The background: Xavier Charles has recorded an album (La Pièce) with the duo Kristoff K. Roll (Jean-Christophe Camps and Carole Rieussec); Diane Labrosse and Martin Tétreault record and perform together as the duo Parasites; Charles and Tétreault have recorded a duo CD, MXCT. The project: a sound art quintet combining various electro-acoustic approaches. The concert: five musicians in a circle on an elevated platform, ten loudspeakers (two per musician) placed in a circle, and the audience between the musicians and loudspeakers, free to move around, study up close, and experiment with different audio perspectives. Each one of these improvisers has developed an idiosyncratic approach to sound-making, approaches that turned out to be quite compatible. Charles uses speaker cones triggered by infrasounds as vibrating surfaces on which he places small objects and contact microphones. Labrosse uses a sampler triggered by movements of the hand over a "magic eye" (very similar to a theremin). Tétreault works inside and outside the turntable, with or without vinyl (but when he puts a vinyl on, things usually get very playful). And the Kristoff K. Roll duo uses a stunning array of household objects (from rice to pots and pans, arts and crafts objects from around the world, and homemade electronics). The music they perform as a quintet is a densely layered fabric of quiet sounds. A lot of ideas are thrown into the pot, not always in a coherent way, but the resulting music is certainly absorbing and promises to reveal new elements with every listen. Moreover, the music eschews the seriousness usually found in such live electro-acoustic settings in favor of something lighter and -- dare it be said -- friendlier, without compromising the seriousness of the endeavor. The stereo image is very wide and dynamic; it enhances the density of the music, something that was partly lost in the big Colisée des Bois-Francs on that May afternoon of 2003.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture