My immediate first impression of “adn () dna” was of its sheer quietness. And I mean this in just about every sense of the word – it is unassuming, subtle, and I had to turn up stereo to hear what was going on. This disc, the latest in a long line of excellent CDRs from French sound artist Maxime Primault, consists of one long piece that begins with hissing tape noise and field recordings before it opens out into the warmth of a slowly chiming guitar. Primault conjures up exquisitely melodic waves of sound from his guitar, often in conjunction with slow drum rolls and bells, creating a palpable sense of the eerie and mysterious.
Throughout, the guitar serves as a motif that anchors the piece, with its ebbing, lilting tones lending the piece a sense of emotional coherency and direction, and providing something stable amongst the highly accidental sounding field recordings that litter the course of the disc. Enfer Boréal manages to balance the understated and intimate, sustained through his use of field recordings and their evocation of crashing waves and howling winds, with highly composed moments almost transcendental in their beauty. There is something ultimately exploratory about this disc. It is as if in the field recordings that underlie the piece, Primault is literally exploring and capturing the sounds of a threatening and mysterious wilderness that is then used as a basis from which to explore the compositional possibilities that explode out of this. As a result the overall sound achieves a remarkable sense of intrepid wonderment at the world that is both intimate and refined. 8/10 -- Tim Gentles (20 May, 2009)