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Greg Davis and Sebastien Roux - Paquet Surprise

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Artist: Greg Davis and Sebastien Roux

Album: Paquet Surprise

Label: Carpark

Review date: Nov. 9, 2005

You can't keep a good idea down. The RIAA may have put the screws to the free sharing of music files, but American Greg Davis and Frenchman Sebastien Roux came up with a solution; they shared their own files until they came up with this album. The two men volleyed ideas, sounds, and songs digitally for over a year. Environmental recordings, the clink and clatter of toy instruments, yearning acoustic songlets, pagan flute duels, electronic blips, digital blasts - all were grist for the mill.

The results flow like a dream; sometimes gauzy and languorous, sometimes startlingly abrupt, governed by logic that refuses to reveal itself on first listen. The unifying principle is delight; even when the sounds get harsh, like the one that sounds like a distorted minidisc recording of someone cleaning a shed, they aren't deployed with malice. The song title "To See The Wonderful World" gives Davis and Roux away; their lyrics and samples create images of joyous and beautiful moments. That song itself stands out. An electro-carousel swirl ushers in a Beach Boys-like chorale flecked with bright, reflective blips, then dissolves to a shimmering, amorphous organ drone. The drone falls away to reveal rocks dropping in the water.

Once the music industry finally succeeds in prosecuting its customers to the point where they quit buying music, will people making their own like this be all that's left? On the strength of this pleasant little record, that might not be so bad.

By Bill Meyer

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