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Qu’ouïs-je? René Lussier, Martin Tétreault

… it is remarkably compelling… Rubberneck, UK

… fantastical landscapes populated by strange, exotic creatures… a compelling and accomplished work… The Wire, UK

For their new recording, René and Martin found their inspiration, freely and naively, from the old school of musique concrète. This, through an electro-neonaturalist related aestethic. And that’s that.

The duet’s previous disc, Dur Noyau Dur, was deemed “best improv disc of the year” by Art Lange, The Wire.

Qu’ouïs-je?

René Lussier, Martin Tétreault

Some recommended items

In the press

  • Chris Blackford, Rubberneck, March 28, 2002
    … it is remarkably compelling…
  • Phil England, The Wire, no. 207, May 1, 2001
    … fantastical landscapes populated by strange, exotic creatures… a compelling and accomplished work…
  • IS, Pasazer, no. 15, April 1, 2001
  • Julian Cowley, The Wire, no. 204, February 1, 2001
  • Pierre Durr, Revue & Corrigée, no. 46, December 1, 2000
  • Henryk Palczewski, Informator “Ars” 2, no. 29, December 1, 2000
  • Nicolas Tittley, Voir, no. 14:40, October 5, 2000
    … une lecon de déconstructivisme qui plairait sûrement à Radiohead.
  • François Couture, AllMusic, October 1, 2000
    … the music squirts, jumps and stumbles out of the speakers.
  • Jeff Bugz, emoRAGEi, no. 11, September 1, 2000
  • Richard di Santo, Incursion Music Review, July 31, 2000
    Lussier and Tétrault work extremely well together, and they have succeeded in creating an inventive and unique record. Recommended for the adventurous.

Review

Chris Blackford, Rubberneck, March 28, 2002

Qu’ouïs-je? sees Lussier and Tétreault ditching the guitars and turntables of their previous releases and turning instead to daxophone (Lussier) and synthesizer, pick-up and drum machine (Tétreault). Tétreault’s preoccupation with the raw scratching of the cartridge thus gets free rein, unhindered by the exigency of having to actually play records, and Lussier adds screeching bowed textures and bass drones. As you can guess, this isn’t a CD to have playing in the background of your next dinner party, but it is remarkably compelling: the sounds may be unforgivingly harsh, but they’re assembled with an ear for space and dynamics, and the improvisatory wit and concision of the duo’s previous release (Dur noyau dur, on the same label) isn’t lacking here.

… it is remarkably compelling…

Soundcheck Review

Phil England, The Wire, no. 207, May 1, 2001

The duo with Martin Tétreault is, unsurprisingly, a whole other saucepan of reptiles, and follows their widely acclaimed duo Dur noyau dur (1998). The latter consisted of turntable and guitar improvisations, whereas Qu’ouis-je? is a studio constructed piece of musique concrete informed by Surrealism, Dada and art brut. Here Tétreault exchanges turntables for "synthétiseur, pick-up et boite 3 rhythme" and Lussier trades in his electric guitar for a daxophone - the bowed wooden instrument invented by German guitarist Hans Reichel (Lussier played in Reichel’s dexophone quartet).

The uncanny ability of the daxophone to produce voice-like timbres and intonations is used here to create fantastical landscapes populated by strange, exotic creatures whose wild screechings, calls, conversations, arguments and acts of aggression happen in a rather bleak landscape somewhere in deep space (or is it just post-industrial Earth?). Tétreault creates the crackling, distorted ambiences around the action in a compelling and accomplished work that has been executed with a serious sense of humour.

… fantastical landscapes populated by strange, exotic creatures… a compelling and accomplished work…

Review

IS, Pasazer, no. 15, April 1, 2001

Critique

Pierre Durr, Revue & Corrigée, no. 46, December 1, 2000

Qu’ouis je?

Des affrontements, des attouchements, des barrissements, des bourdonnements, des bruissements, des chuchotements, des couinements, des craquements, des dégorgements, des frémissements, des froissements, des frottements, des gargouillements, des gémissements, des glapissements, des gloussements, des grincements, des hennissements, des jappements, des mugissements, des pétillements, des piaulements, des pincements, des raclements, des rugissements, des sifflements, des tressaillements, des vagissements, des vrombissements… Comment cela?

Avec apaisement, acharnement, affolement, agrément, bouleversement, compliment, dépouillement, dérangement, détournement, ébahissement, emballement, embrasement, envoûtement, frissonnement, raffinement, rayonnement, rebondissement…

Sans agacement, bâillement, désenchantement, écœurement, gonflement, harcèlement, hébétement, larmoiement, manquement, ménagement, raidissement, refoulement, remaniement, renoncement, ncanement, surencherissement, travestissement…

Mais encore?

Un daxophone, un pick-up, un synthetiseur et une boite à rythmes.

