The nine tracks range from lyrical showcases […] to abrasive and gritty scrapes, squeaks and flanges from Martel’s extended strings that contrast with intense, horizontal split-tones from the saxophonist. — The WholeNote, Canada
This, their first duo CD is downright splendid. — Monsieur Délire, Québec
Sparse, soft feedback,
Undulating rhythms, rippling.
Continuous sounds, trusting one another
Into complex textures, developing slowly, minimally,
(Un)prepared sounds, old and new.
- Label: &records
- ET 06 / 2009
- Total duration: 34:53
- 130 mm × 130 mm × 3 mm
- 30 g
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In the press
Ne La notte fa (ovvero l’incontro tra due percussionisti (sic) “inquieti assai”, Michel F Côté e a_dontigny) viene preso in considerazione un substrato elettro-rock trasfigurato da un fitto uso di elettronica destrutturante (ad esempio Ritmi di oggetti ma anche le più soffuse Unlisted Card Number e soprattutto Paxil Origami Club) il tutto filtrato da una propensione addirittura “punk” (Bounce Dat ARN). Molto interessanti gli apporti degli ospiti Alexandre St-Onge (basso), Alexander MacSween (batteria) l’immancabile Bernard Falaise (chitarra) e soprattutto Jean René alla viola.
La medesima etichetta (&records) pubblica Sainct Laurens di Philippe Lauzier e Pierre-Yves Martel, opera di abbacinante introspezione timbrica dove i fiati (Philippe) e gli archi (Pierre-Yves) vengono dolcemente molestati da un’elettronica diffusa e soffusa. Nascono così piccole gemme come Brazos, Adda e Alz. Tre parole sussurrate nella penombra elettroacustica.
Duo playing is probably the most difficult kind of improvising. Not only must each player depend on only one other to modify or accompany his ideas, but unbridled creativity has to be muted to fit the other musician’s comfort zone. As these CDs demonstrate, skilled improvisers aren’t fazed by the challenge; but the instruments they choose are sometimes unusual. (…)
Pierre-Yves Martel and Philippe Lauzier also mix electro and acoustic timbres – and more – on their CD Sainct Laurens (&records 06). Although Montréaler Lauzier confines himself to saxophone and bass clarinet, Martel, who lives in Montréal and Paris, suggests 17th Century music at points, since he plays the viola da gamba. He’s thoroughly modern elsewhere, preparing his instrument with speakers, contact mics and radios. The nine tracks range from lyrical showcases where Lauzier’s wide woodwind warbles brush up against sympathetic Renaissance-styled string vibrations; to abrasive and gritty scrapes, squeaks and flanges from Martel’s extended strings that contrast with intense, horizontal split-tones from the saxophonist. Defiantly multiphonic, the most characteristic track is Adda. It matches altissimo bass clarinet squeals with animal-like burrowing scratches plus droning oscillations from the plectrumist. Swelling into a cornucopia of stifled reed split tones and pinched string buzzes, the piece rends the sound space with both high and low-pitches before the distinctive parts meld.
Der Saxophonist & Bassklarinettist Philippe Lauzier, bereits bekannt mit Ensemble en pièces, dem Spin Ensemble, Quartetski does Prokofiev etc., tat sich für Sainct Laurens (&06) zusammen mit seinem Quartetski-Partner Pierre-Yves Martel, der für dieses Projekt die Finger vom Kontrabass lässt und statt dessen einer präparierten und kontaktmikrophonierten Viola da Gamba Klänge entlockt. Ich würde ja einmal mehr über Plinkplonking spotten, würden die beiden die Schraube nicht noch ein Stück weiter drehen zu einer Musique concrète instrumentale, bei der die Gambe öfters mal wie die Cartridge Music von Cage klingt, wie ein knarrendes Möbelstück oder ein Daxophon am Spieß. Lauzier bietet entsprechende extented techniques an der Kippe zum You Don’t Have to Call It Music. Dazwischen plonkt Martel aber die Saiten auch so, dass sie wie ein Kontrabass schnurren, den er gleichzeitig mit dem Bogen bezirpt. Und Lauzier rundet dünn geschabte Blastöne zu vollmundig sonoren, die er in die Luft entlässt mit der Sorgsamkeit eines Glasbläsers. Vero und Volta sägen aber derart mit stumpfen Klingen an den Nerven, dass das Zahnfleisch blutet. Danach kann ich zum gepresst dröhnenden Alz nur noch ‘Blecheimer’ stammeln. Was, verdammt nochmal, soll ich hier am anderen Ende der Zuckerbrotskala erfahren? Dass man sich fürs Himmelreich auch schon mal auf kleiner Flamme rösten lassen muss?
