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  Julie Rousse  
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Tired of paying for music, but scared the R.I.A.A. will sue you into debtor's prison? Well, EvilSponge has the hookup for you. There are plenty of free "releases" on the web, if you know how to look.

One series that i have enjoyed is NoType's Sine Fiction series. This is a collection of avante electronica interpretations of science fiction novels. A wacky idea, but you get some great music out of it.

I have reviewed 4 separate Sine Fiction downloads. Check the "Related Links" section after the review for more of them.


This selection in the Sine Fiction series really interested me. I am an Isaac Asimov fan, and the lengthy (and still growing) Foundation series i think stands as a permanent classic in Sci-Fi literature. What sort of music would accompany this work? Something pompous, bold, visionary, and complex.

What this is, instead, is 23 minutes of noise. This is agressively avante electronica. It makes Autechre look tame. It pushes boundaries and moves forward with no regard for such archaic notions as "melody" and "harmony".

In all honesty, i hate this. It comes across as unfocused software twiddling. Sure, some of the sounds are kind of neat, but they go on for too long, and ultimately go nowhere.

There is a real similarity between the music of Julie Rousse and Autechre. Both are wildly experimental and often grating. The difference that i see is that Autechre are experimenting to see what can be done. They come up with genuinely new things, and there is a playfulness to their work. Foundation, on the other hand, comes across as the artist trying to pull a scam: Rousse wants to see what she can get away with, how far she can push her listeners before they turn it off in disgust. For all the wierdness here, nothing seems to have a future. There is no goal to this experiment, whereas Autechre's work seems as if it might lead to new and interesting sounds at some point.

I dunno, maybe i am full of it and this really is as experimental (in a good sense) as Autechre. All i know is this: Foundation really annoys me as a whole.

That said, there is one part of the piece that is actually interesting. The second track, Premier Voyage combines clanging asian style percussion with strange computer sounds. It really works as a whole, perhaps because the percussion provides a bit more focus to the song than is present in the rest of Foundation.

Overall, i cannot recommend this one, except perhaps to the hardiest of listeners. So, if you think Autechre needs to stop being lazy and be wierder, if you can actually listen to a Merzbow release without feeling that the artist is laughing at you for buying that crap, then this is for you.

I wonder what old Isaac Asimov would have thought? My guess is he wouldn't have liked it, but then again i think he was a real classical music fan.

Related Links:

4 Sine Fiction Releases have been reviewed here:
Sine 004: Foundation by Julie Rousse (after Isaac Asimov)
Sine 005: Dhalgren by Dick Richards (after Samuel R. Delany)
Sine 008: The Nine Billion Names of God by Oeuf Korreckt (after
             Arthur C. Clarke)
Sine 012: Deus Irae by Mystified (after Philip K. Dick and Roger Zelazny)


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