The fourth album from innovative Montreal-based drummer Michel F. Coté's ensemble of improvisers Mecha Fixes Clocks is a suite of alternative songs, all referring to air travel (their previous releases were Orbiting With Screwdrivers, Alien8, 2005; À l'inattendu les dieux livrent passage, &records, 2010; and Teoria dell'elasticità di Girolamo Papariello, Ambiances Magnétiques, 2011).
As expected from such forward-thinking improvisers, these songs suggest a tense, dark atmosphere that is supposed to be the musical equivalent of an aerial experience. The concise, programmatic structure of the songs stresses the melancholic spirit (especially on the first songs), while attempting to expand the instrumentalists' sonic envelopes with extended techniques, feedback and usage of microphones. In these songs, the quiet solos of trumpeter Elwood Epps set the moody tone.
The tranquil, dark atmosphere is transformed mid-section with "Turbulence du dimanche" and becomes restless and disturbing with clever, experimental playing by guitarist Bernard Falaise, featuring extensive employment of feedback, still spiced with fleeting lyrical segments. The longest piece, the 6-minutes of "Atlas des brumes" sketches a playful cinematic narrative, highlighted by the infectious pulse of Côté and pianist Guillaume Dostaler. Epps and Dostaler's long, peaceful lines on "Tour des anges" are threatened by Côté's bursts of feedback. Epps' extended blowing techniques merge organically with delicate feedback sounds on the mysterious "Sur le siège d'à côté, 22F." And again, the lyrical viola de gamba of Pierre-Yves Martel and Epps' trumpet are obscured by disturbing feedback sounds on "Au terme de l'ascension" and "Petite perte d'altitude."
This enigmatic sonic journey is concluded in a peaceful, quiet mood with the beautiful "Ostinato aérien #1."
Insistance du vide; Se maintenir en l'air coûte que coûte; Passage des
oies; Turbulence du dimanche; Course réfléchie du vent; Atlas des
brumes; Ostinato aérien #2; Tour des anges; Égalité de la résistance
des ailes; Sur le siège d'à côté, 22F; Au terme de l'ascension; Petite
perte d'altitude; Ostinato aérien #1.
Philippe Lauzier: alto saxophone, bass clarinet; Elwood Epps: trumpet;
Jean René: alto; Pierre-Yves Martel: viola de gamba, feedback; Bernard
Falaise: guitar; Guillaume Dostaler: piano; Michel F. Côté: drums;
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