Eric Cordier

cdwhon011, released in april 2006, 6 tracks, 73'02".

In making Breizhiselad I have tried to rewrite some masterpieces of the traditional music of French Brittany. Apart a few field recordings all the material on this record originates in extracts from two songs of the A side of a 10" 1960s reissue of a 78rpm. The story begins when a Breton cousin discovered the record at his grandmother's house. On first listening, I found it to be horrible - but a work of genius. Horrible because of the catechism-like vocal arrangements but a work of genius in terms of the beauty of the melody and the conviction of the singers. Another particularity is the importance of the disc itself, whose vinyl surface is nearly erased, polished under a sea of cracks. My project has been to transpose this traditional music into the tape music medium with a view to preserving what is strong in the source material and erasing the sugary, churchy treatment of these originally popular songs.

Composed between May and October 2003 with a sophisticated delay pedal, a sound processor and handmade devices.

Eric Cordier, 2006



[...] Hypnotic quality about this piece can't be denied. The more one listens to it, the more it draws you in. There's been many a day when I put this record on auto-repeat and couldn't count the number of times it has played in the background while I was doing other chores. Outstanding piece of work that is as mysterious as it is provocative.

Tom Sekowski, Gaz-Eta #53 , march 2007 [Full review]

[...] Durch Klangüberlagerung und Veränderung der Geschwindigkeit rücken Cordiers Manipulationen den sakralen Chor in weite Ferne, was für einen ambivalenten Effekt sorgt: Seine Nachbearbeitung verleiht den alten Aufnahmen eine ganz spezielle Aura, die den sakralen Charakter noch stärker hervortreten lassen, gleichzeitig wirken die Musikreste jedoch gespenstisch, wie eine dünne, transparente Membran, kurze, beklemmende Signale aus dem Reich der Toten.[...]

mb, testcard #16 - Extremismus, april 2007

[...] Cordier, with a Ph.D in ethnology as well as a career playing hurdy-gurdy music before gravitating toward electronic and improvisational music, has committed an act of cultural preservation and renewal worthy of high praise.[...]

Stephen Fruitman,, february 2007 [Full review]

[...] Imagine the murky undersea drift of Oval's skipping cd-scapes, but wrapped in a thick cloak of analog imperfections, skips and pops and crackle and hiss, imbued with an ominous undercurrent, minor key melodies assembled from rumble and hum, thick swells of static and clipped stuttering snatches of organ or voice, all transformed into creepy complex squalls of sound, scraping and hiccuping, but just as often, smoothed into hushed, dreamlike drifts, warm and muted, almost like some analog Pop Ambient, letting us float serenely and ghostlike through a sonic world of dark forests and crumbling castles, small villages and rolling hillsides, battlefields and ruined cities, of war, famine and death, but also of hope and salvation.

aQuarius records, january 2007 (CD of the week, list #257, 19 Jan 2007)

[...] So this record might appeal to fans of Philip Jeck, although this piece is far more controlled and much more about determining the result of the finished process than Jeck, who allows more chance elements in his music. Nonoetheless, it's a good one!

Ed Pinsent, The Sound Projector no 15, january 2007

[...] one of the most important things that this album manages to achieve is that it leaves an undeniable impression on you. long after i will have forgotten how minimal the last rlw album was, how droney that damion romero album was or just how dense that cdr by the rita was, i'll remember what this sounds like. chances are pretty high that anyone else who listens to this will as well. surely our collective level of appreciation for this is bound to vary, but i feel pretty confident in saying that most of us haven't heard anything quite like it before.

avant gardening, Smooth Assailing, january 2007

[...] Es ist, als ob man an einem Phonographen drehen würde und beim Hören ein imaginäres Erinnerungsfenster an längst vergangene Tage aufgeht, eine eigentümliche, romantische Melancholie macht sich auf den bis zu 15 Minuten langen Stücken breit. Eine der schönsten Scheiben für kommende Herbst.

Heinrich Deisl, skug, october 2006

[...] La surface abrasée du vieux vynile et les craquements d'usure qu'il produit sont autant de sources pour la réinterprétation. Eric Cordier ajoute à cette manière des bruits divers comme ceux captés sur un chemin gravilloné qui nous amènent à emprunter les mêmes routes de campagnes que l'auteur, à la recherche de cette identité.

L'ensemble, d'une rare homogénéité, reste longtemps en tête. Il cultive étrange, beauté froide et un brin d'onirisme qui ressort dès la prise en main de la pochette. Un disque qui fera date.

Sébastien Moig, JazzoSphère no 30, september 2006

C'è un fascino grezzo che alberga nelle sei tracce di questa fatica a firma Cordier. Sei tracce lunghe ma povere, ottenute a furia di forbici e manipolazioni sul corpo esamine di una vecchia raccolta di canti bretoni, scovata dal nostro in polveroso formato vinilico. Ed è soprattuto lo scricchiolio della polvere, gli affanni di una puntina che va in loop, che assieme ai fantasmi della musica (ma anche della lingua) bretone regala il senso misterico, profondamente umano, dell'album. Peccato che l'eccessiva prolissità dei brani, e l'insistenza su un'idea, per quanto affascinante, limitata, produca anche qualche sbadiglio. [6/7]

Valerio Mattioli, Blow Up no 100, september 2006

[...] Cordier has written a fascinating work, which manages to shed light on crucial matters like traditions, or the risk of losing your own tongue, without writing rhetorical manifestos. As an aesthetic experience, it grows with each listen, and I honestly wouldn't advise to take it all in one go, as it could sound redundant at first. A much recommended record for sure.

Eugenio Maggi, Chain D.L.K. september 2006 [Full review]

[...] [Eric Cordier] plays six lengthy pieces with this limited material, but cranks out some beautiful material with it. Of course the crackling vinyl plays an important role, but throughout there is a great sense of peace and warmness in these recordings. Everything moves solemnly and slowly around, and makes a hotbed of ambient sounding material, but albeit an ambience of a highly original kind. Perhaps limited in it's concept, the execution thereof is great.

Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly 526, may 2006

[...] Cordier verstärkt die Rückkehr zur Unterschicht und zum Genuinen gerade nicht mit einer pseudoarchaischen Rekonstruktion. Er verwendet Delaypedal und Soundprocessor, um die Stärke der alten Musik zu vermitteln, Schritte, Wind und Meeresrauschen, um sie an ihren Ort - Finistère - zu binden. Das verschliffene Klangbild wirkt wie ein Zeitsturz zurück hinter Schellack und Edisons Walze, tief in die Vergangenheit bis zu den angelandeten Flüchtlingen von der Insel, die am Strand niedersinken und singend für ihre Rettung danken.

Rigobert Dittmann, Bad Alchemy 51, july 2006

[...] Nun klingts ganz so als würde man einen Spaziergang durch ein verwunschenes Schloss machen, das mittlerweile über mehr Patina als Bausubstanz verfügt. Überall ächzts und knirschts und immer wieder tönt einem der merkwürdige Singsang gewesener Stimmen entgegen. Nichts für Angsthasen und längst nicht nur für Goths.

pp, de:bug no 104, july 2006

[...] six longs titres à la beauté spectrale.[...]

Jean-François Micard, D-Side no 35, july 2006