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Since their first LP, Rencontres (1985), the Montreal group Miriodor has evolved from a Univers Zero-influenced rock-in-opposition outfit to an exciting, entertaining, and downright clownish avant-prog band. This incarnation of Miriodor is a quartet. Longtime members Pascal Globinsky (keys) and Rémi Leclerc (drums) are joined once again by the fantastic avant-rock guitarist Bernard Falaise and bassist Nicolas Masino. Saxophonist Marie-Chantal Leclair, violinist Marie-Soleil Bélanger, and up-and-coming trumpeter Némo Venba (Fanfare Pourpour, Rouge Ciel) add instrumental touches. The music is an extension of the group's critically acclaimed fourth album, Jongleries Élastiques (Elastic Juggling). Complex rhythms and riffs, atonal improvising, and a cute but slightly warped sense of melody cohabit to form a delightful and highly personal brand of avant-prog rock (the only comparison would be French TV, although Miriodor's music is less frantic and schizophrenic). Falaise shines throughout. This time around, the group let go of the circus music theme (elements persist, but are less prominent) to turn to something more in the vein of film noir or maybe cheap black-and-white sci-fi/horror movies. "Le Règne des Termites" and "Mangeurs de Masters" are highlights. The flame weakens during the latter half of the CD ("L'Inévitable" and "Avatar" are forgettable), but "Le Fantôme de M.C. Escher" compensates with its ferocious energy that sounds like an unlikely meeting between Anekdoten and Fushitsusha. Those who got hooked on the previous album will not be disappointed. Recommended.

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