actuellecd

Review

Mike Baker, Splendid E-Zine, December 16, 2002

This album of collaboration between Sylvie Chenard (electric guitar), Maryse Poulin (saxophone), Alexandre St-Onge (electronics) and Martin Tetreault (turntables) marks another in Ambiances Magnétiques’s grand series of improvisational avant-garde releases. In keeping with the label’s unspoken promise to abstain from melody, standard time and logical coherence, Océan pour la suite is comprised of duets, featuring Chenard and her invited guests, that bend and break the rules of structured improv. No amount of intellectualizing is going to make most of this noise sound like anything other than noise. That’s not a value judgement, but it is related to my feeling that the key to understanding Chenard’s intensely subjective and ambiguous approach to music is in the creation and performance of the pieces, not necessarily the recording. As a result, one is left to wonder how often a disc like this will find its way off of the shelf and into the stereo. While conceptually stimulating and somewhat rewarding as an end product, Océan pour la suite functions as a reminder of how essential it is to experience work such as this in a live setting rather than striving to capture the feeling at home.