Over the past few years, Montreal kraut-funk quartet Avec le soleil sortant de sa bouche has established itself as something of a local supergroup – its members have been active in this city's experimental rock communities for well over a decade, including participation in Panopticon Eyelids, Pas Chic Chic, Red Mass, Set Fire to Flames, and, from the Constellation roster, Fly Pan Am – and gained a local reputation for irresistible and levitational live sets combining a contemporary/avant-garde sensibility with infectiously angular, rubbery grooves.
Avec le soleil formed in Montreal in 2011 as a trio of bassist, singer and composer Jean-Sebastien Truchy (of Fly Pan Am), guitarist/engineer Sebastien Fournier and drummer Nasir Hasan, with several lineup expansion and contractions over the following couple of years. Summer 2014 found the group solidified into a tight four-piece unit (Truchy, Fournier, Eric Gingras on guitar and, with the departure of Hasan, Samuel Bobony in the drummer's chair), careening towards mastery of a highly original, deeply satisfying, giddy and heady avant-funk.
The band's debut LP, 2014’s Zubberdust!, featured a pair of exquisite and exhilarating 20-minute pieces and manifests the culmination of the group's first two years of conceptual and somatic development. Pas pire pop, I Love You So Much, due out in January 2017, picks up where Zubberdust! left off: sinuous bass, chiming guitars and wordless vocals are interwoven with fizzing and squelching electronics to propel the band's signature, methodically exuberant grooves. Sonic collage and cut-ups wonderfully destabilize the new album, creating little disturbances and wake-up bells along the overriding trance rock journey. Avec le soleil deploys a panoply of buoyant musical ideas, subtly sumptuous sonic treatments, and joyous stylistic nods — while remaining fundamentally devoted to working the groove, from a kaleidoscope of angles. This is post-modern psychedelic electronic funk-rock the likes of which we can honestly say we’ve not heard before. ...........................
Comprising three distinct pieces that weave and charm their way through swirling psychedelic rock, skittish afro-beat and the mesmeric narcosis of kraut-rock repetition, the second album from Montreal’s forward-thinking prog-pop purveyors Avec Le Soleil Sortant De Sa Bouche moves like the shifting of a kaleidoscope. Pas Pire Pop's deceptively pleasing, but these long-form jams unfurl their nuanced secrets and reveal themselves as highly composed and skilfully rendered cosmic freak-outs, as intellectually rewarding and loudly enjoyable as anything on the Constellation roster.
The intricate, serpentine pieces represented here are commonly founded on sparse, reduced ground; tight grooves expressed with delectable bass funk and motorik, trance-inducing drum work reminiscent of Oneida’s Kid Millions providing a sunlit and dreamy, yet reassuringly mechanical infrastructure. Over these deep grooves are introduced buoyant turns of phrase wrought from deftly destructive staccato guitar and a spacious, sky-arcing synth straight out of 1970s science fiction soundtracks (or indeed, Constellation band Feu Therese’s Ça Va Cogner).
It’s all so magnificently playful: intricately layered refrains build with zealous, impassioned repetition, giving way to tight, delicious locked grooves. Melodic idioms appear and are woven into the fabric of the whole, passing with quiet efficiency as hints toward transition – the ease at which these pieces shift on a sixpence belies a mastery of this craft. There’s no accident here: these musicians are veterans of Montreal’s avant-garde underground, the teeth cut pioneering experimentalism with single-minded vigour and often glorious results (in Pas Chic Chic and founding Constellation band Le Fly Pan Am) clearly inform the finesse at play across this record’s soaring hour.
The compositional choices seem instinctive as instruments resound and find response, as keys take cues from bass, as guitar interjects with blithe abrasion or drives the piece with spritely, decadent licks, as suggestions are made and found answered, explored in open-minded curiosity. With great subtlety and light-heartedness, these pieces grow in delicate complexity as they achieve their fevered apex, returning on the other side to be renewed and to swell in rhythmic urgency again. Everything is at play here, and everything is at stake....Timothy Archer............
On their second album, Pas pire pop, I Love You So Much, Montreal quartet Avec le soleil sortant de sa bouche drill deep into the concept of groove.
The band’s 2014 debut Zubberdust! made clear bassist Jean-Sébastien Truchy, drummer Samuel Bobony, and guitarists Sébastien Fournier and Éric Gingras’ ambition to meld the kosmische sounds of Can and Neu! to funk rhythms. On that record, they found unity in the dual forms’s roots in repetition, and on Pas pire pop, I Love You So Much the combo utilizes that understanding to expand their range. Emphasizing Afro-pop textures, Avec le soleil taps into a similar post-punk global fusion that propelled Talking Heads and Brian Eno circa Remain in Light.
The LP’s two-part opener “Trans-pop express” begins by reprising the theme heard on the previous album’s “À partir de dorénavant,” but quickly veers onto a new path. Its far-off orchestral vocals give way to a crackling electric guitar riff and shouted vocal pairing that wouldn’t sound out of place on an early DFA 12″. The song sets the template here, alternating between trance-inducing jams and thrashing punk.
On the ensuing three-song suite, “Alizé et Margaret D. Midi moins le quart. Sur la plage, un palmier ensanglanté,” named for French writer Marguerite Duras’s novel and 1969 film Détruire, dit-elle (Destroy, She Said), the band utilizes an approach of subtle addition, piling on layers of keys and distortion as the song builds with each subsequent movement. It draws its title from a Duras quote: “Sitting on the beach we find—in spite of ourselves—a little shade, protection, and privilege under the bloody palm tree of the less fortunate.” Like the sounds here, the quote draws into contrast comfort and violence.
The second side of the album is devoted to “Tourner incessamment dans l’éclatement euphorique de soi—Road Painting Ahead,” a twenty-minute, five-song suite that segues from brass-dappled disco pop to Autobahn-bound synth rock, guided through the turns by interlocked guitars. Pushing these wild melodies against taut, restrained rhythms, the band approximates the feeling of another Duras quote: “Pouvoir, au milieu de la folie, redevenir humaine.” In “the midst of madness,” the album articulates the sense of “becoming human again.”.........by Jason P. Woodbury..................
Tracklist 1 Trans-pop Express I 2 Trans-pop Express II 3 Alizé Et Margaret D. Midi Moins Le Quart. Sur la Plage, Un Palmier Ensanglanté I 4 Alizé Et Margaret D. Midi Moins Le Quart. Sur la Plage, Un Palmier Ensanglanté II 5 Alizé Et Margaret D. Midi Moins Le Quart. Sur la Plage, Un Palmier Ensanglanté III 6 Tourner Incessamment Dans L'éclatement Euphorique de Soi / Road Painting Ahead I 7 Tourner Incessamment Dans L'éclatement Euphorique de Soi / Road Painting Ahead II 8 Tourner Incessamment Dans L'éclatement Euphorique de Soi / Road Painting Ahead III 9 Tourner Incessamment Dans L'éclatement Euphorique de Soi / Road Painting Ahead IV 10 Tourner Incessamment Dans L'éclatement Euphorique de Soi / Road Painting Ahead V