Dolf Mulder, Vital, March 28, 2002

Three new cd’s on Ambiances Magnétiques and new sublabel Monsieur Fauteux…. Most of the time releases on this label have the newest output from well known artists like Derome, Lussier, Duchesne and others. Although this are often releases of considerable quality, I’m happy that this time we have three new cds from groups of the ‘next generation’.

What new talents do we have here? In general the most striking difference with the first generation is that these bands are more rock-orientated. This is also the the case for Papa Boa (1999). Especially with Interférence Sardines and Rouge Ciel we enter a new chapter in the kind of art-rock that Henry Cow developed in the 70s. This kind of rock music flourished in the first half of the 80s with bands like Univers Zero, Samla, Debile Menthol, and many others. But creativity came to end and boring music like that of Art Zoyd was what was left. Since then I have been waiting for new bands to pick up were many ended in the 80s. But listening to Interférence Sardines it became clear to me that we have a new creative outburst here. Let me present the bands in more detail. Interférence Sardines is a quintet: Andrée Bilodeau (violin, alto, voice), Sébastien Doré (electric bass, clap, voice), Marc Gagnon (violin, electric violin, voice), Fréderic Lebrasseur (drums, percussion, piano, voice) and Philippe Venne (guitar, piano, voice). Assisted by four guests. Most pieces are composed by Philippe Venne. Their second cd Zucchini is a very nice piece of work. Their music can be compared in a way with that of Debile Menthol, a famous swiss group from the 80s. Complex art-rock mixing rock, jazz and contemporary in a nice blend of composition and improvisation. The music is full of surprises. The playing is very tight and convincing.

Rouge Ciel is a quartet: Guido del Fabbro (violin, mandoline, pick ups), Simon Lapointe (piano, claviers, melodica), Antonin Provost (acustic and electric guitar) and Nemo Venda (trumpet, drums, percussion). They debute here with a fresh mix of rock and improvisation. They do not reach the creative level of Interférence Sardines, but it still is very good music. Both bands I can recommend to anyone who like - I don’t know a better name - art-rock bands like Curlew, 5uu’s, etc. L’hotel du Bout de la Terre is the more conventional one of these three bands. No new territories here. This group was started in 1995 by Lou Babin (accordeon, voice ), Marie-Hélène Montpetit (voice), Pierre St-Jak (piano), and Norman Guilbeault. On this cd they are assisted by guests like Claude Fradette (guitar) and Pierre Tanguay (drums, perc. ). They present a collection of 12 songs composed by St. Jak and Montpetit. Melancholic and impressionistic songs. Texts written and sung by Montpetit. Although this may be a relatively new group someone like pianist Pierre St-Jak is a veteran of the Montréal jazz scene. Personally I never liked his piano playing very much which can also be heard on this one.

… listening to Interférence Sardines it became clear to me that we have a new creative outburst here.