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Dobro Trance MP3

Canadian composer and guitarist Benoît Charest wrote the music for the masterful new French anime, Les Triplettes de Belleville, which is a bit like saying he wrote its captions, since the film is almost entirely free of dialog, so much so that the occasional bit of spoken language — a vaudevillian song or the spiel of a TV news anchor — goes without subtitles. One of the many musical highlights in the film is a kind of household-goods industrial music, featuring a newspaper ruffled rhythmically into a microphone, a muffled vacuum cleaner that moans like a pneumatic Theremin, and a refrigerator, its shelving grates plucked like a harp that’s entered rigor mortis; joining the trio is a woman who specializes in playing slim wooden mallets on the carefully tuned spokes of a bicycle wheel. That track, sadly, is not readily available for MP3 download. However, on Charest’s website (bencharest.com), he hosts a dozen full-length cues from various of his film-soundtrack assignments, and one in particular evidences a taste and talent for electronic music that was hinted at by Bellville‘s bit of found-object wizardry. Be sure to give a listen to “Dobro Trance,” one of two clips from the film Ne Dis Rien (it’s the second of the two files listed under that film — all these clips are available via the “téléchargement” tab on Charest’s homepage). The track is just what its title suggests, spacious music that uses, of all things, the dobro guitar as its main source material. Eventually a drum machine kicks in, but it’s worth waiting around for the dobro’s return later in the seven-plus-minute track. The music brings to mind the solo cello work of ECM recording artist David Darling and the ambient slide guitar of Bruce Kaplan, and, of course, the spaghetti-western scores of Ennio Morricone.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

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