Solo – Press



About “VRTN & VBRTN”

Free Jazz Blog / Fotis Nikolakopoulos

Peter Orins’ solo venture on the drums is hard to pin down. On both tracks of the cd he uses the drums as a means to resonate other audio sources. Especially on the first track, ‘vrtn,’ Orins uses the drum solely to resonate materials like wood, metal and glass. What makes ‘vrtn’ more intriguing (and less of “drum solo” cd at least for the listener) is that after the initial sources, the musician treats his sounds electronically (you can find the technical details here).
This way his sounds tend to give the feeling that it’s not just one person who is producing them but more. There is a certain feeling of avant-garde experimentalism that left me wandering if this was Orins’ intention.
The first track lasts just over half an hour, while the second, ‘vbrtn,’ clocks on nineteen minutes. On ‘vbrtn,’ he focuses more on the timbre and audio manipulation of his drum set. Three floor toms and three cymbals plus three woodsticks comprise what it could be called a small symphony of the drums. Again you have the feeling that there are more people involved than just one.
I wrote the word symphony because the recording of ‘vbrtn’ slowly builds up towards a climax that never materializes. Instead the focus moves to construct a piece that is really cinematic.
On both tracks I had the feeling that there are a lot of ideas involved, a lot of thinking and that both tracks are a part of a process that will be more fruitful in the future.

Jazz Word / Ken Wawman

Moving from the agrarian near outdoors to the sound laboratory is Lille-based drummer Peter Orins whose two-track disc is designed to expose two percussion hypotheses. “Vrtn” projects unusual timbres by resonating objects such as wood, metal and glass on the drums, with software and electronics adding further textural progressions. Meanwhile “Vbrtn” mixes craft and chance by creating drums harmonies with the technique of inserting a wooden stick between cymbal and floor tom, with the subsequent resonations extended with an additional three floor toms and three cymbals. Beginning with a protracted drone, the random rotation on “Vrtn” is coupled with electronic whizzes followed by further stick-against-cymbal scratches later subsumed beneath opaque hisses. The subsequent rumbles, ruffs and bangs alternate with shrill oscillations which appear to turn on and off at will. Unanticipated textures that variously resemble harmonica inhaling and cocktail glass shakes join the polyphonic narrative. Slightly before the conclusion the conveyer belt of continuous drum rumbles thickens until aviary whistles provide contrast and conclusion. “Vbrtn” is lower pitched and concentrated as the additional cymbals and toms are layered to multiply the exposition. The deeper, darker pulses are also reaction against the few ragged ruffs and metal splashes heard. While the final sequence suggests a regularized beat that is almost twice as loud as the introduction, the affiliated buzzes finally segment into single echoing bangs.

The Sound Projector / Ed Pinsent

Peter Orins surfaces again on VRTN & VBRTN (HELIX LX016), a solo drum / percussion record which he made during 2020. Actually this is more of a process-based record than purely free improvisation, and there’s a certain discipline in these grey surly sounds that may have a mesmerising effect on the listener; the first of these, ‘VRTN’, certainly lasts for long enough to satisfy La Monte Young conditions, over 30 mins of a process experiment that tells us something about how the drum can make other nearby objects in the room (made of wood, metal and glass) resonate. I think he stops short of an acoustic feedback experiment, but he does apply electronic enhancement in the form of a box made for him by Antoine Rousseau, using Pure Data. This box injects a real-time random element somewhere in the performance as he gently rubs his skins, along with unexpected harmonics in the acoustics. If any of us ever needed a “lockdown soundtrack”, this piece of solitary introverted murmuring is just perfect for the stir-crazy shut-ins we all became. If you dig what he’s laying down, try and find his earlier 2019 album where these resonating strategies first began. The second cut ‘VBRTN’ is somewhat different; all-acoustic with no electronic japery, this one is low-register vibrations and drones, produced by careful arrangement of toms and cymbals; it’s based on an ingenious extended technique which Orins discovered when he stuck in his wooden stick in a certain way.

Vital Weekly / Frans de Ward

Peter Orins is a drummer (among others with TOC and, as we will see with Adoct) and has been reviewed quite a bit on these pages. This new release is an extension of a previous release, ‘Happened By Accident’ (see Vital Weekly 1177), in which he uses the skins of his drums as a resonator of “various objects, wood, metal, glass and the preponderance of the unexpected, by introducing accidents and interactions”. He also uses Pure data software, adding more happy accidents to the music. ‘VRTN’ uses drums and electronics, and ‘VBRTN” uses three floor toms, three cymbals and three wood sticks. A small stick is used between cymbal and floor tom, makes that playing the cymbal also causes the floor tom to vibrate, whereas in ‘VRTN” the electronic have the same effect. In that piece, the longest of the two, the sound is minimal, but it has a lot of small variations. I would think these are created by the various objects on the skins or the variations created by the electronics, which makes this an odd affair of improvised music meeting noisy electronics and yet remaining also on the minimal side things. ‘VRTN’, however, is way more minimal than that. It slowly builds from a few tones and overtones to a cascade of the sound of sustaining percussive sounds. I have a slight preference for this piece of the other, but I enjoyed both quite a bit all the same.

