Steve Taylor, Hollow Ear, 3 août 1998

Original music by Montréal composer Jean Derome for the Overtigo Dance Troupe production choreographed by Ginette Laurin includes sixteen selections, clocking in at just under 71 minutes, performed brilliantly by nine musicians on assorted percussion, woodwinds, brass, accordion, guitar, piano. In addition, the animalistic voicings of Joane Hétu are woven throughout. Along with the angular minor-key melodies for woodwinds and brass, the music here issues mainly from secondary rhythmatists playing over more identifiably metrical leads which together produce effects of persistent ‘accidental’ syncopation. With a name like The Beast Within one would have expected a violent, paganistic statement, however the sound is at times surprisingly tame; suggesting that perhaps the dancing is more violent than the music(?)…Too, this constantly changing landscape of sound pocked occasionally with pulseless ambience does admittedly seem concerned as much with the sensual and spiritual aspects of human violence. A few surreal waltzes and the many strange vocal noises streak the mostly dark spaces with odd color. Fans of the minimalist post-Art Zoyd fringe, or better still, Meredith Monk’s earlier work will find this an agreeable experience.