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Review

Tom Schulte, Infraction, 1 janvier 1998

Drummer / percussionist Pierre Tanguay has worked with trombonist and programmer (samplist) Tom Walsh for over six years. On Midi Tapant the pair present seven original compositions. The cuts are mood pieces featuring mostly found objects and cymbal percussion behind eerie samples and Doppler effect, lachrymose trombone legato. These pieces take us to several locations each. For instance, the singular Une Petite Douleur begins with a pipe organ in conversation with a duck call to a mid-piece space of a cavernous union of girlish vocalizations and children’s room chimes. We are left with those voices aged and disappearing into a siren drawing near. The organic harmony of xylophone and plastic balls in Ping Pong makes a bubbly and warm coating for the sonorous exhalations of a foghorn. Loosely composed, these largely improvised tracks become episodes in a boundless exploration of technology and the duo’s instrumentation. Minimalist in its simplicity and airiness, Midi Tapant is richer and more thought provoking than most spare constructions of the genre. Take the title track for instance, with its clamorous contest between free jazz and a corral of captured sounds. On the closing Madame Duluth an amorphous crowd of French voices contains treated harmonica that varies from familiarity to electronically transmogrified oddity. As with each piece here, the elements are simple, maybe even mundane, but the experiment’s results are memorable and surreal. These pieces affect a room, populating with sudden sonic visitors that dash upon the walls new color.

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