The Freest of Radicals

Various artists

Made for the adventurous, its quality is high… See Magazine, Canada

All these tracks are very good explorations in sound texture and rhythmic pieces. Exclaim!, Canada

Founded in October 1998, No Type is one of the oldest and most established MP3 labels. As 2002 begins, No Type is now releasing CDs, with the noted complicity of DIFFUSION i MéDIA. This compilation, entitled The Freest of Radicals gives a broad overview of the “No Type sound,” or absence thereof. [2 CD for the price of 1]

  • Canada Council for the Arts

2 × CD (IMNT 0201/02)

bait disc

switch disc (or is it the other way around?)

  • Label: No Type
  • IMNT 0201/02
  • 2002
  • UCC 771028020126
  • Total duration: 155:09
  • OGpak
  • 125 mm × 125 mm × 10 mm
  • 70 g

On the web


The Freest of Radicals

“so too, in a political sense, a free radical could be someone operating within a conservative environment where the traditional order rules, so much so that it may refuse to change, adapt, and evolve so that it can stay ‘healthy.’ to survive, it needs to make sure the potential causes of its cancer go away, permanently, if at all possible.”
brian carroll, “automadness: terrors of EM research” (2001)

i saw ayn rand reffered to just the other day on some mailing list as a “defender of freedom to the point of radicalism,” which gave me a chill & a chuckle at the same time. what our title pretends we are is “the freest of radicals,” implying radicalism along & at once with freedom, whereas ayn rand would have freedom (for herself) before radicalism (to get there). but of course, our position is politically untenable in its very terms. freedom impairs the practicality of true radicalism… & yet…

can you not get along by not being friends? freedom is a uniter along with an individualizer. radicalism is a socializer along with a dissenter. of course, i’m painting large strokes. but perhaps my proposition aims at accepting the fact of their imperfect marriage, & to make it fruitful on both a social & an individual level. i think the goal is that if there is a game, there are plenty of different rules on every level, & the understanding of this existence of many rules becomes a “rule of rules.” it’s a thrilling prospect, but it’s a risk too: how do you “enforce,” not to say “justify” this meta-legality?

with this in mind, perhaps one may conceive of art as a simulation space, as a means to resolve, or at least attempt, this complex, perhaps dangerous, problem. i don’t doubt that this has been done before, & this is actually more of a reason to try. i believe with marshall mcluhan that technical advances (“new media”) may effect other spaces such as social; internet is already a powerful way to conduct new community experiments. prudently seeking positive change — & keeping in mind that this change must be threefold: individual (the gall to step forward), social (care for whom & what we may affect) & the both of them considered together, as a third party, for complex, changing systems require a momentum of 3. & the new possibility, now unveiled: to be “a radical, freely”; hence “everything, moderately.” as for the danger: this whole thing sounds too metaphysical for its own good.

David Turgeon, November 18, 2001 (reformatted from a November 1999 email to Brian Carroll) [xi-01]

Some recommended items
In the press


Prosper Prodaniuk, See Magazine, September 5, 2003

Also more easily available, thanks to a recent distribution deal with Fusion3, is Montréal’s No Type. Originally an MP3-only label, their releases stretch from the abstract breakbeat sound of Sluts On Tape to the electro-pop of Oeuf Korreckt and on to crazier experiments with sound and noise. The Freest of Radicals, a double disc release, is the best place to start. Made for the adventurous, its quality is high, as exemplified by: Tomas Jirku’s I Think I’m In Love-minimal techno of the highest order; Camp’s Oeee, which takes the blueprint of drum’n’bass, glitches it up and drops it on its head; and Jon Vaughn’s Bouncing Ball (1 of 2) + Gravel Road, an interpolation of two of his pieces that meet for some of the craziest, yet funkiest techno that you’ll ever hear.

The second disc is full of innovation as well. Alphacat’s Waveporn speeds up some electro, plays with conventions for a bit, and then morphs into a slamming piece of techno that’s perfect for the dance floors of Tresor. Most of what’s listed here is the best of the accessible stuff. There are a few noise tracks, some sonic experimentalism and improvisation as well. But if you want some new sounds - and not ones that happened to come out this week - track it down. Other MP3 goodies can also be found at http://www.notype.com/.

Made for the adventurous, its quality is high…


I Khider, Exclaim!, October 17, 2002

A double-CD release of avant sounds, featuring an overwhelming 36 tracks. A buffet of styles is offered, including noise, musique concrète, click-dub, instrumental free-improv, electroacoustic sound engineering and ambient, among others. Some of the more striking tracks are Jon Vaughn’s Bouncing Ball (1 of 2) + Gravel Road, coupling static noise with menacing rhythmic overtones, and Tomas Jirku’s I Think I’m In Love, a nice minimalist dub piece. The one flare track is definitely Infoslut’s He Dreamt She Was An Atom, She Dreamt He Was Enola Gay, a radiant full-colour painting set amidst clever etchings. Opening up with some screaming distortion static, Infoslut lays in some drilling industrial strength percussion and epic synthesiser sweeps that instil a powerfully dramatic mood. All these tracks are very good explorations in sound texture and rhythmic pieces.

All these tracks are very good explorations in sound texture and rhythmic pieces.


Voiceworks, August 1, 2002

Canadian mp-based experimental imprint No Type release their first 2CD set and it’s truly an invigorating thing to behold. 36 tracks are crammed into the lush cardboard package each pushing the boundaries of their chosen form in clever and inventive ways. The dominating forces are those of noise and experimental electronica but pretty beats and even guitars are not ignored. There is an excitement in the sheer variety presented but further in the skill of execution - kalx’s Couf being a brilliant case in point. As tempting as it is to dismiss this challenging music as ‘not for everybody’ well why the hell not?

There is an excitement in the sheer variety presented but further in the skill of execution…


B Wildered, Desiderata, no. 11, July 1, 2002

“Bait” disk: rumbling low end drones from Le Chien Borgne, which I found pleasing, and drawn in to the gently grinding noises contained within. James Schidlowsky’s Radio Collision seems like the logical progression on the previous piece. Nz-style drones swell & throb, with some scraping interjections. Tomas Jirku uses a pretty much unchanging relatively conventional beat with some sounds going on in the background, not enuff to pique my interest. Speech.Fake contrasts that with a piece of separated, more minimalistic audio artifact sounds that does a good job of impelling consideration on its own terms. Relatively quiet, and compellingly arranged, with lots of space between the sounds, with a nice somewhat louder part near the end. Julie Rousse mixes bell-tones, digital pops & more layers of sound to create an off-kilter feeling, and adding some surprising movements, very nice. The salvaged sound aesthetic continues with Eucci, with torn pieces of mangled sources juxtaposed to find another askew place. I am enjoying the somewhat abstact direction of this disk, continued by the almost out-of-control short piece of distortion by Viratone Ballad. Magali Babin contributes a piece with recognizeable dropping small objects and metal resonances, which I find oddly comforting and familiar by now. Some broken beats & ringing hi end tones by Camp, which seemed somewhat minor in this context. Claudia Bonarelli also uses fractured beats, and seems pretty tame in comparison to the earlier sound experiments. Ja_dijiste brings in an scratchy vinyls sound and other sources that skirt around the edge of expectations. A quiet, unsettling, insistently emerging mix. Next is Napalm Jazz, who raise stakes with an aggressive electronic assault. An enjoyable and well-placed contrast with its instrumental ensemble approach in the midst of this disk. Backstreet Noise sounds like someone working next door, so it is like they are playing on your wall, with the possibility of them or their tools emerging thru the room boundaries seems imminent. The use of muffled, distorted shards of voices adds to this effect. A joint piece by N.Kra & Em follows, evoking the leakage of otherworldy properties thru the hole opened previously. They’re here… Will they notice us? Jon Vaughn steps up to defend the gates with a peeling sheets of noise supported by a frontal rhythm. Gets a little same-y after awhile, after a promisingly threatening start. Interesting buildup from playfully busted up sonic debris to a strong rhythm by 833-45, monolithic rather than monotonous, and broken up by the more abstract, possibly found sounds. An unexpected instrumental piece by Kanovanik, using a conventional combo sound which doesn’t really seem to fit here. This would be the answer to the “which of these is not like the others” singsong query. It is a modestly tuneful jazz-imprv-y sounding tune, but why? Idmonster continues in the “band” mode with a bass guitar-heavy piece with backwards guitar, that again, seems lost or misplaced on this comp. V. V. ends the disk with a live-sounding piece comprised of percussive events, what sounds like a sheet-metal being bowed, small chimes, and progressing into unrecognizeability and sheer sound, with a “room” sound apparent during the quiet parts, overcome by cascades of white noise during the louder movements.

