If the reader has arrived at this review through one or more of the five others in this circle of critical exploration, then it is incumbent upon me to warn same that the liner covers for these drop-dead stunning but quite difficult CDs are not terribly indicative of the work beneath them. Vincent Bergeron, despite prolonged fits of ecstatic praise from perceptive wordsmiths, has received nowhere near the attention he deserves and thus nowhere near the funds that might otherwise accrue in order to facilitate the components surrounding his sonics: artwork, etc. The liners carry a very DaDa aspect—and the DaDa-ists, Warhol, Basquiat, and the rest of that ilk can go shit in their hats and wear it for all I care—that does nothing either to indicate or forward the cubistic surrealism of the songs themselves. So, don't judge askance if the images fronting this particular disc, or any of the collection, seem less than illustrative of what I impart. Those pre-Hockney figurations are irrelevant.
With Berger Rond in this disc in a slow sidle over to eschew former inclinations to almost totally employ acoustic sources, Savant includes Marco Oppedisano (here) and his electric guitar, constituting yet another stroke of brilliance driving down into the materials (three cuts worth) an aspect that does quite a bit to center and cohere the lunatic rush and see-saw of hallucinations than might be expected. More, and I do not know if this is guitar-triggered or otherwise, but definite elements of synthesizers wriggle into the mix as well, complementing Oppedisano's presence, drawing forth harmonics. Then there's Sexy Book Worm and it's long vocal duet sans instrumentation, something totally unexpected.
Of the six discs critiqued in this rondo of scribery, Savant is the most abstract while simultaneously highly lyrical. I'd say it's also the most accessible, but that's an extremely loaded judgmental adjective assuming a wide-ranging erudition on the part of the potential audience. With this disc, though, the eccentric gentleman takes his place among the foremost practitioners of the still-emerging art damage crowd (Patton, Kenneally, Oppedisano, Zappa, Creedle, etc.), artists wrestling the extremely unmanageable form to the ground, rushing to stay ahead of a transmorphing beast lacking definition but loaded up with endless rows of fangs. I'll assume that Cage, Stockhausen, Xenakis, Subotnick, and other pioneers would (or will, if living) be impressed with the ingenious and audacious convolutions in Berger Rond's fare, because if they wouldn't, then I and many have sadly misestimated their appetites and perceptions. In any event, why trust to dead celebrities when you can hear for yourself? And by all means do.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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