Guitars reigned supreme at this year’s Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville. The saxophones were there to be sure; Jean Derome, Joe McPhee and Roscoe Mitchell are not ones to sneeze at. But the 25th edition of FIMAV centered on the six-string, with Raymond Boni, Tim Brady, Nick Didkovsky, Fred Frith, René Lussier, Joe Morris, Marc Ribot and Elliott Sharp all on the bill. (…)
Sets by the members of the Ambiances Magnétiques collective from Montréal (100 miles southwest of Victoriaville) are always a much anticipated part of the week and this year made for three strong sets: Jean Derome’s Les Dangereux Zhoms revived as a sextet; Michel F Côté’s excellent organ lounge (juste) Claudette and a trio of René Lussier, Martin Tétrault and Otomo Yoshihide. The latter was an especially exciting outburst of two turntables and two guitars ( Yoshihide manning one of each), running from energy to abstraction. Yoshihide was originally set to play just turntables, but arrived with guitar in hand. Perhaps he sensed something about the frenzy of FIMAV 2008.