“Switch” disk: was impressed with the brief piece by Kalx, a rousing whit-ish noisey piece. Then depressed abruptly by the idm beats of Oeuf Korreckt, which was good, for idm, if u like that kind of thing. Sluts On Tape were an editing amalgamation that was darker and more varied… Loved the last 50 seconds or so. Octopus Inc bring it back to a more abstract setting, with what sounded like highly edited acoustic events. An intriguing piece, makes me curious for more (time to go download some mp3s?)… Alphacat realigns the stream to beats, with much reverby ambience circulating around the thumpisms, very atmospheric. Books On Tape present a piece with beats, but they are made out of pretty noisy sounds, and they keep things moving. I can imagine someone trying to dance to this, but… Good luck. A complex arrangement, with some somewhat predictable pacing. Someone passing by just said “pretty psychedelic music there” as morceaux_de_machines’ piece erupted from the speakers. Good stuff, hard to breathe, tho, its so densely packed… Claustrophobic. Hmm, and I have their full-length on tap for review next issue. Amazing piece, dense, metallic, onrushing, voices murmering things I am not sure I want to understand. Then we get to Martindx, an appropriately-placed respite of a piece which nonetheless takes us into a levitating plane, using common-sounding elements in a very peculiar and effective style- another winner. Dick Richards brings us back to earth with a less warped perspective on digital-sounding composition. Small sounds abound, placed repetitiously and layered intricately. Very subtle & effective… Chris Degiere was a kind of nondescript broken beats piece. Headphone Science continues the well-paced sequencing with its deliberate, somber, constrasts of slow tones and slippery rhythmic crunchies… Mmm, tasty, pass the milk. The interestingly named Gimp Gadget Oscillation are next with 6 minutes of modest mid-range beats. Themoonstealingproject… a little difficulty, I have to set aside a poor interpersonal experience with this guy… Mostly backwards sounds with some strange lo-fi loops off in the periphery, doesn’t really go anywhere for me. Time-stretched sonic mini-diorama from Diablatomica, very minimalistic, makes you listen for the slight variations, very nice, a standout. Kalx returns with another, more beat-oriented piece, which I found less striking than Soundtest which opened this disk. Infoslut comes in with a piece incorporated some serious sequencing, resulting in a majestic electronic orchestral arc-ing effect. After a 20 second pause (to set it apart?) N.Kra concludes the disk with a relentlessly concussive percussion & distorted sequences that were reminiscent of (a perhaps drived from?) the preset demos in cheap keyboards. Is Metroid a video game?

Mmm, tasty, pass the milk.


George Zahora, Splendid E-Zine, June 4, 2002

No Type began life in 1998, and continues to this day, as an MP3 label. If the concept seems a bit ludicrous to you — after all, don’t MP3s render the whole record label structure redundant — think of them more as arbiters of quality, or defenders of a defiantly experimental aesthetic. For No Type there are no rules, no “official” sound, no set expectations — everything about them defies convention and strives ardently against categorization and quantification. Therefore, while it’s initially alarming to see No Type embrace the brick-and-mortar world of CDs, those reservations last only a few seconds; The Freest of Radicals, the stellar debut of their “tactile” line, compiles two and a half hours of the most wildly wonderful, defiantly peculiar sounds (music seems too limited a word) you’ll hear this year — compositions that not only discover and explore the union between sonic experimentation and listening pleasure, but cavort gleefully therein.

Broadly speaking, The Freest of Radicals is all about the electronic manipulation of sound. We’re not talking about anything as simple as keyboards and synthesizers, or even the sort of functional, mechanical/algorhythmic processes that yield the blips and bleeps of IDM. The source material on The Freest of Radicals is everything from the barely audible pop and crackle of PCM data to voice samples and video game music — all of it subjected to a variety of data-invasive procedures. Sounds are chopped, hacked, dissected, disintegrated, corroded, smothered, stretched, compressed, torn, fused, mutated and devolved by every conceivable means, creating everything from organic squelching sounds and dog-audible whines to pulsating bass tone arrays, needle-scratch collages and the sound of aluminum siding falling off of a house. For every piece that sounds like the artist left the mic live while tinkering with a hand-made synthesizer (ja_dijiste’s Laquinta), there’s an electro-fried dub odyssey like Tomas Jirku’s I Think I’m In Love, the feverishly brooding jazz-rock of Kannovanik’s creepy Tell Me About Death, Mommy or a crunchy, melodic epic like Alphacat’s exquisite Waveporn. To encounter pieces as fundamentally different as Julie Rousse’s gamelan-hacking Une à six idées improvisées and V.V.’s Moment 3 on the same CD is to receive a joyous (albeit ear-abrading) reminder of the near-infinite variety of sounds available to adventurous listeners. It may hurt like hell, but it’s liberating.

If you’re an old hand at the whole concept of non-musical music — that is, if you’ve sampled the less accessible works of Merzbow, JLIAT or the Ambiances Magnétiques folks — go ahead and dive into The Freest of Radicals with the “Bait” disc, which includes a higher proportion of the compilation’s “difficult” material. It’s here that you’ll find pieces like Magali Babin’s Petit jardin, which anchors its acousmatic explorations (pebbles being scraped up and dropped in a metal pan, perhaps) with a lingering, resonant three-note bass “melody” that pierces the relative silence like a foghorn. You’ll also encounter Camp’s nervously vibrant, high-pitched Oeee (which I’d swear includes a greeting-card version of the Wedding March), the sub-aural dub of Claudia Bonarelli’s They Use Us Back and the trash-compactor conflagration of Napalm Jazz’s kitchen-sink noise epic De la viande bio. The peculiar pleasure of the “Bait” disc comes from finding music where no music had seemed to exist; repeat spins, particularly with the use of headphones, reveal layers of hidden melody — rather like the aural equivalent of the moment when, while watching a subtitled film, you cease to be aware that you’re reading the subtitles. There is great beauty in even the most abrasive of Radicals’ compositions, and its discovery is a profound pleasure.

If you’re looking for something a little more musical at the outset, sample (no pun intended) the “Switch” disc first. After Kalx’s Soundtest puts your speakers through their paces, you’ll slip easily into the pseudo-orchestral “smart techno” of Œuf Korrect’s Hooked on Phone Ethics; the song’s chirping “vocal” synth might even evoke a satisfied smile. Sluts on Tape’s compellingly clever The Last and Finest of Peter Pans would turn Mike Paradinas green with envy, channeling thick layers of morose sci-fi synth into domestic-futuristic melodies, garlanded with white noise and overdriven digital burble-drone. There are glitches, clicks, pops and digital audio artefacts galore, all of them pressed into service to forcibly expand the frontiers of electronic music. Here, dissonance and beauty are two sides of the same spinning coin, and the transition from one to the other is merely a matter of perspective. The “Switch” disc’s final minutes — Infoslut’s explosive (and brilliantly named) sound voyage He Dreamt She Was An Atom, She Dreamt He Was Enola Gay and N.Kra’s sizzling eight-bit Metroid Remix — should leave you breathless.

And this, from a label that you probably would have ignored or dismissed outright in 1998. Albums like The Freest of Radicals restore faith in the musical adventure; the revelations here, both unassuming and astonishing, are the reason we take musical risks, whether we’re slapping down extortionate prices for intriguing-looking import albums or making the time to check out an unassuming CDR from an unknown artist. And increasingly as the years wear on, they’ll be the reason we download.