Philippe Lauzier (sax) and Pierre-Yves Martel (viola da gamba) are two of the most active recrutes of late in Ambiances Magnétiques’ fold. This, their first duo CD (out on &records, Michel F. Côté’s imprint) is downright splendid. A series of careful pieces in which each sound is weighted yet flows naturally. A journey inside the instruments involved (those above mentioned, plus bass clarinet, tubes, melodica, small speakers, radios, and contact mics), but foremost inside a deep-running musical relationship between the two protagonists. You can clearly feel how these two have been and are still making discoveries together. A demanding listen but a beautiful album.
No doubt this label is in a lucky situation: the only mail arriving today where these two CDs, which included the 2008 release by Michel F Côté and a_dontigny, which is well beyond the six months that I usually have for accepting promo’s. This to avoid labels sending me complete back catalogues, and not because of being lazy. We know Et Records as a label from Canada with improvised music, but these two stretch the idea thereof. a_dontigny we know as someone from the No Type Records label with some highly charged musique concrete cut up music, whereas Michel F Côté is a known as an improviser on drums. That’s what he is playing here too, along with percussion, micros, tapes and electronics, and a_dontigny gets credit for cut-ups, drum machines and dsp. A bunch of (un-)invited guests also appear: Bernard Falaise, Alexandre St-Onge, Alexander MacSween and Jean René. I am not entirely sure how this was conceived, but I think this is the result of recording together some long night on drums and electronics, and then taking the recordings to the computer to effectively and extending mixing, chopping up, editing to create some wicked, crazy music. Hardly to be recognized as improvised music as such, this owes much more electronic music on one side and free rock on the other. Say Moha! or Rock Out but then a bit softer, a bit more structured and perhaps more electronic in their approach. Its however not an album that we can apply such words as ‘careful’ or ‘gentle’, as the music is a bit too mean for that. A high energy trip all around. Each track is in full speed mode, with tons of small sounds happening all around. One that doesn’t leave you untouched. One crazy fucked up form of improvised music.
The second release is by Philippe Lauzier on saxophones, bass clarinet, tubes and melodica together with Pierre-Yves Martel on prepared viola da gamba, two inch speakers, radios and contact mics. I assume, seeing this was recorded over a two day period, that this is a studio recording, which was later mixed by the two musicians, along with Dave Bignell. Improvised music of course, but quite an odd one. The nine pieces are relatively short and in a strange sort of way quite noisy. Strange because the bigger part the music is acoustically made, but with that bit of amplification that makes all the scraping sounds wandering off every now and then in the realms of feedback like sustained sounds, this is certainly not an easy work to access. Its however one, I think, that is quite beautiful. The sustaining sounds produced by what seem to be the main instruments (saxophone and viola) are already quite nasty, but in addition to whatever they are doing, this is a great work, totally demanding full concentration of the listener, but also totally rewarding. Excellent discs, both of them.
What do you get when you lock up two creative geniuses in a cabin for a couple days with a viola da gamba, saxophones, a bass clarinet, some radios and two-inch speakers? A beautiful and weird sudoku puzzle for the psyche. This CD shows us how these guys give Montréal a well-deserved rep around the globe as a locus for creative music. The only thing better is hearing them live. (9/10)