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Ailleurs Alexandre St-Onge

Ailleurs… Dapeneril à l’univers intérieur en révolution latente au large ressemble empiriquement au nouvel urinant le ramoneur que vous aviez surpris.

Alexandre St-Onge

Ailleurs

Alexandre St-Onge

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La presse en parle

Something in the Air: Liberation of the Unaccompanied Bass Solo

Ken Waxman, The WholeNote, no 18:8, 1 mai 2013

Of all the instruments that needed the advances of free music in the 20th century to show off its true character, it has been the double bass which benefitted most from this situation. Relegated to decorative, scene setting or mere rhythmic functions in conventional classical and jazz performances, it was only when bassists were able to express themselves without restraint that their role grew. By the 21st century in fact, solo bass recitals became as commonplace as those by other instrumentalists. The reason, as these CDs demonstrate, is the arrival of performers who can extract a multiplicity of novel tones, timbres and textures from four tautly wound strings. […]

If Jones’ electronic interface is limited, Montréal-based Alexandre St-Onge and Norwegian-in-Austin Ingebrigt Håker Flaten draw more textures to their finger tips by utilizing amplified electric basses on their solos sessions. A member of bands such as Klaxon Gueule, as well as studying for his PhD in art, St-Onge describes himself as a sound performer and the six selections on Ailleurs (&records ET 18) are studded as much with signal-processed drones and splutters as reflective string modulations. Layering the sequences with loops that replicate sounds ranging from ring-modulator whooshes to bell ringing and distorted flanges, the basic double bass-like rhythmic qualities of the instrument are muted. Only on the fifth track does the tremolo, dial-twisting exposition pull back enough for a semi-acoustic interlude. Here juddering bass-string plucks can be heard contrapuntally advancing the narrative, which is still decorated with additional droning lines and wiggling voltage-affiliated cries. The achievement of Ailleurs is that by mutating its intonation and freeing the bass from its limitations as a purely rhythmic instrument a new interface appears. The reverberating result is of an expansive formula that evocatively builds on expected bull fiddle timbres the way a realistic photograph could be the basis for a surrealistic art. […]

The achievement of Ailleurs is that by mutating its intonation and freeing the bass from its limitations as a purely rhythmic instrument a new interface appears.

Altrisuoni

Stefano Isidoro Bianchi, Blow Up, no 176, 1 janvier 2013

Klaxon Gueule in libera uscita; e libera da chiunque, visto che sia l’uno che l’altro fanno tutto da soli. St-Onge, il bassista, suona il suo strumento “assistito dal computer” (il basso elettrico, non St-Onge) e lo ripropone in vesti non abituali: contraffatto, misterioso, mutevole. Una bella prova di maestria ma anche quel buon tot di gratuità che contribuisce a lasciarci indifferenti; non mi pare che ci siano altre linee maestre che un certo alt-sfoggio. St-Onge da solista non è mai stato troppo convincente (anzi) e in Ailleurs ce ne dà conferma.

Invece Falaise, il chitarrista, stavolta suona anche il piano e duetta con se stesso nella migliore delle maniere. Li mixa, smista e depista, li fa collidere e combaciare, usa la fantasia per farli camminare insieme, sbilenchi entrambi e d’improvviso all’unisono. Per dire insomma di un disco che ha gran bella creatività e null’altro da sfoggiare oltre le (numerose) idee messe in campo: pezzi brevi per lo più come frammenti conchiusi, tutti motivati da curiosità e spinta verso l’ignoto, beati nella loro fragilità, densi di mille spunti che vanno dal jazz alla contemporanea, da rimasugli RIO a musiche da film (direi soprattutto queste). Nessuna rivoluzione, e forse anche in questo caso non molto più che una prova di maestria: ma che differenza!

Kritik

Rigobert Dittmann, Bad Alchemy, no 76, 1 janvier 2013

Ich muss die Buchstaben erst etwas zurecht schütteln, um bestätigt zu finden, was anfangs einigermaßen rätselhaft klingt. Ja, Alexandre St-Onge spielt auf Ailleurs (EZ 18) basse électrique assistee par ordinateur, also E-Bass & Computer. Er schrappelt die Saiten, und der Rechner generiert saußende und sirrende Wooshes, Triller, klirrende, zischende und jaulende Sounds. Als wäre man in ein Meeting von R2D2s geraten, bei dem es heiß her geht, eine Klimakonferenz viel- leicht, was weiß ich. Diese effektvolle Sonic Fiction führt jedenfalls anderswohin, weg von üblichen Bassfunktionen, hinein in ein elektro- nisches Abenteuer. Mit sprudelnden und zirpenden Klängen, tröpfeln- den und klingelnden Lauten, zu denen sich beim besten Willen kein irdisches Ambiente mehr assoziieren lässt. Nicht hier, nicht da, son- dern fern, abgeschieden und fremd. Größer als die Nullen und Einsen leuchtet da ein X, das für xeno steht. Gefragt sind Xenolinguisten, denn St-Onge seltsame Lautwelt hat etwas Sprechendes, eine Art Sprac- hrhythmus, rhetorische Akzente auf der Basslinie und um die Basslinie herum. Bei À L’écart und Pas là gibt es zwar auch die Anmutung ir- discher Melodievorstellungen, aber wie zerlegt von einem Überset- zungsprogramm, das mühsam hinter dem sinnvollen Tempo her hinkt. Komisch ist dennoch, das da etwas Elegisches, eine gewisse Tristesse als Stimmung durchaus sich vermittelt. Ein universaler ET-ismus, die von Hier wollen fort, die von Dort wollen heim.