… the most wildly wonderful, defiantly peculiar sounds you’ll hear this year… albums like The Freest of Radicals restore faith in the musical adventure…


Nicola Catalano, Rumore, no. 125, June 1, 2002

Abbondanza di accostamenti di tal tipo la si trova nella doppia compilation The Freest of Radicals edita dall’etichetta canadese No Type, finora attivissima come label online con eccellenti MP3 scarcabili dalla rete (www.notype.com). In oltre due ore e mezza questa sorta di manifesto della nuova elettroacustica casalinga (con digressioni più o meno prevedibili: i contributi di Idmonster e Kanovanik flirtano, ad esempio, con la ballata rocks) allinea soluzioni di ispirazione quanto meno variegata, passando dal dub soffocato e soffocante del genietto Tomas Jirku alle croccanti textures di chitarra preparata, onde radio e strumenti non ortodossi di James Schidlowsky, passando per la proto-electronica di Camp, le delicate melodie di clicks di Claudia Bonarelli e gli intoppi microsonici di Dick Richards. Per la stesso marchio di Montréal esce anche Chemin de fer dell’autrice elettroacustica Magali Babin. Trascorsi nel gruppo femminile d’improvvisazione Les Nitroglycérins e collaborazioni con nomi del calibro di Tétreault e St-Onge, la Babin edifica pregnanti sculture sonore, pellicole acustiche contrappuntate da dettagli e risonanze timbriche ottenute con l’impiego esclusivo di oggetti metallici riciclati o reinventati.


François Couture, AllMusic, June 1, 2002

After three years of internet-only activity as a mp3 label, the Montréal-based No Type decided to take the plunge into the physical world of CD edition. Released in April 2002, The Freest of Radicals launched the catalog. This 2-CD compilation album offers quite a few mouthfuls: 36 tracks from 34 artists, for a total of 155 minutes - too much for most listeners to absorb in one session. Most of these artists are known only to the people that frequented the label’s website, but fame has nothing to do with quality and the label proves it once again. From sound art and experimental electronica up to IDM, minimal techno, techno-lounge and more melodic material, the album takes us on quite a wild ride (including an unexpected stop into post-rock with Kanovanik). Highlights are just too numerous to mention, especially since every listener will have his or her favorites. Let’s just drop a few names: Tomas Jirku, Magali Babin, Ja_dijiste, Books on Tape, Infoslut, and so many others. The quality of the selections compensate for the somewhat dizzying scope of styles covered. The weirdest tracks often end up to be the best and discoveries await by the dozen. The fact that No Type adopted the highly original package design of the electroacoustic label empreintes DIGITALes is icing on the cake. Its pretentious title notwithstanding, The Freest of Radicals offers a panoramic view of things to come in electronica.

The weirdest tracks often end up to be the best and discoveries await by the dozen.


Ingvar Loco Nordin, Sonoloco Record Reviews, June 1, 2002

Well, well, well… This is a grand start of something… the something being the commercial CD releases on the No Type label, formerly a strictly on-line, downloadable venture. The grand opening with a packed and crammed double CD compilation of serious sound hang-ups is interesting enough, featuring a good scope of “free radicals”…

The basis for this joyous event might be found in the introductory text that No Type offers the hungry reviewers: The Freest of Radicals, through its varied and challenging musical landscape, shatters the hidden face of the recording industry, which too often ignores unconventional artistic developments and hinders so called ‘difficult’ music.” Indeed the free-flowing under-current of the present has to find its river channel, and the force is so immense just below the surface of contemporeana that it always does, and in this case the river channel is the label No Type and its benevolent benefactor Jean-François Denis, who already set the ultimate lofty standard of electroacoustic creativity and diffusion through the legendary label empreintes DIGITALes and the distributor DIFFUSION i MéDIA.

I’ll give a few impressions of some of the many entries provided. They’re picked out randomly, and not pertaining to any artistic or other preferences, which means that those not mentioned may be as relevant and urgently in need of ears as the ones actually touched upon.

Le chien borgne is a pseudonym for Guillaume Théroux-Rancourt, who originates in Québec City. His piece, mysteriously titled rho < 1 (rho a > rho), has been honored as an opener of the whole set. He is said to work with analog ambient loops, and there is nothing here that contradicts that. A deep, repetitious – calm! – rumble shakes your loudspeakers, sort of in a breathing manner, on top of which more lightly pitched layers are applied as with a stroke of a sable’s hair brush, all in all transposing the here and now into a dreamy, soaring, thoughtful state of arms stretched out in a hovering gesture towards an elusive horizon. I like this a lot; it has a peculiar magic to it – and I like to float in this liquid atmosphere a long time.

James Schidlowsky’s Radio Collision sweeps in helicopterish and duck-worthy, dominating the scenery completely, having you flung yourself in the mountain-birch bushes, torn madly by the magnum-force winds from the hovering machine, spinning slowly around, keeping any intent secret, and all you can do is wait… The massive layer – or rather wall – of gray sound is compiled of many timbres, some in the sub-spaces, some on high, and eerie fragments of torn messages might be sensed inside this wild but harnessed energy. Dense!

Tomas Jirku’s I Think I’m In Love addresses totally different aspects of the audios, one might say. This is a funkster prankster hopscotch rendition of rhythm and glassy timbral percussion; very beautiful, and somehow… alien; alien like little spheres of undetermined properties bopping and popping in thin-shrilled erotic dances across yellow plains of distant worlds in forlorn galaxies beyond our present scientific perception. Jirku’s hectic, yet precise, humdrum plum-picking audio has a shine to it that pleases! It is for long, hypnotic stays, though, and this short sample just gives you an idea of the trances you might encounter on prolonged visits in these worlds.

Cal Crawford doesn’t waste any time surprising the listener with what at first appears to be static and interference; something is wrong with your equipment… but as it keeps up you realize that this is it; Crawford’s artistic idea! Of course this isn’t new. It has been done numerous times since the late 1940s, in various fashions, but since the preceding works on this CD have been – one way or another – modal, this sharp, diamond-like, pointillist approach cuts it’s way through your listening like a surgeon’s scalpel, and it hurts nicely! His piece is called An Objection That is Immaterial After the Fact. It’s like dashing through the celestial night at warp speed, encountering scattered star matter across the void, or like managing a subterranean water tank perforated by neutrino; in any case, it’s fast, sparse, sharp, scattered – and perhaps not so healthy… Towards the latter part of the piece things dense up, as a rippling prayer bead of free flowing thoughts and impressions rush on down, with a murmuring backdrop of serious gestures. Even later on events get loud, like a closely miked forest fire caught at the precise location of a fiery tree stump furnace… Very ingenious electroacoustics!

Julie Rousse lends her electroacoustic voice to the little ones hiding in the semi-conductors and the closed circuits, where they huddle up around their innermost thoughts and dreams, little Terry Rileys of streaming electron organs dappling with the clouds of 1950’s Dylan Thomases on the horizons of electric wiring in Rousse’s piece Une à six idées improvisées. So short is Julie Rousse’s bell-tingling elves-gleaning that I instantly long for more… So many secrets of the little ones of electricity in this piece; a work worthy of the secretive Hattifatteners of the Moomin Valley!

Magali Babin has recently issued her solo debut on No Type, and this bit – Petit jardin – can be found on that CD as well. It’s French, detailed, microscopic, tingling, trickling and seeping… as little elves and fairies hover in the shadows over at the garden pond – and it makes me recall some worlds by Finnish guru electroacoustician Kaija Saariaho. There is a fair amount of deep wood enchantment in Finnish culture, you bet, and this property shines and shivers inside Petit jardin. Masterly, how Babin builds this dense atmosphere with sparse means in but a few minutes!

