… playful yet sinister. — Collected Sounds, USA
… lovely voice and intriguing songs… — Collected Sounds, USA
In a short film atmosphere Nathalie Derome performs a few of her songs with Guillame Dostaler and René Lussier.
CD (AM 088)
- Label: Ambiances Magnétiques
- AM 088
- UCC 771028108824
- Total duration: 48:42
- Jewel case
- 125 mm × 142 mm × 10 mm
- 100 g
On the web
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In the press
Nathalie Derome’s music has a weird mood to it. Her lovely voice and intriguing songs ensure that the listener remains interested though.
Ah non! Anna has a strange voice interrupting Derome’s half spoken delivery to great effect.Ton grand nez is playful yet sinister. It’s played on an accordion which reminds me of the circus. It would be a shadowy circus populated by freaks straight out of a Ray Bradbury novel to fit with the song.
This is not a commonplace record, but it should still find an audience among more adventurous listeners.
Nathalie Derome’s music has a weird mood to it. Her lovely voice and intriguing songs ensure that the listener remains interested though. Ah non! Anna has a strange voice interrupting Derome’s half spoken delivery to great effect. Ton grand nez is playful yet sinister. It’s played on an accordion which reminds me of the circus. It would be a shadowy circus populated by freaks straight out of a Ray Bradbury novel to fit with the song. This is not a commonplace record, but it should still find an audience among more adventurous listeners.
If you’ve ever wondered what would happen to musical films if you were able to get into the projectionist’s booth and play around with the pacing and speed of the reel, then this is the CD for you. Recorded as part of a 1999 festival, the album features Derome’s bizarre songs, accompanied by Guillame Dostaler and René Lussier — two musos who sound like they’ve escaped from the Tom Waits Camp For Musical Strangeness and gone on the lam to Canada. It’s strangely compelling; there’s fantastic guitar work that brings Marc Ribot’s multi-faceted approach to mind, while carnival synth and a generally fractured approach to backing a singer flesh out the songs. Certainly, Derome’s voice, as powerfully evocative as it is, would be nowhere near as successful without the freakish-sounding tunes it rides. If PJ Harvey went to the circus, she couldn’t get this level of strangeness out. Vocally, recitative is pretty much the way the show goes here. Ah Non! Anna features an intruding robotic voice, while elsewhere, Derome’s voice runs the gamut from teasing to the terrified, while familiar tunes float by in the background — I swear that Ton Grand Nez borrows from The Doors’ Love Her Madly. And somehow, amid the confusion, it works. You don’t need to speak French to enjoy this album; the pacing and the feel of the tunes is such that they’re enjoyable for reasons other than those of lyricism; however, I suspect that you need a better handle on the language than my schoolboy-level to get the full effect of such a nuanced performance. I may be missing the subtleties, but even for a relatively ignorant listener, Les quatre ronds sont allumés has a carny-backed appeal that’s hard to resist.
Nathalie Derome works on this CD together with Guillaume Dostaler (voice & amp; synthesizer) and René Lussier (guitar, daxophone & amp; voice). The CD contains 11 tracks with “parodisiaques chansons” or French chanson from the paradise. Nathalie sings all songs in French and is able to create a certain atmosphere in each song. These atmospheres are created through the use of different musical tempos within each track. The songs receive a dramatic sphere when the music is in a low tempo and the words are intimate. The track turns almost into spoken word. While joyful songs have an up tempo. The vocals are the most important parts of the song and Nathalie is absolutely brilliant in her performance, she is able to put drama and lyric into the words. Instruments (mostly 2 in each track) are absolutely only present on the background and guides the words.
As general conclusion we can say that this is a CD full of lyrical songs with very strong vocals from Nathalie and intimate guided with instruments by Guillaume and René.
Mû par des préoccupations voisines, le trio de Nathalie Derome invente de petits film sonores oniriques et particulièrement envoûtants. Voilà trois œuvres, en grande partie produites par des femmes, passionnantes de bout en bout.
Il y a bientôt deux ans le collectif québécois éditait d’un seul coup plusieurs enregistrements qui se caractérisaient par un contenu artistique similaire: l’improvisation bruitiste déclinée de multiples manières (Lussier / Tétreault, Île Bizarre)
Cet hiver est marqué par un autre tir groupe autour du chant. Tout d’abord une compilation (la 5e) qui resitue certaines pièces dans cet environnement thématique sous toutes ses formes (Chante! 1985-2000). Certes, elle ne comprend pas d’inédits, mais permet de redécouvrir en compact quelques titres issus des productions vinyliques des années 80’ comme celles de Wondeur Brass ou des débuts du duo Lussier/Derome avant qu’il ne devienne les Granules.
