Second and last release from André Duchesne's Les 4 Guitaristes de l'Apocalypso Bar project , Fin de Siècle (End of Century) is more eclectic and less focused than its predecessor, Tournée Mondiale/Été '89, but still a strong LP. The instrumentation remains four electric guitars (including bass) and drums, but this time around Claude Fradette replaces Roger Boudreault (the other three guitarists being Duchesne, Jean-Pierre Bouchard, and René Lussier), Ferdinand Richard (of Étron Fou Leloublan and Ferdinand et les Philosophes) splits bass credits with Lussier, and this album introduces young Montreal drummer Rémi Leclerc (of the avant-prog band Miriodor, later in Papa Boa and L'Orchestre des Pas Perdus, among other bands) filling in for Chris Cutler on three tracks. Writing credits are much more varied than on the first album (where Duchesne was the main composer): first, all four guitarists contribute at least one piece each; in addition to that, Duchesne arranged two pieces by Samla Mammas Manna's Lars Hollmer and one of Bartok's string quartets. Two sections of Fred Frith's guitar quartet "The As Usual Dance Towards the Other Flight to What Is Not" round up the program. A lot more serious than Tournée Mondiale/Été '89, Fin de Siècle lacks the decadent feeling of the first LP and Duchesne's luxuriously swirling contrapuntal writing. But the performance is very strong and Hollmer's "Scandinavian Pedestrian," Duchesne's "Le Bloc Démoli," and "Les Québéricains" by the tandem Jean Derome/René Lussier (and in a different register the two Frith pieces) make this album worthwhile. It was reissued on CD together with Tournée Mondiale/Été '89 by ReR Megacorp.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture