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Reviews

Nate Dorward, Coda Magazine, no. 316, July 1, 2004

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.

It’s highly evocative music, the kind you can float away in if you’re in the right mood.