Artist: Philippe Emmanuel Gueble
Album: Fire & Remembrance

Released: 2003
Label: Underwater Music

Fire & Remembrance
On his album Fire & Remembrance (47'12"), Philippe Emmanuel Gueble compiles nine distinctive, almost disparate, tracks. Each piece explores a separate aspect of individuality. The mood on this collection moves restlessly between themes of the ceremonial and the cerebral, to that of concealment and knowing, to spirit and hope. There's a fair amount of air and light on this album, unpredictably offset by areas of darkly inhibited aural inventions. It's this diversity that makes this album of selective sonic recollections difficult to categorize - and endlessly fascinating. Equally represented are the genres of Ambient, Avant-Garde, New Age, Experimental, but not enough of any one to give it a true place to belong. A constant running through Fire & Remembrance would be the wonderful synthesizer tones. At times therapeutic, elsewhere disconcerting, the electronic textures and accents are personalized for the content of each track. While brittle harmonious pads brighten several of the tracks, drones and sweeping modulations elsewhere dull. Gueble also uses a range of guitars, from moaning e-bowed electric to softly strummed acoustic, and on to gliding Hawaiian steel... and vocal stylings, from quietly whispered secrets to hummed ethereal emanations. This album achieves a wonderful diversity without being self-conscious. It never disconnects from the meditative effect. How so? Whatever the explanation, it hovers outside our grasp. Maybe Gueble's approach was to begin completely anew with each nascent work. Probably so, what with the power contained within each of his brief musical realizations, each subsequent creation must've brought him back to the vast emptiness of the beginning... the point where the artist explores his relationship with the world.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   30 December 2004

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