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Dérapages À Cordes

Arthur Bull & Daniel Heïkalo

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Album Review

Nova Scotia guitarists Arthur Bull and Daniel Heïkalo released Dérapages à Cordes (Strings Skids), their first CD as a duo, in September 2000. Recorded between February 1996 and February 1999, this album introduced both musicians to a wider audience. Bull plays mostly on a semi-acoustic guitar, occasionally touching slide, E-bow, and prepared guitar. Heïkalo uses mostly acoustic and classical guitars (he plays percussion on two tracks). Guitar duets are far from common in free improv (why is that?) and if anything, Bull and Heïkalo prove how charmingly two avant-garde guitarists can converse. The former's frenetic jagged strings of notes (reminiscent of René Lussier's acoustic guitar playing) find the perfect mate in Heïkalo's playing, more dreamy and strumming based. Parts of "L'Intergiboulaison des Mages Infundibuliformes" (this is impossible to translate) seem to follow similar inspiration, 25 years later, as Conventum on their first album À l'affut d'un Complot. Other tracks like "Tintamarre de Boulingrin" point to Derek Bailey, although the dual-guitar setting relates more closely to folk. Dérapages à Cordes makes a strong album with a wide sound palette (thanks to percussion and prepared guitar appearing on a couple tracks). Definitely enjoyable. ~ François Couture, Rovi


Born: Canada

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Guitarist Arthur Bull has been active sporadically on the Canadian free improvisation scene since the ‘70s. Much like his compatriot, pianist Al Neil, or the British guitarist Roger Smith, he has kept a low profile and has remained cruelly underdocumented. His playing draws inspiration in Derek Bailey's musical vocabulary, with maybe a hint of folk or American roots music in the phrasing. Bull is also a poet, with three collections published in Canada and a translator from...
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Dérapages À Cordes, Arthur Bull
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