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Review

Frank Rubolino, Cadence, no. 26:3, March 1, 2000
Wednesday, March 1, 2000 Press

On his eclectic recording on, Côté has assembled varying groups of notable French Canadian musicians to play mostly original material in a very unorthodox way. His bands range from duos to sextets and each uses an approach to music that is certainty atypical. The music has an eerie sense of illusionism to it, being comprised of electronic and acoustic effects that make the listening experience a strange one. Côté is not a traditional percussionist. He uses various objects and electronic devices to set up odd and asymmetrical rhythm patterns and special effects. He is also a strong advocate of using electronic impulses, dial twisting, and recorded insertions with his music. For example, Chet Baker is in the background on the Let’s Get Lost trip, and elsewhere, turntable static and odd effects filter into the mix to substantiate further the nonuniform nature of the program.

All of his cohorts join in on the fun to give the session its flexible. unpredictable appeal. Derome’s strong playing on baritone and the other reeds is more accessible as is the untypical mellow blowing from trombonist Walsh. Most others go off regularty on diverse tangents. Fradette and Falaise allernate with their unusual approach to guitar playing and others wander in and out of the music in theatric, off-the-wall style. Côté mixes Japanese koto music with etectronic imputses on one piece, white overtaid operatic voices or weird time changes suddenly seem commonplace on other tunes.

Côté appears to be trying to convince us that weirdness is the standard but just when you start gening used to this styte he switches to a very straight-ahead, tongue-in-cheek rendition of a song to prevent you from getting comfortable. His music seems to be designed to keep you off balance. and he succeeds in that endeavor.

Review

Alan Freeman, Audion, no. 42, March 1, 2000
Wednesday, March 1, 2000 Press

As an addenda to the above, I originally passed on these discs to Nick Mott as I was getting deluged with too many items to review, though I did review one of them, which you may find of interest in the way of comparison…

The unlikely duo of Pierre Tanguay (drums, percussion, objects) and Tom Walsh (trombone, sampling) aptly make an unlikely music. And, I mean unlikely. Believe me, this often runs close to lancu Dumitrescu in its textures and sonic counterpoints. Though the trombone takes the music elsewhere on occasions, and I can picture Conrad Bauer together with the Deep Listening Band. It’s almost as though Jon Hassell makes a guest appearance elsewhere. Despite any of those comparisons, however, this a diverse album indeed, sometimes dark and flowing music, and often challenging in its execution.

Six months on I think we’ve now got a dozen more unheard discs from the label. Busy people aren’t they?! I wonder if we’ll be able to catch up?

Review

Nick Mott, Audion, no. 42, March 1, 2000
Wednesday, March 1, 2000 Press

I haven’t heard Volumes 1 or 2, but here we have a 24-track compilation featuring, amongst others (you guessed it); René Lussier, Jean Derome, Joane Hétu, Martin Tétreault, etc. All this material is previously unpublished, so it’s a good buy as a way to get into the label. Musically it covers the ground described above and works remarkably well as an album. Not at all disjointed, as it shifts from artist to artist, it is interesting to hear some musicians not appearing as composers on the other CD’s reviewed.

Review

Nick Mott, Audion, no. 42, March 1, 2000
Wednesday, March 1, 2000 Press

Now, this one is excellent. Beautifully atmospheric and melancholy, with stretched-out tones, trombone and gorgeous understated percussion all starting the proceedings. Some of this is very challenging, with brilliant use of hand percussion and odd sampled sounds, becoming like an electronic Third Ear Band, Nurse With Wound or even Negativland at times. Some of the collaged sections are tremendous, with an uneasy strangeness alongside more floating gliding movements. By the way, I swear I heard a brief snippet of Marge Simpson’s voice in this!

Now, this one is excellent.

Review

Nick Mott, Audion, no. 42, March 1, 2000
Wednesday, March 1, 2000 Press

In total contrast Chevreuil is a favourite of the label. A lot of it sounds like a classic 70’s experimental French LP to me. It’s really extroverted and joyous music, with some totally bizarre events, alien voices and disturbing noises turning into some absolutely crazysongs”. The wealth of instruments and ideas on this CD all add up to a wonderful listening experience.

The wealth of instruments and ideas on this CD all add up to a wonderful listening experience.

Review

Nick Mott, Audion, no. 42, March 1, 2000
Wednesday, March 1, 2000 Press

Obviously two companion releases. The first Chèvre is improvised guitar and drums, sparse, fragmented, folky, introverted, but not that interesting on the whole. There are some interesting sections though, if only the would let fly a bit more often!