Released three weeks after Sylvie Chenard’s Ambiances Magnétiques debut Océan pour la suite, Océan à vendre/For Sale raises the ante considerably. A set of duets with bassist Jon Asencio, it has more character and simply sucks you in. The work of these two Montréal artists is steeped in political commitment. Inside cards and press release mention feminism, anticapitalism, pacifism, anarchism, and more — quite a heavy program for an album of instrumental music! You can choose to ignore this “wrapping” altogether or to interpret this “radical” music as its extension. On this album, Chenard plays her electric guitar in more conventional ways than on the Keith Rowe-influenced Océan pour la suite. Riffs and soundscapes occupy center stage together with Asencio’s bass. It may be more musical in essence, but no less challenging, thanks to well-integrated electronics and a sense of discovery and re-invention reigning throughout the 66 minutes. Sometimes you think of René Lussier, at others of Silvia Ocougne, Robert Fripp or Nick Didkovsky — a wide palette to say the least. Sampled percussion and Chenard’s air-born humming vocals complete the picture. This album goes further in redefining a form of expression than Chenard’s previous album and the synergy between the two musicians, their shared creativity yield more exciting and unexpected results. This CD is a keeper, to be investigated again and again. Recommended.