The title track of Soshin, the first release by Montréal guitarist Berthiaume, is a solo piece composed in collaboration with Denis Gougeon. Beginning as a languorously paced collage, it gradually draws the listener into a hazy, throbbing electronic soundscape: the effect is rather like getting sucked into a computer’s innards. The rest of the album is devoted to improvised duets with two veteran guitarists. The encounter with Derek Bailey is brief and rather slight - there simply isn’t much common ground between Bailey’s briskly acerbic style and Berthiaume’s dreamy, unhurried playing. (Another track from the same session has been released on the Incus CD-ROM compilation Visitors Book). The meat of the album is the three encounters with Fred Frith: big, droning soundscapes that spread out as far as the eye can see, interrupted by the occasional outcrop of sonic violence (most notably on Wolf’s Wood, whose opening minutes sound like a junkyard combat between a bedspring and an autoharp). It’s highly evocative music, the kind you can float away in if you’re in the right mood.