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18 octobre 1996
Par Mark Miller in The Globe and Mail (Canada), 18 octobre 1996

Texte

The hills are alive with the sound of… musique actuelle. No less than four CDs by Montréal composer, guitarist and all around musical provocateur René Lussier have been issued in the past 12 months. Two from Ambiances Magnétiques are admittedly reissues of his earlier work on vinyl, a startling debut LP, Fin du travail (Version 1) (rating:4/5) from 1983, and a rollicking collaboration with reedman Robert Marcel Lepage, Chants et danses du monde inanimé (3,5/5) from 1984. A third release, Le tour du bloc (4/5) from the Victo label, finds him in a recent and wonderfully fractious encounter with Vancouver’s NOW Orchestra.

The three commissioned pieces that make up Lussier’s most recent release, Trois histoires, actually date from the early 1990s, a period in which he was justly honoured for his CD Le trésor de la langue, both a history of modern Québec and a celebration more generally of the French language. He draws on many of the same narrative devices here, once again combining spoken word, ambient sound, composed melodies, staccato effects, improvisation and miscellaneous noise to create something very like scores for imaginary films.

Three imaginary films, in fact: Les mains moites, Art brut and Roche noire. (The last, commissioned by fellow Montréal guitarist Tim Brady, has already appeared on CD under Brady’s name. ) The pleasant shock of Lussier’s innovations has worn off, though, and what’s left is beginning to seem—pick one—merely clever, a bit indulgent or rather precious. There remains a variety of neat little Lussieresque textural tricks and sonic surprises, but not enough of them altogether to make Trois histoires seem much more than a CD designed to catch up and complete the cataloguing of his work to date.

blogue@press-1899 press@1899
17 octobre 1996
Par Jim Little in Hour (Québec), 17 octobre 1996

Texte

Fin du travail is a reissue of guitarist René Lussier’s first album (it was also the first release by the independent Montréal-based musique anuelle label Ambiances Magnétiques). It features Lussier’s compositions played by a group of musicians that include multi-instrumentalist Jean Derome (who co-composed two of the pieces here), pianist Pierre St-Jak, bassist Pierre Cartier and drummer Mathieu Léger. Highlights include the centrepiece of the record, Manifeste, which ranges in feeling from raw intensity to reverentially reflective meditation, and the wistful, warm and fuzzy Pour toujours tant que ça dure. 3,5/5

blogue@press-1431 press@1431
17 octobre 1996
Par Jim Little in Hour (Québec), 17 octobre 1996

Texte

The three tales here are all commissioned pieces from the early 1990s. Les mains moites (Clammy Hands), subtitled How To Take the Flute by the Horns (that’s Jean Derome’s job here, along with some baritone sax), uses snippets of spoken word and freely sampled sounds, plus Lussier’s guitar, bass, synth and percussion to create an airy, dreamy, slightly unsettling soundscape. On Art brut a celebration of spontaneous, non-commercial creation, Lussier pulls out his acoustic guitar and his Rube Goldbergian daxophone, while alto player Jean René replaces Derome. Roche noire features fellow guitarist Tim Brady (on whose Imaginary guitars CD this piece also appears) and percussionist extraordinaire Pierre Tanguay in an evocative tribune to the Irish in Québec. 4/5

blogue@press-1432 press@1432
17 octobre 1996
Par Jim Little in Hour (Québec), 17 octobre 1996

Texte

This reissue of an album originally recorded in 1984 by clarinettist (and alto sax player) Robert Marcel Lepage and guitarist René Lussier is fleshed out by nine tunes done in ’96. The intimacy of the duo contrasts sharply with the shards of actuellism, creating a vaguely disturbing bun challenging recording in a kind of homage to the anomie of the age of the machine. Lussier’s occasionally industrial-sounding guitar effectively displaces and re-contextualizes Lepage’s sometimes more inside, sometimes more outside, playing. 3/5

blogue@press-1433 press@1433