Soundcheck Review

Phil England, The Wire, no. 207, May 1, 2001

The duo with Martin Tétreault is, unsurprisingly, a whole other saucepan of reptiles, and follows their widely acclaimed duo Dur noyau dur (1998). The latter consisted of turntable and guitar improvisations, whereas Qu’ouis-je? is a studio constructed piece of musique concrete informed by Surrealism, Dada and art brut. Here Tétreault exchanges turntables for “synthétiseur, pick-up et boite 3 rhythme” and Lussier trades in his electric guitar for a daxophone - the bowed wooden instrument invented by German guitarist Hans Reichel (Lussier played in Reichel’s dexophone quartet).

The uncanny ability of the daxophone to produce voice-like timbres and intonations is used here to create fantastical landscapes populated by strange, exotic creatures whose wild screechings, calls, conversations, arguments and acts of aggression happen in a rather bleak landscape somewhere in deep space (or is it just post-industrial Earth?). Tétreault creates the crackling, distorted ambiences around the action in a compelling and accomplished work that has been executed with a serious sense of humour.

… fantastical landscapes populated by strange, exotic creatures… a compelling and accomplished work…