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"Whether he's laying down the doom with the outfit Monno, playing a soft tenor-sax drone which explores the acoustic geometry of the room or opening the gates of hell through a stack of distorting amps, Antoine Chessex live is a force of nature".  Macumbista,  USA


Saxophone player Antoine Chessex has been reviewed here with some pretty strong improvised playing recorded in a live situation. Here too its a live recording, made in the Electronic Church in Berlin. Chessex technique is circular breathing so that he can make sustained tones (...) Allthough no doubt one instrument is heard at a time it sounds like more. Chessex moves around, slightly thus cleverly using the space he's in to alter the sound. Move around your own space for more alterations. This is a great work, strong music with a conceptual edge. (FransdeWaard) Vital Weekly 622.


« Antoine is a sax player who frees the instrument from its well-tempered traditional references by driving it into sounding limit experience – without losing control over instrument or sound ». art-errorist, avantgarde fest 2007


"Chessex is a key in Europe´s experimental music community and a hub in the wheel of the electro-acoustic improvising scene. Chessex creates intensity (...), Structure destroying noise that envelopes the performance space in rich darkness. " ClubTransmediale 2007


"Swiss saxophonist Antoine Chessex, meanwhile, ran his horn through effects and overdriven amps until the squall sounded like Merzbow covering a black-metal band". Pitch, Krakow, unsound festival review.


Live action in Kobe, Japan:

(...) Hitting the stage with a mic and a looping pedal of some kind, Antoine Chessex had some guttural vocal stuff going on in a matter of seconds;(...) The tenor sax came out a couple of minutes into the set, though, and sixteen flavours of fury were suddenly unleashed on the crowd. Seriously, contact mics inside a tenor plus a looping pedal equals a sort of shuddering drone (...) but the vocals in the background and the occasional reed-biting squeals took the whole thing way beyond anything I've ever heard live; by the end of the set, there was a sweaty, shirtless wild man on stage, tearing holes in the fabric of reality with his horn and daring anybody present to do more than simply gape in awe. Absolutely THE finest noise performance I've ever been lucky enough to witness.



« Der Saxophonist Antoine Chessex muss als einer der vielseitigsten Musiker der jungen Generation gelten. Die Vielfalt seiner musikalischen Ausflüge scheint grenzenlos. (...) Chessex versucht ästhetisch beschränkten Schulen prinzipiell fernzubleiben. D.Eichmann. Beitrage zur Neue Musik, Germany.



« In style with the short, sharp, shocking character of many and one releases by this Greek imprint, this is a 30-minute CDR containing five tracks where Chessex utilized “a tenor saxophone through guitar amplifiers and some shitty pedal effects” to perform reiterated acts of hair-ripping devastation; a couple of them were recorded live, other ones in the studio or at home. Are we sure that only a sax was used? I’m only asking, since I distinctly seem to hear screaming voices amidst the carnage, like if Chessex underwent an exorcism while delivering us from the residual memories of what once was called “music”. This has mainly to do with the violent stuff which, by the way, somehow recalls (yes) a mass of distorted electric guitars. There’s more: the third segment (all are titled with just the duration time) is an example of growing static tension that never explodes, corroborated by a jumble of frequencies that range from low to lower. Indeed the overtone exploitation and the humming nervousness at the basis of the less noisy moments are the record’s best, but the whole thing is really nice(...) As Roger Waters would have it, “Careful with that sax, Antoine”.

Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes



compte-rendu de concert NPAI festival, Niort, France:

