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Foe Destroyer

Stephen Beaupré

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Album Review

Named after a term of Buddhist honor — the foe being the material world and its trappings — Foe Destroyer shows Crackhaus member Stephen Beaupré's remarkably fluid grasp of how to work with beats and dub inspirations. If anything, he often calls to mind the work of Jack Dangers and Meat Beat Manifesto, at once engagingly hyperactive and sonically tripped out, as opening cut "Dark Water" readily shows. Perhaps unsurprisingly, enough other songs resemble fellow travelers Akufen — the vocal cut-ups on songs like "My Old Lady Silhouette" and "Les Filles" are a downright homage at points, though often used differently. But in general Beaupré does a fine job in following his own particular muse, a jumble of crackling glitch touches, Microhouse textures, and often filthy bass ("Keep Your Hands Off," perhaps appropriately, has some of the scuzziest) that create a balance between meditation and exaltation on the dancefloor. Songs like "Sacrelicious" are definitely riding the Kompakt aesthetic hard, but it's not surprising, and if nothing else it shows there's still life in that particular model yet. Often it's all in the details — how for instance he balances the upfront, crisp funk bass on "El Gato" with high bell chimes and then leads into a minimal percussion break — there's a joy in the construction you can almost sense. "Even the Nameless" is even better at this, thanks to a suddenly straightforward, early hip-hop beat, swooping, building keyboards and vocal parts creating a wonderful album closer that feels like the early morning climax of a great rave. On "Alcahuaz," meanwhile, the use of guitar-ish notes and keyboards suggests the contemplative work of late-'80s 4AD even while a hyperactive percussion pattern keeps pace in the mix.

Biography

Genre: Dance

Years Active: '90s, '00s

A longtime promoter and active participant in the Montreal electronic music scene, Stephen Beaupré learned the tricks of the trade in his hometown of Ottawa before making the move to his current home city. His first recordings were found on the Montreal Smoked Meat compilation from electronic music powerhouse Force Inc. in 2002. He then began a collaboration with fellow musician Deadbeat with the Musique Risquée release Blame Canada, and would forge a partnership that would elevate them to the upper...
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Foe Destroyer, Stephen Beaupré
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