… thanks to the quality of musical style, they should really be obtained by true music lovers. — Sztuka Fabryka, Belgium
… bizarre, strange and atmospheric compilation of audio mysteries. — Nightwaves, Canada
This endearingly mysterious compilation CD features material released on the Ambiances Magnétiques label between 1997 and 1999. Intricate, varied and playful, this singular disc contains 16 little mysteries for you to solve. Ambiances Magnétiques will no longer be a mystery to you!
- Composer(s): Pierre Cartier, Jean Derome, Jean Derome et les Dangereux Zhoms, Patrice Desbiens, Fred Frith Guitar Quartet, Joane Hétu, Klaxon Gueule, Diane Labrosse, Robert Marcel Lepage, René Lussier, Ikue Mori, Nous perçons les oreilles, L’Orkestre des pas perdus, Pierre Tanguay, Martin Tétreault, Tom Walsh
- Graphic design: Fabrizio Gilardino
CD (AM 070)
- Label: Ambiances Magnétiques
- AM 070 / 1999
- UCC 771028107025
- Total duration: 71:02
- Jewel case
- 125 mm × 142 mm × 10 mm
- 60 g
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In the press
This volume is the most intimate. Here are compositions which uses classical instruments or samples of sounds or a combination of it all. Almost all compositions are processing very slowly and brings you an intimate atmosphere, an almost fine mix of experimental music and contemporary classical music. Reviewing these CD’s is very hard thanks to the quality of musical style, they should really be obtained by true music lovers.
There is nothing mysterious in Mystère, label Ambiances Magnétiques’ four installment in its sampler series. Yes, the track list at the back of the box gives only a list of track numbers with durations — but the card inside contains all the usual information on artists, track titles and albums. Really, nothing to get excited about and no unreleased material. These are sixteen tracks taken from the sixteen albums Ambiances Magnétiques released between 1997 and 1999. If anything, this sampler, compared to volumes 1 (1983-1995) and 2 (1995-1997), shows how much these musicians’ focus has shifted in the mid-1990s from deconstructed pop to free improv. Track selection is inspired. Since there were extensive artist presentations and historical overviews of the label in Ambiances Magnétiques, Volume 1: La Bastringue Migratoire (1996), Mystère is only accompanied by a card with the track list.
This is a bizarre, strange and atmospheric compilation of audio mysteries. It is often unnerving and spooky, but certainly not inaccessible. The artists featured on this disc use everything from drums, violins, synthesizers, samplers, turntables, flutes and saxaphones to create an expansive blend of provacative soundscapes.
Some of the tracks could be considered spoken word (La nuit est longue et sans plis by Patrice Desbiens). Other tracks, in fact most of them, are combinations of cryptic, mysterious found sounds and traditional acoustic instruments. Some tracks even border on operatic (Que saisir sinon by Pierre Cartier). Motormouth by the Fred Frith Guitar Quartet is a refreshing instrumental with a strong jazz flavour. Rarely is this hybrid of electronic and acoustic so rewarding, but this compilation pulls it off superbly. Thesesongs” are sad, suggestive, weird and vividly unique all at once.
Unlike most sojourns into experimentalism, this CD does not completely alienate the listener with a barrage of caustic noises. It actually posesses flashes of structure, therefore making it a fine primer to this league of sound structure. Credit must also be given to Luc Beauchemin and Jean-Francois Denis for the beautiful (and original) design of the CD case. Highly recommended for followers of the avant-garde.