Howard Stelzer, Vital, no. 1170, February 11, 2019

For his latest solo album, a sequel to his similarly-constructed Snipettes! from 1992, Montréal’s premier turntable-destroyer Martin Tétreault takes hundreds of clips from cassettes and reel tapes and mashes them all together into 31 short collage works. Most pieces hover around the two-minute mark, but some fly past in a matter of seconds and only one breaks the seven-minute barrier. All 31 pieces run together into what sounds like a single piece, though, their flow and unity belying the disparate nature of the source material. As you might expect, the familiar crackle of vinyl surface noise and record skipping plays a prominent role here, but the artist’s dry sense of humour takes the starring role. Plus de Snipettes!! begins with an emcee announcing the band about to play: ladies and gentlemen, out your hands together for… Tangerine Dream?! This jokey fake-out slides into rapidly-cut-up pop songs, mechanically stuck off-rhythms, recognizable short clips of melodies and the occasional discernible lyrical fragments. The relatively epic America takes some patriotic blues and grinds it against a noisy beat that’s eventually overtaken by gauzy muck. The competing buzzers and smooth-voiced 60’s radio-pitchmen of Désarme are more open and dramatically spacious. Other tracks are quick blurts which splice jazz records and slather them in skips and fuzz, thwacking familiar moods with rude bumps and prickly static. All the pieces here are compact and song-like, getting a lot of mileage out of making well-produced recordings out of intentionally lousy-sounding source material. The songs fly by at a clip, not letting a moment pass without attention to shifting density and juxtaposing pace. Those who you who enjoy the sound of a warped tape (raise your hands, people!) will be charmed by Tétreault’s rough segues and full-throttle information-overload.

Those who you who enjoy the sound of a warped tape (raise your hands, people!) will be charmed by Tétreault