Claudia Bonarelli lives in Sweden, but her name is Italian. They Use Us Back is a strangely recognizable artifact, i.e., it seems to be… There are a number of musical clichés in here, used on the razor’s edge between the morbid and the pretentious, but it’s done with a swagger and a jerkily moving hip across the silver screen. You get a beat, you get two… and some sarcastically (?) applied modal strokes of the hand and taps of the fingertips. It’s so soft it could well be used for toothpaste commercials…

Jon Vaughn’s Bouncing Ball (1 of 2) + Gravel Road is a frantic experience to which I’ve taken a definite liking. I’ll put it on a loud repeat while fixing coffee! It has beat and insanity and beautifully scraping, vibrating sounds on top of a dump truck of humor, which is exactly what creativity needs to be bearable… Keep on keeping on, Mr. Vaughn, we’re sitting tight over in Swedenland at Sonoloco, keeping you on loud repeats! This music twists and turns to get out of that straitjacket of existence, crawling along under barbed wire on muddy elbows, heading for a smashing oblivion! Wow!

I’ll halt here, even though I haven’t even gotten around to the second CD yet, but I’m sure these samples will serve the purpose of conveying my deep and sincere lust for this music, as well as my admiration at all this ingenuity and sonic liveliness! The concept is wonderful, the result shining, and we’ll just have to keep the good spirits up so that these kinds of ventures can bloom and flower up ahead!

The concept is wonderful, the result shining…


Phillip Sherburne, The Wire, no. 221, June 1, 2002

No Type, David Turgeon’s Montréal-based Net-only label with 67 ‘releases’ posted in the past four years, hits aluminium with The Freest of Radicals (IMNT 0201/02). True to No Type’s range, there are plenty of sounds to captivate and confound spread across the two platters, cleverly titled “bait disc” and “switch disc”. “Bait” presents the groovier stuff: distressed techno (Eucci’s Baribizon & Tape), Viratone Ballad’s drum & baste, and developmentally challenged hip-hop of Tomas Jirku’s I Think I’m In Love. There’s also beatless sound and noise, like Magali Babin’s Petit jardin, or 833-45’s blistering Spook, a prickly analogue critter in the vein of Pan Sonic. Napalm Jazz’s De la viande bio sticks to a relatively conventional IDM template - to exquisite effect. “Switch” offers a more understated approach, via drones, simmering whines and Ambient rumble from artists like Oeuf Korrekt, Diablamatomica, Chris Degiere and Alphacat. The common wisdom about the internet being the music industry’s great promotional device is overturned here: as a primer for notype.com, it’s a handy guide for navigating the label’s roster. Happy mousing.

True to No Type’s range, there are plenty of sounds to captivate and confound…


Mark Teppo, Earpollution, May 20, 2002

It begins with a distant rumbling, like an earthmover firing up its large engines on the other side of the hill, the ground shaking slightly as the pistons start to move. This is Le Chien Borgne’s offering to the first No Type CD. Titled rho < 1 (rho a > rho), it drifts and rumbles, squeaks and threatens to have some rhythm, but never really becomes anything other than an environment. Welcome to the inscrutable sound of No Type.

Founded in October of 1998, No Type was a child of the Internet - its product only available as downloadable MP3 files - and it trafficked in the digital. Over the next half-decade, No Type created a venue for aspiring digital artists to link their sounds and music with an eager digitally-aware audience. They did glitch; they did click ’n cut; they did microwave; they did electroacoustic; they did minimal techno; they did experiments with radio transmissions bounced off satellites; they found more life in the little “1” and “0” than anyone thought there could be. And to celebrate: they’ve gone physical.

Teaming up with DIFFUSION i MéDIA, No Type is now releasing CDs - honest to goodness put it in your car stereo and think your car is about to fall about from the sounds that are coming out of your speakers kind of real discs. They’re starting you off with a two-CD set that encapsulates where No Type has been. Or, more appropriately, what sort of boundaries they don’t bother keeping to.

The Freest of Radicals offers 36 tracks across the two discs and has a little something for everyone. It starts with the beatless atmosphere of Le Chien Borgne, wanders into a chamber where Tomas Jirku demonstrates his minimal techno rhythms for you. Speech.fake explores the realm of micro-tonal glitch with their clinically titled An Objection That is Immaterial After the Fact. Julie Rousse offers a very 4’33” sort of vision with her Une à six idées improvisées. Viratone Ballad breaks in on Eucci with their track, ouet3c-warm, making me think for a minute and 48 seconds that something in either my spleen or my speakers has ruptured. Napalm Jazz and Backstreet Noise deliver two tracks that perfectly fit their names. Oeuf Korreckt finds a way to generate a near pop song from a piece of outdated machinery, further demonstrating that sound and music can be found anywhere. Dick Richards does Berlin style minimal dub though he thoroughly coats his tweaks and notes with yet another layer of water dub before stuttering everything back at you. Chris Degiere demonstrates how random and chaotic generative systems have more appeal than anything found on a recent Autechre album. Speaking of IDM, Headphone Science’s Without Paper Basics is as good as anything off Warp or Rephlex in the last year. Alphacat offers Waveporn which is a soundtrack to a six minute film of modest neu-electro machine dance porn.

It’s adventurous and experimental, and if you have the least curiosity as to what is being done in the realm of digital music, you should snap up this collection. Some of it makes me move, some of it make me flinch, some of it I can’t really hear over the sound of my computer or the traffic on the road outside, some of it makes me wonder if my stereo is about to explode and some of it makes me wonder what color the inside of a melody would have, but all of it makes me wonder how and why music can be heard. And, I think, that is all David Turgeon intended when he founded No Type back in 1998: to challenge our understanding of what is music and what is sound. He and the artists represented by The Freest of Radicals are not working to make pop songs, they are endeavoring to make you stop and consider what you hear.

And, for the love of static in your speakers, get yourself to their website. There are only 155 minutes of sound on these two discs. Hundreds more minutes await you at notype.com.

… a two-CD set that encapsulates where No Type has been. Or… what sort of boundaries they don’t bother keeping to.


Tobias C van Veen, Capital Magazine, May 17, 2002

One of the oldest MP3 labels on the Net takes a jump into CD production this month with the release of four new albums, including this double-CD compilation of No Type artists. David Turgeon’s No Type has remained an outsider label, showcasing in-between experimental styles bordering electronic music, noise, minimalism, and musique concrète. At its best, it is challenging, evocative, and stimulating; at is worst — which is rare — it is noisy and too easily pigeon-holed as noise or hardcore. However, this compilation, if a pigeon, ate its own shadow, leaving no hole for it to climb through.

Such a diverse amount of styles are represented — from Tomas Jirku’s subtle minimal groove I Think I’m In Love to the bass-tone work of Le Chien Borgne and the tonal-cuts of Julie Rousse’s Une à six idées improvisées — that I can only summarise them briefly in parantheses and short comments here. As a purchase — for don’t we all want practical reviews now? — the double-pack is well worth the effort, for its vast depth is breathtaking in its collection of artists and styles whose talents are undeniable. There are few compilations out there that touch upon so many issues in contemporary, we could say non-academic, experimental music. Like BiP-HoP, No Type is dedicated to the odd, the obtuse, and the wicked in the genres of microsound, noise, IDM — it’s really a milieu of all these catchwords, leaving the listener strangely comfortable in a sea of sound despite that fact the she is lost beyond compare, a veritable Alice in the hands of someone who has lost all language, all speech to tell musical directions: above all, Alice is in the land of No Type…

No Type is dedicated to the odd, the obtuse, and the wicked in the genres of microsound, noise, IDM… leaving the listener strangely comfortable in a sea of sound…


Stefan Koopmanschap, Electronic Music World, May 10, 2002

I have bought and gotten quite a few ambient/idm compilations lately. And of all these compilations, amongst which was the excellent ambient.02@hyperreal, I must say that this disc, The Freest of Radicals, stands out a lot. First of all, for its wonderful packaging (folded thick paper holding the cd’s within folded, thick paper sleeve within yet another think paper sleeve; only the inner paper is not printed, but the rest contains beautiful artwork). And second, because of it’s awesome journey into that which is, as I like to think, the “real” ambient alongside a few well-done rhythmic tracks.