Antoine Chessex(...) joue du saxophone. Disons plutôt qu’il a un saxophone entre les mains lors de ses performances. Le bel écrin de cuivre n’est là que pour générer des tremblements telluriques, terriblement impressionnants qui seront ensuite travaillés, grâce aux nombreux artifices à sa disposition.(...)Intense expérience sonore compacte, raz de marée irrésistible où se mêlent éruptions volcaniques des profondeurs, naufrage de bâtiments de guerre rouillés, tonnerre et chants de sirènes apeurées. Hurlant autant qu’il joue dans son saxophone, et s’engageant entièrement dans sa performance, Chessex impressionne. L’assistance affronte debout cette vague surpuissante ou plus souvent, assise ou allongée, décide de se laisser submerger. Probablement moins improvisée qu’elle ne semble, la mise en place de cette sculpture sonore irrémédiable donne des frissons de plaisir et de peur. Expérience inédite, à mille lieues de tout ce qu’on peut imaginer, c’est une demi-heure hors de tout qui nous est offerte. On ne cherchera cependant pas à reproduire l’expérience chez soi, où disques et vidéo ne pourront jamais reproduire un dixième de la puissance délivrée en live. Encore plus que les autres musiques, ici, c’est en direct que l’on goûte l’éphémère déluge. Et c’est sans doute derrière cette sensation ultime que court la faune fanatique présente ce soir.

facile la musique blogspot, france.


 «Last friday’s gig was the first gig I’ve seen at DADA in Brussels. The place was crowded, so temperature was quite high. Antoine Chessex was a blast, especially when he put down a doomy droneset with his sax. Impressing.



"Antoine Chessex' piece is devoid of similar subtleties and there is absolutely no need for them. Berlin-based Chessex plays high energy music. He feeds his saxophone through guitars amps and effect boxes to distort it beyond recognition and augments this massive blast with voice and maybe some electronics. Noise mayhem as it should be, and despite the connotation of 'noise' and Antoine screaming furiously there is also an ecstatic side to the music.

By the way it should be remarked that Antoine also plays very impressive all-acoustic live sets, in which he fills the whole room with rich minimal circular-breathing textures.

Vital Weekly 575, NL


 Recording this CDR implied a good measure of sacrifice for the concerned parties, since the exact moment in which this session came about was a very cold Berlin day in 2007, and the selected location - the Electronic Church - had not been aerated for quite a lot of time, thus causing the room’s icy dampness to affect both the saxophone (which took approximately a hour to warm up, the protagonist already semi-exhausted before the recording’s start) and the attending personnel, all more or less freezing. The endeavor was repaid by a dazzling, if literally “minimal” result: the whole concept is in fact based on a single note, held by Chessex through the celebrated technique of circular breathing (listen attentively and you can hear him persistently sneezing as he plays moving around the place). The music was subdivided in five sections yet the central pitch remains practically the same, either precisely produced and kept resounding or slightly undulating, often brought to clash with its own reverberation to origin that slight conflict of adjacent frequencies that lovers of Phill Niblock or Alvin Lucier know so well. Only for a few instants of the fourth chapter, Chessex - I couldn’t say how willingly - transposes the tone one octave higher, but it doesn’t last. The concluding act lets us get the impression of the instrument’s sound slowly deteriorating, a handful of feeble multiphonics perceptible in the decaying airy mass at the end of the track. Despite the label’s recommendation of listening by headphones, the effect via the speakers is especially beautiful. 33 minutes of your life for these nerve-reinforcing quivers are definitely well spent.

Massimo Ricci-Touching extremes


"Last time I looked, Berlin-based saxophonist Antoine Chessex's releases were in the "Improv" bin in my local rekkid store , but it might make more sense to file Lost in Destruction under "Noise". After all he has been taking to the stage with Dave Phillips recently, and DP certainly ain't jazz. (...) Like Borbetomagus, the closest point of reference to what Chessex is doing. Couldn't really put the Borbetos in "Contemporary [Classical]" could you? And chucking a pair of mics down the bell of your horn doesn't exactly automatically make it "Electronica" either. Enough, already. You know as well as I do that these categories don't mean as much as they used to. The six tracks on Lost In Destruction (another oblique nod to the Seventh Art, perhaps, though I doubt Sofia Coppola could have used this as her soundtrack material) were recorded last year, two of them chez Chessex and the others live in Berlin and The Hague. Behind the walls of screaming feedback you can hear people clearly having a good time (...) though whether Chessex is in control of what's going on, or whether he even needs or wants to be, remains tantalisingly open to question.–

Paristransatlantic, Dan Warburton




"Antoine Chessex lived up to my expectations even surpassing them. Just like last time i saw him live he used his sax to produce a full-fledge sound: too good man! But his set was a tad harsher and more brutal in comparision of the last time i saw him, sporting heavy shit vocals, feedback and rumbling noises. Recommended! -mangenerated, belgium.



