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Infininiment Klaxon Gueule

Prix Opus 2009-10: Disque de l’année — Finaliste

A microscope aimed at the asperities,
And breaths trip upside-down breaking.
That explains the impact of those looks singing and burning bright.
The rumbles, the infinitely sounding,
A friend, a scream, following the threshold.

This trio formed in September 1995, and it hasn’t given up since. Bavards, a debut double album in ’97, Muets, its follow-up in ’99, and Grain in 2002 form a first triptych produced by Ambiances Magnétiques. In 2004, Chicken, an album of songs (but not really) is released by &records. After a five-year hiatus, the trio returns to Ambiances Magnétiques to release their fifth album, Infiniment (AM 194), which also signals a new acoustic focus. As was the case on Grain and Bavards, KG has augmented its core trio (drums, guitar, doublebass) with a wind trio (Jean Derome, Philippe Lauzier, and Gordon Allen). After standing the test of time, the close-knitted musical relationship between Côté, Falaise, and St-Onge is transcending genres and schools. Their separate music backgrounds encompass a wide spectrum of esthetics and a commanding level of versatility. Weddings, baptisms, funerals, engagements, graduations, dances, executions, bachelor parties, circumcisions — they did it all. Now, their hope is to give their first concert in an orbital station very soon. They are available for any occasion: flatf@videotron.ca

Infininiment

Klaxon Gueule

Michel F Côté, Bernard Falaise, Alexandre St-Onge

Some Recommended Items

In the Press

  • Ken Waxman, The WholeNote, no. 15:10, July 1, 2010
    Throughout the 13 minimalist tunes the horns extend or amplify improvisations from the band’s core trio
  • Vincenzo Giorgio, Wonderous Stories, no. 17, April 1, 2010
  • Dolf Mulder, Vital, no. 722, March 15, 2010
    It is very rewarding and enjoyable to listen to all short movements and actions by the different players, and to experience how they intertwine into a strong nucleus of linear moving music.
  • Stefano Isidoro Bianchi, Blow Up, no. 142, March 1, 2010
  • Marc Medwin, Signal to Noise, no. 57, March 1, 2010
    The disc’s timbral exploration give new life to Côté’s always fine drumming, and make this a highly satisfying new disc.
  • Where’d All My Friends Go?, January 16, 2010
    A stimulating exercise in free-improvisation.
  • Etero Genio, Sands Zine, January 3, 2010
    Sicuramente non siamo sui livelli dell’inarrivabile Muets, ma Infininiment ha tutte le carte in regola per soddisfare ancora una volta le esigenze, sicuramente ricercate, dei fan del gruppo.
  • François Couture, Monsieur Délire, November 19, 2009
    A second listen is mandatory

Extended Play: New Roles for Trumpets

Ken Waxman, The WholeNote, no. 15:10, July 1, 2010

Although the romantic image of a lone trumpeter has been standard in jazz since the time of Young Man with a Horn, musically it’s actually more difficult for a trumpet to be sole horn in a band — at least until freely improvised music rewrote the rules a few decades ago. The reason is simple: unlike the saxophone’s many keys which the soloist can manipulate for different timbres, the trumpet has only three valves and a length of tubing. Brass players thus most often work with a reed partner or as part of an ensemble. However these CDs, featuring mostly Canadian casts, show that notable sessions can appear no matter the instrumental make up. (…)

Ex-Torontonian, now Montréaler, trumpeter Gordon Allen plus saxophonists Jean Derome and Philippe Lauzier take an equally standard role as backing horn section on Montréal band Klaxon Gueule’s Infininiment Ambiances Magnétiques AM 194 CD. Throughout the 13 minimalist tunes the horns extend or amplify improvisations from the band’s core trio — guitarist Bernard Falaise, bassist Alexandre St-Onge and percussionist Michel F Côté. Concerned as much with mood and texture as melody, the scene-setting arrangements frequently find single horn parts providing brief commentary on Falaise’s popping guitar licks, St-Onge’s pulsating rhythms or the knitting-needle-like clatter of Côté’s delicate drumming. The bass line serves as a pedal point drone on Momo pèle, for instance, which fades away following dissociated drum beats, but not before Allen has pumped out bugle-like reveille. In contrast singular note extensions from one saxophone plus chromatic mellow timbres from the trumpeter inflate from distanced peeps to provide a counterweight to dissonant guitar-string snaps and abrasive strums on Brown suinte. (…)

Throughout the 13 minimalist tunes the horns extend or amplify improvisations from the band’s core trio

Klaxon Gueule

Vincenzo Giorgio, Wonderous Stories, no. 17, April 1, 2010

Infininiment dopo cinque anni segna il ritorno del grande trio canadese (Michel F Côté, Bernard Falaise e Alexandre St-Onge) dopo i fasti del seminale Chicken. Côté & Co. abbandonano l’indifferenziato flusso sonoro dell’opera precedente a favore di strutture più riconoscibili dove l’elettronica continua a giocare un ruolo importante affiancandosi, però, ad una strumentazione più spiccatamente e “riconoscibilmente” acustica. Mi riferisco soprattutto alla componente fiatistica rappresentata da tre ospiti illustri: Gordon Allen e i già pluricitati Jean Derome e Philippe Lauzier. Barbe de seuil (nella sua inesorabile lentezza), Fibreux tate (frastagliata e sghemba in cui spicca l’acustica di Falaise) e la malmostosa Gruge mou le perle più abbaglianti.

