Xavier Charles
. clarinet (acoustic & amplified)
Bertrand Gauguet . alto saxophone (acoustic & amplified)

  1. Phonomnèse 1 . (07:59)
  2. Étendue 1 . (03:27)
  3. Le point fantôme . (05:15)
  4. Phonomnèse 2 . (07:25)
  5. Étendue 2 . (12:26)
  6. Phonomnèse 3 . (03:33)

Total time : 40:05

Tracks 1,3,4 & 6: recorded by Alexis Derouet at Césaré, Reims (FR) 2017 December 7 to 8
Tracks 2 & 5: recorded by Emmanuel Lalande at PiedNu, Le Havre (FR) 2015 March 6 to 8

Edited by Bertrand Gauguet – 2019, August
Mixed by Bertrand Gauguet and Xavier Charles – 2019, September
Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi – 2019, October

Original Drawing for the cover by Guillaume Dégé
Graphic Design by Atelier ter Bekke & Behage

Akousis records AK001 – 2020



with a total duration of just over 40 minutes, Spectre proves itself an errant illumination of alchemic restraint by two players with respective significant contributions to the worlds of avant-garde composition and free music. Each piece rasps and rumbles its way through neatly hewn contours unrepentant in their taking the finely honed art-form of pure self-expression to a space steeped in slow motion atmospheric dissonance. Although heavily veiled by a sense of foreboding, this music (quite literally) breathes with a raw energy that sets it far outside. Fantastic album.

Richard Johnson, Adverse effect magazine

All diese Sounds eröffnen ihr spezifisches Charisma erst mit einer gewissen Vertrautheit und gewinnen mit mehrmaligem Hören an zusätzlicher Faszination.

A.Kaudaht, African Paper

Spectre is not “ambient” music by any means, but it does share some of its characteristics. Charles and Gauguet utilise similar techniques of slow development, subtle pulse in place of any formalized beat, poise, frequent rests, and the occasional drops in amplitude to barely there sound… Results in this listener: benign tranquillity. Thanks chaps. For the most part, the players seem to move around each other, as if testing the water. Sometimes the music sounds almost electronic.

(…). Like trying to get at something that is just out of reach. The musicians generate low lying clouds on “Phonomnèse 2”; with beat frequencies and close notes. Beautiful. “Étendue 2” is the longest track at 12:26 and the players have time to stretch out and get deep. Then raucous. The sound of space stations colliding. The final track “Phonomnèse 3” is suitably quiet and brooding, making a nicely resolved finish. Ably mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi. I’m looking forward to more from this duo and their new label.

Paul Khimasia Morgan, The Sound Projector

Dann wieder gehend stehende Wellen, Haltetöne in gestufter Tönung, mit zirpendem Schimmer oder leicht abgeschattet. Für Etendue 2 lösen sich die stimmen voneinander, in surrender Wölbung, in rau grollender Schwellung. Wie Phantome tiefenerinnerter höhlenbären oder säbelzahntiger, oder brüllendes Phantasmen von imaginiertem Black Metal. Ein nochmal ton in ton gesummter dröhnenden schliesst den kreis.

Bad Alchemy 106, 2020 oct.

Anything but diaphanous, this Spectre is for those who can accept vigorous and unvarnished timbres.

Ken Waxman, jazzword.com

Both Charles and Gauguet have extensive discographies, but this looks to be the first time they recorded together and their tactical rigor and resourceful approach delivers impressive results.

Michael Rosenstein, pointofdeparture.org

«Spectre» mirrors the delicate and contemplative «Phonomnèse» drones with the disturbing and vibrating «Étendue» and «Point fantôme» soundscapes. This tension invites the attentive listener to reflect on the suggestive power of quiet music and of deep listening.

