'Unhinged' is perhaps the best description for Vincent Berger Rond's work. I've covered him previously (see FAME's Index for a slew of critiques), and his latest, En Dehors de Tout, a 2-disc affair, is as bizarre as he's ever been, but, lord in heaven, would that a hell of a lot more musicians could exhibit such a refined sense of surreality, madness, and outré beauty as this gent ceaselessly concocts. The first cut comes across as a bedlam recording between a drugged-up Bartok, Amon Duul II in its earliest days, Univers Zero in an epileptic fit, and Captain Beefheart as a sonic Cassandra (no words appear on this track but there are plenty of ominous portents floating in the ozone). If you're a Boomer, you're already familiar with those fugitive few old Loony Tunes / Merrie Melodies cartoons that were so visually and sonically psychedelic as to be lysergic (that madcap dodo gig stands out well in memory). Well, Berger Rond takes them a step further. If scales erupt on your skin, then you start chittering like an insect, and pixies pop out of another dimension while you're listening, messing about with you and your living room, don't worry for even a split-second: that's what's supposed to happen.
En Dehors de Tout is disrupted-classical/avant-garde in its form and content, a Stravinskian, Schoenbergian, Messiaenic fever dream filtered through Subotnick and Stockhausen. It's not music for the timid nor the conservative of any stripe. The phantasmagorias are perfectly suited to dyspeptics, the enraged, fractionated dreamers, altered-state aficionados, hyperkinetic slackers, fulminators, and peripheral loons who in general just aren't interested in norms. A number of associated schizophrenic fellow travelers sit in with Bergerond as sessioneers, and the combined effort comes off as an extremely ketaminic RIO collaborative. Imagine, perhaps, a Thinking Plague that has lost its mind but retained its finesse and spent oceans of time listening to Borbetomagus, Biota, Mnemonists, and other questionably sane creatives. Or dispense with comparatives entirely, it doesn't matter, 'cause Vince is one of those rare souls who defy all categorization save the broad ID of 'paranoaically neoclassical'. Make no mistake: you endanger lifelong indoctrinated complacencies by listening to this ilk of music……but isn't about time you did?
And don't take the song track listings below as either comprehensive or in correct order. The liner artwork and typography are as dispersed as the music, more the after effects of an exploded bomb than rational coherent narrative and presentation. Like the music, the visual aspect makes a lot of sense in making no sense at all. And it doesn't matter where you start in either of the discs in this release or in his entire catalogue, as you'll end up in the exact same place every time: nowhere and everywhere.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
Website design by David N. Pyles