Martin Tétreault

1. GRRR

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AllMusic Review by

This is volume one in a series of three live CDs presenting material recorded on Martin Tétreault and Otomo Yoshihide's April 2003 European tour. Each disc has been given a slightly different focus and, as its title implies, 1.GRRR is the meanest one of them. Please read "meanest" as noisiest, dirtiest, loudest. The two maverick turntablists are pulling all the stops to make you cringe. You will not hear a single vinyl record being played, nor delicate textures or glitching rhythms. This one is all about wailing, grumbling, screeching and scouring (as in putting the stylus on a revolving scouring pad). Some listeners will think that 74 minutes of such treatment is a bit hard to sustain -- especially since the duo's live sets are much more varied in dynamics than what is represented here -- but the artists are certainly resourceful, inventive, and downright mad enough to fill in the time slot with move after surprising move and sound after surprising sound. From putting a hi-hat cymbal on the turntable to wrapping the stylus in a condom or sticking it straight into the turntable's motor, there is nothing these guys won't do to conjure up unexpected sounds. The 19-minute opener "Brest No. 3" illustrates how diverse and riveting the "noisy" side of this duo can be. The listener is taken through a harsh yet fascinating landscape, closer to Merzbow and John Wiese than to Christian Marclay or Philip Jeck. Yes, this is not for the faint at heart and, even if you are a convinced fan of Tétreault and Yoshihide's work, if you have never been able to listen to one of Merzbow's albums all the way through, steer clear of this CD. But for a harsh noise record, 1.GRRR is a mighty fine one.