Now No Type has been a well-known netlabel for it’s MP3 releases (they’re nearing the 70th release now!) and now that they ventured into the world of real cd releases there is no turning back. This compilation, consisting of 36 tracks spread out over two cd’s, is very varied in bringing lots of different stuff together on one compilation. It also holds a certain consistency in feeling, and in quality.

I must say I honestly don’t really know what my own definition of “true” ambient is, but this compilation comes close. It can be very varying though, because when you listen to, for instance, Tomas Jirku and his I Think I’m In Love, you will hear a bit housey beats. It is presented in such a way that it isn’t really house though. And to be honest, this is one of my favorite tracks on the first disc.

It is followed by very minimal glitch-crackle-pop-high-frequency experimental music that reminds of, for instance, dead+hurt.

Other highlights of this disc of the compilation include the glitchy and slightly noisey sounds of Eucci, the minimal rhythms of Claudia Bonarelli, the microsounddesign-ish sounds that accompany the minimal rhythms of Jon Vaughn and the do make say think-ish guitar use of Kanovanik.

The second disc (aka switch disc) starts out way more rhythmic. Well, that is after the Soundtest by Kalx. Oeuf Korreckt and Sluts on Tape both bring rhythmic tracks, and in such a way that it is quite accessible, followed by the sometimes rhythmic but very weird and experimental Knife Takes Blood by Octopus Inc. Alphacat goes way out into the more house/rave type music, yet in a very special way. My personal favorite of the whole compilation though is track by Books on Tape, called Baile Del Muerte. This track is simply amazing. Weird, yet accessible. fast, yet laidback. Very good. Other highlights for this disc are the weird glitchness of Dick Richards, the lushness of Headphone Science, the droning tension of themoonstealingproject and the harsh rhythmic microsounds of n.kra.

All in all, this compilation is something you must get if you like ambient, idm, experimental rhythms or anything in between!

… this compilation is something you must get if you like ambient, IDM, experimental rhythms or anything in between!


Étienne Côté-Paluck, Voir, April 25, 2002

Après quatre ans de production en MP3, l’étiquette de disques québécoise No Type (http://www.notype.com/) fait son entrée dans le format plus traditionnel du disque compact. Sa première carte de visite, The Freest of Radicals, laisse donc entendre sur deux disques la panoplie d’artistes électroniques expérimentaux du label. Cet éclectisme ne possède aucune ligne directrice et reflète ainsi parfaitement l’esprit de No Type, qui tente d’exploiter le côté démocratique du Web. Les pièces répétitives d’inspiration techno (Tomas Jirku) ou plus proches de la musique concrète (morceaux_de_machines) amènent plus souvent qu’autrement l’utilisation de la plus rationnelle des machines (l’ordinateur) vers la sensibilité du chaos. Des pièces créées sans facilité qui tentent de pousser les limites de la musique.

Des pièces créées sans facilité qui tentent de pousser les limites de la musique.


Chris Twomey, Tandem News, April 19, 2002

From the strange new plugged-in world where musicians don’t have to pay their dues in the club scene or deal with deceptive business types comes the debut CD compilation by the Canadian on-line “label” No Type. Since 1998 No Type has offered free MP3 downloads of work by new producers of electronic, post-rock and experimental sounds. Currently hosting 60 plus on-line “albums” and “EPs” with more scheduled to be posted, No Type is now venturing into the perilous world of distribution and the physical commerce of music products with this survey of 40 of their artists and a companion release by Montréal sound artist Magali Babin (who improvises with metallic objects on Chemin de fer, recorded by Radio-Canada). Rising stars amongst the No Type alumni are Torontonians Tomas Jirku and Dick Richards, who have had their minimal techno tracks signed to significant European labels, and here are among the more accessible contributors to this generous collection containing many difficult listening moments. Also among the artists featured are several from Montréal’s happening improvising and electronic scenes, and small label owners from the States including Books On Tape aka Todd Drootin, who makes production music for MTV spots.


Andreas Stuhlmann, Real Tokyo, April 15, 2002

Based in Montréal, the No Type label has existed since 1998, and it’s home to around 70 artists. This is quite amazing when considering the fact that, until now the label has released tracks exclusively in MP3 format. In 2002 No Type takes on the CD market, and just released was a nicely packaged, very reasonably priced 2-CD compilation. The set illustrates the label’s flexible stance towards everything avant-garde, with a bandwidth ranging from the minimal techno sounds of Tomas Jirku or Claudia Bonarelli, via a handful of rather noisy, experimental stuff, to avant-rock band Kanovanik. With Oeuf Korreckt or Alphacat, especially CD 2 offers something even for (open-minded) pop music listeners, and this colourful mix makes The Freest of Radicals a release that is exciting from the first to the last moment.

… a release that is exciting from the first to the last moment.


Gary Flanagan, Nightwaves, no. 11, April 1, 2002

Here we have a collection of experimental tunes from a variety of underground artists. Very suggestive and very minimal “art for the ear.” It is a two disc set of some of the most daring drones and audio atmospheres that you are likely to hear. Some of the “songs” go nowhere, but I think that may be in keeping with this “anti music” ethic. The track by Tomas Jirku almost borders on dance, but not quite. Meanwhile the track by Speech.Fake is much of nothing. There is a quirky track by Camp that utilizes fruityloops. Spook by 833-45 is a neatly dark track, and I liked the tracks by Oeuf Korreckt and Books on Tape. Waveporn by Alphacat is also pretty cool. Disc two of this set is more pedestrian, digestible and dancey than disc one.

Overall this is a weird and highly intellectual project (judging by the liner notes) and it is definitely not for everyone. Ultimately, the electronic overtones rule over the acoustic. This is daydream music for the day after a rave.

… some of the most daring drones and audio atmospheres that you are likely to hear.


Say Vegin, Freestyle Grooves, April 1, 2002

No Type is a so called “online label,” they mainly focus on releasing music through their website in the form of free downloadable mp3 files. They help unknown artists to achieve some exposure among adventurous listeners across the globe. By avoiding manufacturing and distribution costs, which make up a substantial part of the total cost of CD’s and Vinyl, a lot of productions that would otherwise never be released get a chance without jeopoardizing the label to go bankrupt. This is particularly positive for music that’s too difficult or too strange to be played on radio or isn’t available at record stores.

After almost 4 years, No Type decided the time was right to finally put out some of their tracks in a tangible form. The outcome called The Freest of Radicals, is a double CD that offers a showcase of what they have achieved up till now, featuring 35 tracks and just as many artists. As the name No Type implies, the genre is of no importance, but I would say they are aiming at the broad spectrum of experimental electronic music.

All tracks reside in their own musical universe, exploring the boundaries and possibilities of it. This leads to odd improvisations, toying around with the weirdest sounds and an extensive variety of abstract compositions. Sometimes it’s spacey drones, acoustic post-rock or dubby microgrooves. Sometimes it’s organic ambient, full of clicks ’n cuts or aesthetic electronica. Sometimes it’s harsh and irritating noises with heavy beats, building up layers of distortion.

But above all, it’s a nice collection of unusual music of all sorts and forms, going from lovely tracks to almost unlistenable experiments. Anyone with an open-minded view on music will definitely discover something they like on this compilation.

Anyone with an open-minded view on music will definitely discover something they like on this compilation…


AD, Record Camp, April 1, 2002

The people at No Type are more than just The Freest of Radicals, they’re extremists as well. Their latest 36 song double cd compilation defies classification. Each time you think you’ve got them nailed they throw you a curve.

The tracks range from transparent micro-sound to V/vm style sonic molestation to toe-tapping minimal house to quirky video-game-tronica and straight ahead IDM. You never know what to expect as each shift can be extremely different or extremely similar. While there are differences from track to track there are also differences between the two CD’s which at first prompt you to re-examine the first one you listened to to see if there was an apparent sequence you missed but there isn’t one. There is an obvious intent in this bumpy ride which really makes it engaging. You’re not looking at a label that has a quota to fill or a manifesto which each artist most follow, the name No Type itself seems to be the manifesto and instruction booklet. Originally and concurrently an MP3 label, No Type provides an outlet for exploration, sometimes the tracks sound like quick sketches and other times they sound carefully orchestrated but always liberal and full of spirit for exploration and invention. The common thread that runs through all tracks is in the rawness of the sounds and the DIY bedroom producer ethic that comes across in the “piss off if you don’t like it” appraoch to structure. No Type definitely gets props for going off and loving it.

