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Album Review

This is not guitarist René Lussier and turntablist Martin Tétreault's first collaboration. They both appeared on Des Pas et des Mois, at a time when the latter worked with prepared LPs. When Dur Noyau Dur was recorded, Tétreault was becoming more and more interested in using the turntable without its usual apparatus, as an instrument in its own right. Lussier's artistic path also forayed into more abstract music, moving toward free form, sound event-based improvisation. This album shows both musicians grasping for a new vocabulary, while occasionally reverting to their old one (Tétreault with his sped-up death metal record on "Nervure"). Results are interesting, but not totally convincing. They show in which direction the two musicians will head during the following years. The duo's 2000 follow-up CD Qu'ouïs-je made a much stronger statement. Tracks 12 through 21 make up a 23 minute suite written by Lussier, a dense and noisy sound art work which culminates in "Emmanchure" (Tétreault's amplified needle-directly-on-the-deck can sound quite lugubrious). The first half of the CD is made of improvisations. Even Lussier's die-hard fans will have difficulties relating to this album, unless they have heard some of his other post-1997 releases or are already aficionados of abstract sound art. Weaker than Qu'ouïs-je, it remains recommendable. ~ François Couture, Rovi

Biography

Genre: Alternative

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...
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Dur Noyau Dur, Rene Lussier
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