Jérôme Noetinger and ErikM have been focal points of France's experimental-music underground since the early '90s. They've explored concepts of context and copyright along parallel paths, converging only rarely. What a Wonderful World documents their initial meetings as a duo.
Noetinger founded his seminal label Metamkine in 1989, intent on keeping the musique concrète tradition alive and vital. As a musician, he has worked in such varied contexts as MIMEO, an ongoing duo with Lionel Marchetti, and in the pioneering multimedia performance group Cellule d'Intervention Metamkine. The latter ensemble typically attains a level of sensory overload that must be experienced, rather than described, for full effect, combining as it does Noetinger's electro-acoustic improvisations with live film-processing by Christophe Auger and Xavier Quérel.
ErikM burst onto the scene in the mid-'90s as a virtuoso turntablist. Since then, he has gradually shifted his output into a more abstract vein, often abandoning the turntables entirely. What a Wonderful World marks a rare return to the turntables for this unpredictable musician, whose previous recordings include the superb Les Sculpteurs de Vinyl, three CDs as part of the supergroup poire_z (along with Voice Crack and Günter Müller), and the solo recordings Zygosis, Frame, and Monofacemirror.
In October 2001, then again in April 2002, Noetinger travelled to Marseille to record with ErikM, the first time they'd ever worked as a duo (the only previous meeting of any kind was a large grouping at the end of a festival in 1996 in London, which brought together all the separate participants). Over the following months, Noetinger and ErikM painstakingly edited and shaped the material into a coherent whole, flavoring their complex, abstract electronics with insistent repetitions and field recordings, creating instant concrète-- each individual idea as carefully constructed as the impeccably chosen first and last sounds.