You’re not looking at a label that has a quota to fill or a manifesto which each artist most follow, the name No Type itself seems to be the manifesto and instruction booklet.


Rob Geary, Grooves, April 1, 2002

Thirty-five tracks over two discs, housed in some oddly complex packaging: online label No Type has finally come ‘round to the CD format, and it’s a doozy. The Freest of Radicals spans a dizzying scope of music, and the CDs are not organized by any principle, instead coming off like an artist album made by 30 or so parties. While a lot of these tracks are noisy and abrasive, that’s not to say there aren’t funkier moments here, like Oeuf Korrect’s Hooked on Phone Ethics. There are also some tracks of stunning beauty, such as the smartly arranged pairing of Diablatomica’s warmly ambient Hallways and Doors and Kalx’s Couf, two tracks written a year apart that sound like remixes separated at birth. With the incredible variety here, The Freest of Radicals accurately captures the joyous anarchy of the No Type label.

With the incredible variety here, The Freest of Radicals accurately captures the joyous anarchy of the No Type label.


Richard di Santo, Incursion Music Review, March 19, 2002

Perhaps it was inevitable that David Turgeon’s mp3 label No Type would make the transition to releasing CDs. After more than 3 years of mp3 publishing (the site was launched late 1998), they present their first compilation 2CD set. The Freest of Radicals presents 36 tracks featuring just as many artists. It features contributions by Le Chien Borgne, themoonstealingproject, Napalm Jazz, V.V., Sluts On Tape, Kalx, n.kra and a host of others, all of whom have been participants on No Type’s online programme at some point or another. With so many contributions, I couldn’t possibly do justice to each one, and the styles certainly vary. From the microsound of Tomas Jirku and Claudia Bonarelli to the abstract digital sculpting of speech.fake, or the post rock sensibilities of Kanovanik and Idmonster, the hyperbeats of Books On Tape, the chaotic distortions of martindx, the IDM-inspired rhythms of Headphone Science… there’s certainly no end to the breadth of styles contained in this release. The challenging and more abstract moments are matched by tracks with more prominent and sometimes even conventional rhythms, beats and even a few melodies thrown if for good measure. Surely, there’s a lot to digest here, almost too much for one release. Almost. Taken as a whole, the compilation sits a little heavily and uneasily with me; with so much to take in, and being thrown in so many different stylistic directions, it lacks some of the focus I would have liked to have seen in such a lengthy compilation. And yet I also have to admit that a number of strong contributions seems to make up for it. Perhaps The Freest of Radicals is better regarded as a “who’s who” of new, not-so-new and/or emerging talents from the No Type roster; a quick thumbnail guide to discovering some new and adventurous music.

… a quick thumbnail guide to discovering some new and adventurous music.


Jeremy Keens, Ampersand Etcetera, no. 2002_3, February 28, 2002

DIFFUSION i MéDIA, the Canadian electroacoustic hub (there are a few reviews lurking in back issues around here), had an earlier intersection with a different cultural axis with the final Asphodel sombient set A Storm of Drones which included a disk of empreintes DIGITALes excerpts. Now they have entered into an agreement with No Type to release disks – this compilation begins an arrangement that will see CDs and 12” singles from No Type. And No Type should need no introduction – it is (to my mind) the best web music label and a credit to the vision of David Turgeon. He has released, on a regular basis, MP3 singles (which are really multitrack eps and minialbums, 65+ to date, following earlier excursions into longer albums) that offer an eclectic range of surprising and satisfying musics. The diversity is astonishing from glitch through ambient into beaty techno and various other forms of techno – you may not like it all, but it is a wonderful musical resource and education. And I am expecting the same from this 36 track double album (which when I read that it was coming guessed it would be a ‘best of’ [not in itself a bad thing], but it is all new). The structure of the set reflects the two broad contexts of No Type: of the two disks, Bait contains the glitchy ambient, while Switch has more rhythmic melodic techno. But neither exclusively. Now, a 36 track compilation is a terror to review – too much to try and describe each track, and unfair to pick favourites, I’ll go for the impressionistic response as we move through them.

Running through Bait: droning fuzzy electro with deep slow, moody; more droning, faster and active, building, buzzy, deep noises, talking; light bubbly driving electro, good mood change; minimal tones, crackles that build and fade, sudden eruptions; complex but musical collage – layering crackling with chimes, clockwork sounds, metal tones build, fade; minimal modulated loop – old synth?, jumpy echoed; music trying to get through a crackling bed, very separated cacklefuts swaps with big tones; spacious collage of chimes (some looped to make a rhythm), thumb piano, gong, clattering metal (Harpo Marx!) and scooped pebbles, opens the cd out again; tones and unstable drum machines, builds, a break of crackles and peeps, returns; loungey pulses of electricity rhythms with faint keyboard wisps, gentle; electroacoustic machines click buzz dits, bursty; demented jazz, live drums whistles and swirls, jumpy; a slow trip through blips, scratches and thuds; building slow ambient pulsing like a breathing beast, simple piano later; noisy crackling, harsh, balanced by a smooth beat; the numbers recordings trying to emerge (eventually succeeding) from under static and through a groovy, edged techno; off-key guitar with drums, slow and surprising, piano and strings; guitar processed and looped a la Zammuto; chattering noises alternate with massed whooshes with inner subtleties.

Now into Switch disc (or is it the other way around?): rising tones weave into madness providing a disorienting opening; complex groovy techno; shifting between slow sampley, computer game rhythms, slow rolling tones – nice variation; electroacoustic playing with kitchen and other loops; processed voices, moving between lighter and darker moods, varies a lot; looped dirty D’n’B, horns later; rhythm and movement through crackles distortion noise, hidden voices; another electroacoustic playful piece – walking, accordion, pulses, bells, piano; nice breezy rapid clicks twops perky melody; choppy D’n’B; segues into clicky surface with lovely stuff going on behind; into smooth loungey, slow scrapey squiggles; mysterious and complex forward and backward tones, crackles, grows; rapid clicky cd jumps, slow piano over; tonal and complex rhythms combined; dirty noises and driving techno; edgy crackling with a distant melody to take us out.

A well constructed and nicely balanced set – there are many ‘names’ from the No Type roster, but also other voices adding breadth and interest for those familiar with the label. Generosity in positions means most tracks are short – few get beyond 6 minutes – but with enough time to display their sounds. Generous for the buyer too, as it is single-CD priced: go out and buy it.

… No Type should need no introduction — it is (to my mind) the best web music label…


Roel Meelkop, Vital, February 15, 2002

No Type are obviously best known for their MP3 label, but after more than three years of online publishing they have decided to release the first hard copy. And more are to follow. This sampler features no less than 36 tracks, thus giving a broad overview of the material released on the website. With some exceptions, most of the tracks can be seen as clicks ’n cuts ine the widest sense: from more mainstream techno to austere glitches. The odd ones out can be placed in noise, post-rock and even pop. As with many compilations (especially double ones), there are good tracks, bad tracks and those somewhere inbetween. In general the quality is pretty good and the compilation is put together well. There is enough differentiation between tracks, which keeps attention at a good level and more importantly, some very strange and intriguing tracks are included. For all of us with a prehisorical internet connection, this is an excellent chance to get to know No Type and the artists they represent.

… some very strange and intriguing tracks are included.


Nicolas Houle, Voir, February 14, 2002

Actif depuis trois ans dans le milieu de la musique électronique expérimentale, le label virtuel No Type a publié plus de 70 albums en format MP3. Pour sa quatrième année d’existence, l’étiquette se lance dans les parutions CD avec The Freest of Radicals, une compilation double comptant près de 40 titres. Du noise au jazz, de l’ambient à la house, l’album offre une série d’univers musicaux singuliers, peuplés de boucles analogiques et de programmations atypiques parfois exigeantes, mais toujours dignes d’intérêt. Véritable historique sonore de l’étiquette, The Freest of Radicals témoigne bien de la qualité et de l’inventivité des artistes de No Type, qu’ils soient québécois (Magali Babin, Napalm Jazz) ou étrangers (Tomas Jirku, Chris Degiere).

