Charlotte & Mr. Stone: Live at Café du Burgaud: Vision Of Sound Records VOSCMSCDEP – 002
T’as Qu’à Pas takes us on a sublime journey to the outer reaches of Charlotte and Mr. Stone’s artistic multiverse, revealing responsive interplay, technical aptitude and compositional patience in equal measure. This is an immersive experience, taking in long-form drone, nursery-rhyme song structure and hints of the emphatic vocal stylings of Catherine Ribeiro circa 1974 (but with her folk-rock accompaniment replaced by an expansive electronic landscape).
Kyle McCallum, Extranormal Records
This is an excerpt from the extensive and longer review, which you can read in its entirety here.
The unusual duo Charlotte & Mr. Stone consists of composer and performer of experimental electronic music Simon Vincent, and singer and creator of loops Sophie Tassignon. Four years after their 19–minute disc “Trees & Birds & Beautiful Things” (2010), they decided to publish a recording of a concert that took place in Le Burgaud, France on 4th May 2013 as part of a series of seven consecutive appearances in France and Spain .
This album consists of five works created using electronics and vocal tracks, highlighting the exceptional musical imagination and taste of both artists, improvising on foundations which provide the outlines for each respective composition. The mysterious and intriguing first fragment ‘‘As Long As It Takes” provides true magic in the form of a kind of acoustic fog that slowly envelopes the listener, dragging them into a cloud of hot musical fantasy. Sophie Tassignon’s voice superimposed several times upon itself is impressive, hypnotizing us like a heavenly choir. “Flic Flac, Plique Ploque, Cric Crac” humorously pulls us out of this mood, full of aggressive electronic effects that give rise to a variety of associations. ”Mirrorcrystalspaceship” takes us on a 7–minute journey perceived through a science fiction lens. The battery of overlapping sounds generated by Simon Vincent calls to mind fantastical cinema productions of the 1970s.
While Sophie Tassignon’s spectacular vocals should not be disregarded, it is not the most important factor here. For what is undoubtedly able to captivate the listener in the work of Charlotte & Mr. Stone as we hear it on this album is an exceptional atmosphere created by the artists, and by their music, emotions and feelings which they share with us by way of this unique form of interaction. It’s worth letting oneself get carried away by this unusual sonic cloud and listening intently to this album.”
Robert Ratajczak, Longplay
“As Long As It Takes“, the first track on this album, contains undeniably lyrical inflections of classical music, until you realize that behind the voice there is no orchestra with traditional instruments but only electronic soundscapes. For Charlotte & Mr Stone is actually a duo consisting the vocalizations of Sophie Tassignon and the electroacoustic constructions of Simon Vincent, two sonic streams that collide, intersect and blend, carrying along with them all the emotions and crises of an unknown, unchartered adventure into terra incognita. “Flic Flac, Plique Ploque” is exactly what its name implies: sounds that bounce like drops of water on an invisible frame, with neither rhythm nor melody, opening a door to infinitesimal possibilities. The cosmic “Mirrorcrystalspaceship” which plunges the listener into the heart of an epic space opera , manages to contract time in such a way that one can hardly believe that this track lasts only seven minutes. Resisting all description, “Counting By Numbers” could swell serve as a soundtrack to the continuous scrolling of characters on the green screens in “The Matrix”. Finally, “T’as qu’a pas” is the only track that includes words, duplicated, stacked and amplified by the miracle of electronics, adding to the mystery and melancholy that traverse this futuristic chamber music.
The album was recorded live, but you do not hear the public; perhaps they are absent, or more probably they are bewitched by the strange alchemy improvised live by these two accomplices. One thinks fleetingly of Meredith Monk, of Laurie Anderson, of Kaija Saariaho , of Iva Bittova and even of Brigitte Fontaine whose songs also explored poetic worlds with humor or seriousness. Visionary and expressive, constantly moving and lightly magical, what one experiences here is literally akin to sonic tightrope walking, dreaming both big and small.”
Pierre Dulieu and Albert Maurice Drion, Dragon Jazz