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Plus de Snipettes!! Martin Tétreault

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Prix Opus 2018-19: Album de l’année — Finaliste

Entertaining while sometimes making sardonic comments, this homage and burlesque of recorded sound is satire mixed with love… The WholeNote, Canada

Those who you who enjoy the sound of a warped tape (raise your hands, people!) will be charmed by TétreaultVital, Netherlands

(No) More Snipettes!! is the sequel to my popular album Snipettes! What you have here is another set of selected extracts from several hours worth of tape reels and audio cassettes that were digitally transferred to a computer and then destroyed. In some cases, the original recordings were made straight to magnetic tape without going through a mixing desk. I wanted to retain as much of the original qualities of these materials and their media as possible. And that meant keeping both strokes of genius and mistakes rich in naivety and lessons learned at the time. This approach constitutes an archiving of gestures and sounds, a magnetic history that I had set aside for a while, and which, from what I can hear today, I am not the only one to have transgressed, at least in terms of analogue creation on turntables. Most of the tools used for these recordings have disappeared from my set-up. As for the music, what were originally mere exercises, now take on, here and there, new hidden meanings. What meaning? You be the judge!

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Plus de Snipettes!!

Martin Tétreault

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In the press

Review

Ken Waxman, The WholeNote, May 30, 2019

While electronics are now accepted as instruments, some musicians have accelerated the search for innovative sounds further, creating programs from collages of already existing material. For instance, Martin Tétreault’s Plus de Snipettes!!, is a sprawling 77-minute program in which the Montréaler constructs a wholly original recital from audio cassettes, tape reels, short-wave static, radio soundchecks and excerpts of untouched or cut-up vinyl. With each of the 31 [!] tracks lasting from about seven seconds to around seven minutes, the collages captivate with sheer audacity. Entertaining while sometimes making sardonic comments, this homage and burlesque of recorded sound is satire mixed with love. Not adverse to snipping French or English narrations from educational or instructional discs to foreshadow subsequent noises, Tétreault’s mashups are free of cant. Snippets of a Varèse or Boulez composition are slotted next to a flute improvisation, a snatch of disco sounds or a piano picking out Polly Wolly Doodle. Crunching noises created by train movement can fuse into a drum instruction record and then the flanges of backwards-running tape. At point his manipulations make succinct inferences, as when Dave Holland’s bass solo on Emerald Tears is juxtaposed with the sounds of a man crying. Other times connection leads to spoof, as when a ponderous lecturer’s voice outlining a complex phrase with the word “basis” in it is cut to become “bass” and later “mace” and repeated numerous times, becoming an electronic-dance rhythm in the process. Manipulations in speed and pitch turn juxtaposition of Sidney Bechet’s soprano saxophone and a Dixieland drum solo into frantic microtones. And if that isn’t enough, Tétreault creates abstract sound collages by cutting several LPs into many sections, gluing together the parts and recording the results so that a chorus of Soviet military singers fades into jazz piano chording and unknown speechifying, with the entire exercise surmounted by the crackles from divided and sutured vinyl.

Entertaining while sometimes making sardonic comments, this homage and burlesque of recorded sound is satire mixed with love…

Métal industriel disco

Geir Qviller, Deichman Musikkbloggen, April 1, 2019

Ja, tittelen sier alt, dette er en eksotisk og spennende sjangerblanding. Det starter perkussivt, industrielt og metallisk, men et stykke ute i låta, når man minst aner det, sniker discoen seg inn i lydbildet. Og det funker! Kanadiske Tétreault spiller på platespillere og er ute med ny skive Plus de Snipettes!! på Ambiances Magnétiques.

Review

Howard Stelzer, Vital, no. 1170, February 11, 2019

For his latest solo album, a sequel to his similarly-constructed Snipettes! from 1992, Montréal’s premier turntable-destroyer Martin Tétreault takes hundreds of clips from cassettes and reel tapes and mashes them all together into 31 short collage works. Most pieces hover around the two-minute mark, but some fly past in a matter of seconds and only one breaks the seven-minute barrier. All 31 pieces run together into what sounds like a single piece, though, their flow and unity belying the disparate nature of the source material. As you might expect, the familiar crackle of vinyl surface noise and record skipping plays a prominent role here, but the artist’s dry sense of humour takes the starring role. Plus de Snipettes!! begins with an emcee announcing the band about to play: ladies and gentlemen, out your hands together for… Tangerine Dream?! This jokey fake-out slides into rapidly-cut-up pop songs, mechanically stuck off-rhythms, recognizable short clips of melodies and the occasional discernible lyrical fragments. The relatively epic America takes some patriotic blues and grinds it against a noisy beat that’s eventually overtaken by gauzy muck. The competing buzzers and smooth-voiced 60’s radio-pitchmen of Désarme are more open and dramatically spacious. Other tracks are quick blurts which splice jazz records and slather them in skips and fuzz, thwacking familiar moods with rude bumps and prickly static. All the pieces here are compact and song-like, getting a lot of mileage out of making well-produced recordings out of intentionally lousy-sounding source material. The songs fly by at a clip, not letting a moment pass without attention to shifting density and juxtaposing pace. Those who you who enjoy the sound of a warped tape (raise your hands, people!) will be charmed by Tétreault’s rough segues and full-throttle information-overload.

Those who you who enjoy the sound of a warped tape (raise your hands, people!) will be charmed by Tétreault

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