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Album Review

Qu'Ouïs-Je? (an old-fashioned French form of saying "What do I hear?") is the follow-up to René Lussier and Martin Tétreault's 1999 Dur Noyau Dur. Although the track titles all end in "ure" just like the previous record, Qu'Ouïs-Je? is very different from its older brother. This time around, instead of rubbing his guitar strings with steel wool, Lussier focuses on the daxophone (a bowed instrument invented by Hans Reichel). As for Tétreault, he works less inside his pick-up and experiments with analog synthesizer and beat box. The resulting music is a lot less abstract and one-dimensional than on Dur Noyau Dur. There is much more happening: the music squirts, jumps, and stumbles out of the speakers. The shortness of these improvs allows for frequent changes of settings and eludes over-stretched ideas. Both musicians play with (and not from or over) each other, creating short-spanned musical universes of twisted sounds and surprising encounters. Most of the time, the listener cannot tell who plays what and how they did it — remember the CD's title? While Dur Noyau Dur was serious, on the verge of pretentiousness, Qu'Ouïs-Je? is playful and entertaining while proposing a strong artistic statement. ~ François Couture, Rovi


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Throughout the 1980s and most of the '90s, René Lussier was the prime mover on Montreal's new music scene. His guitar work has been compared to Fred Frith, with whom he has often toured and recorded. Spread between solo work, duos, and large ensemble pieces, between studio compositions, structured improvisation, free improv, and film music, his impressive body of work represents a full course in musique actuelle, a term he helped to peg down. His masterpiece remains the speech-music collage Le Trésor...
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Qu’ouïs-Je?, Rene Lussier
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