Prenez le train avec MZ-N710! Ecoutez les sifflets et les rythmes des pompes à air de machines à vapeur: la mythique 241 P 17 du Creusot , qui fait partie de la série des plus grosses locomotives à vapeur jamais construites pour la SNCF; et la 141 R de construction américaine, une des dernières machines qui ont sillonné le réseau français. Laissez-vous bousculer par les sons surprenants de la loc électrique CC 6558 "Maurienne", sans parler du moteur du fameux autorail X 2800, le "bleu d'Auvergne"...
Entrez dans les anciens moulins où ce sont des roues à eau qui entraînent les engrenages, les poulies et les meules et entendez leur musique subtile.
Un voyage dans des paysages sonores industriels qui se termine au Creusot, avec le chant du laminoir de l'usine qui a fait la renommée de la ville.







a dead spot of light... (Number 5)

Similar to the preceding issue of this magazine, also this one comes with a review on a field-recording album. I like to these sound fragments of reality and how they are arranged together. The multitude of sounds and noises, all those tiny bits from different places, obscure machines and abandoned locations, let your thought drift away into a dream world. A world outside of the common one. A world bereft of all the visual images, you normally would have to rely on. MZ-N710 has recorded the sound of trains as well as of mills and crafted eighteen compositions out of these.

Being rather short in length and without any other manipulation - ambient or drone textures for instance - the listener is thrown into a world of minimalism. Even though the first tracks have some human voices in the background, the latter ones tend to consist of only a few elements and give hardly any indication on where they have been taken, left alone what the original source of the noise could be. A somehow common 'feature' is the monotony or better said constancy with which the sound appear. Therefore, it is only natural to try to find some sort of rhythm or texture in the industrial sounds and not surprisingly such so appear. Yet while hidden and because it is necessary to give the ears some amount of time to get used to the environment presented in each of the compositions, patience is needed to dig deep into this very limited 'audio world'. It should be noted though that the horns of the
trains fall out of this category and provide the listener with a neat and, at least to me, fascinating glimpse of the world of old machinery. In Germany we have a series of documentaries called Eisenbahn-Romantik (1) - English: railway romance (literally) - and even though I have seen several of these I never really focused on the sounds of the trains or engines. Paysages Industriels was able to show me that there is more to them that there design and their history. They have a distinct sound and this aspect might get neglected or ignored at times.

Sadly, the recording is not consistent in terms of the quality. The first track for instance was not recorded in an optimal way as the volume shots up while the train blows up the horn. Not surprisingly the noise level reached a peak and shot off the limit; created some crackling sound and fragments in the flow of the sound. Aside from this, some of the tracks a show a bit too much of a resemblance. Some tracks are also a bit too short.

Nevertheless, some nice sounds and noises can be found on this recording. If you ignore the aforementioned flaw a bit and have a fancy for 'industrial' - human artefacts - and what can be made out of them. The focus is rather narrow here, but as the execution appears on a good level, it is possible to find some beauty in Paysages Industriels. Additional manipulation would have brought the field recordings on a higher level, but this was not the intention of the artist behind this project.