The Freest of Radicals témoigne bien de la qualité et de l’inventivité des artistes de No Type.

No Type: nous sommes une créature du présent

Simon-Pierre Beaudet, Voce del Popolo, no. 01:02, December 15, 2001

Loisirs cacophoniques. Sons apaisants pour bébés mutants. Musique de chambre à gravité zéro. Le non-sens comme divertissement domestique. L’inertie comme motif compositionnel. Électro-sculptures stoïques. Le genre de dub contre lequel vos parents vous ont prévenus.

Voilà les noms de quelques fichiers que vous pouvez télécharger sur No Type, un site web qui publie gratuitement de la musique électronique. Mais qui sont-ils? Et que veulent-ils nous dire?

Si on tente de concevoir ce qu’est actuellement la musique en format MP3, on songe immédiatement à Napster et ses suivants, à MP3.com, à ces artistes qui offrent «généreusement» - presque avec défi - des pièces à télécharger avec l’espoir, bien sûr, que le brave consommateur courra chez son disquaire se procurer le dernier opus. Pourtant, on est encore loin de l’utopie d’une musique enfin libérée des contingences de l’industrie, que tout le monde annonce sans qu’on puisse voir là un mouvement de masse. Ils sont peu à avoir entrevu dans les technologies modernes la possibilité de publier à peu de frais, et sans intermédiaires, leurs créations. Ils sont encore moins nombreux à l’avoir fait. No Type est de ceux-là.

Basé à Montréal, le site publie essentiellement de la musique électronique et contemporaine depuis trois ans, ce qui en fait certainement un des pionniers dans le domaine. Sporadiquement, de nouveaux projets et de nouveaux artistes sont présentés, et quelques-uns font même des incursions dans ce monde abusivement appelé «réel» en publiant des disques (consultez la section «no shop» du site) ou en se commettant en spectacle. À l’excellence de la musique répond l’excellence de la conception graphique, laquelle est vraiment exceptionnelle. Le tout en fait un espace vraiment unique sur le web.

No Type fait la part belle aux artistes québécois. Mentionnons David Turgeon (Camp), Philémon Girouard et Alex Warren (Potlatch W), Aimé Dontigny et Érick d’Orion (morceaux_de_machines, Napalm Jazz), Frédérick Blouin (Oeuf Korrect, Surfing Secrets), James Schidlowsky & Magali Babin. À cela ajoutons des gens venus d’autres horizons, ayant signé précédemment sur d’autres étiquettes, comme Le chien borgne (Guillaume Théroux-Rancourt, de l’étiquette de Québec Alterflow), Sam Shalabi (Alien8) et Martin Tétreault (Ambiances Magnétiques). Et bien sûr des Américaines (Alphacat, Lyric Morgan O’Connor), et plus récemment une Suédoise (Claudia Bonarelli) et un Espagnol (Kanito).

Nous avons eu en entrevue (électronique, il va sans dire) David Turgeon, musicien, fondateur, graphiste et directeur spirituel de No Type, ainsi qu’Aimé Dontigny, également musicien, directeur de la série «Sine Fiction», projet musical en cours sur No Type.

Simon-Pierre Beaudet: Quand a commencé No Type, et pourquoi?

David Turgeon: La version officielle - DONC LA SEULE VRAIE!!! - est que No Type est apparu sur Internet en octobre 1998. Nous étions pauvres, jeunes et idéalistes, alors nous avons décidé de publier notre musique sur le web en MP3 plutôt que de perdre de l’argent à produire des disques, en se disant que ça pourrait payer plus tard. Aujourd’hui, nous sommes toujours aussi pauvres, moins jeunes et peut-être encore plus radicaux dans notre approche. Tous les autres fournisseurs de MP3 cherchent à faire de l’argent, alors que nous n’avons plus cette illusion. Le MP3, tout comme le OGG, un format alternatif en code ouvert, est un format jetable et temporaire, comme la radio. Par contre, les retombées indirectes existent: crédibilité accrue, même des contrats de disques dans certains cas (Tomas Jirku, Dick Richards).

Aimé Dontigny: Les bénéfices pour les musiciens sont même énormes: outre la liberté de créer, il y a la chance d’enfin rejoindre un public attentif et de partager avec d’autres artistes ayant des visées communes. Il y a beaucoup d’échanges dans No Type; remix, collaborations, spectacles, contacts, etc. Nous ne sommes pas limités par notre groupe. Il ne tient qu’à nous, aussi, de faire fructifier No Type (par exemple, plusieurs américains organisent des shows sous la bannière No Type; les artistes de No Type peuvent aussi accepter de nouveaux musiciens eux-mêmes). La formule permet également d’atteindre un certain degré d’achèvement pour les projets. Les albums sur No Type sont de vrais albums mais sans la contrainte physique de la production: ils sont toutefois publics! Pour des subventions, des séminaires ou des festivals, c’est très important de pouvoir démontrer une pré-existence. Très peu sont ouverts aux musiciens «vierges» (non-reconnus par leurs pairs, pour utiliser la langue subventionnaire). No Type offre et donne cette reconnaissance.

Simon-Pierre Beaudet: Combien d’artistes se trouvent sur No Type, et combien de projets avez-vous publiés?

David Turgeon: Nous représentons plus d’une quarantaine d’artistes, parfois sous des noms divers, et avons publié plus de soixante-dix albums, dont la grande majorité sont toujours disponibles, certains ayant été effacés pour diverses raisons. C’est en fait assez peu, compte tenu de la liberté de moyens dont nous disposons. Contrairement à d’autres sites, nous choisissons les artistes avec lesquels nous travaillons, ce qui assure une certaine qualité dans les œuvres et l’interprétation, mais limite en même temps la quantité de matériel que nous pouvons publier.

Simon-Pierre Beaudet: Votre approche radicale semble vous exclure de certains réseaux. Pouvez expliquer votre refus de collaborer avec ceux-ci?

Aimé Dontigny: Il faut d’abord mentionner qu’il s’agit d’un vrai label, pas d’un fourre-tout du genre MP3.com. David est le directeur artistique et le catalogue représente une certaine vision des nouvelles musiques électroniques. De plus, il s’agit d’une utilisation non-commerciale du web. Ce n’est pas un start-up. Ça ne recueille pas d’informations sur les visiteurs. Il n’y a pas de pubs. Et ce n’est pas temporairement ainsi pour attirer d’éventuels investisseurs qui vont changer la donne après. C’est tout.

David Turgeon: Et, de fait, la réalité est que personne ne veut collaborer avec nous, parce que nous n’offrons aucun revenu et aucune publicité. Par exemple, un site au nom de «epitonic» m’a contacté il y a un an; ils espéraient faire une sorte de collaboration. Je leur ai expliqué que nous étions des mélomanes aguerris, plus intéressés à travailler sur notre musique qu’à faire un succès sur la scène des «point-com», mais qu’il serait quand même intéressant de développer un partenariat, et ils ne m’ont jamais rappelé. Depuis, ils servent de point de promotion pour diverses étiquettes indépendantes. Ils seront probablement rachetés d’ici quelques mois, si ce n’est déjà fait. Même chose quand le président de MP3.com m’a appelé, lors de l’ouverture du site. Sous le couvert d’une interview, il voulait surtout savoir si nous pensions tout transférer notre musique sur son site plutôt que de la publier nous-mêmes (ce qui est bien sûr suicidaire). Évidemment, il n’a jamais parlé de nous, et puis maintenant il change les couches de Jean-Marie Messier. Je pourrais aussi parler de la fois où l’ADISQ m’a invité à être panéliste lors de la rencontre annuelle de l’industrie, mais bon, tu vois où je veux en venir.

