Ni Prédateur Ni Proie is a complete theatrical performance packaged into twelve sketches on a disk. Strings tune up. A gong rings. A voice pleads with a shadow. Tension builds up. Industrial percussion kicks in. What follows is a combination of experimental neo-classical and avant-garde rhythmic technoid, curated with ethnic organic beats and acoustic orchestral instrumentation. Along the dark curtain of apocalyptic soundscapes, people confide in their woes. What is this place? With scalpel sharp precise execution, the French collective Von Magnet, tells a story of a human conflict.

Regardless of the geographical location, we, the people, tend to find reasons to create interpersonal struggles that reflect externally through rage, tears, and war. The field recordings and the produced performances in different tongues speak for the voice of the human condition and the reality of today’s brutal world. The cover art depicts two hands, of different skin color, smothered in oil, attempting to hold on to each other, but slipping away. The music conveys a similar theme.

Von Magnet has been around since the late 80s, saturating the airwaves with post-industrial sound through more than a dozen albums. Their live shows are usually accompanied by performance art which transform the stage into a fascinating experimental musical. A quote from their bio: “Based successively in Barcelona, Rennes, Amsterdam, Lille, Berlin & Paris, for each project gathering different creative teams and mixed peculiar tribes of performers, visual artists, dancers, musicians, designers or sculptors, Von Magnet is indeed one of the cybergypsy pioneers of euroculture.” It would be an absolute treat to see them live.

Meanwhile, this excellent addition to an already powerful catalog of Ant-Zen will have to satisfy your cravings. The album is released in parallel on a French Jarring Effects label. Refusing to be divided, refusing to be boxed in, and refusing to accept the two extreme choices, with their music Von Magnet proclaims that it will be… neither predator, nor prey. | |