Sylvain Chauveau

The Black Book of Capitalism

BY Eric HillPublished Feb 17, 2009

Originally released on the Noise Museum label in 2000, Sylvain Chauveau's first album is a work of structural ambition and variety. It's an approach that he's simplified and refined in the later half of this decade. The title refers to a French collection of essays published in 1998 in reaction to The Black Book of Communism from the previous year. The classical pieces tend towards stoicism but with little direct reference to the text. The chamber group accompanies his piano with viola, cello, bass and accordion, with either a ceremonial progression or a drone that isolates it in the centre. Chauveau breaks from this dominant mode with tracks like "Géographie intime," which edges closer to Mogwai-like post-rock, with its creeping bass, organ and extended ambient outro. The stolen Depeche Mode sample from the following track is a nod to his later album of DM covers, Down to the Bone. It's a reissue that will surprise folks who know Chauveau only from his most recent and considerably starker works.

Latest Coverage