For this CD, Berger Rond seems to have turned to an Art Bears mode of dual dedications, first to the early European twentieth century and then to a futurism dripping with archaic antecedents quite apart from the 1900s, almost shamanic. In this highly operatic chaos of unutterable hypnosis, the canvases of leering smecking decadence a la George Grosz and the enfigured grotesques of Giacometti leap out to enfold the listener's environment in an almost creepy replacement strategy…but it's the same modality that Poe, Dick, Lovecraft, and other of the top-flight fantasists excelled in, not the tawdry milieu of so much of yesterday and today's unimaginative Goth maudlinity (in just one of many instances, think of the now-dead Projekt label).
One has to be just a little surprised that Berger Rond (Vincent Bergeron) hasn't yet been far more widely acclaimed than he is. Well accepted by the more refined ears in what is too often a cesspool of in-print critics and third-hand aesthetes, he nonetheless should be receiving serious attention from classicalism venues and, so far, at least to my investigations, that's not the case. On the other hand, such seems inevitable to the work of those who "go too far": Jasun Martz, Magma, Henry Cow, Art Zoyd, Univers Zero, Zappa's extremities, and others in the most expansive reaches of the progressive rock canon, an too-oft detested and much argued genre typification.
Like Etrange en Compagne, I would say that Forecast Proof is the next step in opera, but I'm not sure the classical world, now that its initial derring-do of mid-last-century has collapsed, is heading toward this glazed surrealism any more; outside jazz took up that task and not always well. Too, Etrange is what would be called 'solo opera', as Viveka Eriksson's is the only voice, and though I'm sure it has received a few tries here and there in other hands, I've yet to hear anything as masterful as here. Then, of course, there's the hallucinogenic shifting of planes and perspectives: the third movement, The Stairs of the Unsteady, sounds as though wrenched from the paranoid mania of a Fortran computer. No matter how used you may be to extreme musics, there's definitely more than a few elements in Berger Rond that you haven't heard elsewhere yet.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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