Charles Barabé – ébauches

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[ Jeunesse Cosmique, 2017 ]

Another one from O Canada, this time by Montreal syntesist Charles Barabé, who goes more adventurous and experimental than his last year’s effort Les dernières confessions on two side-long pieces, throwing MIDI vocals, jagged rhythms and modern classical aesthetics into a blender, resulting in an ADHD-addled soundscapes that is at the same time pefectly musical and completely disorienting. Cut-up samples jump up all over the place while a piano plays a simple melody in the distance just to give way to some horns and xylophones. And the whole map changes every several seconds, while never losing the dynamic. How the hell does he do it!?

In case you considered this review tl;drhere’s a shorter and more concise opinion from the RYM user _nkb:

“what if Phillip Glass contributed avantgarde psuedo-rave music to the Age of Empires 1 Soundtrack?”

Make of that what you will. Age of Empires were fucking cool, and so is this EP. Recommended!

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Avec le soleil sortant de sa bouche – Pas pire pop, I Love You So Much

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[ Constellation Records, 2017 ]

Before I heard the eclectic Montreal kraut-funkers Avec le soleil sortant de sa bouche I automatically associated Constellation Records with legendary post-rock ensemble Godspeed You! Black Emperor. They were/are great, but none of their stuff could be considered a summer listen.  Music to watch the world burn, yes, but not getting sunburnt to. Now, on Pas pire pop, I Love You so Much these guys make some of the warmest, sunkissed post-rock ever, taking influences from all over the map and making amazing soundtracks for all the bike and kayak trips that await you this summer. One second it’s motorik, the next it’s like a shiny disco ball reflecting Fela Kuti and Klaus Dinger in a dizzying, kaleidoscopic array. Highly recommended!

Phern – Cool Coma

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[ Fixture Records, 2016 ]

Now this is hella refreshing: this wonderfully lopsided, warped stack of twangy, somewhat post-punky slack rock from the Montreal bunch Phern is some of the most carefree, not-giving-a-fuck and simply fun music I’ve heard in some time. The cover is possibly a hint at how they compose their music: imagine a bunch of bricklayers who suddenly go “aw fuck it, we don’t need any muck, let’s just fucking tape some bricks together so a house is standing made by bricks stuck together by tape”. Phern’s sound is the same – it sounds like it’s about to fall apart and turn into The Nihilist Spasm Band at any second, but still manages to keep that seedy 60’s lo-fi sound. Weird as heck!

Le Révélateur – Hyper

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[ Dekorder, 2016 ]

Canada’s hyper-ambientalist Roger Tellier-Craig a.k.a. Le Révélateur enters the Spring of 2016 with Hyper, an EP released on German label Rekorder. He continues the path of ultra-futuristic shimmering ambience from Extreme Events and manages to make it a bit more glitchy and jagged, getting closer to the pointilistic clickscapes of D/P/I at its most abstract moments then the trippy kosmische musik worship of the previous releases. There is a relaxing beauty hidden underneath the raw concrete walls of seemingly malfuctioning electronics and the avalanche of clicks and cuts that sometimes feels like the Autechre’s Gantz Graf stretched in time. It’s intensely psychedelic and a glimpse of something completely new in Le Révélateur’s catalogue. Recommended!

Le Révélateur – Fictions

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[ Gneiss Things, 2011 ]

This release isn’t new, but it’s definitely something worth writing about, especially since Le Révélateur decided to upload it to his Bandcamp. Before Roger Tellier-Craig decided to go for the hyperactive sonic pointillism on last year’s Extreme Events, he was a Berlin school acolyte, going for lenghty, droney pieces revolving around lovely psychedelic arpeggios and analog ambience. Fictions is a highlight of that earlier era, a peak of hiss retro-futurism from 2011. Side A’s “Receiving Mirages” takes the cake here, gradually unfolding all its beatific synthesized glory in a series of cascading textures and melodies, adding each element to the sequence of sounds with each minute. A truly magical and deep record, now available for streaming. Highly recommended!

Bataille Solaire – Dolby’s ON

OK, so there’s this one thing everybody can agree about, I think: Documentaries by Bataille Solaire were fucking awesome. There’s no denying that. Now Asael Robitaille is back with a whole new album, this time it’s called Dolby’s ON and its cover carries some mind-boggling tennis-related imagery to it. Because, just like a good tennis match this album is almost completely random, fast and keeping you on the edge of your seat. Robitaille ditches retrofuturistic new new new age stylings for something more rhythmic; a bit of a bargain between IDM and footwork, jumping around nervously, yet keeping pace, building intricate patterns out of brutally cut-up snippets of sound. A bit like a chance meeting between a latter, “random” era Autechre and D/P/I. Incredibly intriguing and intricate. Highly recommended!

Event Cloak – Life Strategies

Grey is one of the most underrated and underappreciated colors on this planet. Despite its seeming dullness, it’s a greatly relaxing color that can really soothe, especially when combined with sunlight or the blue sky. Maybe that’s why brutalism was so widespread in the 1960’s and 70’s – so it could stand out agaisnt the the soot-stained evening gradients of endless urban sprawl. The abstract grey organic architecture also adorns the cover of Montreal native Nick Maturo’s newest album, Life Strategies, released under the Event Cloak moniker. While bearing a somewhat vaporwavey name, this Event Cloak release goes far beyond the trappings of the genre, instead becoming a series of crystalline, updated prog electronic new age dream somewhere between R Plus Seven  and EpitaphRecommended!