Sylvie Chenard

Hybride: Projet de la Baleine 1999

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Sylvie Chenard loves to work with another partner. Most of her albums consist of duets, and Hybride, self-released in 1999, culls three discs worth of collaborations. Ambitious to say the least, this set nevertheless deserves to be so extensive. Maybe it could have been scaled down to two CDs, but it works well as a three-hour affair. By late 1998/early 1999 (when these sessions have been recorded), Chenard's guitar playing had blossomed to include numerous extended techniques and approaches to improvisation that span everything between rock slaying and abstract improv. Her partners are Eve Lamont, Guy Leblanc, Nicolas Letarte, Michel Meunier, Mitsiko Miller, Caroline Hamel, Alexandre St-Onge, Magali Babin, Hélène Boissinot, Tony Tremblay, and Sandro Forte (under his guise CDJ Off Beat). All were obscure underground musicians at the time, although St-Onge was on the verge of making it on the international experimental scene. Most get more than one pass with Chenard, and the tracks are presented in no particular order, which keeps the listener on his or her toes. Each track wears for a title an article number from the Human Rights Declaration. When lyrics are involved (always in French), they relate to Chenard's pet topics: humanism, anti-capitalism, feminism. The pieces with Lamont turn to vocal duets of a very political nature (and music-wise evoke Justine and Joane Hétu's '90s albums). Letarte's tracks stand out among the instrumental contributions, his work on bass and didgeridoo blending very nicely with Chenard's more demanding playing. As could be expected, whenever St-Onge is involved the music becomes more textural and abstract. This is obviously not the place to start exploring Chenard's discography, as one would be overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of material, but readers who enjoyed her CD Océan à Vendre/For Sale should definitely consider this set.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1
feat: Eve Lamont
1:30
2
feat: Guy LeBlanc
5:23
3 6:08
4 13:35
5
feat: Guy LeBlanc
3:11
6
feat: Eve Lamont
2:25
7 2:58
8
feat: Guy LeBlanc
5:07
9 6:45
10
feat: Eve Lamont
1:32
11 3:14
12 9:40
13
feat: Magali Babin
6:39
14 4:52
15
feat: CDJ Off Beat
17:15
16 2:31
17 5:05
18
feat: Eve Lamont
3:55
19
feat: Guy LeBlanc
3:04
20 18:13
21 9:16
22
feat: Eve Lamont
1:19
23
feat: CDJ Off Beat
12:53
24 6:04
25 4:05
26 10:59
27 4:24
blue highlight denotes track pick