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Review

CW Vrtacek, Option, no 73, 1 mars 1997
samedi 1 mars 1997 Presse

Les Poules (The Chicks) are Joane Hétu (alto sax, synth, voice), Diane Labrosse (synth, voice) and Danielle Roger (drums, drum machine, synth and voice), and together they have one of the strongest grasps of how to manipulate sound that I’ve heard in a long time. There are some vague traces of early Henry Cow, even earlier Gong, and Matching Mole, but past that the album moves quickly off to define itself on its own terms. “Human Pinball” sets up a skittery and sometimes silly sonic edge, while Solliloque pour Simone uses a slow, open drum pulse to pin together watery washes of synths and a lonely, poetic sax line, all to great effect. Faust et son pain is a muscular and tense,bit of music quite apart from the two pieces I first described. In fact, if there’s a weakness to this album, it might be that it’s a little disjointed. All the cuts stand up just fine on their own, but strung together as an album, the overall effect is an unpredictable mood, shifting emotions and some bits that shine more than others. But these women have really got a handle on their sound structures, and l’d like to hear them focus their musical efforts around a central theme with more Iyrics. An engaging album, and heavy potential.

An engaging album, and heavy potential.

Critique

Pierre Durr, Revue & Corrigée, no 31, 1 mars 1997
samedi 1 mars 1997 Presse

Non, ce n’est pas à proprement parler une réédition. D’ailleurs, le thème principal -en durée- de l’édition vinyl, Beyrouth, à défaut d’être mort n’y figure pas! Il sera inclus, retravaillé, sur un enregistrement ultérieur (de Lepage? de Lussier?), il s’agit plutôt d’un rappel (collection 1984), à confronter à une nouvelle série de pièces (collection 1996)

Première approche, non auditive:moins de préoccupations d’ordre politique (Beyrouth justement mais la collection 1984 comprenait aussi -et maintient- Chiens de garde culturels, États asservis… ) alors que l’intitulé des pièces récentes à un côté satiesque ou pataphysique Berceuse pour un petit bidon, L’art de remplir des boîtes, et autre L’ablation des sinusoïdales.

Deuxième approche: s’il s’agit toujours d’un dialogue de deux instrumentiste, on sent une différence d’approche: en 1984, les rythmes saccadés, les sonorités grouillantes, ou stridentes de la guitare semblait surtout constituer des supports fluctuant à un jeu parfois déstructuré, mais plus ample qu’un saxophone; dans la collection 1996, cette impression de deux niveaux a disparu: les deux instrumentiste évoluent sur le même plan, se partageant les rôles sur ce qu’on pourrait qualifier de «devant du son». Les deux démarches aboutissent également à la constitution de petites cellules sonores évolutives… Ce monde n’est pas si «inanimé» que le titre le laisse entendre…

… ce monde n’est pas si «inanimé» que le titre le laisse entendre…

Review

David Krasnow, Option, no 73, 1 mars 1997
samedi 1 mars 1997 Presse

All the works on Navré, the second record from this Montréal sextet, were composed by saxophonist Derome during tours with a variety of groups. The influence of the road might show in his predilection for extended structures in which long, slow passages are interrupted by sudden bursts, like the bebop-ish head of Navré or the staccato drumming of “Toronto. “ Or maybe that’s the influence of John Lurie. Like the Lounge Lizards, Derome and his crew are skillful handlers of both atmospherics and dynamics, grounding moody, meandering lead lines in steady, rocking rhythms. They use rough textures—groaning “daxophone” on Anchive, the choked guitar comping on Train pour Nuremberg, the trombone’s growl on Navré—as counterpoints to eloquent melodic elements like the bright flute run on Casse-cou and the rollicking, R&B-flavored baritone sax of Train pour Nuremberg. Guitarist René Lussier, in particular, seems almost more inventive in the background than in the fore. Only Lindau seems derivative, edging towards lite jazz. It’s hard to tell on Navré what’s composition and what’s improvisation. Finer group playing is hard to come by.

Like the Lounge Lizards, Derome and his crew are skillful handlers of both atmospheric and dynamics, grounding moody, meandering lead lines in steady, rocking rhythms… Finer group playing is hard to come by.

Review

Dan Maryon, Option, no 73, 1 mars 1997
samedi 1 mars 1997 Presse

This reissue of the 1984 album, one of the first on Ambiances magnétiques, adds another album’s worth of music recorded in 1996 that is true to the original and every bit as fun. Lepage and Lussier are standouts in the noise-and-sound avant-garde that has grown over the years with the success of the annual Victoriaville music fest. The pairing of Lepage’s sax and clarinet wails with Lussier’s dry, percussive guitar is at once playful and skilled. The pieces are presented as exercises in style prompted by les influences mécanistes, the juncture of the mechanical age with the age of technology. And while the album notes take on a nearly academic tone (albeit with tongue in cheek), the music ranges from accessible (playing with canned rock riffs or referencing wellknown themes) to intensely freeform. While at first I found this nearly headacheinducing, with a little time and more focused attention I began to enjoy the conversational style of these duets. They require attention—typically, what sounds at first like random noise becomes a theme that is built up and then destroyed. I can imagine the smiles on their faces as they recorded this.

The pairing of Lepage’s sax and clarinet wails with Lussier’s dry, percussive guitar is at once playful and skilled. […] typically, what sounds at first like a random noise becomes a theme that is built up and then destroyed. I can imagine the smiles on their faces as they recorded this.

Soundcheck Review

John L Walters, The Wire, no 156, 1 février 1997
samedi 1 février 1997 Presse

Chants et danses du monde inanimé features Robert M Lepage playing clarinet and alto sax in (I think) largely improvised duos with Lussier’s guitar. There are seven pieces from 1984 and nine from last year with titles such as Tutti frottis and L’art de remplir des boîtes. The lengthy sleevenotes by Lepage look as though they might be very funny, but my French isn’t good enough.

Review

Milo Fine, Cadence, no 23:2, 1 février 1997
samedi 1 février 1997 Presse

Infused with march, polka and circus materials, L’Orkestre’s Jazz-rock stage band persona is unapologetically upbeat. For the most part steering clear of any so-called modernisms the group relies on precise ensemble execution and spirited, if conservative, solos to get its point across; the essence of that point being nicely summed up in the closer’s broad reference to The Tiger Rag.

… precise ensemble execution and spirited solos.