In 1998-1999, the Montréal label Ambiances Magnétiques recruited a handful of new artists to update its roaster. Les Projectionnistes (“The Projectionists”) belong to this second generation. Lead by trombonist Claude St-Jean (of the Orkestre des Pas Perdus), this band also features the core of Papa Boa (Pierre Labbé on saxophones and flutes, Bernard Falaise on guitars, Rémi Leclerc on drums), along with bassist Tommy Babin. The name of the band comes from its first concerts, back when it improvised over projections of silent surrealist films from the 1920s-1930s. But the band quickly mutated into a strange hybrid. Is this St-Jean writing tunes for Papa Boa? Or the Orkestre des Pas Perdus adding Falaise’s avant-rock guitar crunch? Or even the avant-prog band Miriodor (in which Falaise and Leclerc are), without keyboards, plus trombone? One thing is sure, the result is strikingly fresh and energy-driven. Rock, funk, Rock In Opposition, jazz, all of it blended with a pinch of humor and delivered with big blows of hot brass and screaming electric guitar. Fans of the above-mentioned groups will feel at home. Les Projectionnistes’ music has an “in your face” quality (a constant feature in St-Jean’s projects) while remaining quite easy to listen to, thanks to inventive melodic lines and devilish rhythms. The opening track Hiboux (“Owls”), very OPP-ish in nature, 7e Balcon (“7th Balcony”) and Falaise’s Cacao Chaos, rank among the best tracks on this CD. The album closes with the only improvisation of the disc, Ballet Mécanique, recorded live in October 1997 at one of the band’s early shows, with Nicolas Masino (of Miriodor) on bass. Copie Zéro is the kind of album that can turn jazz-rock heads toward more avant-gardist directions. Recommended.