electric guitars simultaneously. The CD contains seven free improvisations, and each one has a slightly different sound palette. You can easily get lost in Abdul’s soundscapes, and at some point you just have to give up on trying to understand the how to better appreciate the what.
Monsieur Délire

Pois, como de­vem es­tar a sus­pei­tar, não se trata de um nome real, mas de um pseu­dó­nimo. O ma­gre­bino Abdul alude à con­di­ção sul-europeia de Rui Horta Santos, re­cor­dando que os por­tu­gue­ses têm an­te­ce­den­tes ára­bes. Já o fran­ce­sís­tico Moimême tem ou­tro re­corte que não a mo­ti­va­ção his­tó­rica e ge­né­tica, sendo uma re­fe­rên­cia bem mais leve. É sem­pre bom sa­ber que há mú­si­cos ex­pe­ri­men­tais que não se le­vam de­ma­si­ado a sé­rio e, até, que têm hu­mor e são ca­pa­zes de ironia. Se a arte so­nora de Abdul Moimême pou­cas ou ne­nhu­mas res­so­nân­cias evoca do Norte de África e do Médio Oriente, quis o acaso que o seu mais re­cente tra­ba­lho a solo, «Mekhaanu – La Forêt des Mecanismes Sauvages», ti­vesse tí­tulo gau­lês – isso por­que foi edi­tado por uma eti­queta do can­tão fran­cês da Suíça, a Insubordinations. Até aqui nada de ex­tra­or­di­ná­rio. São já al­guns os por­tu­gue­ses que têm tido a opor­tu­ni­dade de lan­çar os seus dis­cos em ou­tros paí­ses, con­quis­tando a apre­ci­a­ção de pú­bli­cos que não ape­nas o nacional. E de mú­si­cos de ou­tras pa­ra­gens: este al­fa­ci­nha já co­la­bo­rou, por exem­plo, com Axel Dorner, Heddy Boubaker e o duo Diatribes. Acontece, po­rém, que o Abdul, como toda a gente lhe chama, é um mú­sico de ca­rac­te­rís­ti­cas úni­cas. Utiliza duas gui­tar­ras em si­mul­tâ­neo, uma Stratocaster e um pro­tó­tipo que ele pró­prio cons­truiu, dis­pos­tas lado a lado, na ho­ri­zon­tal, con­sigo no meio e dois am­pli­fi­ca­do­res de vál­vu­las, um de­les de baixo, atrás. De acres­cen­tar que, no CD, fo­ram tam­bém uti­li­za­das uma Gibson Les Paul e uma Rickenbacker co­lo­cada den­tro de um pi­ano de cauda. O cu­ri­oso é que, em si­tu­a­ção de con­certo, quase não as ve­mos. Abdul Moimême «toca-as» por meio de ob­je­tos me­tá­li­cos de di­ver­sas di­men­sões po­si­ci­o­na­dos so­bre, e en­tre, as cor­das. Daí re­sulta um se­tup tão es­tra­nho quanto misterioso. Entre cha­pas, bar­ras e mo­las es­tão mag­ní­fi­cas es­cul­tu­ras, cons­tru­ções de grande efeito vi­sual, be­ne­fi­ci­ando da sua for­ma­ção e da sua ati­vi­dade pa­ra­lela como ar­qui­teto e tam­bém do gosto que tem no ma­nejo do ferro de soldar. Os sons as­sim pro­du­zi­dos vão do li­li­pu­ti­ano, tão sub­tis quanto o ou­vido pode cap­tar, a um tro­ve­jar de di­men­sões wag­ne­ri­a­nas ou de he­avy me­tal, com dis­tor­ção a condizer. A mú­sica de «Mekhaanu» vai de um ex­tremo ao ou­tro, cons­ti­tuindo uma ode à gui­tarra elé­trica, uma in­ven­ção de George Beauchamp que re­monta a 1931, e uma ho­me­na­gem ao con­ceito de «pre­pa­ra­ção» (al­te­ra­ção dos tim­bres ins­tru­men­tais por meio de apli­ca­ções fí­si­cas) de John Cage. Um grande disco, para ou­vir com toda a aten­ção, que pode ser en­co­men­dado ou des­car­re­gado no sí­tio da Insubordinations.
Rui Eduardo Pais / bitaites.org

Der Gitarrist ABDUL MOIMÊME ist eine feste Größe in der Improszene Lissabons, mit enger Anbindung an Ernesto Rodrigues, etwa im IKB Ensemble, und dessen Label Creative Sources. Seine andere wichtige Connection ist die zu Diatribes und Insubordinations in Genf. Beides findet hier eine Fortsetzung. Mekhaanu – La for ê t des mécanismes sauvages (insubcd08) knüpft an Nekhephthu (CS, 2008) an, solo, aber als solches orchestral. Moimême setzt dafür zwei präparierte E-Gitarren ein, erweitert mit Stahlfedern, Stiften und Blechen. Einmal legt er die Gitarren sogar auf die Stahlsaiten eines Flügels. Damit generiert er Walls of Sound, genauer, eine industriale Wildniss, bebende und dröhnende Sugggestionen einer ‘Atmosphère Mécanique’, von Metallverarbeitung, von Energieströmen. Er gongt und rumort, als ob da übermannsgroße und tonnenschwere Maschinen und Werkstücke in Produktion wären, über den Boden scharren oder kollidieren würden. Oder er pfeift und mahlt, er schabt, prickelt, federt, klappert und scheppert kleinteiliger, wobei die Handarbeit, der Feinschliff oder das Justieren dabei deutlich werden. Moimême spricht von ‘sonic ecosystems’ und ‘industrial archaeology’, aber weist darauf hin, dass der Lärm, der mit den stillgelegten Zechen und der Digitalen Revolution aus unseren Zonen verschwunden ist, nur ausgelagert wurde. Er ist sich auch bewusst, dass da ein ästhetisierendes Moment im Spiel ist, der Reiz von Noise, Rost und rauen Kanten, der Appell an den heimlichen Automechaniker in so manchem Bubenherzen. Nicht immer schon waren Hacker oder Bankster die einzigen Traumberufe. Moimême sucht in seinen psychogeographischen Dérives im kollektiven Unterbewusstsein nach Spuren des Industrialen.
Rigobert Dittmann

Der portugiesische Gitarrist Abdul Moimême ist nicht nur Teil des Ensembles Queixas (siehe weiter oben), er ist auch als Solist aktiv tätig, wie es die CD Mekhaanu aufzeigt. Auf dieser finden sich sieben Stücke, bei welchen Moimême meist mit zwei E-Gitarren gleichzeitig spielt. Er verwendet jedoch keine Effektpedale oder ähnliches, sondern beschränkt sich auf unterschiedliche Verstärker, Objekte und den Innenraum eines Klaviers als zusätzlichen Resonator. Moimême besitzt eine Vorliebe für Soundscapes von Industriestädten, Fabriken etc., die er als „Readymade Compositions“ versteht; recht metallisch klingt demnach auch diese Solo-Veröffentlichung; die darauf befindlichen Improvisationen setzt er mit dem Klang sich bewegender Mechanismen gleich. Auch Tracknamen wie Mécanismes Gamma, Mécanismes Delta, Mécanismes Pi, Atmosphères Mécaniques (um nur einige hier anzuführen) suggerieren schon im Vorhinein eine gewisse musikalische Ästhetik, die sich beim näheren Anhören erfüllt. E-Gitarren-Feedbacks sind ebenso omnipräsent wie das Streichen unterschiedlicher metallischer Objekte und Saiten. Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music lässt von ferne grüßen.
kat /freistill

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