Citizen Jazz / Nicolas Dourlhés

Le batteur Peter Orins (pilier du label et le O du groupe TOC) propose un traitement atypique de la batterie articulé en deux parties. VRTN est une pièce d’une demi-heure où il travaille en temps réel, grâce à des effets électroniques, le son de l’instrument. L’utilisant comme un générateur de timbres inattendus, il construit un continuum qui ondule avec finesse, traversé toutefois d’événements soudains mais jamais violents. Les harmoniques emplissent l’espace et créent un bain amniotique lacéré de griffes métalliques et d’effets de saturation maîtrisés. Le batteur disparaît derrière ce mouvement lancinant qu’il initie et, au lieu de ce que son instrument pourrait suggérer, se débarrasse du rythme au bénéfice d’un état évolutif fragile qui ne tient que par la tension, maintenue jusqu’à la fin dans un tour de force réussi.

Dans VBRTN, Peter Orins n’est que avec sa batterie. La cymbale est plus clairement perceptible, de même que les toms. Pour autant, il continue à déconstruire l’attendu pour investir à nouveau des plages homogènes et progressives qui donnent des aspects machiniques à la performance. Le son gagne peu à peu en volume et des micro-variations naissent puis s’éteignent. Des scintillements parsèment le parcours et ces illusions auditives stimulent un imaginaire qui transporte l’attention sans la coloniser, lui donnant l’élan nécessaire pour se mettre elle aussi en mouvement.

HisVoice (CZ) / Petr Slaby

Sometimes there are deep roars, other times more chaotic clamor, occasional cosmic ciphers, and also murmurs accompanied by trembling whistles or industrial clatter, and so forth. The nineteen-minute VBRTN is a purely acoustic composition for three deeply tuned kettles, three cymbals, and three wooden sticks, where things evolve in much smaller deviations, and continuous listening evokes a sense of certain monotony. However, behind it lies a series of subtle calculated twists and ripples that require a thorough immersion of the ears, and then it’s worth it.

Exposé / Peter Thelen

The first piece “Vrtn” is a purely explorative piece, where he uses the drums as a resonator for various wood, glass and metal objects, along with various moving loops and raw electronics, that open up a world of unexpected accidents and sonic interactions. No, this is not a 31-minute drum solo in any conventional sense, but a dreamy expedition into the hinterlands of sonic vibrations, textures, and mysterious microscopic sounds. The listener may find themselves drifting along in some curious stirring maelstrom with little or no melodic reference points, like cloudbursts on a distant horizon brought infinitely close to the listening experience. “Vbrtn” is a full ten minutes shorter, and involves a thin wooden stick between a cymbal and a floor tom, multiplied three times, the result being very long drones in extremely low registers, occasionally reminding me of parts of Nick Mason’s “Grand Vizier’s Garden Party” without the flute or Mellotron. One can easily feel themselves dropping into an infinite current of sounds as the piece proceeds along its path.

Nieuwenoten / Ben Taffijn

Orins creates a rather dark, misty, and desolate sonic landscape. If you listen closely, you can hear the sound of the drum set, with Orins scraping objects over it, barely distinguishable from the electronics. It’s only later that we hear him striking the drums in a more traditional manner. This is also the moment when a bit more color temporarily enters the composition. The atmosphere in ‘vbrtn’ is not fundamentally different from the beginning of ‘vrtn’. Orins doesn’t use electronics here, but the sound he produces bears a striking resemblance to it. It’s wonderfully impressive how he employs reverberation to craft a condensed drone here.

Ivann Rod

If you seek a musical challenge, “Vrtn & Vbrtn” is a good starting point.

Jean-Jacques Birgé

Cette fois c’est l’histoire de la grenouille qui se voulait plus grosse que le bœuf, sauf que là encore ça marche. Pour VRTN, Orins utilise sa batterie comme résonateur de divers objets, bois, métal, verre, et il traite les sons microscopiques avec le logiciel Pure Data pour qu’ils se chargent en énormes harmoniques. L’imprévisible se laisse dompter par les mouvements de l’homme et la machine. Dans VNRTN, le batteur glisse trois baguettes de bois entre cymbales et toms basses pour allonger les sons, comme la harpe d’un piano géant, comme si on regardait son cœur à la loupe. Ça ne loupe pas, ça pénètre, ça s’installe, ça fait vibrer, c’est bon, c’est bon aussi quand ça s’arrête.

