Various Artists — Ambiances Magnétiques Volume 2: Hourra pour la Bastringue
(Ambiances Magnétiques AM045CD, 1997, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2000-05-01
French Canadian label, Ambiances Magnétiques released a second sampler of their diverse artist's work in 1997. The disc focuses on various combinations of personnel ranging from solo and duet performances to percussion ensembles, and larger groups. Compiled in part by René Lussier, the wide array of compositions vary from outright clarinet pieces to full band accompaniment and what I'd call pure pandemonium pieces. Robert M. Lepage is featured across four pieces, which features a jazzy lounge soirée to an intense orchestral fugue reminiscent of Present. Lussier himself duets with Lepage on "Chants et danses du monde inanimé," which I believe has something to do with chants and dances for inanimate objects. "Trois Histoires" is an uncomfortable song with two guitars in somber competition, which also includes some odd random samples. Jean Derome is represented by four pieces ranging from RIO based free jazz, "Navré," an odd recorder piece, to a well-structured jazz piece: all with a certain amount of cabaret and whimsy. Pierre Cartier gets the distinction of the longest piece out of the seventeen the collection. Although the track, "Les Fleurs due tapis" is a slow jazz ballad, it's the most memorable and Canterbury-ish in composition. Not one piece conforms to a droning synthesizer style that is more closely associated with the work of Brian Eno or Robert Rich. I guess if the intent was to display varying styles with nerve and joie de vivre, then these tracks meet that requirement. I have to admit that this is a very experimental label and catalog which is targeted solely for challenging minds and ears.
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more