CD / DVD / LP / MP3

James Hale, Signal to Noise, no. 51, September 1, 2008

The most exciting guitarist to emerge from Quebec since René Lussier, Montréal’s Bernard Falaise moves easily between rock-influenced wailing with such bands as Les Projectionnistes, writing for film and dance, and impressionistic electro-acoustic ensemble work. Clic finds him squarely in the latter category, in the company of some of Canada’s best improvisers, including multi-reedist Jean Derome, clarinetist Lori Freedman, trombonist Tom Walsh, marimba-player Julien Grégoire and drummer Jean Martin. Like Martin, whom Falaise has joined recently in the Barnyard Drama quartet, the guitarist has a love of sound montages and headlong rhythms and a knack for moving adroitly between disparate source materials. Following hard on the digital cut-and-paste of Allô, the hard-driving Tricheur throws the listener into a spiral of fuzzed-out guitar, thorny trombone, irrepressible percussion and electronic effects. While there is no shortage of attention-snapping jump-cuts in Falaise’s music, he manages to make them appear organic, even when (as on Tour) moving between sweetly voiced acoustic material and hardedged electronics. Falaise’s manipulation of found sounds and samples grab the ear, as well as his rhythmic sense and humor, but it is the real-time contributions by the whole ensemble that give Clic its warmth. Together they make this sophomore effort a compelling listening experience.

The most exciting guitarist to emerge from Quebec since René Lussier