Take Effect / Tom Haugen

“VRTN” starts the listen, and in 31 minutes manipulates mood and space well, as drums anchor the landscape while wood, metal, glass and electronics blur the lines between art and music. Certainly odd and undeniably alluring, timbre and vibration are used strategically as Orins emits an almost mechanical feel.

“VBTRN” is shorter but no less fascinating, where a thin woodstick is placed between a cymbal and a floor tom, making the cymbal and drumhead produce a resonating and vibrating effect that lays the foundation for the low droning, faint harmonics and obscured melodies.

The entire effort was composed and performed by Orins, and his often tense and even meditative approach comes with an estimable ability to tweak, dissect and interpret sound in ways you can’t help but admire.


The coincidences in ‘VRTN’ are achieved by introducing electronics into the acoustic percussive sounds. This electronic treatment is carried out using software. Apart from adding more randomness and ambiguity to the sources of sound colors, the electronics magnify the “microscopically small” sounds, playing with resonances and vibrations by incorporating unusual harmonic progressions. This sounds interesting, but does it also lead to music that captures the imagination?

That question can be answered with a resounding ‘yes.’ Orins creates a dark atmosphere through the use of a low tom. The interaction of this tom with the electronics is gripping and provides room for the percussionist to add other sounds, which infuse the piece with more color and texture. These additional sounds range from the tinkling of bells to ominously scraping movements. With a heavy bass drum, the musician imparts an ominous character to the piece. At times, the electronics emerge sharply, while at others, they lie atop the composition. In other moments, the electronic aspect is subtly woven into the acoustic percussive sounds. ‘VRTN’ is an audible journey of a percussionist who has intentionally introduced obstacles into his musical path. This leads to an exciting 31-minute free improvisation that also exhibits characteristics of a soundscape.

‘VBRTN’ employs an elaborate technique that Orins somewhat accidentally discovered: he places a thin wooden stick between a cymbal and a floor tom. The play on the cymbal causes the drumhead to tremble and resonate. By applying this method to three floor toms and three cymbals, the resulting resonators produce long drones that create a subtle harmonic progression in the very low register, giving rise to moving melodies, beats, and vibrations.

While ‘VRTN’ already resides in the dark spectrum, with ‘VBRTN,’ Orins successfully deepens the darkness further. The use of low toms contributes to this, but so does the drummer’s chosen method. The piece evolves slowly, with the cymbals also producing low sounds. Changes are subtle, maintaining the dark foundation. The tension lies in the pulsation and the darkness. Additionally, it’s remarkable how Orins creates his improvised soundscape using solely acoustic sounds, inducing a trance-like effect. Close your eyes and let yourself be carried away. The music contains a substantial amount of tension, which in the final part even transitions into outright menace as the volume noticeably increases. Impressive, and the same goes for ‘VRTN.’

Spontaneous Music Tribune / Andrzej Nowak

The solo exhibition ceremony of the percussionist begins with individual strikes on cymbals that resound impressively. In the background, something starts working mechanically, like a small electric motor, and in the far distance, deep drumming nebulae emerge. In turn, at the forefront, we hear the clean sounds of the snare drum. Orins seems to multiply the entities of this narrative. He does everything with great focus, even lazily, tending to nuances, while seeking electroacoustic points of connection in the clouds of echo that fill the corners of the stage. The narrative grows, gaining a metaphysical dynamism, appearing richer from second to second, yet still remains a delicate web of sonic events. Over time, small strands of synthesis begin to multiply one after another, and accents of acoustic preparation appear on the snare drum. This intricate weave also highlights sounds that we could consider as the result of live processing, but we’re not entirely sure of this. Purely percussive threads multiply as well, of which we can count five or even six. The narrative has its dramaturgy, with changes occurring extremely frequently. Here is a phase of acoustic drumming, encrusted with electronics, as well as a taste of synthetic deconstruction of live sounds. Towards the end of the over 30-minute set, the musician serves us an electroacoustic drone that pulses, with acoustic micro-events seemingly adding to its charm.

The second story unfolds in a different dimension of spacetime. Orins invites us into the cavern of dark ambient. He constructs it again very meticulously and unhurriedly, this time solely from acoustic sounds, from the echoes of objects that tremble and resonate (in truth, he only uses three floor toms, three cymbals, and as many wooden sticks). He creates an atmosphere of unease and mystery, worthy of a new soundtrack for the monumental Twin Peaks! Two streams of drumming flow somewhat separately, cymbals tremble, and around them, an electroacoustic glow starts to build, its sources impossible to precisely pinpoint. The magic of ritual, the rustle of sound ceremonies, in which one can become completely immersed. In the further course of the narrative, the musician merely shifts accents and adeptly manages the intensity of the sonic transmission. We hear live drums on the flanks, and in the middle, a stream of succulent ambiance, but after a moment, the narrative components swap positions. There are also moments when all the sounds wade knee-deep in thick ambiance. The undulating yet emotionally stable story is fantastically extinguished by single strikes on the snare drum. The echo of eternity is already with us, and the satisfaction of receiving a beautiful record seems boundless.

