Album Reviews

Philippe Petit: Henry The Iron Man [Album Review]


Philippe Petit is not the man you think he is. If you recognize the name, you’re probably thinking of the famed tightrope walker, known for his appearance in the visually frightening documentary (three words that rarely sit side-by-side) Man On Wire. This is a different Petit, one focused instead on soundscapes and audible creation. But both men sit on the outskirts, one crazed in his dangerous daredevil-ish ways and one the harbinger of some very out-there music. We, of course, are here to talk about the latter.

Petit is a creator not in the traditional sense, instead traveling the path of the collector, the gatherer. He, as far as I can tell, pieces together a variety of sounds, from snippets of audible movements to various found sounds. It shows in his music; it’s eerie and spacial, drawn out, a soundtrack that would fit well with a modern day Dark Shadows.

Like the other Petit, there’s no fear here. Philippe has no concerns about doing things his own way, and it shows on Henry: The Iron Man. After all, it’s LP length at just over 40 minutes, yet has only three songs. Likewise, there’s no fear here at pushing the boundaries with titles like “Lady In The Radiator meets the Fetishist.” Petit’s music is spacial, minimalist, oft erratic, and the perfect background for the next generation David Lynch.


Aagoo Records [CD, 2010]

1. Salaryman’s Dream
2. In Tokyo Henry Spencer Is Fine
3. Lady In The Radiator meets the Fetishist

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