Derome is a creative and experimental theater performer. Taken right from her work in self-styled théâtre perforé (perforated theater) and théâtre en forme de femme (theater with a woman’s shape), we get on this disc the audio dimension of her communication with the theater audience. Somewhat like the avant-garde art music of the Residents and a bit like musically ornamented dialogue or poetry readings, Les quatre ronds sont allumé is sonic cabaret, stage work launched onto CD with the guitar theatrics of René Lussier. (3)
Only lazy reviewers rely solely on promotional copy to write their reviews. Occasionally, though, nothing sums up a record more succinctly, as is the case with Les quatre ronds sont allumés. “In a short film atmosphere,” reads the press info, “Nathalie Derome performs a few of her songs with Guillame Dostaler and René Lussier.” Making use of vocals (both sung and spoken), guitar, keyboards and synthesizers, Derome leads the listener through a moody, carnivalesque soundscape. With the lyrics and the lyric sheet written in French, English-speakers may find it hard to follow the plot. The album’s first half recalls Tom Wait’s mid-’80s Rain Dogs period, while the second half employs sparse instrumentation and quietly emotional vocals.
Nathalie Derome (voice) makes her debute with her cd. Accompanied by veteran René Lussier (guitars, daxophone, voice, a. o. ) and Guillaume Dostaler (Fender Rhodes, synthesizer, voice) she sings 11 songs, most of them composed by herself. In contrast with Letarte Derome is more extravert and dramatic in her performance. Enjoyable. For those who want to hear Lussier playing in a more conventional way should listen to this one.
Chansons parodisiaques is my first contact with the Québec-based chanteuse Nathalie Derome. She is joined on this recording by the versatile René Lussier (a seasoned regular on the Ambiances magnétiques label) on guitar and his now infamous “daxophone”, as well as Guillaume Dostaler on Rhodes and synths. The songs are a strange, almost carnivalesque blend of styles, playing on the conventions of pop, jazz and cabaret, among others. Derome’s voice bounces around in so many directions, and is able to create just as many moods; in one moment she can be reciting a rapid fire of lyrics and the next she’ll be sounding a haunting and more abstract song. The instrumentation is superb, though difficult and unconventional; I really enjoyed listening to Dostaler’s spirited keyboards and Lussier’s schizophrenic guitar. A meeting place for three bizarre and innovative artists, this album grows on the listener with mysterious charm.
Donne e canzoni, prima parte. Etichetta da tenere particolarmente d’occhio questa Ambiances magnétiques perché quando meno te lo aspetti ti piazza il colpo vincente. Soltanto negli ultimi due-tre anni ha pubblicato diversi dischi notevoli (e almeno un paio di capolavori: Île Bizarre del trio Tétreault-Labrosse-Mori e Muets dei Klaxon Gueule). Dischi di confine, diffficilmente databili, difficilmente afferrabili, perennemente in bilico, che invitano all’esplorazione. Anche per Les 4 Ronds… di Natalie Derome la tentazione di tirar fuori parole grosse è enorme; inoltre, a differenza dei due dischi sopracitati, si agisce sulla forma canzone, materia ad alto rischio di sofisticazione dove ormai i margini di originalità sono sempre piu ridotti. Se poi si pensa che la Derome e all’esordio discografico il risultato ha dell’incredibile. Quello che sappiamo di lei è che è soprattutto conosciuta per le sue performance teatrali e che si sa scegliere le giuste compagnie (in questo caso Guillaume Dostaler e René Lussier, impegnati ad armeggiare con chitarre, pianoforte, synth, daxophone ed effeHi). Ed è proprio da alcuni spettacoli teatrali che, tra il giugno e l’ottobre del 1999, sono state registrate le tracce del presente CD. Gia il sottotitolo - chansons parodisiques - emana un certo fascino e lascia presagire buone nuove; quel misto tra paradiso e parodia che lascia trasparire un surpius di eccentricità. A partire dagli arrangiamenti, abbastanza scarni ma originali e fantasiosi, che sembrano progettati per mettere in evidenza la voce di Natalie che passa con estrema noncuranza dall’enfasi alla pacatezza, dal dramma alla spensieratezza. Cio che comunque più affascina di alcune tra le canzoni presenti nel disco e quel senso di incompiutezza, di provvisorietà, di imperfezione che ne lambisce i tratti. E soprattutto la diffficile databilità di queste che potrebbero abbracciare un’arco temporale pressoche illimitato. Dai toni tragici e passionali (ma anche bizarri e sarcastici) della tradizione miHeleuropea a certi soHofondi rumoristici, rarefatti e minimali, indubbiamente aHuali, Les 4 ronds sont allumés spiazza e sorprende come sempre più raramente capita negli ultimi tempi. Capolavoro? Probabile. (9)
The sister of Montréal saxophonist Jean Derome, Nathalie Derome has been working as a performing artist for many years before this album, her first, came out. Les 4 ronds sont allumés: Chansons parodisiaques (“All four burners are on: Parodise Songs”) documents a live show she performed throughout the second half of 1999. Derome is a storyteller, speaking and singing texts that are funny, subtle and poetic but also often very “Québécois,” both because of the language and the references used. Lyrics are included in the booklet, but will be of little use to anyone not accustomed to Québec slang. Her voice is not really beautiful (it recalls Joane Hétu’s, although less exploratory), but it’s captivating enough. Musical accompaniment is provides by two Ambiances Magnétiques regulars, keyboardist Guillaume Dostaler and guitarist René Lussier. The interplay between performer and musicians is interesting and one wonders at times who leads who, but for the non-francophone, Derome’s voice can be perceived as disruptive when listening to the background music. It must have been more engaging live.
- Marie-Ève Belzile, Regards sur la ville, no. 1:3, January 26, 2001