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Les Contes De L’amère Loi

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Album Review

Les Contes de l'Amère Loi was meant to be a side project from the three more creative minds of Wondeur Brass: Joane Hétu, Danielle P. Roger, and Diane Labrosse. It was released under the name Les Poules (literally: The Chicks), but since the next Wondeur Brass album will present the same lineup (plus newcomer Marie Trudeau on bass), this should be approached as the "real" second WB record. Esthetic differences are few, except for the fact that Les Poules work with a scaled-down, more keyboard-oriented instrumentation. The music tends to feel colder. The progressive rock element is also a lot less present. Half of the tracks are avant-rock instrumental tunes, the other have lyrics sung or narrated. In "Au Mur la Chair" (Flesh Up the Wall), vocals are heavily treated. There is a lot of improvisation and experimentation with keyboards — mid-'80s keyboards — which means the album quickly sounded outdated, but it retained a kitsch new wave flavor. Highlights include "Les Siamoises" (The Siamese) and "Faust et Son Pain" (Faust and His Bread), the latter showcasing a poignant solo from Hétu. Overall, Les Contes de l'Amère Loi was a laboratory where Hétu, Roger, and Labrosse went further into avant-garde territory, shedding some rock influences on the way. It is a transitional album; this esthetic step would be better integrated on Simoneda, Reine des Esclaves, the next Wondeur Brass LP. ~ François Couture, Rovi


Genre: Rock

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

Les Poules began as a side project for Joane Hétu (vocals, sax), Diane Labrosse (keyboards), and Danielle Palardy Roger (drums), three members of the feminist collective Wondeur Brass. The release of their first LP in 1986 cemented the relationships and the musical approach of this trio: a partly improvised form of synthetic avant-pop. The members went on to participate in many other projects. In 2000, the trio itself was resurrected as a free improv unit and a new CD came out in 2002. The year...
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Les Contes De L’amère Loi, Les Poules
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