 This is a prerelease of Antoine Chessex’ forthcoming solo-CD. Released on 10 copies (spraypainted and coming in handmade sleeve) which he had with him on his last tour, so I guess you’ll have to wait for the official release to get one. The material on this disc is very varied, as are the instruments used on it: the CD opens with a heavy drum-track, followed by the reason why I bought this CD in the first place: the “tenor sax through guitar amp”. This track is a must-hear, if you don’t have or had the chance to see it live: heavy drones and bangings. Track 3 is vocal track, 4 is a a quiet track and track 5 is maybe the most conceptual (and with its 13 minutes the longest) track on this record, with the most instruments used: tapes, vocals, some electro-accoustic stuff - gets quite ambient by times with birds in the trees, subconscious sounds, fast forwards and rewinds, but grows junkier and harsher at other moments. Varied. -mangenerated, belgium




« … je me réjouissais de découvrir Antoine Chessex et son style particulier. Aux antipodes de King Curtis ou de Stan Getz, ce jeune artiste suisse joue de son saxophone ténor en l’amplifiant avec deux gros amplificateurs marshall... Franchement le résultat est décoiffant, une véritable explosion de basses fit trembler le casino de Montbenon, soufflant, hurlant, se tordant, les sons ravageurs rappelaient furieusement les riffs de Napalm Death. Le spectacle cloua tout le monde sur place en cinq minutes, il n’en fallait pas plus avec une telle intensité. Je rentrais sagement au bercail, essayant de me remémorer les sensations m’ayant envahi durant la soirée, incroyablement riche en couleur, tenant à elle seule plus d’intensité que dix soirées en club ». compte rendu, LUFF festival....Julien D. Hexadance magazine, CH.




berlin... april 06, while spending their easter vacations editions_zero members attend a real-punch-in-the-stomach set of antoine chessex in stralau 68 as a part of mini fest and get crazily astound w/ his lo-fi 'doom sax' sounds!...
berlin, somewhere in kreuzberg, january 07... while sitting in a bar w/daniel. joke and other pals drinking during a weekend's trip, the same members pop up w/ the idea of a release to remember that instant trip. a proposal for a raionbashi/antoine chessex split 7" is dropped and less than a month later crashes in our po box in amphissa an envelope from antoine including a cdr of his recordings (that stellar set from stralau as well!!!). 5 tunes (+ 1 w/ the necessary silence as well) as spewn from his tenor sax through gtr amps & his shitty efects pedals, from droning passages, to pure 'doom sax' chaos or the lo-fi madness of live sets, this cdr works not only as fine introduction to his world but as a blastin' experience as well (it sets editions_zero's central on fire!!!). housed in an envelope w/ a replica of how usually look like the letters or packs, collective members around greece exchange between them...

editions zero. lost in destruction press release.


Tras unos momentos de confusión y descanso para los oidos (lo de JG pasó factura a los asistentes), el suizo Antoine Chessex atacó (esta vez sin equipo y apoyado sólo por su ampli, más que suficiente para su actuación) con un set que sin duda hizo justicia a lo que rezaba el cartel. Un pildorazo de doom-impro con el incesante saxofón y su gutural voz como único instrumento. Chessex sonó como un hombre-orquesta poseido (con cierto toques de humor?) por espíritus metálicos que hacian sonar su saxo por momentos como una gigantesca guitarra electríca. Una sesión que gustó mucho (saltaba a la vista) al público grind y no grind, gracias a su (supuesta) simplicidad y direccionalidad sin tapujos. Casi como si de un Phill Niblock metalero se tratara, lo de Chessex (miembro de la formación Monno) fue oscuro, intenso y directo… a la yugular.


Chessex ha desarollado un uso inusual del saxofón, mandando la señal a dos amplificadores de guitarra y utilizando técnicas de respiración conectadas. Drones, comportamientos electrónicos caóticos, voces desquiciadas todo mezclado en acciones físicas e intensas. cap sembrat festival, barcelona.


