Esprits Frappeurs, “Premiere Apparition” tape
Esprits Frappeurs’ Premiere Apparition channels the dark(est) side of haunted audio experimentation.
While Demdike Stare or Suum Cuique perpetuate a black fog of spidery, rhythmic beats, this Montreal duo hunts the vapors with pitch-shifters and echoes, leaving the drum machines behind. Alexandre St-Onge (one-half of EF) brings the disorienting and spacious guitar/pedal skills perfected on his solo material and work with just about every Montreal experimental band (see) to the project, accompanied by Phillippe Lambert (relative newcomer, unknown to this writer).
Sonically, this is electroacoustic sound creation similar to Et Sans’ earliest recordings. Motifs seem improvised and spontaneous, but the confidence is all here. Opener “Premiere Apparition” could easily be NNCK if they’d manned a pile of pedals rather than full-on instruments. The aimless piece sounds like 10 or 20 people locked in a basement at 3AM rather than a duo coaxing ever sound imaginable out of a litter of gear. “Deuxieme Apparition” opens with a startlingly clear vocal loop, smeared and blurred over a canvas of wobbly tones. Random synth noise flows in and out like a dead drunk jamming on some keys.
“Troisieme Apparition” takes it down a notch and exposes the other side of the project. Bleakly arranged with distant tones, the scene never quite comes out of the shadows. St-Onge is written all over this one. Paranoid images flash by, too quick for even a glimpse of positive reinforcement. The piece perfectly sets the stage for “Quatrieme Apparition,” the 18-minute jam of electroacoustic goodness. Esprits Frappeurs seem like vet’s in the game with the song, slowly and surely chipping away a work of art. A fantastic debut(?) on a brilliant tape label.
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