December 23, 2005

Toothbrushes of Myanmar

Toothbrush.jpgThe sound of the toothbrush is essentially rhythmic. Opening and closing your mouth produces a wah-wah-like effect… almost melodic… Many bathrooms have excellent reverb. Future toothbrush freaks will notice that the sound is drier with less or no toothpaste at all, while it becomes quite juicy with lots of foam. All is a question of balance...

When you find “production notes” like this in a CD booklet, you know you’re in for a treat... The CD they come from is Toothbrush Fever, a collection of quirky field-recording-based compositions put together by Naing Naing (aka Francois L’Homer), a veteran of the Parisian hardcore scene who currently works as a Red Cross translator in Myanmar, where he spends his spare time obsessively recording anything that excites his ear. In addition to toothbrushes, his sound sources include frogs, birds, crickets, generators and ice cubes; and, as you might guess from the quoted liner notes, there’s a wonderful sense of whimsy to much of his work.

Nowhere is this better exemplified than on Brosse A Danse, a stomping Matmos-goes-clubbing number featuring the aforementioned toothbrushes, a balloon, and some pertinent advice on dental hygiene. Download, lather, rinse and enjoy.

If you want to hear what the rest of the album has to offer, Francois’ website has an extensive collection of track excerpts, along with a complete version of Greensleeves “performed” by birds. And if you want to buy the CD, it can be purchased online from ReR Megacorp.

Posted by Warren at December 23, 2005 11:28 PM | Everyday Sounds