Diane Labrosse


Andreas Stuhlmann, Real Tokyo, 1 juillet 2003

After months of silence, and just in time for their showcase at this year’s Mutek 03, Montréal-based label No Type has unveiled another bunch of fine releases. For one that represents the experimental electronic end of the label’s palette, A_dontigny (computer) and Diane Labrosse (sampler) have teamed up for a sonic dialogue in which telepathy might in fact have played a part. The four pieces on this album sound as spontaneous as they seem to be compositions that have been worked out over years. While A_dontigny usually creates walls of noise with his morceaux_de_machines project, Labrosse is known as a former member of art rock bands, and from collaborations with several Tzadik artists. Considering this, Télépathie sounds rather quiet, and with subtle rhythms and melodies mysteriously born out of the duo’s equipment, it’s an outstanding title in the label’s list of albums that convince with originality and high tension. (4.5/5)

… subtle rhythms and melodies mysteriously born out of the duo’s equipment… an outstanding title…


Julien Jaffré, Jade, no 12, 18 juin 2003

Certains lecteurs de cette chronique n’étaient encore qu’à l’état de leur conception lorsque Diane Labrosse exaltait déjà (début 1980) avec énergie sa musique au sein de groupes féminins talentueux (Wonder Brass, Justine). Quelques années plus tard, on la retrouve négociant son talent avec génie en compagnie des marchands du temple de chez Tzadik (Ikue Mori, Martin Tétreault, Zeena Parkins). Vingt-cinq ans de proses musicales / combat, vingt-cinq ans d’une intraitable fougue de création pour venir jusqu’à nous sous la forme de ce duo, orchestré en compagnie de A_dontigny (membre de Napalm Jazz et morceaux_de_machines) pour un traité autour des perturbations électroniques et des effluves atmosphériques. Un ordinateur, un échantillonneur et voilà nos deux Canadiens disposés à refaire le monde à la mesure de leurs attentes et de leur talent. Un mille-feuille atmosphérique composé de nappes pesantes d’ambiant dark et d’entrelacs d’effets anesthésiants et où se superposent dans un croustillement auditif jouissif une floraison de glitchs abstraits, de disjonctions de strates mélodiques, de flux en inhalation, d’aspérités et de fractures numériques entraînantes. Une télépathie qui développe à bien des égards l’idée d’empathie entre les musiciens et avec le public tant chacun semble anticiper les réactions de l’autre, pressentir les mouvements et inclinaisons qu’ils souhaitent donner à leurs climats spectraux. Quand la musique devient un langage universel qui se suffit à elle-même sans avoir recours aux mots. Profond et exigeant.

… une floraison de glitchs abstraits, de disjonctions de strates mélodiques, de flux en inhalation, d’aspérités et de fractures numériques entraînantes.

Navigating Noise & Nausea

Tobias C van Veen, Dusted Magazine, 1 juin 2003

[…] Speaking of the No Type-ers… After what has been some public critique of Mutek, even on this list, No Type presented a label showcase at the Studio yesterday that enraptured the crowd, sucking them into a vortex of noise and improv electronic performances. […] No Type held attention despite the soundsystem’s relatively quiet range, with Samiland travelling a wealth of minimalist and dub territories, from sparse and deep broken beats to ambience, leading into the madness that was to follow: two sets of collaborative & improvised performances featuring A_Dontigny, first with the precise workings of veteran improvisational artist Diane Labrosse — on what appeared to be a theraemin device, at times; this performance was intricate, yet harsh in its metallic clamouring of sound-events. Then came morceaux_de_machines who, after an enthusiastic shout-out from Aimé, did not disappoint with his collaboration: vitriolic improvised noise from strange devices, high-pitched and jagged waves, from this real beast of a man, getting down and into it — morceaux grabbed the crowd and spun them round degree by degree. To end was Vancouver’s Coin Gutter, the enigmatic duo of Graeme and Emma carving out one of their more delicate and restrained sets, and, although improvised, moving through a taste of their sound, from experimental electroacoustic to noise, field recordings, media samples, and dark soundscapes. […]

No Type presented a label showcase that enraptured the crowd, sucking them into a vortex of noise and improv electronic performances.


François Couture, Ici Montréal, 29 mai 2003

Une rencontre symbolique entre deux générations de créateurs, Télépathie fait le pont entre le cercle d’Ambiances Magnétiques et la culture mp3 de l’étiquette No Type. Diane Labrosse manie l’échantillonneur comme un poème: identifiables ou non, ses sons nous arrivent métamorphosés. Aimé Dontigny (du duo morceaux_de_machines) a une approche plus bruitiste, carrée. Son ordinateur crache plus qu’il ne susurre. Et ce disque voyage entre ces deux pôles. Atmosphérique, truffé de textures crépitantes au début, il se laisse pervertir par le bruit blanc et les hurlements numériques vers la fin. Dénué de rythmes et de mélodies, ce disque est néanmoins captivant, grâce à la télépathie des improvisateurs. 8/10

… captivant…


François Couture, AllMusic, 22 mai 2003

It has been said over and over again, but it is true that improvisors develop a certain telepathic sense and that the stronger their link the better the music. In this set recorded live at the Casa del Popolo in Montréal (Canada), a_dontigny (aka Aimé Dontigny), one half of noisicians morceaux_de_machines) and Diane Labrosse display an engaging level of unspoken communication. But beyond the thrilling battle between computer and sampler, beyond its doomsday ambient music and menacing digital experiments, Télépathie takes a symbolic value. This is, after all, a first significant bridge (at least on record) to be thrown between two generations of avant-garde artists from two different spheres. A member of the Ambiances Magnétiques collective since the mid-’80s, Labrosse comes from an avant-rock background (she played in the seminal Montréal groups Wondeur Brass and Justine). The young Dontigny has been involved from the start with No Type, one of the first and most important internet-only experimental music labels. The set begins with the rumble of thunderstorm and crackles of electricity. The proceedings remain atmospheric, dragging the listener in rather gently. By the third track photo satellite), things are getting more raucous as weird feedback and outbursts of white noise take more space. média tactique begins with a recording of poet Denis Vanier reading one of the iconic texts of Quebec’s countercultural movement (which includes the line “Kraft fuck the cheese”). The way the two musicians react to the words, developing its sub-text, evokes René Lussier’s Le Trésor de la langue, but only briefly as the piece evolves into a noisy mutated dub. Things almost get out of hand as decibels escalate, but the pair stop in time — or have been stopped, since the abrupt ending screams of editing. Short, to the point and quite convincing.

… doomsday ambient music and menacing digital experiments…

Portrait: Justine

François Couture, AllMusic, 15 juin 2002

Born out of the Montréal-based avant-rock group Wondeur Brass, Justine pushed further the ideals of challenging, thought-provoking feminist rock established in its previous incarnation for another ten years. The group released three albums during the 1990s and toured Canada, the United States,and visited Europe twice. Three of its musicians are members of the collective Ambiances Magnétiques, so the label released all their albums.

Wondeur Brass started as a sextet in the early ’80s. By 1987 the group had been scaled down to a quartet. Bassist Marie Trudeau had joined the three original members saxophonist Joane Hétu, keyboardist Diane Labrosse and drummer Danielle Palardy Roger. That line-up released Simoneda, reine des esclaves in 1987.

Upon starting work on a new opus in 1989, the girls decided it was time for a change. The new music taking shape was turning out to be more complex, intricate, and driven by a stronger will to improvise and make things interestingly dangerous. Thus Justine was born. The first album under the new name, (Suite), came out in 1990. It included guest appearances by Japanese singer Tenko and American harpist Zeena Parkins. In 1992, Hétu, Labrosse and Roger brought them back for a quintet project, La légende de la pluie. Although it doesn’t include Trudeau and sounds softer, more introspective, it can be considered as the second album by Justine. Around the same time the “real” quartet appeared on stage in an Ambiances Magnétiques showcase which yielded the live CD Une théorie des ensembles.

In early 1994 Justine toured Europe, visiting many former communist countries. Back in Montréal in June they recorded Langages Fantastiques “live in the studio” — the recording of (Suite) had stretched over ten months. After its release later that year things slowed down as group members focused on individual projects: Roger on the children tale L’oreille enflée, Labrosse on a solo album (La face cachée des choses) and a duo with Michel F Côté, Hétu on a new group called Castor et Compagnie. Justine stayed together for another three years and performed at the 1997 Ring Ring festival in Belgrade (Yugoslavia) alongside Ground-Zero, Palinckx, and Kampec Dolores (a previously unreleased song was included on the commemorative compilation Ring Ring 1997). After that tour the group disbanded. Hétu, Labrosse and Roger have continued to contribute to one another’s projects.

… Justine pushed further the ideals of challenging, thought-provoking feminist rock…