About “Happened By Accident”

Vital Weekly / Frans de Waard

Dolf Mulder has so far, reviewed music played by Peter Orins. I am sure I heard bits of those  releases, but this might very well be my first proper introduction to his solo work. Orins is someone  who is a member of TOC, Kaze, Circum Grand Orchestra, Flu(o), Trouble Kaze and his own troupe,  Stefan Orins Trio. I could have left this with Dolf Mulder as well, as much of this is from the world of improvised music but as I was listening to this, I was more and more attracted to the way he plays the surfaces of his drum set. It is a combination of technique and material, I’d say. Orins uses objects, bowls, wood and shells on the skins of his drums, but in his approach, Orins is very much into ‘minimalism’ and that is exactly the kind of thing I like. By rubbing these objects (etc.) over the skins on a very controlled way, small accidents occur, bumps along the way as it were and it makes that this is a very human release. Throughout the music is very quiet and minimally. Objects are rubbed on surfaces or dropped with long intervals, or a combination of both. There is some mixing and perhaps the addition of reverb (I am not sure; it might also be the natural space in which these recordings were made) and the interaction between the very dry recordings and some that have more ‘space’ and ‘air’, make this a great release. There is very little, nervous and hectic playing going on and in all seven pieces Orins explores with minimal means a maximum of possibilities and along the way allows for small mistakes to happen; barely noticeable actually, these mistakes.
It is a great release and would also appeal, I would think to those who have a mild interest in improvised music.

Musique Machine / Lob Instagon

Peter Orins is a French drummer, percussionist, and composer with a foundation in the avant-garde sound art of minimalism and jazz. This is his second release experimenting with randomness and factors of chaos theory within the application of recordings and improvisation. But unlike his previous release, which focused on electronics, this is a collection of acoustic recordings…done mostly using a small drum kit and some hand percussion instruments. Although you really would not know from the recordings that a drum kit was used unless you read the liner notes.Happened By Accident is a six-part collection of recorded improvisations using random percussion and a very nice microphone.. in fact, the microphones used might be the star of this release. ..the sounds captured are crisp and precise from crackling from pushing down on drum heads or scraping the bottom of a stick across a rim playing with fingernails and the stroking of a bowl bell (..and these sounds are enhanced even more so in headphones).

I felt that these six tracks were very well recorded, nicely capturing of some improvisational happenings…as the title suggests.. “lets record that happening and see what we get by accident.” and these tracks do have some awesome  bites of neat sounds….but the composition aspect of these tracks really wasn’t there for me. These pieces were exactly as promised in the press release “His approach focuses on chance, on the uncontrolled via small accidents, acoustic interactions between objects, percussions, resonances and sympathies due to certain frequencies or vibrations. “ and each of part of this seemed to start the same… with a menacing drone, and then descend into exploration with whatever was under the microphone at the moment to distinct a new part of the overall composition.. and then ending the same.. but just ending .with no closure or rounding of the “piece”.. I found these recordings to be more like field recordings ..or studio experiments rather than actual compositions. I think Part four was my favourite.. it was heavy on the cymbal scraping sounds and I like those….although they all appear to be fully improvisations with no real planning as far as individual tracks are concerned .. except for the final cut “Having Never Written A Note For Percussion “ which is cover of a composition by James Tenney from 1971…and this track stands out as an actually well thought out excursion into controlled percussive composition executed with solid respect for the original.

This album features a lot of very interesting SOUNDS.. it’s very meditational if you close your eyes and let it take you away.. it’s also very easy to forget that its playing if you get distracted & move away from the speakers.. the recordings are quiet.. but intense and fun if you are into arty noise.

Tone Shift / TJ Norris

The bellow of the drums opens like a ritual on Peter Orins‘ Happened By Accident. The recording, based solely on percussive elements, is broken into seven parts, the first six Happened By Accident Part 1-6. Orins utilizes layers of lengthy drone below a fair amount of intimate, textural micro-gestures. The effect is striking, and a bit ominous.

The organic sounds, like breaking open nut shells, twisting objects, the sudden tap of the drum skin, the pauses and squeaking, all add up to the development of a quizzical acoustic space that takes risks. His blend of movements and actions is pure electroacoustic musique concrète, reminds the listener to pay attention to the most minor details. Some of these actions scrape surfaces like chalk hitting a surface in harsh swipes, like a windshield wiper that is overly dry, glassy bits, like gently rap-tapping away at a jar of marbles or beads – and while the composer is probing away his experiment evolves like its own seductive ear porn.

