The New & Avant-garde Music Store

Review

Dolf Mulder, Vital, no. 638, August 5, 2008

Fantastic to have a record like this produced in these days. I will explain what I mean by ‘this’, but let me first introduce you to Bernard Falaise. This Montréal born guitarist and composer wrote music for the Ensemble contemporain de Montréal (ECM) and several other ensembles. Also he created music for exhibitions, television, theatre and dance. As a musician he is known for his many contributions to projects of Michel F Côté like Klaxon Gueule and Mecha Fixes Clocks. And I also would like to remind you of his work with Miriodor and Papa Boa. These references may give you a first indication of what we have to expect on Clic: it is fair to say that Falaise has a strong interest for new forms of rockmusic. And yes, this is also the case for his new soloproject Clic. His second one after Do released in 2000. For Clic Falaise is assisted by Gordon Allen (trumpet), Jean Derome (saxes, flutes), Lori Freedman (clarinets), Julien Grégoire (marimba), Jean Martin (drums, percussion) and Tom Walsh (trombone). Falaise himself plays guitars, banjos, etc. He wrote 13 compositions that came into being in the context of a pure studio project. The musicians didn’t actually play together simultaneously, but only one after another, with little room for improvisation. Complex music, almost impossible to perform live according to Falaise, because of the complex tempi, but one wishes it would be possible. In his own words: “With Clic, what I wanted to do was to experiment with unusual metronomic applications. For instance, the ever changing tempo in Yéti; the superimposed tempi in Mule, Thon, Neuf, and Fête; the tempo changes in Neuf, etc. Also, Watt and Clic feature two part canons, each with its own tempo.” Falaise mentions Aksak Maboul, Anthony Braxton, Captain Beefheart, Franco Donatoni, Les Granules, Conlon Nancarrow, Igor Stravinsky, and Robert Wyatt as points of reference. Falaise brings new life to the avant rock genre that is not allergic for melody and harmony. In a way he continues where groups like Henry Cow stopped. One can hear that he takes the advantages of new technology and musical principles. He must clearly feel at home in company of groups like Blast, Miriodor, and not to forget Albert Marcœur. His music is accessible and complex at the same time. The pieces have beautiful arrangements, a strong drive and are full of unsuspected twists. Because of the recording process we must also mention that Falaise did a great job in mixing it. An impressive and important album from a true talent. I hope it takes not another seven years for his next album!

An impressive and important album from a true talent.

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