Mû par des préoccupations voisines, le trio de Nathalie Derome invente de petits film sonores oniriques et particulièrement envoûtants. Voilà trois œuvres, en grande partie produites par des femmes, passionnantes de bout en bout.
Derome is a creative and experimental theater performer. Taken right from her work in self-styled théâtre perforé (perforated theater) and théâtre en forme de femme (theater with a woman’s shape), we get on this disc the audio dimension of her communication with the theater audience. Somewhat like the avant-garde art music of the Residents and a bit like musically ornamented dialogue or poetry readings, Les quatre ronds sont allumé is sonic cabaret, stage work launched onto CD with the guitar theatrics of René Lussier. (3)
Only lazy reviewers rely solely on promotional copy to write their reviews. Occasionally, though, nothing sums up a record more succinctly, as is the case with Les quatre ronds sont allumés. “In a short film atmosphere,” reads the press info, “Nathalie Derome performs a few of her songs with Guillame Dostaler and René Lussier.” Making use of vocals (both sung and spoken), guitar, keyboards and synthesizers, Derome leads the listener through a moody, carnivalesque soundscape. With the lyrics and the lyric sheet written in French, English-speakers may find it hard to follow the plot. The album’s first half recalls Tom Wait’s mid-’80s Rain Dogs period, while the second half employs sparse instrumentation and quietly emotional vocals.
Nathalie Derome (voice) makes her debute with her cd. Accompanied by veteran René Lussier (guitars, daxophone, voice, a. o. ) and Guillaume Dostaler (Fender Rhodes, synthesizer, voice) she sings 11 songs, most of them composed by herself. In contrast with Letarte Derome is more extravert and dramatic in her performance. Enjoyable. For those who want to hear Lussier playing in a more conventional way should listen to this one.
Chansons parodisiaques is my first contact with the Québec-based chanteuse Nathalie Derome. She is joined on this recording by the versatile René Lussier (a seasoned regular on the Ambiances magnétiques label) on guitar and his now infamous “daxophone”, as well as Guillaume Dostaler on Rhodes and synths. The songs are a strange, almost carnivalesque blend of styles, playing on the conventions of pop, jazz and cabaret, among others. Derome’s voice bounces around in so many directions, and is able to create just as many moods; in one moment she can be reciting a rapid fire of lyrics and the next she’ll be sounding a haunting and more abstract song. The instrumentation is superb, though difficult and unconventional; I really enjoyed listening to Dostaler’s spirited keyboards and Lussier’s schizophrenic guitar. A meeting place for three bizarre and innovative artists, this album grows on the listener with mysterious charm.