THE (literal) BEAT OF A DIFFERENT DRUMMER: By balancing low bass tones and the pitch of tiny jangling gizmos Orins creates an intimate relationship between his hand motions and the listener. It’s a very physical set of coordinates that tingles the senses. In one moment it sounds as if he is deconstructing transistors, at others it sounds as though he’s creating a tiny one man orchestra – pocket-sized crashes and all. At a general glance you might think he’s capturing a field recording of the blade hitting the frozen surface while ice skating, or even perhaps cooking in a wok. If you like microsound you will absolutely love this. And as this moves on through these first six sections the crackling and rummaging becomes more vigorous and strange. His raw materials are clearly deployed full tilt here, as Orins plays by his own rules.

Engaging intimate moments meet a difficult high pitch smack dab in the middle here. And finally Orins introduces us to Having Never Written A Note For Percussion. Just some background:
This twelve minute work may break with the remainder of the recording in concept, but it most definitely re-centers the deep listening audience for a bit of mollifying respite. This piece hovers in sonic drone. The voluminous-ness grows and grows to an earnest crescendo as this begins to sound like a warehouse full of cymbalists. Eventually the din of this saucer-like peak fades, taking its gradual course. One for the senses.

Spontaneous Music Tribune / Andrzej Nowak

Czas na solową perkusję! Peter Orins, francuski drummer, z którym spotykamy się na tych łamach dość regularnie, wykonuje tu sześcioczęściową kompozycję tytułową, własnego autorstwa, jak również skomponowany fragment o dalece ciekawym tytule Having never written a note for percussion, autorstwa Jamesa Tenneya. Nagrane w trakcie dwóch czerwcowych dni we Francji (2017?18?), zdaje się przypominać dość swobodną improwizację, ale wyjątkowo szczegółowo zaplanowaną. Odsłuch całości zajmie nam 45 minut i 51 sekund.

Przygodę z nagraniem, które wydarzyło się przez przypadek, rozpoczynamy od dronu suchej syntetyki, który wyjątkowo dobrze koegzystuje z cichym pasmem żywego drummingu. Po 120 sekundach, w dalszym tle, zdaje się rodzić drugie pasmo żywego grania. Narracja toczy się w skupieniu, jest spokojna, choć pełna wewnętrznego … niepokoju. 5 minuta przynosi dodatkowe akcenty na werblu w formie preparacji, ale syntetyczny dron ani drgnie. Po czasie żywe jakby zaczynało rezonować z syntetycznym. Gdy te drugie gaśnie, dwa pasma żywego zmysłowo wybrzmiewają. Płynnie przechodzimy do części drugiej, której start wyznaczają dźwięki preparacji oraz sonorystycznego traktowania glazury werbla. Swoje trzy gorsze dodają także talerze. Narracja toczy się wyłącznie przy użyciu żywych elementów zestawu perkusyjnego. Cyfra trzyna odtwarzaczu pojawia się dość szybko. Kontynuacja już zadanej opowieści, tu zdobiona incydentalnie głuchymi uderzeniami stopy. Jesteśmy blisko ciszy, działania muzyka są bardzo skrupulatnie, nieśpieszne, pełne filigranowej urody. Pozornie akcja nie jest zbyt wartka, ale słucha się tego z dużą przyjemnością. Część czwartą zwiastuje pulsujący dron meta akustyki. Po chwili zdajemy sobie sprawę, iż towarzyszą nam już dwa drony. Rezonans, drżenie membran, hałaśliwa cisza. Na wybrzmieniu tego odcinka delikatne percussion, choć stopa bębna basowego nie przestaje grzmieć z oddali. Kolejny, bardziej intensywny grzmot otwiera piątą część. Preparacje na werblu i tomach, a zestaw drummerski jakby rozrastał się w przestrzeni – rodzaj intrygującego piętrzenia się narracji. Mała orkiestra wyłącznie akustycznych dźwięków. Finał kompozycji tytułowej osiągamy znów bardzo płynnie. Zdaje się on sumować wszelkie dotychczasowe pomysły kompozytora – improwizatora: preparacje, garść sonorystyki, rezonans talerzy. Mamy wrażenie, że muzyk ciągnie tu trzy, a nawet cztery wątki opowieści. Szorowanie, drżenie, pisk, to kolejne etapy tej historii. Wybrzmiewanie małym percussion równie urocze.