Chessex saxofoi- joleak gaur joko du Mogambon

Antoine Chessex-en saxofoi doinuek osatuko dute gaurko eskaintza. Inprobisazioaz gain, saxofoiarekin ohikoak ez diren musika estiloak jorratzen ditu Chessex-ek. Monno taldeko partaide, azkenaldian bakarlari gisa ari da.

o. mitxelena/oarsoaldekohitza/basque country


Por último e inesperadamente, surgiu Antoine Chessex (saxofonita dos Monno). Já tinha visto os Monno ao vivo, sabia +- o que iria sair dali e apesar de também ter sido curto, estes são um tipo de concertos que se querem assim: curtos mas intensos. Neste momento já sentia o cérebro a fervilhar, um zumbido nos ouvidos que durou a noite inteira. Mas valeu a pena, valeu mesmo. Como disse alguém depois de Josetxo Grieta “são estas coisas que se recordam”. E é verdade. Podíamos ter estado umas quinze ou vinte pessoas lá dentro, mas o que interessa é que ninguém se irá esquecer desta noite. Quem (ou)viu (ou)viu, quem não (ou)viu…amplificasom


Een paar dagen eerder zag ik Antoine als voorprogramma bij Raccoo-oo-oon in WORM, waarna ik meteen besloot ook naar de show te gaan in Den Haag. Nog toffer was dat in de Garage een veel grotere amp stond, en dat liet Antoine weten ook. De solo-artiest met een instrument zo traditioneel als een saxophone blies het kleine zaaltje waar niet meer dan 25 mensen waren weg met enorme drones en noise-explosies. Een act die ik voorheen helemaal niet kende maar waar ik al snel een grote fan van ben geworden. De man raakt in een trance aan het begin van de show en is niet terug te herkennen gedurende de hele set. Het hevig happen naar adem laat meevoelen hoe intens de drones geweest zijn. De man is buiten adem na de set, en ik sprakeloos.


interview with nicolas from absurd, greece:

gotta admit that the first time i saw antoine last year in stralau i was amazed from his set! exactly what i wanted... pure sax mayhem via electronics and cheap effects spewn from a shitty marshall amp! thank god i was lucky enough to do a cdr of his work via editions_zero a few weeks ago and while listening to his stuff and recent cdr stuff, etc. i did this mini interview in order to incorporate it in my weekly column for the greek webzine 'tranzistor' ( - absurd's column's called 'multiple personality disorder' and its nearly 17 columns can be found in the 'features' link) but thought it shitty not to include it on absurd's site as well.. so here it is... enjoy, visit his sites, download and play loud his ultra shrieking sax sounds!!!!

- how did you come w/ the idea of transforming your sax sounds and how did it strike the 'doom sax' sound thing?

Well, first i should mention the influences of different saxophone players who use their instruments with amps before me. Jim Sauter and Don Dietrich from Borbetomagus, pioneers in the abstract and noisy saxophone approach, Kevin Martin from "God" who eventually played his tenor through a marshall stack and also Dror Feiler, great saxophone "destructionist". Those musicians being very important as they managed to propose something original, very energetic and different than the acoustic jazz or freejazz approaches on the saxophone. They definitely had an impact on me. Personnally, being fascinated by the heavy distorded guitar sounds in metal, hardcore and rock music, i sometimes try to have in mind such textures while blowing through the sax, creating heavy drones with circular breathing and some effect pedals...the marshall stack does the rest!!! Other techniques i use are pure feedback and some brutal screamings through the instrument. I also try to make it as physical and intense as possible, live on stage.

