actuellecd

Reviews

James Hale, Ottawa Citizen, September 27, 1997

Combining guitarists from three countries — England’s Fred Frith Canada’s René Lussier, and Mark Stewart and Nick Didkovsky from the U. S. —to play through-composed music is something quite different.

The quartet’s repertoire is broad enough to showcase the diverse stylistic traits of the players. The austere Frith contributes Freedom Is Your Friends II—all shimmering harmonic overtones—and Stewart chips in a thrashing, heavily electronic Trummings. Didkovsky and Lussier are sonic wild cards; both have extensive rock experience and a penchant for riffs that would sound at home in pop or blues songs. Oddly, the compositions they bring to the group are somewhat atypical for both of them. Didkovsky’s She Closes Her Sister With Heavy Bones is suffused with melancholy beauty, while Lussier’s title song shifts from brooding to brutal without any of the loopy humour he’s known for.

The highlight is a performance of Québec composer Claude Vivier’s Pulau Dewata that allows the four guitarists to range from chime-like percussion to a majestic electric chorus. 3,5/5