Martin Tétreault

2. Tok

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Number two in a three-part series, 2.Tok will find a warmer place in the hearts of Tétreault's and Yoshihide's fans than the grittier first volume, 1.GRRR. The former was all about noise, eluding records altogether to focus on the harsher sonics of the turntable as its own instrument. 2.Tok is in turn all about vinyl -- which doesn't make it a DJ set or a scratch party. These two have a very unique way of working with slabs of vinyl, from cutting them to pieces and pasting them back randomly, to various kinds of preparations, speed-shifting, and needle-dropping techniques, and -- yes -- a bit of scratching. The duo is still all about noise (Tétreault keeps his quote-heavy persona very quiet and "Brest No. 2" could have easily found a place on the previous volume), but the resulting music has more hues, more dynamics, and extra feeling when compared to the previous disc. Once again the selections, all taken from a number of concerts performed on a European tour in April 2003, are kept rather short. Yet, the best moments are found on the two longer pieces, where the Canadian and the Japanese stretch out and explore a wider spectrum. In the short tracks, they lock together and deliver highly structured instant compositions. In the longer numbers, one can feel them search for, try out, and find new ideas, and that accounts for the most exciting parts of the album. A special mention goes to "Genève No. 4/Cave 12 30.04.03," a 15-minute piece in which Tétreault uses crackling textures to great effect and Yoshihide scratches and spins like a madman. This long-hauled piece provides deeper context to the noise than the shorter, more focused tracks. Some people will continue to question the relevance of presenting this duo's work in three separate folds, but 2.Tok is a much more manageable listen than 1.GRRR.

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