Review

Dolf Mulder, Vital, no. 722, March 15, 2010

I’m always especially curious after new releases by Michel F Côté. He is a very interesting musician who deserves a much broader attention if you ask me. For instance for his fantastic Klaxon Gueule. This is Michel F Côté (drums, percussion), Bernard Falaise (guitar) and Alexandre St-Onge (bass). They started in 1995, and with Infininiment they are ready for their fifth statement after a silence of 5-year silence. Helped out by Gordon Allen, Jean Derome and Philippe Lauzier. It is not necessary to introduce the three core members as they are very profiled artists, all of them involved in numerous other musical projects. Klaxon Gueule combines these extraordinary talents who are very equipped to interpret Côté’s bizarre musical visions. In a very abstract manner his music stays linked with rock, and more explicit it shows relations with improvised music. It is very rewarding and enjoyable to listen to all short movements and actions by the different players, and to experience how they intertwine into a strong nucleus of linear moving music.

It is very rewarding and enjoyable to listen to all short movements and actions by the different players, and to experience how they intertwine into a strong nucleus of linear moving music.

Review

Marc Medwin, Signal to Noise, no. 57, March 1, 2010
The disc’s timbral exploration give new life to Côté’s always fine drumming, and make this a highly satisfying new disc.

Review

Where’d All My Friends Go?, January 16, 2010

Klaxon Gueule (translated, “Horn Scream”) is a Montréal group featuring three top tier players of the improv arena, Michel F Côté (percussion), Bernard Falaise (guitar), and Alexandre St-Onge (bass), who put aside very successful careers (solo and otherwise) every few years for a Klaxon Gueule release — some of the strongest records in the Ambiances Magnétiques catalog. Following an exciting 1997 debut (Bavards) the group shifted away from energetic free-improvisation to a tense electro-acoustic style of ominous improvisation characterized by the use of heavily manipulated instrumentation. Klaxon Gueule, armed with instruments almost entirely non-manipulated, make a bit of a return to its previous inclinations with Infininiment, inviting in a reeds section, including Jean Derome, Gordon Allen, and Philippe Lauzier, to back them. The thirteen tracks presented here are less energetic than the group was back in 1997, but this disc is probably better realized than was Bavards. The music here moves fluidly over very uneven terrain at speeds necessitated by the territory, squirming over, around and, at times, even through the particular landscape. Derome, Allen, and Lauzier enter the mix sparingly, reacting in accord with the core trio to fill in sparse areas here and there. A stimulating exercise in free-improvisation.

A stimulating exercise in free-improvisation.

Recensione

Etero Genio, Sands Zine, January 3, 2010

La vicenda dei Klaxon Gueule si sta snodando con una meticolosità matematica, con il primo disco a dettare delle cordinate che sembrano diventate legge. Bavards del 1997, quel primo disco, era un doppio CD che presentava il trio effettivo (Michel F Côté, Bernard Falaise e Alexandre St-Onge) nella prima parte e il trio con aggiunta di un ospite (il sassofonista Christopher Cauley) nella seconda. Questa linea d’azione è proseguita con estrema coerenza nei dischi successivi dove il trio scrio scrio (Muets del 1999 e Chicken del 2004) si alterna con quello ingrassato dalla presenza di altri strumentisti (Grain del 2002 e questo Infininiment). Ma il primo disco offre anche un altro spunto di riflessione, essendo diviso stilisticamente fra una parte più rock-progressive ed un’altra più jazz-nowave. Ma, difficile da spiegare senza un ascolto, non si trattava di un’immersione dei tre in quei generi musicali, bensì di un confronto con essi a partire da un proprio centro che rimaneva ben distinguibile. Tale impostazione è proseguita nei dischi successivi e, sempre partendo da un proprio centro e muovendosi a raggiera, il trio si è confrontato con l’improvvisazione elettroacustica (Muets), con la musica elettronica (Grain) e con la psichedelia (Chicken); ma, e questo è il bello, ogni nuova esperienza ha arricchito il nocciolo centrale andando così a contaminare l’esperienza successiva. Ed oggi, complici gli strumenti a fiato del trio Gordon AllenJean DeromePhilippe Lauzier, i tre si confrontano con il jazz. Con ciò non voglio dire che Infininiment è un disco di jazz classicamente inteso, e penso addirittura che non piacerà affatto agli amanti di quel genere, ma piuttosto che è un disco in grado di mostrarci come i Klaxon Gueule vedono e leggono il jazz. Portandosi dietro, comunque, tutto il loro enorme bagaglio accumulato in anni di scorri & bande, dai frippismi della chitarra, ai cutlerismi della batteria, dal ‘rock in opposition’ alla freakeria zappiana, da Cage a Varèse… Sicuramente non siamo sui livelli dell’inarrivabile Muets, ma Infininiment ha tutte le carte in regola per soddisfare ancora una volta le esigenze, sicuramente ricercate, dei fan del gruppo. Tutti gli altri possono partire da questo punto per una ricerca a ritroso che, vi assicuro, sarà ricca di scoperte e soddisfazioni.

Sicuramente non siamo sui livelli dell’inarrivabile Muets, ma Infininiment ha tutte le carte in regola per soddisfare ancora una volta le esigenze, sicuramente ricercate, dei fan del gruppo.

Listening Diary

François Couture, Monsieur Délire, November 19, 2009

Klaxon Gueule, a band that makes few albums but carries on and keeps on renewing itself. On Infininiment (no, it’s not a typo), the core trio — Michel F Côté, Bernard Falaise, Alexandre St-Onge — is joined by three guests: Gordon Allen, Jean Derome, and Philippe Lauzier. The group is still playing free improvisation sitting between the acoustic and the electronic, between sound and noise, between hard and soft. More soft than hard, actually, especially early on this CD, where the sonic matter feels like plastic left too close to the heater. Strange image? Possibly. Still, an intriguing record, almost captivating even. I’ll have to get back to it. A second listen is mandatory.

A second listen is mandatory

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