Eyal Hareuveni, Salt Peanuts

The tenacity and the mutual influence of the two musicians make for vivid improvisation. These unconventional techniques are so internalized as to seem entirely natural to the listener. If in some passages time seems to slow down until almost stopping, the whole process produces an effect similar to a snap-shot, which shortly crystallizes the controlled flux of the passages, which are otherwise very detailed and changeable in the intersection of the parts.


Το Γαλλικό ντουέτο των Xavier Charles (κλαρινέτο) και Bertrand Gauguet (άλτο σαξόφωνο), παίζουν μαζί εδώ και αρκετά χρόνια και το “Spectre” αποτελεί απόσταγμα της πειραματικής δουλειάς τους. Περιέχει έξι αυτοσχεδιαστικά κομμάτια ηχογραφημένα με ειδικές τεχνικές όπου είτε χρησιμοποιούν ένα και μόνο μικρόφωνο είτε πολλά τοποθετημένα  σε διαφορετικές αποστάσεις μέσα στο στούντιο. Οι παίκτες άλλοτε μένουν σταθεροί και άλλοτε κινούνται μέσα στον χώρο ενώ πολλά μουσικά διαστήματα συνδέονται μόνο με την αναπνοή. Συνήθως τα ηχοτοπία μεταβάλλονται αργά και ατονικά για να  εισάγουν το κοινό σε στοχαστικά ακούσματα.


Ein überwiegend dunkles, mäanderndes Werk das den Klang zum Mittelpunkt wählt und auf seltsam reduzierte Weise doch auch überbordende Klänge erzeugt.

Wolfgang Kabsch, Musikansich

But in the end Charles and Gauguet revert to their tranquil interference, reverberating into the infinite. Beautiful!
Using the interference points of closely pitched sound, long-time collaborators Xavier Charles and Bertrand Gauguet use acoustic and amplified clarinets and saxophones to create frequency landscapes that change slowly, ringing with harmonics while finding unison and conflict in their tones, creating meditative aural environments of great beauty and reflection.

Squidco, July 10 2020

Radio Panik, Bruxelles, Indiedrome, 2020 June 9

Revue & corrigée #124, Ring-modulation : Observatoire de la ligne droite, ou les non-musiques par Kasper T. Toeplitz, p 63. Juin 2020.

L’expérimentale de François Bonnet, France Musique, 2020/06/07

Attivi da anni nel circuito dell’improvvisazione, Charles e Gauguet esplorano le più remote potenzialità dei propri strumenti riuscendo a estrarre la materia di « Spectre » dalle zone più oscure della mente, là dove solo di rado si riesce ad accedere (7/8).

Massimiliano Busti, Blow up, Italie, Mai 2020

(…) this is some very radical music. (…). When you play this loud, the sound will be overwhelming and an attack on the ears, but at a moderate level seems to bring out some equally great beauty, without being such a burden upon the listener.

FdW, Vital Weekly 1234

On dirait le même exercice de maintien : un jeu de duettistes – ici Xavier Charles à la clarinette et Bertrand Gauguet au saxophone alto – qui feint la fusion sur une note en partage avant de donner à chacun la parole au gré de nuances qui, par quel mystère renouvelé, nourrissent l’enjeu commun.
Subtilement mélangées, les épreuves de Reims (délicates, voire prudentes) et celles du Havre (non moins sensibles mais grondantes) rendent justice aux façons qu’ont les deux musiciens d’interroger, ensemble ou séparément, et l’expérimentation et la matière sonore. Quant aux « nouvelles façons d’écouter », ne pourraient-elles pas mener à de nouvelles façons d’entendre ? En attendant, on parlera là de six paysages pour ne pas avoir à trouver les mots de sons et de sonorités qui se rencontrent, interfèrent, et accouchent enfin d’espaces inédits auxquels l’auditeur devra bien faire une place : en tête, ventre, et cœur même.

Guillaume Belhomme, Le son du grisli, mai 2020

Sélection musicale du GRM et de Joseph Ghosn, France Musique
Le lundi 27 avril 2020 à 12h00