Home » Jazz Articles » Misc: Partager l'ambulance

9
Album Review

Misc: Partager l'ambulance

By

Sign in to view read count
Misc: Partager l'ambulance
Montreal piano-led trio Misc use their album title and artwork here to reflect on a post-Covid world. The title translates as "Sharing The Ambulance" and the cover is like an apocalyptic cartoon, showing a disused hospital truck furnished with hi-fi and easy chair floating in the sky. It could be a still from any Studio Ghibli film and thus appropriate to an album which soundtracks its own dreamlike drama.

At the 2018 Montreal Jazz Festival, the group interpreted some material by U.K. dubstep artist James Blake. This led to thoughts around using contact mics (to capture vibrations as opposed to sound waves) in a bid for audio intimacy. Whatever experiments Misc tried have paid off fully on Partager l'ambulance, an album of dusky apparitions and cathartic freak-outs. Some common ground might be shared with GoGo Penguin, Nils Frahm or Esbjorn Svensson, but Sam Rapley's group Fabled also comes to mind with its musical page-turners. Implied narratives are very much the focus of Misc's work too.

A certain Nordic frisson is also noted, akin to the progressive jazz of a Rune Grammofon release. Then factor in some trip-hop beats and electronic skirmishes. The offbeat scene is set with "Le preacher," where Jerome Beaulieu's luminous piano chords are met by strident vocal outbursts howling that "Everything is gone." Whoever this preacher is, he sounds like a rabid guru-cum-revivalist. "Petite apathie" adds raking synths for grandeur and suspense, before "Q-Line" stays brief and scalp-tingling. Indeed, much of this album is like the experience of a fitful night, clouded by strange visions or even stranger drugs.

Then comes a real humdinger in "X-Alt," where fondled drums and peppy bass hardly hint at the coming storm. Beaulieu's chords suddenly form nervy tick-tocks and nail-biting shapes, as if some awful news is imminent. This, in turn, leads to mock-horror piano hammerings, all gothic and volatile. "La fab" invites a wafting comedown, then "Une chiée" mixes dark urgency with a sense of gliding on clouds. Somehow this trio makes an impression of dread feel almost meditative. "Mad" is alternately spacey and excitable, while "Superman se pointera pas" has a loose-limbed groove which relaxes into post-club recovery mode.

Misc can take you somewhere deeply enchanted, then rip away the veneer within seconds. Never mind sharing the ambulance, this one is well worth chasing. Just make sure it has some detox pills or valium on board.

Track Listing

Le preacher; Petite apathie; Q-Line; X-Alt; La fab; Une chiee; Mad; Superman se pointera pas.

Personnel

Misc: band/orchestra; William Cote: drums; Simon Page: bass; Jerome Beaulieu: piano; Cedric Dind-Lavoie: guitar, electric; Philippe Beaudin: percussion.

Additional Instrumentation

Jeremi Roy; divan baglama

Album information

Title: Partager l'ambulance | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Bonsound


FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a champion of jazz since 1995, supporting it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to rigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Post a comment about this album

Tags

More

Xaybu: The Unseen
Steve Lehman & Sélébéyone
Secret People
Secret People
If I Knew Then
Naama Gheber

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.