A suite of five pieces repeated four times. At each repetition, I scratched, twisted, dislocated, polluted, deboned, objected. A record about exhaustion, saturation and sinking. So beschreibt Bernard Falaise selbst das, was er da als S’enfouir (ET 19) konstruiert hat. Bass, Keyboards, Gitarre, Klavier, Flöten, eine Sprechstimme oder was auch immer, womöglich auch nur Samples davon, dekonstruiert, kannibalisiert, verdreht, geloopt, anagramma- tisch permutiert, umgestellt, zerrüttet, verstümmelt, abgestumpft, zer- mulmt. Aus ’ruine’ wird ’nuire’, ’urne’’, ’ri’ und ’zuletzt ’nu’, ich nenne das keine Karriere. Aber durchaus eine Philosophie, ein Sicheingraben in die Variabilität des Ruins, ein Sichvertiefen in Variationen des Schei- terns und des Schwunds. Jedoch den Kreislauf ebenso bejahend wie die Transformation — beides als nackte Wahrheiten, die man letztlich nur mit einem Lachen quittieren kann. Die Musik selbst ist nicht unbe- dingt lustig, aber konsequent.

Journal d’écoute

François Couture, Monsieur Délire, 18 décembre 2012

… cela dit, ce nouveau disque de St-Onge ne sonne en rien comme celui de Xanthocephalus. Sur Ailleurs, le bassiste montréalais aligne des pièces de basse électrique assistée par ordinateur. Chaque note déclenche une action sonore numérique. Moins bruitiste, plus électroacoustique que ses albums solo précédents. Ailleurs est un album aride, cérébral, et les choix de palettes numériques sont parfois questionnables.

Moins bruitiste, plus électroacoustique que ses albums solo précédents

Review

Frans de Waard, Vital, no 859, 3 décembre 2012

Two new releases on one of Montréal’s finer homes of anything improvised (be it rock, modern classical, computer), one by someone we heard before and a new name. That one is Bernard Falaise, who plays electric guitar and is part of improvising ensembles such as Miriodor, Klaxon Gueule, Les Projectionnistes, Diesel and others. As a composer he wrote pieces for Ensemble contemporain de Montréal (ECM+) , Quartango and the Isis Quartet, as well as for film, theatre and choreography. I assume he plays the guitar here as well but also the piano, and uses some kind of way to process that playing. I assume, but am not sure, that this is the computer. It’s maybe more a gist than a certainty on y part. Twenty pieces, somewhere between under one minute and just under three minutes, with a total length of thirty-three minutes. An album of action, I should think, packed with ideas. On the website Falaise is quoted: “A suite of five pieces repeated four times. At each repetition, I scratched, twisted, dislocated, polluted, deboned, objected. A record about exhaustion, saturation and sinking. That’s how it is.” I don’t agree, necessarily. It’s not really exhausting to hear all of this music, but things do indeed appear and disappear rather quickly from time to time. As outlined five pieces, repeated four times (which you can see, more or less, by the equal lengths of respective songs), which have a fine sensible character to it. Part experimental, part improvised, a bit of musique concrete like, but perhaps due to its brief character also a bit ’pop’ like in approach. Short, sketch like ideas, but nevertheless quite worked out into well formed compositions. An excellent CD, I thought, full of sparkling pieces, strange moves and with an exciting brief character per track. Certainly moving around various musical circles.

Less tracks — six — and a bit longer — thirty-five minutes — is the new release by Alexandre St-Onge, who is a well-known musician from Montréal, who has played with such bands as Et Sans, K.A.N.T.N.A.G.A.N.O., Klaxon Gueule, Pink Saliva, Mineminemine, Shalabi Effect and Undo and has already released seven solo CDs for labels as Oral, Alien8, Squint Fucker Press and Namskeio. His main instrument is the bass, sometimes acoustic, but on his new solo CD the electric one and also the computer. Here we deal with an interesting combination of improvisation and musique concrete. I assume — again and again — that he feeds the recordings of his bass playing through the computer, perhaps in real time, perhaps not, where it’s being transposed and pitched up and down the scale. That’s is nice, but I must admit that I though the CD was also a bit too much based on a single idea, which happened to take six almost identical forms. The improvised plucking of the bass, and the transposition of those sounds is something we know after a while, and one wonders if there is anything more that could be done. Probably there is, but it’s not happening here. That is a pity. No matter how brief the whole album is (well, a real LP length by old standards of course), the similarity in approaches works a bit against the album as a whole, whereas each track individually is actually quite nice.

An excellent CD, I thought, full of sparkling pieces, strange moves and with an exciting brief character per track.

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