ImproJazz, April 1, 1996
Monday, April 1, 1996 Press

«Compil Zouave» exercice d’iconoclastie comparée à usage papal. Grand ordonnateur de l’engin: Michel F Côté, musicien – conseil – phonométriste basé à Montréal. Percussionniste sacrilège et hérétique maladif. Sans espoir de guérison aucun. Prenons le reggae par exemple. Pourquoi un tel acharnement? trauma enfantin (son père le frappait-il à coup de dreadlocks?), surdose de ganja? toujours est-il que Côté fait subir à la musique jamaïcaine les pires outrages. Le musicien possède un sens aigu de la désorganisation érigée en œuvre d’art, un détournement permanent qui réjouit. mais avoir les rieurs de son côté ne suffit pas, encore faut-il que l’exercice soit profitable à l’auditeur. C’est le cas me semble-t-il. La musique peut paraître aquatique (Lujon), spatiale (100%B. B. Q. ), dérapante (Ouyouyouille), Côté tel un brise-glace fou fend la banquise de son navire incontrôlable. Attendons avec impatience les prochaines sorties du Saint Père. Peut-être le verrons nous esquisser quelques pas de danse. Ce sera alors le signe de la reconnaissance suprême pour Côté. Le péril zouave nous menace. Préparons-nous.

… un rock hybride avec des clins d’œils intelligents à la chanson pas banale, avec des pincées de musique folk des communautés de langue française de l’Amérique du Nord; tout ceci est bien entendu passé au crible d’une sensibilité surfine.


Philip Tagney, Resonance, no. 5:1, January 1, 1996
Monday, January 1, 1996 Press

Martin Tétreault is a French Canadian from Montréal who performs with turntables. In London for LMC New Aura concert, he explained to Philip Tagney and Ed Baxter that he doesn’t have a sampler, but he does have a record called How To Train Your Dog.

Resonance: Can you tell us something about your background?

Martin Tétreault: First of all I was in fine art. I was involved in a conceptual approach, and I was cutting up paper. One day, I decided to cut up something else. I took a record, cut it into to slices, fixed side A with side B together with tape, put it onto record pickups and it worked. It all started from that.

R: So you had no formal music training, and you weren’t aware of other people experimenting with records?

MT: No, I did it alone. This was in 1984. Five years later someone asked me to collaborate in the Broken Music exhibition, and make a performance with Christian Marclay. Then I realised that some others had done the same as me, but I hadn’t known about them.

R: What are the aesthetic implications of what you are doing?

MT: I think right now I am changing. The work I did until now was mostly based on quotation, you know, taking a little part and adding it to another. I’m still doing that, but now I’m playing more with the physical, with the record itself, the noise it can produce. All the possibilities of the record itself, not only the music, but the object. You can cut it, splice it, scratch it, erase it, put paper on it, and so on.

R: Tell us something about your New Aura performance tonight.

MT: I’ve brought a lot of old turntables from Montréal. Some of them are called Calliphone, this was the turntable found in every school when I was a kid. Each turntable has its own possibilities and its own sound. I also have a Thecnics turntable—a friend of mine put a switch on it so I can play reverse and forwards at 100 rpm. And I use a balloon which I put around the tone-arm: I call it “frottophone”, and it creates a friction between the balloon and the record—it’s very funny to do it! I have some spoken word records, in Montréal I have a collection of maybe 200: How to Train Your Dog, How To Dance Disco, How To Save Your Life…

R: Do you see a problem maintaining an individual quality in the music you’re making? David Shea remarked that if you have too many elements in the sound, then it becomes a kind of continuum again. Do you think there’s an optimum level between not having enough material and using too much material?

MT: Too much material is dangerous. I realised that some weeks ago, because I buy a lot of records and I don’t have time to listen to them. After a show someone came up to me and said “Hey, you used a Bartok String Quartet”. I said that I didn’t know, because I don’t use the music because of who wrote it, but for the music itself. I have a selection of electronic music, drumming, guitar music, so when I want to make a cut I say OK, I’ll take a bit of electronic… this is a way I can build music.

R: So it’s like orchestration?

MT: Yes. And I can reproduce that many times. It’s not only improvisation. I make a mark on the record—I learned that in Bruire, a band that I play with in Montréal. Every night I had to play the same cut, it’s this record, at this place, at this moment, at this speed. It can be very precise. It’s like sampling, but it’s mechanical sampling. Someone asked me, “Why don’t you use a sampler?” I answered, “It’s not old enough. ” When no one is interested in samplers any more, that’s when I’ll use them!

R: Why? What’s the attraction of old technology?

MT: Mechanics! I’ve found new ways to use turntables, just through mechanics, varispeed and so on. I’m not yet ready to explore samplers. But I did some collaborations with electroacoustic musicians, and there’s a good balance, because their sounds are very real and clutured while with me it’s more Art brut. So if you put those things together… I’mvery interested in the larger scale—every sound has its own quality. There’s no sound better than another—it’s how, where, and why you use it.

R: I’m interested that you reject samplers. Essentially you’re interested in an end result, and its seems to me you could get the same result from samplers or CDs.

MT: For me the samplers is too much “itself”. You know the origin of the sound,and if I play this sound it will be this sound. But when I put on a record and I make a wrong move — whoops! — the needle skips and I have to play with that.

R: So does your music mostly depend on spontaneity?

