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Various 33 RPM: Ten Hours of Sound From France

The French wrote the damn book on audio collage or musique concrete, some 50 years ago, discovering that tape-edits can make the world sound differently. Last September, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art invited patrons to 10-hour listening marathons of key sound pieces from conservative America's favorite punching bag. This compilation of exhibit highlights stupefies. Kasper T. Toeplitz's "PURR#2" resembles a freeway accident victim's last moment of life, while Kristoff K. Roll brilliantly fingerpaints with samples of a Zapatistan rally in "Zocalo Masque." Jean-Claude Risset enters Edgar Varese territory with his mix of an orchestra slipping everywhere. Check out Laurent Dallieau's linear notes for a clear, unpretentious overview of French avant-sound history.

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