Aimé Dontigny: L’industrie est tellement stratifiée (les musiciens veulent plaire aux producteurs, qui veulent plaire aux radios, qui veulent plaire aux publicitaires, qui paient les radios, qui donnent de l’argent aux organismes de gestion de droits d’auteurs, qui paient les musiciens qui veulent d’autres chèques, alors tentent de plaire aux producteurs, etc.) qu’il n’y a aucune alternative pour les musiques différentes. No Type est une alternative ANARCHISTE. Nous sommes un groupe LIBRE: aucun contrat, aucun frais, aucune promotion. Nous sommes sur No Type parce que nous croyons à la liberté de créer. Notre musique est gratuite, disponible en tout temps et sans aucun compromis artistique.

Simon-Pierre Beaudet: Quelles conceptions avez-vous de la musique électronique, et comment vous situez-vous par rapport à l’héritage musical du XXe siècle?

David Turgeon: Nous sommes une créature du présent. Si on parle de musique, les courants que nous choisissons sont très contemporains: musique électronique à saveur «techno», recherche sonore post-moderne, etc. Évidemment, on peut faire des liens. Entre autres avec John Cage qui croyait que tous les sons pouvaient être de la musique. Bien sûr, il ne faut pas prendre ceci au pied de la lettre; nous y répondons en offrant de la musique que les éditeurs de disques refusent. Cela amène nécessairement une dimension politique, mais nous contribuons aussi à la diversité musicale.

Il y a plusieurs écoles de pensée en musique électronique. L’une d’elles est la position «classique», qui trouve un écho dans la musique électroacoustique contemporaine. Historiquement, la musique électroacoustique est une sorte de réconciliation entre les possibilités sonores de la musique électronique pré-1970 (Stockhausen, par exemple, mais aussi Kraftwerk) et les nouvelles formes de composition apportées par la musique concrète de Pierre Schaeffer et consorts en 1950. Plus récemment, il y a l’école «techno» (au sens large), qui se réclame davantage de l’héritage de Kraftwerk, et qui fut modelée en grande partie par la technique: le «beatbox», par exemple, a influencé le rythme régulier et la répétition. Aussi, il s’agit souvent d’une musique qui se veut «utilitaire» au sens où la musique sert à faire danser les gens (elle a une «utilité»).

De ces deux écoles de pensée ont surgi divers courants qu’on pourrait appeler hybrides. C’est surtout là que nous nous situons, bien que ces micro-écoles hybrides ne s’entendent pas nécessairement entre elles. Nous essayons de concilier ces positions qui n’ont, à mon avis, aucune raison d’être contradictoires. Il existe par exemple beaucoup de musiques électroniques d’inspiration «techno» qui expérimentent avec le son et la structure; ceci a donné le IDM (Autechre, Aphex Twin). D’autre part, il y a des courants d’origine plus académique, de la musique dite «de recherche», qui s’inspire de courants plus populaires et utilitaires; ce qui donne le «microsound» (Pita, Kim Cascone). Nous puisons notre musique un peu partout; alors ce foisonnement d’idées et de mélanges nous est bénéfique.

Aimé Dontigny: Toutes les facettes de la musique nouvelle - ou actuelle, terme que j’aime bien car il regroupe l’innovation de l’instrumental à l’électronique - sont représentées et il faut vraiment préciser que toutes ces musiques sont atypiques. Même dans les genres en vigueur dans l’électronique populaire, les artistes de No Type profitent de la liberté complète pour s’affranchir de ces étiquettes. On y trouve peut-être du techno, mais jamais le techno qu’on entend dans les raves (transe, goa, etc.) Il y a peut-être de l’électroacoustique plus formelle, mais jamais de l’académisme réducteur.

David Turgeon: Étrangement, malgré le fait que nous soyons constamment «mis à part» dans l’univers de la musique contemporaine «populaire» - plus spécifiquement la musique électronique -, les électroacousticiens ont été les premiers à nous reconnaître comme des pairs. C’est bien sûr ironique puisque notre musique n’entre que très rarement dans le créneau électroacoustique classique. Pour les autres, il semble que nous soyons trop éclectiques, pas assez centrés sur un genre en particulier, donc peut-être trop difficiles à comprendre. Mais à quoi s’attendre d’autre d’un site qui s’appelle «no type»?

Site internet: www.notype.com

Nous sommes sur No Type parce que nous croyons à la liberté de créer.

Une étiquette virtuelle et vivante

David Cantin, Le Devoir, December 8, 2001

Quatre ans après son éclosion, voilà que le site montréalais de mp3 No Type s’associe à l’étiquette de musique électroacoustique empreintes DIGITALes afin de mieux diffuser le travail «de nouveaux créateurs ignorés des circuits habituels».

Toujours en marge de l’industrie, la première réalisation est une double compilation qui regroupe 35 œuvres originales par autant d’artistes de No Type. De plus, du 13 au 15 décembre, c’est ce premier site de mp3 gratuit au Canada qui prendra également en charge le volet post rien (ainsi nommé parce qu’il succède [aux événements de la série de concerts électroacoustiques] Rien à voir (10)) à la Casa del Popolo. À Québec, le jeudi 13 décembre, la soirée Machines: abstractions sonores électroniques s’installera pour une incursion initiale dans le studio d’essai de Méduse, en collaboration avec Avatar et Alterflow.

Pour Érick d’Orion, membre des formations de Québec morceaux_de_machines et Napalm Jazz, The Freest of Radicals est en quelque sorte un best-of des 70 albums pour la plupart encore disponibles gratuitement sur No Type. En tout, on compte pas moins d’une quarantaine d’artistes provenant du Québec, du Canada, des États-Unis, de l’Espagne, de la Suède et de l’Angleterre. «Au début, David Turgeon, le fondateur de No Type, souhaitait rendre accessible au plus grand nombre une musique dite trop bizarre, trop bruyante ou encore pas assez vendable. Trois règles deviennent alors essentielles: la liberté créatrice, le musicien demeure en contrôle de tout et il n’y a pas d’argent qui entre, juste de l’argent qui sort.» Jusqu’en janvier 1999, les premiers à se joindre au collectif seront surtout des gens de Québec, puis la rumeur commencera à courir un peu partout. Désormais chez Alien8, le Torontois de réputation internationale Tomas Jirku s’est d’abord fait connaître grâce à No Type.

Une occasion rare

En ce qui concerne d’Orion, toujours à Québec, ses projets se rapprochent davantage de l’esprit du free-jazz, mais en utilisant les machines plutôt que les instruments traditionnels. Une facette parmi tant d’autres sur ce label. Il parle plus précisément de «free-bruit» dans le cas de Napalm Jazz alors que morceaux_de_machines expérimente plutôt du côté de la «noise-pop». «On ne cherche à effrayer personne puisqu’il existe un véritable public pour ce genre d’approche radicale. Il faut aussi savoir que seulement 30% de la production de No Type touche essentiellement à la «noise». La compilation double a l’avantage de présenter aussi les autres volets d’une musique dite de recherche.» Bien qu’Érick d’Orion se soit produit à maintes reprises à Montréal, il veut désormais installer un créneau pour ces diverses tendances de la musique électronique dans la Vieille Capitale. Après la soirée du 13 décembre au studio d’essai de Méduse, il prévoit une suite à cet événement lors du prochain Mois Multi. Le musicien insiste par contre sur quelques détails: «Il ne faut pas que les spectateurs s’attendent à entendre de la techno comme dans les raves ou un académisme purement réducteur. Cela n’a rien à voir avec ce que No Type préconise comme idée des musiques différentes. On veut proposer une véritable alternative.»

Lors de ce spectacle-lancement, des noms comme Monobor Télécom, de la France, Arborisation Terminale, du collectif Alterflow, E3F1, de Montréal, et morceaux_de_machines se produiront sur scène. Une occasion, plutôt rare à Québec, de s’initier à ces nouvelles musiques électroniques. À suivre dans un futur rapproché.

No Type s’associe à l’étiquette de musique électroacoustique empreintes DIGITALes afin de mieux diffuser le travail “de nouveaux créateurs ignorés des circuits habituels”.