- could you please give me some infos in brief around your activities? (antoine, feel free to talk for influences as well, etc)

These days i spend quite a lot of time developing, recording, performing and touring with my solo stuffs... The electric "doom sax" of course, but I also work on an acoustic version where i try to play with the "sonic geometry" of the room im performing in, using mostly low-end drones, multiphonics and circular breathing while moving through the space. A huge influence for that type of work being Tony Conrad who really blew me away when i saw him live a year ago or so and whose music has been an inspiration since then...The works of saxophonists Thomas Ankersmit and Alessandro Bossetti are also very inspiring, allthough quite different. Besides the solo, im working in different contexts involving many forms of sonic experiments (noise electronics, drones, doom-metal, actionism, improv or collaborations with other medias.) Speaking about influences is always tricky as i think mostly everything influences me whether i want it or not...So many great musicians and great musics to discover and enjoy all the time...This is endless...I enjoy as much Morton Feldman as Corrupted, Henri Chopin, Earth, early Celtic Frost, Penderecki, Swans, Thelonius Monk, Phil Minton, Evil Moisture, Luc Ferrari, Masonna, Fear of God, Haitian music, Ornette Coleman, Neurosis, Hermann Nitsch, Skullflower or Keiji Haino, to name but a few. There are sounds everywhere, and they are all interesting if you take the time to listen to them, from the crispy noise of some feet on the snow, to the reactor of a plane starting or all the amazing sounds produced by the animal diversity (birds, frogs, insects,etc...).

- living in berlin gives you the opportunity not only to work solely yourself but also collaborate w/ a host of like minded pals who live in the city. fancy collaborating live or in the studio w/ others or prefer the solo stuff?

Berlin is for sure a very good place to meet open minded artists. It seems that more and more artists from all over the world are moving to Berlin, ´cause you can survive there with very little money (in comparison to other big cities in europe) while having a stimulating and varied cultural environment. Im definitely into all sorts of collaborations. Playing solo is highly interesting indeed but i do love playing with different people as well...Alone on a stage, you only rely on your own energy, while in a duo or a group situation you can really trigger the other performers (and of course being triggered as well). There is something powerfull in having many people playing/reacting together. Sometimes spontaneous actions with people you never worked with can turn out really good as well (sometimes really bad too). It reminds me as i was touring recently, i did a quick stop in Antwerpen for a radio session with Dennis Tyfus. I was a little afraid making music with him, being really into his work as a performer and visual artist and not being sure of what we would be doing whatsoever... We did an acoustic duo sax/vocal in the radio seemed very natural to play together allthough it was the first time. The result was totally absurd and funny : at some point the music was so deviantly funny (especially Tyfus´spoken words madness) that we weren´t able to play, just laughing like little kids while having a good time, improvising.

- if am not mistaken your are involved in monno as well. could you pls give me some infos around this group?

MoNNo is a very important project for me as it exists since many years and very close friends are involved in it. It is a four piece, featuring sound artist Gilles Aubry on laptop, electronic devices and vocals, Derek Shirley on bass, Marc Fantini on drums and me doing some low-end riffing with the sax. Over the years, the music changed quite a lot...From the free-rock with electronic textures of the beginning to a more doomy noise/metal direction of the last cd/lp, "Error". We have been lucky enough to meet the great folks at Conspiracy records a couple of years ago. They liked our music and released our debut album. Since then, they have been helping a lot in developing the project and gave us the possibility to tour with bands like Lightning Bolt, Isis and Jesu. We are currently working on some new materials...Hard to tell which direction monno gonna takes now...I like that, it takes time to develop and grow, and you never know where it is going to go....

- i've seen in your blog your postings of various alchemist pictures, art brut figures, etc... interested in this piece of art as well?

Yeah, all of these are very inspiring...I feel like there´s an obvious connection between the likes of Pierro Della Francesca, Bruegel, Borges, the alchemists, Antonin Artaud, Gilles Deleuze, Jodorowsky, Guy Debord, Sun Ra, Tarkovsky and the millions of other interesting human beings very famous or totally unknown...It is fascinating to search for sources of inspiration by discovering the works and experiences of other people, whether they are musicians, writers, painters, scientists, poets, grocers, bakers, mechanics, etc ... Speaking of ART BRUT: In Lausanne, Switzerland, there is this amazing museum: Jean Dubuffet gave them his whole collection. If you have the chance to go there, i really would recommend you to check it out. There is so many amazing works in there...The Art Brut authors (some were mentally ill) weren´t always aware that they were doing art and therefore didn´t play the art games like fighting to find exihibitions, looking for success, money or stuff like that. That aspect brought to most of the Art Brut movement something really intense, honnest, pure and direct.