Laurent Jeanneau, a Frenchman living in China, is a specialist in field recordings who spent a lot of time in Asia developing his work. A long time practitioner of ethnic field recordings, which he releases on his own label (Kink Gong Recs) as well as on Sublime Frequencies, Laurent’s work could be divided in two distinct approaches.
From his home base in Dali, Laurent Jeanneau travels to remote regions in order to record tribal sounds that characterize the life of remote ethnic minorities. However, his side project, Kink Gong modifies these recorded sounds in order to create moods and ambiences that translate into unique soundscapes.
«Small Path Music – with Laurent Jeanneau», David Harris (2011)
Xinjiang LP, his first work to be pressed to vinyl, Laurent based the songs around the recordings he made on a 2009 trip to the frontier region of Northern China, Xinjiang.
Xinjiang («new frontier» in Chinese) or Eastern Turkestan is probably the first extremely sensitive zone in China, at least in terms of ethnic conflict between the Hans newcomers and the Muslim minorities who have a longer history of occupation of those areas. Spread from Mongolia to Afghanistan, it is the biggest Chinese province. During the weeks leading up to the Uyghur uprising of 2009, Laurent was travelling in the Northwestern part of Xinjiang, in the prefecture of ILI, called Yining outside of China and Ghulja by the Turkophones. Breaking away from the ever-suspecting enquiries of the local authorities and armed with his trusty audio gear, Laurent managed to record magnificent performances from local musicians on all sides of the communities. The result was a rich mix of Islamic folk music with hints of Arabic, Persian and Ottoman influences, performed by surprisingly skilled musicians on an eclectic array of different stringed instruments.
One amazing example is Jaymanur Ajabek, a 20 year old Kazakh Dongbra player student from Kui Tun fine arts university whose lightning fast fingers dominate the B Side of the Kink Gong LP. Other examples are the recordings of an Uyghur trio made of Satar, Tambur and Dotar – all traditional Uyghur instruments.
«Simple and beautiful soundscapes, it makes people fall into visionary reality.» (Kwan Yin)
From these locally made recordings of Dongbra, Dotar, regional radio interferences and various other obscure instruments, Laurent electronically transforms the original sounds, creating a surprising melting pot of traditional music, field recordings, electronic atmospheres and free form experimentations.
You can stream and buy the LP here: http://discrepant.bandcamp.com/
Or straight from the website of the label: http://discrepant.net/releases
Erhai Floating Sounds – Sound Performance by Julien Clauss and Laurent Jeanneau