Christian Renou, aka Brume
Before recording my 1st sound i played synthesizer in a “jazz-rock big band”. It was in 1978 and we were no less than nine musicians in this large structure called, URIA. I must say that i was the only non-musician in the band. I was here only to make “special effect” like wind, birds, noise of all kind… to give to the band a touch of weirdness. We did a lot of performance especially in South of France.
The positive aspect of this musical experience made it possible for me to learn how to play keyboards, seriously speaking. But the negative stuff was all the wasted time during rehearsals, also i decided to leave the band in 1981 to compose alone.
I must add that in the same time from 1979 to 1981, i started to experiment with poor equipment. I managed sounds with a cheap bass guitar, a very old Farfisa organ, a 2nd hand MS20 ( i bought another 2nd hand SQ10 sequencer + a Boss DR55 rhythm machine) and a defective reel to reel recorder wich died one year later.
During this period, I was interested in “serialism “ like early Steve Reich, Terry Riley, some stuff by John Cage… the Krautrock, Magma, Heldon, Metal Urbain, the 1st Suicide, Fripp & Eno…
All these fabulous artists inspired me a lot to begin some basic experiments with two cassette players. I got the idea to open a cassette, cutting the tape in order to create a loop. I did many cassettes like that. It was fantastic because whatever you recorded on them, all sounds were automatically synchronised when you played together two of these tapes ! Of course playing 1000 looped cassettes together would had been the same incredible result !
So 1979 to 1985 was the theater of many experimentations : programming synthesizers, recording technic, cut-up and other tape manipulations… i bought a Revox reel to reel recorder with a speed of 38 cm per seconde and in the same time a Tascam 4-track cassette recorder, a 8-track mixing deck, some effects and a beautiful Korg ‘Polisix“sythy.
As i already recorded many pieces of music, i decided to produce myself my 1st cassette called, “Frikture” on my own label, BRUME Rec. in 1985.This cassette included some “old” experiments + some new tracks. It was limited to 50 copies only !
I got some good rewiews on many fanzines in France and in Belgium. A 1st track was submited for a compilation cassette on the Belgian label, “INSANE MUSIC FOR INSANE PEOPLE” This fact motivated me a lot to continue to produce some new tapes and material available for eventual international tape compilations.
The 2nd Cassette called “Le jour du cochon” was limited to 100 copies and made me accepted in the international mail-art, cassette culture.
It was always in 1985 and i decided to do my 1st Brume performance. My old friend, G. Guiggia (an old member of URIA, playing bass & guitar) and me found a nice place to perform.
It was an old disused bus warehouse. Of course this performance was unoficial and we were arrested by the Police at 11 PM. An extract of this performance was recorded on the “Exit / No use” C-30 cassette.(50 copies)
By the way i started to get some invitations to make whole Brume cassettes and more and more compilation by French labels first : RR PRODUCTIONS, UNDERGROUND PROUCTIONS, TEARS COMPILATIONS, ORGANIC TAPES, OLD EUROPA CAFE, and many others (very obscure or well know labels)
Finally i did about 45 whole Brume cassettes from 1985 to 1999 mainly in USA, Germany, Italy, Belgium…
I got a lot of fun, motivation, amusing and exciting state of mind ! I must say that some cassettes were recorded in one week-end or during one night and one day.
I was very happy to see that my work on tapes was sold very well. I answered a lot of interviews in fanzine & magazines.
The tape culture made me discover a lot of music i didn’t know before and a lot of nice people. I got some real good relationships that i still have today !
This medium opened the door to make some vinyls & CDs. But the most important stuff was the relations between some people from the entire world and me.
Today i notice that vinyls and cassettes create once again a new strong interest with people. That’s great !!!
Anyway i was bored to do CDs again and again. Cassette and LP are sensual objects, CD is cold ! Also since 2011 i decided to release LPs and… some new cassettes !
To finish and as info : two cassettes were already profesionally released by the US label, BLOSSOMING NOISE and two other ones are in preparation !
To be continued…
C. Renou / Brume, Feb. 2012