Critique

Nicolas Tittley, Voir, no. 14:40, October 5, 2000

Musique concrète naive? Pourquoi pas? Avec deux allumés comme Martin Tétreault et René Lussier, on peut s’attendre à tout. Mais oubliez la théorie et laissez ces deux improvisateurs chevronnés vous emmener vers d’étranges contrées sonores. Malgré son apparente aridité (l’instrumentation se limite aux daxophone, platines et machines), Qu’ouis-je? est un disque organique, qui évoque soit le chant des oiseaux, soit des chants de gorge inuit fracturés. Moins hardcore que Dur noyau dur l’effort précédent du duo, ce nouveau disque comporte bien quelques grincements indigestes, mais il est aussi traversé de moments éclatants, voire apaisants. Parfois, le ton se fait plus cérébral, plus électronique, comme sur Cassure, une lecon de déconstructivisme qui plairait sûrement à Radiohead. Martin Tétreault en concert à la fonderie Darling le 7 octobre avec 18U et Francisco Lopez. ***/5

… une lecon de déconstructivisme qui plairait sûrement à Radiohead.

Review

François Couture, AllMusic, October 1, 2000

Qu’ouïs-je? (an old-fashioned french form of saying “What do I hear?”) is the follow-up to René Lussier and Martin Tétreault’s 1999 Dur Noyau Dur. Although the track titles all end in “ure” just like the previous record, Qu’ouïs-je? is very different from its older brother. This time around, instead of rubbing his guitar strings with steel wool, Lussier focuses on the daxophone (a bowed instrument invented by Hans Reichel}). As for Tétreault, he works less inside his pick-up and experiments with analog synthesizer and beat box. The resulting music is a lot less abstract and unidimensional than on Dur Noyau Dur. There is much more happening: the music squirts, jumps and stumbles out of the speakers. The shortness of these improvs allows for frequent changes of settings and eludes over-stretched ideas. Both musicians play with (and not from or over) each other, creating short-spanned musical universes of twisted sounds and surprising encounters. Most of the times, the listener cannot tell who plays what and how they did it — remember the CD’s title? While Dur Noyau Dur was serious to the verge of pretentiousness, Qu’ouïs-je?is playful and entertaining while proposing a strong artistic statement.

… the music squirts, jumps and stumbles out of the speakers.

Critique

Jeff Bugz, emoRAGEi, no. 11, September 1, 2000

On assiste ici à une mixture assez intéressante entre le virtuose René Lussier (Daxophone) et le manipulateur de table tournante Martin Tétreault (aussi synthétiseur, boîte à rythme). Le sirop a bon goût si vous êtes enrhumé et que vous aimez le son de votre toux. En d’autres mots, les bruits absolument non-commercials de ce disque vous transportent dans un monde d’innovation et de ré-interprétation sonore digne de ses 2 grands explorateurs. Quand vous êtes fatigués de fredonner les refrains de vos artistes préférés, tentez l’expérience d’écouter le disque de René et Martin, il vous plongerez dans d’étranges atmosphères qui en fait, vous changent de la routine pop. Ce ne sont pas les seuls artistes qui aiment créer des sons comme eux alors si vous aimez ce disque, vous voudrez en découvrir plus sur leurs semblables et ça devient une drogue. Il faut vraiment avoir l’esprit ouvert pour écouter cette musique et faut croire que Radio-Canada l’a, puisqu’elle semble avoir subventionné une partie du disque. (8/10)

Review

Richard di Santo, Incursion Music Review, July 31, 2000

The second disc is a collaboration between Lussier and Martin Tétrault, with Lussier on “daxophone” and Tétrault on synth, pick up and "boîte à rythme". 19 tracks inspired by musique concrète traditions, or anti-traditions, depending on your perspective. For some reason, each track title carries the suffix “ure” (Augure, Nature, Mixure, Culture… ) and defines the theme for each composition. Recorded in 1998 - this time in the Radio Canada studios in Montréal - this collaboration is a surprising clash of two radical improvisers working together to create 19 soundworlds of varying moods and themes. Lussier and Tétrault contribute whirrs, whistles and grating sounds corresponding to the particular theme of the composition. For instance, Nature sounds like a virtual forest complete with clusters of birds and the rustling of leaves. Light contrasts with dark on this disc with the threatening sounds in Tellure or the warbling and growling of Aventure. The sounds throughout the disc range from very loud shrieks to quiet rumblings, but mostly things comfortably lie somewhere in between. Lussier and Tétrault work extremely well together, and they have succeeded in creating an inventive and unique record. Recommended for the adventurous.

Lussier and Tétrault work extremely well together, and they have succeeded in creating an inventive and unique record. Recommended for the adventurous.

More texts

The Wire no. 207

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