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Review

Frank Rubolino, Cadence, no. 25:11, November 1, 1999
Monday, November 1, 1999 Press

Two groups enjoyed the honors as the main events for the evening. Jean Derome’s et Les Dangereux Zhoms opened with a boisterous set that exerted plenty of muscle, mainly through the vigorous drumming of Pierre Tanguay and raw trombone blasts from Tom Walsh. Derome’s compositions set up a vaudevillian, almost circus atmosphere with heavity composed material played in a very unstructured and freewheeling way. The compositions, which often were woven into extended suites, were intricate, often blurring the line between written and improvised. The band often ignited into wondrous, freely spun passages behind the pulsating beat from Pierre Cartier on bass and Guillaume Dostaler on piano and keyboards. Derome’s alto solo on Really Sorry was one highlight of the forceful set.

Derome’s alto solo on Really Sorry was one highlight of the forceful set.

Review

Gary Flanagan, Nightwaves, no. 4, November 1, 1999
Monday, November 1, 1999 Press

This work represents a virtual melange of found sounds (recorded in real time without benefit of samplers). Abrupt guitar strummings come and go, couped with the sound of somebody stumbling through a room in the dark. The sound manipulations of avant-garde guru Martin Tétreault (turntables, pick-ups, radios) are combined with the ultra minimal, spastic guitar workings of René Lussier. This work will either fascinate or frustrate you, depending on your level of open-mindedness. If you prescribe to thesound as art” school, you will enjoy it wholeheartedly.

Tétreault has been gaining much exposure lately for his very nonconventional approach to turntables. He is more concerned with the noises that turntables can produce by manipulating and altering the internal mechanisms, rather than what the machine can produce by gliding a needle through some grooves. This tinkering seems to produce both interesting and forgettable results. Dur noyau dur sounds less like an album of non-music than it does an art school project by two sound chemists. There isn’t one hint of conformity on this entire disc.

This work will either fascinate or frustrate you depending of your level of open-mindedness, […] If you prescribe to the “sound as art” school, you will enjoy it wholeheartedly.

Review

Gary Flanagan, Nightwaves, no. 4, November 1, 1999
Monday, November 1, 1999 Press

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.

… bizarre, strange and atmospheric compilation of audio mysteries.

Review

Irving Bellemead, Splendid E-Zine, November 1, 1999
Monday, November 1, 1999 Press

Free improvisation is a mystery to many people. Reactions range from “that’s not music” to “they’re frauds” to “my five year old could do that” to “wow. ” What many people don’t realize is that despite its free and open nature, it is possible to become very good at free improvisation, particularly when you play with a close group of people over a long period of time. Malcolm Goldstein (violin), John Heward (percussion) and Rainer Wiens (prepared guitar) make up one such group, and wow are they good! Chants cachés is a richly detailed, subtle yet energized disc, and it really shows off the highly developed musicality of three improvisational veterans. Chants cachés might be tough listening for a while if you haven’t listened to much music like this before, but it’s well worth the effort.

… wow are they good! Chants Cachés is a richly detailed, subtle yet energized disc, and it really shows off the highly developed musicality of three improvisational veterans.

Review

David Lewis, Cadence, no. 25:11, November 1, 1999
Monday, November 1, 1999 Press

Composer and violin player Malcolm Goldstein is being recorded with increasing freguency and exhibits some of his most aggressive playing to date. In contrast percussionist John Heward performs with comparative restraint and sounds virtually absent from Trio 3. His only conventional performance is during the dynamic drive of Trio 5. Heward’s minimalism supplies crucial creative tension and space to a project that magnifies the input of Goldstein and Wiens. From the bell-like sononties that introduce Trio 6 to a timbre like steel drums in Trio 3, the prepared guitar of Rainer Wiens plays a pivotal role. His interplay with Goldstein and the inventive textures he adds to Trio 3, Trio 4, Trio 5 and Duo 1 are what make such absorbing and rewarding listening.

Wiens’s interplay with Goldstein and the inventive textures he adds… are what make such absorbing and rewarding listening.

Review

Jason Jackowiak, Splendid E-Zine, October 25, 1999
Monday, October 25, 1999 Press

Ever had one of those dreams where you have no idea where you are or how you got there but everything there is upside down, tilted to the left and backwards? And then you wind up falling down a big hole and landing in the velvet lined cocktail lounge of a hotel bar? If so, Compil zouave is perfect for you. It’s an album that defies catagorization; oh, you could try to pigeonhole it in any one of 20 musical categories, only to have it change directions 5 seconds later, leaving you right back where you started. Côté, joined by a cast of over 20 other musicians (including your favorite Ambiances Magnétiques stars! - Ed. ), has created a supernatural sound collage that’s not sure if its coming or going. Some songs sound like free jazz, others resemble drum-n-bass, percolating coffee makers, circus music or random sample-fests played on a malfunctioning turntable. The result is a wonderfully cohesive space odyssey, rather than the garbled mess you might expect of an album this musically diverse. Let’s Get Lost is reminiscent of a 60’s blaxploitation soundtrack, Bavaroise sounds like middle-eastern funk, replete with gratuitous saxophone stabs and opera-like vocals and I Can’t Give You Anything But Love is a Bachrach-style ballad that I’m sure you’ll be hearing in the bar of a Holiday Inn some time soon. What makes Compil zouave so impressive is its ability to “nail” musical genres without compromising its varied and adventurous nature. So grab six or seven different bottles of liquor and a glass, throw on Compil zouave and prepare yourself to be amazed — or perhaps, if you can’t hold your liquor, sick.