La Mécanique des Ruptures (The Mechanics of Cleavage) is Gilles Gobeil's first CD. The eight electro-acoustic works culled here were created between 1985 and 1993, and vary from short clips ("Nous Sommes Heureux de...," one minute) to ambitious tape dramas ("La Ville Machine," 15 minutes). In general, the longest pieces include an instrument or narration part. Suzanne Binet-Audet is featured on two such pieces playing Ondes Martenot, one of the earliest synthesizers. Montréal electric guitarist René Lussier provided examples of his playing for "Associations Libres" (Free Associations). But whatever the length or medium, Gobeil's style remains pretty much the same throughout and could be (over)simplified to one single gesture: a door slamming shut. He throws buckets of sounds at the listener's ears, multiplying contrasts between peaceful ambiences and sudden bangs!, often articulated by a short crescendo. This in-your-face approach to electro-acoustics will either please listeners who want "action" (i.e., loud ample movements of sound) or unnerve those who see in it a "signature" that quickly became a cliché. Nonetheless, "Le Vertige Inconnu" remains Gobeil's strongest piece, very powerful in its violent plasticity. "La Ville Machine," almost taking the form of a hörspiel, is another highlight. Its story follows three confusing but interesting parallel narratives (in French in the piece, but provided in an English translation in the booklet). Recommended.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture