Review

Jos Smolders, Earlabs, April 9, 2009

Tremblay brings us three well crafted works on this cd, his first in ten years. It was well worth the waiting!

Jacques Tremblay is of the same generation as Ned Bouhalassa, whose [disc] we reviewed a few days earlier. Tremblay is a different character, though. Where Bouhalassa brings the street into the studio, Tremblay, to me at least, is more the composer who regards the studio as a laboratory where he brews and distils all kinds of sounds and then places them under a microscope and then continues with determination.

Tremblay is the kind of composer who picks up a theme and then turns it inside out, sound wise. The first work on this CD, for instance, concentrates on the word ‘café’ which in French means both ‘coffee’ and ‘pub’. This offers of course an interesting combination where on the one hand we hear ‘sound’ ground or granulated like coffee beans and then brought under heavy pressure to produce a strong ‘espresso’. On the other hand there are the sounds that we associate with a cozy pub/cafe.

The center piece of this release is Empathies entropiques. I must say, it is by far the best piece of this disc and luckily it continues to be so for more than 47 minutes. The work is divided up into eight parts. An interesting mix of field recording, editing thereof and electronics. Constantly moving and revolving. Beautiful.

Tremblay at several points uses the typical editing techniques that are common with acousmatic composers, especially the ED composers, but in general his style is personal and strong.

Rated: 8/10

Constantly moving and revolving. Beautiful.

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