To most, the idea of a continually skipping CD doesn't quite qualify as a pleasurable listening experience, but, on Mnant, Montreal's RE: (aka Aden Evens and Ian Ilavsky) revel in it. By assembling the broken tones of digital failure, they create a rhythmic phase-shifting cacophony, reminiscent of Godspeed!'s elusive moments of quietude. Even knowing full well that all distortions are intentional, one cannot help from looking up to make sure the counter is still running smoothly on the CD player. RE: quickly graduates from a tedious glitchfest to more spacious instrumental exuberance, employing spare strings and guitar to form skeletal melodies -- a rather quick crossover to the post-rock genre. All sounds are foreboding, dark, and industrial, without being over-the-top in any instance. They may sound bleak and nocturnal but one would be hard pressed to file them alongside Throbbing Gristle and the like. Perhaps having each of the track titles ("Scue," "Solute," "Cipe," etc.) eventually form fuller words when attached to the prefix RE:, suggests a compartmentalization of the musicians' intentions. Their work certainly appears rather detached from the realm of human interaction. What's suspect is that the record, the duo's only release, took three years to produce. Is this the intense, ongoing work of very meticulous noodling, or simply a thrown together collection of nonchalant hobbying?
by Ken Taylor