actuellecd The New & Avant-garde Music Store

Review

Kurt Gottschalk, Signal to Noise, no. 33, March 1, 2004

Why there’s so much great music being made in Canada and ignored south of the border is a mystery. Some of the central figures in Montréal’s Ambiances Magnetiques scene - Jean Derome, Rene Lussier, Martin Tétreault - have built up a bit of a name outside their homeland, but many others are sadly unknown, including the twenty acts collected on Sang 9. The disc-features artists who sent their tapes into the DAME office, giving a survey of another round of remarkable practitioners of musique actuelle. It’s a talented and diverse group of players, and anyone interested in new sounds from the north is likely to find something of interest. Individual opinions will vary, of course, but out of twenty tracks there are only three I would skip on future listens - pretty good odds. More than half employ electronics and studio contruction: Pascal Desjardins and Frederic Leonard’s Lavabo is a glitchy clash of city, country and outer space; Jocelyn Doctor Tellier does a creepy, crawly Saturation du marché; Compromelomanie’s Potpourri Copromelomanie is a strange mash of Looney (out of) Tune; and Arborisationterminale’s Hip Christmas Rock is a dark winter storm. Some of the acoustic-oriented tracks are less forward reaching, but André Marceau, and Tutu combo use voice to interesting effect and L’Hexacorde and Bobok might well pick up the torch for some of Montréal’s jazzier players. DAME and Ambiances Magnetiques have released a number of other compilations, all of which are good introductions to underacknowledged Montréal musicians. Sang 9 shows there’s even more at home like them.

… giving a survey of another round of remarkable practitioners of musique actuelle. It’s a talented and diverse group of players, and anyone interested in new sounds from the north is likely to find something of interest.

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