Po kilkunastosekundowej ciszy rozpoczyna się siódma część płyty. Głuche echo kosmicznego niemal drummingu. Drżenie, szelest, perkusjonalny ambient. Flow delikatnie, ale systematycznie narasta, zdaje się płynąć coraz szerszym strumieniem. Kilkunastominutowy, piękny, zmysłowy finał równie zjawiskowej całości! Samo wejście na szczyt zdobione jest talerzową symfonią rezonansu. Dochodzimy do ściany dźwięku wyjątkowej urody, która po 8 minucie zaczyna sukcesywnie kruszeć. Bardzo powolny proces wybrzmiewania – rodzaj długotrwałego gaszenia płomienia narracji. Full acoustic ambient of cymbals, notuje na zakończenie recenzent, po czym zamyka kajet w stanie ogromnego zadowolenia z podróży, jaką przebył przez ostatnie trzy kwadranse.

About “Empty Orchestra”

Quiet World & Wonderful Wooden Reason / Ian Holloway

Peter Orins is the drummer in Kaze who we had the pleasure of hearing recently (check the Wonderful Wooden Reasons archives) and has returned to these pages with his band mates replaced by electronics which makes a nice change as it’s usually the drummer who is ousted by circuitry.

On this, if my reading of the slightly over-written press release is correct, Orins is dueting with his autonomous – their word – noise producing gadget. Whether he is in some way triggering the textural changes via his drums or whether this little electronic Merzbow is entirely going it’s own way and he is responding to and interacting with is something of which I’m unsure. It is all rather fun though. The drums are sometimes a little too high in the mix but the end result is an odd, abrasive, rhythmic, stompy and thoroughly enjoyable collection of old school industrial improvisations of the type not seen around these parts for far too long.

Sound of Music / Joacim Nyberg

Elektroakustisk musik är en genre som är väldigt i ropet. Det formligen svämmar över av mer eller mindre fascinerande verk där man ifrågasätter instrumentens funktioner, roller och möjligheter/begränsningar. Den franske trumslagaren Peter Orins, som till vardags kan höras i den fransk/japanska kvartetten Kaze, hakar på denna trend med sin första soloskiva Empty Orchestras, ett verk där det elektroniska och det akustiska ingår ett lyckligt äktenskap. Orins har uppfunnit något slags elektronisk mojäng som på något sätt interagerar med och påverkar de akustiska trummorna. Trummorna blir “ackompanjerade”. Som vanligt när det gäller “electronic devices” är det svårt att få en inblick i vad det faktiskt är och hur det funkar. Men skit samma, för man kan bara lyssna också. Orins skapar i vilket fall som helst superb musik vars enda nackdel är att den tar slut för fort.

Jag har som sagt ingen aning om hur det går till när Orins spelar, men enkelt uttryckt skapas musik som växlar mellan trumbeats och soundscapes samt mellan akustiska och elektroniska ljud. Beatsen är blytunga men blir ofta lite halta och otajta vilket är väldigt häftigt. Det är hela tiden lite skevt och det svajar och kränger och får det att rycka i kroppen. Det svänger! På beatsen ligger sedan flera lager av slagverk, både processade och rena, och ovanpå det finns slutligen elektronik vilket bidrar med ytterligare en dimension. De mer elektroniskt doftande partierna är lösa i formerna, soundsen är ofta dova och luddiga. Men mitt i den elektroniska dimman lägger Orins in glasklara trummor; en baskagge bultar till i botten, cymbaler sjunger, små bjällror klämtar. Alla sounds är väl avvägda och placerade gentemot varandra. Genomgående skapar Orins just sådana kontraster; mellan trä/metall och elektroniska ljud, mellan höga och låga frekvenser och mellan tydlig puls och fria partier. Det blir dynamiskt, ombytligt och kul att lyssna på. Han trumspelet dessutom väldigt bra: väl avvägt, smakfullt och svängigt. Den rent studiotekniska biten är även den imponerande; prcoessing, klippning, mixning, etc. är otroligt välgjorda. Empty Orchestras bjuder på elektroakustisk musik som faller mig på läppen. Det är oklanderligt genomförd musik som lyckas med konststycket att hitta den perfekta balansen mellan det akustiska och det elektroniska. Det bästa av två världar. Mitt i prick, hur bra som helst.

