Les Granules

Au Royaume Du Silencieux

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AllMusic Review by François Couture

Already announced in the liner notes for Le Retour Des Granules, Jean Derome and René Lussier's second LP back in 1987, Au Royaume Du Silencieux, their third and final album (on CD and cassette), came out only in 1992. Released under the moniker Les Granules, which was their stage name, this is their most accomplished and exciting record and may very well be the best record from all the Ambiances Magnétiques catalog (especially for a non-francophone who can't appreciate Lussier's Le Trésor de la Langue to its full extent). On Au Royaume Du Silencieux, Derome and Lussier decided to work the same way they worked live: as a two-man orchestra. Recorded live and mixed down in real time by Robert Langlois, the album sees Derome and Lussier play guitar, bass, sax, various small instruments, percussion, drums, and prepared cassettes all at the same time. The songs were later assembled through collage techniques that are intentionally transparent.

The result is very impressive as it takes the listener closer to the duo's madness and one of a kind sense of humor. Blending rock-in-opposition, French-Canadian folklore, free improv, and God knows what, they come to terms with some of the most exciting music recorded in Quebec since 1980. "Avez-Vous Travaillé?" (Did You Work?) is an avant-garde comedy number based on the Quebec Government's welfare form. "Le Tango Qui Ne Finit Jamais" (The Tango That Will Never End) is basically a tango riff played on a cheesy organ accompanied by a high-pitched sound (you'll think of the dentist's drill). "La Chicaneuse" is based on a traditional reel tune and "Lé(s) Légumes" (Vegetables) is a rendition of a song by 1930s popular singer La Bolduc, while "Blip"'s melody was lifted from Bach. "La Bombe" is as non-serious a western tune can be, while "Rêves et Menteries" (Dreams and Lies) is a complex piece co-written with British luminary Fred Frith. "La Fin Du Monde" (The End of the World) is a revamped version of the duo's "Pour le Droit de Parole," from their second album. Only three tunes have French lyrics, all the others are instrumental. The booklet includes liner notes and lyrics in both French and English.

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