The New & Avant-garde Music Store

Review

Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes, December 1, 2008

In the late 80s/early 90s Ambiances Magnétiques was among my darling labels but, inexplicably, with the passage of time I kind of lost contact and became less aware of their production. My loss, as this CD from 2007 is indeed a clever-sounding artifact needing to be rescued from a dimension of implicit oblivion. Diane Labrosse has always been a bright-minded artist, collaborations with the likes of Jean Derome, Michel F Côté, Geneviève Letarte and Joane Hétu just a small fraction of a career expanding through the whole gamut of avant-garde. As the record title explains, the tracks were constructed around the utilization of "objects on the verge of extinction", such as alarm clocks, black and white TV sets, old printers and electric percolators. Labrosse, who’s gifted with a wholehearted compositional wisdom allowing her to understand what’s the ideal balance of the ingredients in a piece, utilized the "voices" of the machines in relatively comprehensible contexts, typically featuring a maximum of one or two instruments. She was helped by Marie-Soleil Bélanger, Jean Derome, Bernard Falaise, Lori Freedman, Jean René and Pierre Tanguay, stalwarts of the Quebecoise scene who contributed with efficient proposals and untarnished inventiveness to Labrosse’s conceptions. This is a delightful assortment of physical antiquity and instrumental individuality that leaves plentiful spaces for the intellect to take action, moments of charged standstill to be found amidst systematic reiteration and mechanical interplay. Above all, the sense of joyful mischievousness characterizing the album causes us to realize why there’s no need of disproportionate solemnity to conceive stimulating music.

Above all, the sense of joyful mischievousness characterizing the album causes us to realize why there’s no need of disproportionate solemnity to conceive stimulating music.

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