Vital Weekly

Peter Orins is from Lille, France. In this city he did his studies at the conservatory. After playing rock and afro-cuban music, jazz became the place to be in the mid 90s. Started playing with musicians with whom he created the Circum Collective in 2000. Since that date we meet Orins on a regular base on releases by the label that is run by this collective: Flu(o), Stefan Orins Trio, Kaze, etc. Last year he released the ambitious ‘La Pieuvre et Circum Grand Orchestra – Feldspath’, a meeting between two ensembles. This time he decided to make a solo statement. He cd contains four works, all based on drums and electronics. But in a special way. Orins designed an electronic device that acts more or less autonomous, forcing Orins to respond. Call it a dialogue. It is hard to detect this dialogue. So one better stops this exercise, and starts to listen to the music as a whole and as it comes to your ears. For one part drums remain drums, and for another part drums are transformed and manipulated ‘autonomously’ by electronic means. This results in very unusual, seemingly accessible percussive constructions. However when you start to listen very close to every single movement, the music starts to reveal its complexity and well-constructed ‘dialogical’ identity. (DM)

All About Jazz / Eyal Hareuveni

The debut solo album of French, Lille-based drummer Peter Orins establishes new and bold relationships between the human musician and the musical-electronic machinery. Orins, known for his remarkable role and original compositions for the Japanese-French quartet KAZE as well as for his involvement in local outfits as Flu(o), TOC and the Circum Grand Orchestra, designed an electronic device, autonomous enough to intervene and influence his playing in almost unpredictable ways.

The four pieces may be called accompanied solos, all featuring different manners of communicating with the electronic device. This device adds a dimension of structured surprise and danger. It expands, amplifies, transforms and deforms randomly and accidentally the sonic gestures of Orins and charges each of the pieces with bold elements of disorder. In such interplay the conventional roles are reversed—Orins the improvising drummer introduces linear, repetitive rhythmic conceptions while the device’s treatments blur these conceptions and swirls the repetitive pulses into arresting yet chaotic molds.

The first piece, “Random Unpack” still investigates the possible sonic envelope and the new, invented timbres of skins, cymbals, and electronic waves. The second, “Unauthorized Path,” suggests futuristic tribal rhythm that accumulates weird resonant, abstract metallic sounds till these sounds shape the course of this piece and drown it in an electronic, trance- like dancing storm. The third piece, “Frozen Range,” sketches an abstract, icy soundscape, minimalist and suggestive in its gentle and quiet touches, human and machine-produced. This piece highlights the remarkable command of Orins on the vibrating cymbals. The last one, “Bad Arguments” is the most playful one, as if Orins and the device have reached a peaceful understanding and opted for a patient, collaborative interplay.

Highly imaginative and original work.

Citizen Jazz / Franpi Barriaux

Destinée à soutenir les initiatives solistes et les expérimentations sonores, la collection Helix permet, au sein du label Circum Disc de présenter des musiques radicales, parfois arides, souvent passionnantes. Ce fut le cas du remarquable Serendipity d’Olivier Benoit ; c’est au tour de Peter Orins de présenter son propre album solo, sur lequel se côtoient presque naturellement batterie et électronique. On sait que le batteur, omniprésent dans la plupart des facettes du collectif Muzzix, aime la parole collective, comme dans le Circum Grand Orchestra où deux batteries distillent une rythmique obstinée. Empty Orchestra ne cherche d’ailleurs pas la solitude.

Sur cet album râblé, une pulsation rectiligne tente d’apprivoiser un jaillissement électronique, comme la fuite régulière d’une énergie incontrôlable. Cette puissance qui déstabilise la rythmique met le batteur sur la piste d’un double distordu avec qui il devise, se heurte parfois, mais entretient toujours un stimulant rapport de séduction. Tous deux jouent avec l’écho et les décalages, jusqu’à perdre l’oreille dans un dédale pulsatile. Ainsi multipliées, les baguettes d’Orins se piquent de magie et s’engouffrent dans une trame ronronnante où la frappe la plus synthétique deviendrait presque charnelle. Au fil des coupures et des syncopes, on découvre une démarche recherchée, où tout est suggéré. Cet Empty Orchestra suggère, au cœur de « Bad Arguments », le tumulte dans les roulements de caisse claire en forme de cloche coupée, ou anime l’électronique inquiétante et enfiévrée d’« Unauthorized Path », qui n’est pas sans rappeler l’album de TOC où Orins affrontait en trio une électricité irrespirable.

En quatre morceaux longs, aux atmosphères versatiles mais cohérentes, le batteur invente des orchestres irréels à partir d’une base plus que frugale. Que ce soit par les tintements persistants et surmultipliés des cymbales de « Frozen Range », ou le scratch bredouillé qui clôt « Ramdom Repack », Peter Orins propose des modèles d’orchestres, des croquis de musique à colorier au gré de notre imagination. Il y aura donc deux approches d’Empty Orchestra : l’une, austère et monochrome, privilégiera les bourdonnements hostiles et les frappes crues, l’autre, plus chaleureuse, y verra un brillant précipité où chaque couleur peut virer en un instant, au gré de la chimie électronique de la batterie. Quel que soit le chemin pris, l’expérience est réjouissante.

