This album was completed in 1996 but saw the light of day only in 2001, which makes it an oddly timed release. First, this collaborative effort between France's Brume and Belgium's Artificial Memory Trace
came out at a time when Christian Renou
had stopped recording sound art projects under the name Brume to turn to techno music. Moreover, while it was supposed to be the first of a series of similar projects led by Slavek Kwi (the man hiding behind AMT), it was released after subsequent installments (namely the dark Transphere 1996-1999, with PBK) were made available. The concept of this album is simple but brilliant: Each sound artist creates a cycle of works using basic tracks supplied by the other. Therefore, 1st Encounter
is not a split CD: the distinctive colors of both sound painters get blurred into the process, and stylistic differences between Renou's "Faction" series and Kwi's "Telegram" series are limited. The resulting music shares affinities with musique concrete, live electronics, and sound art. It remains, at all times, more lively (or delinquent?) than most electro-acoustic music created within institutionalized walls. And as far as AMT's string of collaborative releases go, 1st Encounter
appears more focused and the contributions from both artists more homogeneous. This limited-edition CD is packaged in a digipack with beautiful artwork by Kwi. It stands as a very good example of the European sound art scene.