Benoit Delbecq is a uniquely gifted French pianist and keyboardist who has created his own music using ideas and techniques from contemporary classical (Cage, Ligeti, Nancarrow), jazz, Pygmy polyphony, European improv and other sources. He prepares the piano with various materials such as eraser bits and carved wooden twigs, and improvises on short, overlapping vamps and patterns; the result is a complex, spacious sound that hardly seems to be emanating from a single instrument. On Nu-turn Delbecq stretches out solo on a Steinway D in 8 astonishing structured improvisations; the final, 12-minute composition is a computer-created ambient "remix" that completely transforms the solo material. Recorded in a small concert hall directly to 6 channel DSD (the sixth channel is an optional height channel), the piano sound is remarkably realistic, and the music beguiling in its rhythmic-melodic-timbral meldings. Dexterous, brainy, evanescent and strangely moving, Nu-turn will intrigue audiophiles ready for new experiences (we predict it will become a multi-channel demonstration record), and appeal to fans of new music beyond category.
Highly acclaimed in Europe, Benoit Delbecq leads or co-leads a number of bands (The Recyclers, Karket, Ambitronix, PianoBook) and has releases on Naive, Plush, Deux Z and other labels. He has three previous releases on Songlines: two duos with Vancouver clarinetist Francois Houle Nancali, SGL 1519, and Dice Thrown, SGL 1538), and one leading the Delbecq 5 (Pursuit, SGL 1529), about which Popmatters.com said: "...in the best sense, the newest in the new. It manages to push boundaries, sound fresh and smart, and be thoroughly and thoughtfully entertaining."
Both Pursuit and Dice Thrown received Chocs de lÕannee (accorded the 12 best French jazz releases of the year) from the influential magazine Jazzman, Pursuit was selected by Jazzman's critics as one of the 50 outstanding records of the 1990s, and Nu-turn has already garnered a Choc (5 star) review from Jazzman's editor:
"In the manner of a mathematical and mineral reverie, Nu-turn achieves something vital. As rarely happens, a purely contemplative abstraction is combined with a lyricism all the more touching for not giving off its savor immediately, but secretly calling us to itself... The abstract is made palpable... There is also, and above all, a nocturnal choreography beautiful as an enigma... A disc freed from all heaviness."