Subjective Slave is the debut album by Cédric Dambrain. Moving away from his early work as a composer of music for instruments with live electronics, he delivers ten tracks of computer-generated material spanning a wide sonic palette, from anarchic electronics to surgical otoacoustic synthscapes (sounds emitted in the inner ear by a vibration of the cochlea). As the record’s title refers to human beings’ inclination to create in themselves the conditions of their own alienation, the music oscillates between sound as (outer) phenomena and sound as (inner) experience, transforming the listener’s body into the space of the perception. Happening simultaneously inside and outside, the context of the listening becomes a place for self-knowledge and ecstasy.
Mastered by Denis Blackham at Skye Mastering, in a limited edition of 500 handnumbered copies. Packaged in a deep black foil bag, with a 15×15 cm printed visual featuring all the dark secrets your pareidolic visions may shape.
ROLE001CD – November 2013
Music written and produced by Cédric Dambrain.
« Listening to Dambrain’s Subjective Slave is like entering a black hole.
The uncompromising first seconds of Splace Genesis hit you in the face like a tornado of frequencies warning you that this music is as physical as it is physiological and that you might not escape the experience unharmed.
Unlike many noise artists nowadays limiting themselves in a blast of uncontrolled feedbacks, Dambrain’s musical vision most certainly propose an accurate understanding of structures and a real fascination for the perceptual dimensions of sound phenomena.
The second composition, Ee Duct Con, takes the listeners into a vortex of otoacoustic textures and makes you understand that you are in presence of a strong and unique artistic persona. A couple of minutes later, The Fhn Vsion fills the space with its rich and complex electronic drones sounding like fieldrecordings of a lost cybernetic factory.
Although often blasting sonic violences, Subjective Slave features an accurate sense for complex textural qualities and an extremely detailed density during the whole record as the ten compositions follow each other very naturally and result in a magnificent grand mosaic of electronic music. The most impressive pieces of the album, Ee Duct On, Another You, the longest piece Lake R.09 and the closing Purrlwa propose spectacular otoacoustic emissions, making sound dancing right inside your head if played at an adequate volume. These moments are the record’s finest and confirm Dambrain as a highly interesting and original electronic music composer, a personality informed by the pioneering works of Maryanne Amacher but clearly proposing his very own take on experimental electronic music while being concerned with the perceptual and physical phenomena of the sonic matter.
At times ferocious and wild, but at its most radical during the psychoacoustic moments, sharp and precise like the surgeon’s knife, Subjective Slave is an intense aural experience and an impressive audio work. »
Zapatos, The Hidden Offline Reviews, 2014