I must admit I was intrigued by the blurry sleeve photo of the drummer playing his bongos and hoped the LP on the Ocora label (1984) would be a pleasant surprise but alas its just another tedious and pretentious drum solo done up to look like some kind of " poemes " and a "histiore" of drumming which it certainly isn't. Also its all in French so unable to figure out what the intention is - if any! I feel sorry for the audience but they seem surprisingly appreciative of this bongo bashing so maybe I'm in a minority. Here it is anyway for all you bongo lovers out there!
"Flying in from his native Argentina and relocating himself to France in order to escape his native country's totalitarian regime, Martin Saint-Pierre settled down and released his first LP. In his hands, percussion becomes the departing point for a new means of expression that leans more to a contemporary creation instead of being a barely audible echo of a distant ancestral past. With his bendir – a Berber instrument out of the Atlas Mountains– Saint-Pierre leaps off straight away in an open space that qualifies itself as a “sonic sculpture”. Playing with contrasting effects, he emanates out a string of basic rhythms with frolic hand movements. He creates a wide sonic palette and upon listening attentively to it, it is at times hard to comprehend that such a recording was possible with nothing but the bendir. At times hurtful and at other occasions caressingly sweet, the tonal palette is wide and ranges from clear sounding notes to rumbling thunderous sounds and explosive eruptions. In all, he evokes an organic drift impregnated with a midnight ambience, punctuated by strange bits of percussive flares, but spending most drifting through deep dark cavernous expanses of sound and breathing out amazingly deep and physical sounds that are comprised out of a slow burning series of huge low end reverberations. The resonating sonics are given ample time to invade your listening space and hi-jack the ether. Scintillescent high end sparkles bobble up at the rear end of your acoustical wave frequency's periphery, super percussive skitter wraps around delicate melodic tom fills, occasionally sounding like a super slow abstract free jazz spread way out across the soundfield, with some serious stereo panning to underscore the total outcome. It all blends into an amorphous maelstrom swerving from one speaker to the other, oozing out dizzying dreamy soundscapes of percussive melodic clatter and strange rhythmic textural. drones that subtlety transform into high-end infected free jazz splatter."
Tracks are as follows -
1. Premiere partie 2. Extraits de poemes de Nicholas Guillen "Le cancion de Bongo" et "Bailando con los negros" de Pablo Neruda.