In what most enthusiasts could clearly identify as an “all-star improv lineup,” Ensemble SuperMusique certainly fit the name they’ve elected to represent themselves. A formidable bunch of misfits and Montréal counter-cultural sound artists of the first order, the crew delivers an onslaught— make it a barrage— of on-the-spot leftfield tic tacs and kling klongs with sax genius Jean Derome, sampler Diane Labrosse, alto sax provider Joane Hétu, percussion queen Danielle Palardy Roger, noted turntablist Martin Tétreault, and drummer Pierre Tanguay. All take part in the proceedings they’ve described as being “like seismographs and decoders of little nothings and big anythings.”
The opening burst of saxophone madness and its ensuing revelations on the dazzling and complex Canot-camping, courte expédition is my personal favorite, stuffed with a group of twelve improvisers, and multiple concepts led by a chief apparently utilizing about sixty hand and body signals. In fact, the recording is a bit of an improvisation game “for at least two players, based on the perception of time, and where each sequence lasts exactly one minute— every minute, all musicians switch material at random,” creating a conscious form of modular psychosis for the listener. Y’a du bruit dans ma cabane is all about the process, and is not to be approached with any kind of pop possibility, evidently, but rather with an imaginative heart.