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Album Review

Do (as in C) is Montreal guitarist Bernard Falaise's first solo release. This CD contains 15 pieces for multiple guitars (all played by him). Although one can hear traces of every project Falaise worked on during the late '90s (Papa Boa, Les Projectionnistes, Klaxon Gueule, Marie-Jo Thério), the one influence that comes the most forward on Do is his prog rock background with the band Miriodor. These are very structured pieces drawing as much from Robert Fripp's guitar loops as René Lussier's early works (Fin du Travail, Soyez Vigilants, Restez Vivants! with Jean Derome) and the avant-prog aesthetics of the label Cuneiform Records (for which Miriodor records), namely bands like Otolithen and Blast. Falaise's musicianship needs no presentation: he is a master of his instrument. But to discover him a very capable composer is a real treat. Most pieces have a three-level structure: in the background are Frippertronics-like soundscapes or textures produced by softly scratching the guitar strings (a technique he used on Klaxon Gueule's Muets); then comes the riff or rhythmical frame of the piece, the structure itself, complete with changing time signatures, intricate patterns, and more. In the foreground is a melody, a solo, or another guitar line acting as counterpoint to the frame. The result makes beautiful guitar craft. The almost epic "Entonnoir" is a fantastic piece of work and the solo on "Acte II" is heart-wrenching. The violent setting of "Croco N'Est Pas Mort" is another highlight showcasing great percussive work, all created with the guitar. Even though some of Falaise's techniques might seem a little dated (like backward soloing and Frippertronics), the guitarist reminds listeners that it is possible to make cutting-edge demanding guitar music without resorting to the extremely abstract. Do comes very close to a masterpiece. ~ François Couture, Rovi

Biography

Born: 1965 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

A Montreal native, where he is still based, guitarist Bernard Falaise exploded on the new music scene in the late '90s, appearing in many Ambiances Magnétiques-related outfits, especially in avant rock-oriented groups that included drummer Rémi Leclerc (Miriodor, Les Projectionnistes, Papa Boa). He is also active on the free improv scene, playing with Klaxon Gueule and Robert M. Lepage, among others. His distinctive guitar style, at times raw and twangy, at others highly atmospheric, set him apart...
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