René Lussier


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Déboutonné (Unbuttoned) is the acoustic companion to the 2000 CD Solos de Guitare Électrique (Electric Guitar Solos). The same technique developed in 1998 for the electric album was used for the recording of this one: Eight microphones were placed around Lussier. He improvised 30 pieces or so over the course of three days. He then selected 13 pieces and mixed them using the various listening angles made available by the microphones. The result is supposed to be part sound art and part free improv, but the latter wins by a large degree. The changes in "points of view" are less drastic than on Solos de Guitare Électrique. They bring interesting variations in sound, but nothing more. More crucial is Lussier's playing. While the previous album had documented him in a kind of artistic cul-de-sac, here he sounds exciting (and excited) as ever. Each track is full of invention. His early folk influences resurface (like on "18 Mars 12"); fingers leap across the fretboard. Déboutonné presents the raw, explosive, talented guitarist he always was. "16 Mars 10" is the most refreshing piece he has recorded in a long time. No gimmicks, no aesthetic preconceptions -- just some killer free improv that sends him up there with Derek Bailey, Roger Smith, and Fred Frith in the pantheon of avant-garde guitar players. Strongly recommended.

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