The Prepared Public

KK 097CD KK 097CD

Following 2010's Goto (KK 053CD/057LP), Toog, aka Parisian musician, poet, and filmmaker Gilles Weinzaepflen, is back with his third album on Karaoke Kalk, The Prepared Public. Toog's musical life started by touring extensively with the legendary Scottish singer Momus, in the USA, Europe, and Japan, where they played with the Japanese popstar Kahimi Karie. Toog's debut album 6633 was released worldwide in 1999 and was critically acclaimed. BBC Choice describes 6633: "Imagine a 21st century descendant of French musical maestros Erik Satie and Serge Gainsbourg playing his compositions with chop sticks and a selection of synths and toy instruments and you have Toog." The Prepared Public is Toog's seventh full-length album as a solo musician. The album begins, as all music should, with the sound of tuning up. What ensues is 18 tracks of bewildering beauty, both enchanting and baffling. Toog paints a mysterious sound picture, blending piano melodies with field recordings, electronic sounds, acoustic guitar, and French spoken word. It is perhaps the minimalist edge that provides the only link to the John Cage reference in the album title. In Toog's own words: "John Cage has nothing to do with the record, apart from his interest in sounds. He's a symbol more than a model: his fabulous prepared piano wouldn't exist without culture, which is 'preparing' us to welcome it. We are the prepared public." With so many short tracks on one album - the average length is about two minutes - Toog manages to create the feel of a sound collage, encompassing seemingly endless emotions and abstract audio moments, each one magnificently juxtaposed with the next. The Prepared Public may be of the musique nouvelle genre, but it covers too many styles to be placed in one pigeon hole. One thing is clear: the core of the project is a true dialogue between piano melodies and sounds. This music effortlessly leaps from minimal ambience to dadaist moments which could be the soundtrack to a Tim Burton movie. The Prepared Public is as likely to perplex as it is delight, but no doubt, this is an album for the discerning listener.