Monsieur Délire / François Couture

I’ve had the pleasure of watching Peter Orins in action last fall (with the band Kaze, in Montreal). His technique was quite impressive: muted playing, sticks maintaing contact with drumheads. Orins is using this technique and many more on this solo record. Most of all he is also using electronics to transform his output in real time. Stereo movements, filtering, inversions, etc. make it harder to decode his playing. And these electronics breathe a different life into his drumming, transforming these four solos into highly unusual experiences. And Orins controls to this set-up very well.

Dark Entries / Peter De Koning

Hij doet dat akoestisch, maar roept voor dit muzikale project de hulp in van een zelfontworpen autonoom elektronisch toestel. Deze machine braakt, met een willekeurige timing, geluiden uit en de drummer past zich daaraan aan. Met zijn monotome akoestische ritmepartijen biedt hij deze klanken structuur en giet hij ze als het ware in een harnas; dit door zelf vrij repetitief te drummen. Tot zover het concept, maar hoe klinkt het?

Op de eerste track, met als titel Random repack, vliegt Peter Orins er meteen in. Een strakke vier op vier sleurt je mee in zijn percussieve wereld. De willekeurige timing van de elektronische geluiden valt inderdaad op, maar echt experimenteel klinkt het (vooralsnog) niet. Het had MILITIA of TEST DEPARTMENT kunnen zijn, maar die zouden volgens mij de klankkleur een pak interessanter maken. SLAGERIJ VAN KAMPEN komt dan wel weer in de buurt. De akoestische drumpartij klinkt eenvoudig en je waant je even in het repetitielokaal van de lokale rockabillygroep. De introductie is, en blijft ook na meerdere luisterbeurten, een domper voor mij. Na ongeveer vijf minuten volgt echter de eerste break.Plots wordt er duchtig heen en weer geworpen met echo en galm geflankeerd door snerpend hoge geluiden. Iets later volgt een laag gezoem waarover minimalistische hihats en snares worden gedrapeerd. Hun lichtjes-van-de-maat-afwijkend gedrag zorgt even voor een swingend jazzkarakter. In één klap wordt de akoestische drumpartij pakken interessanter.

Unauthorized path trekt zichzelf slepend en aarzelend op gang. Analoog met de eerste track begint Peter in een relatief snel tempo om daarna de boel op te breken in tragere ritmische patronen. Hierbij komt de nadruk te liggen op donkere geluidslandschappen in de achtergrond. Even flitst SPK door mijn hoofd. De drums worden steeds complexer en er sijpelen zwaar industriële geluiden in de track. Een momentje WINTERKÄLTE sluipt binnen al duurt het niet lang en heel even overvalt me zelfs een breakcoregevoel. Het is duidelijk dat mijn lijf adrenaline begint aan te maken. Deze track eindigt met een drammerig ritme dat je zenuwachtig maakt, bijna angstig.

De derde titel op de plaat is mijn persoonlijke favoriet. Nauwelijks ritmes hier maar een absoluut fabuleuze soundscape! Deze begint pijnlijk hoog en ongemakkelijk maar na korte tijd ontwikkelt zich een mooi landschap waarin percussie op een originele manier wordt aangewend.Trage drones wisselen af met uitgerokken, inderdaad bijna bevroren, geluiden. Subtiele belletjes op het einde laten je hersenen weer wat kalmeren. Frozen range is een parel.

De plaat eindigt met het nummer Bad arguments. Het is mijn persoonlijke tweede favoriet. Hierin wordt knap gespeeld met het contrast tussen stilte en drukte. Metaal op metaal geeft spanning terwijl drukkere rondgangen dialogeren met de afwezigheid van geluid. Iets later in dit nummer hoor je open hithats en toms. Alweer bekruipt ons een jazzy gevoel. Deze indruk wordt nog versterkt wanneer zachte geborstelde roffels hun intrede doen. Er wordt hier een interessant dynamisch spel gespeeld: Ook korte klanken krijgen soms een verloop in volume. Niet gemakkelijk, wel boeiend.

Hoewel de eerste minuten anders doen vermoeden, is Empty orchestras geen toegankelijk werk. Het is op zijn minst avantgardistisch te noemen. Ik betrap mezelf er echter op dat ik de nummers telkens opnieuw blijf beluisteren. Of u dit zelf een goede 12” vindt, zal sterk afhangen van persoonlijke smaak. Sommigen zullen het vinyl onmiddellijk omsmelten tot uitgangskledij, andere zullen het koesteren en over dertig jaar nog beluisteren. Tijdloos klinkt het alleszins. De referenties (hoofdletters) geven een indicatie maar zeggen absoluut niet alles. Een schijf voor de durvers. Ik sluit ze alvast met elke luisterbeurt meer in mijn hart en sla met plezier de eerste vier minuten over.