MT: Yes, a part of it does. I prepare a road, and I have a place where I start, a place where I stop, and a place where I ask myself “Where am I going?” And the result is what we call the show.


Rubberneck, no. 23, January 1, 1996
Monday, January 1, 1996 Press

Navré is quite another proposition. Jean Derome (reeds, flute & piccolo) is one of the leading figures on the Québec new music scene and his 6-piece reflects the varied interests of this scene—improv, avant-rock, free jazz, chamber composition, etc. Like L’Orkestre des pas perdus, Dangereux Zhoms have a nifty sense of humour, but deploy it in circumstances where greater freedom from composed strictures is encouraged. Any group which sports a daxophone must have a twinkle in its eye, though René Lussier’s exploits are less well known than Reichel’s. On Anchive the little beastie provides the perfect foil for Derome’s Ornettish alto. Train Pour Nuremberg cuts and thrusts between avant-rock and free jazz with shades of Henry Cow in Lussier’s guitar and Derome’s bassoon-like baritone exchanges. The themes (all by Derome) are suitably transparent and flexible enough to allow the improv to take hold and spread in many directions at once; Casse-Cou rations its effervescent tune to sudden outbursts, imaginatively spaced against the lugubrious colours of the improv. Group cohesion is outstanding making light work of complex eclecticism (akin to Curlew here); the other members are Pierre Cartier, Guillaume Dostaler, Pierre Tanguay and Torn Walsh The more I hear it, the more I love it.

Group cohesion is outstanding, making light work of complex eclecticism. The more I hear it, the more I love it.


Pierre Durr, Revue & Corrigée, no. 26, December 1, 1995
Friday, December 1, 1995 Press

L’approche des musiques contemporaines, différentes, plus ou moins expérimentales reste encore trop l’apanage d’une minorité d’adultes. Cette attitude de refus du grand public, son manque d’ouverture et son absence de curiosité a certes plusieurs origines, mais trouvent aussi sa source dans l’éducation. Les futurs mélomanes se doivent d’être formés a l’appréhension des nouvelles formes, plus innovatrices, de la musique.

C’est dans cette optique qu’il faut saluer deux initiatives, qui dépassent le simple enregistrement d’œuvres pour enfants, telle la collection «Zéro de Conduite» chez Audivis (Un DMI, Pied de Poule… ) ou la production de L’oreille enflée de Danielle Palardy Roger.

Les futurs mélomanes se doivent d’être formés a l’appréhension des nouvelles formes, plus innovatrices, de la musique.


Maurizio Comandini, All About Jazz Italy, October 12, 1995
Thursday, October 12, 1995 Press

Il saxofonista canadese Jean Derome è da sempre al centro di progetti interessanti che spaziano da situazioni di musica d’avanguardia più legata alla musica contemporanea che non al jazz, a situazioni di appassionata dedizione al repertorio di Thelonious Monk (per leggere le recensioni dei suoi due dischi con il gruppo Évidence, Live à la Casa e Musique de Thelonious Monk clicca qui e qui).

In questo caso lo troviamo alle prese con il suo sestetto Dangereux Zhoms,impegnato in undici brani tutti composti da Derome durante le tournée, sui treni,nelle stazioni, negli aeroporti, sugli aerei. Di qui l’inevitabile titolo che cita i biglietti del viaggiatore.

La musica si staglia con grande forza in una dimensione che prende un po’ dalla musica creativa, un po’ dal rock progressivo, un po’ dal jazz. Un possibile apparentamento potrebbe essere rappresentato da certi gruppi inglesi dei primi anni settanta, ma una parte di rilevo, nelle fonti di ispirazione, dobbiamo riconoscerla anche alla musica creativa e insofferente che si sviluppava, nei primi anni novanta, nella scena downtown neyorchese che ruotava attorno alla Knitting Factory (pensiamo ad esempio ai Lounge Lizard del periodo di mezzo, quando alla chitarra era presente il bravissimo David Tronzo).

Gli intrecci timbrici fra l’aggressiva chitarra elettrica dell’ottimo René Lussier e il trombone gorgogliante di Tom Walsh sono uno dei punti di forza di questa formazione, ma non mancano le occasioni per apprezzare il contributo del tastierista Guillame Dostaler e dei due ritmi, Pierre Cartier al basso elettrico e Pierre Tanguay alla batteria. Due ritmi abituati a suonare con Derome anche in altri progetti e quindi molto ben inseriti all’interno di questo progetto.

Si parte con una sorta di finto blues (En culottes courtes, on gèle) che chiarisce subito le intenzioni ed il clima. Su un fondale dominato da un organo minaccioso si scatenano gli scatarramenti del trombone che si intrecciano con le bordate iper-elettriche della chitarra e con le frasi angolari del sax. L’elettricità è densa e pervade ogni spazio, rendendo la musica scoppiettante di energie che si disperdono nello spazio. Seguono due suite (ognuna composta da 4 brani) che portano via circa cinquanta minuti appassionati e variegati (per esempio ascoltate il divertente, ma allo stesso tempo strano, Calypso che chiude la prima suite, con quella frase di pianoforte che richiama il ritmo di base, mentre la musica attorno va per i fatti propri) e ancora due brani ‘indipendenti’ che chiudono degnamente questo ottimo album.

… cinquanta minuti appassionati…