Without a doubt, simply on title and one song alone, the new Montag covers EP would have gotten some love on herohill. I mean, we’ve already covered the talented Montreal resident on herohill and certainly want to hear his new record due out in 2010, but that’s not what got our motor running so to speak.
Montag – aka Antoine Bedard – decided to cover songs he loved at some point in life and release the “EP” as a tape (it was recorded to tape and then made digital but will also be available as a tape) and as awesome as that idea is, it’s only the tip of a Titanic wrecking sized iceberg folks. Calling the EP DES CASSETTES & UN WALKMAN JAUNE (a couple of tapes and a yellow walkmen) and including a cover of PM Dawn’s Sit Adrift on Memory Bliss basically means he touched on two of my favorite classic Golden Age hip hop moments.
First – any 90′s rap lover remembers the awesome Nice and Smooth video with the yellow boom box floating in the pool (and probably had or pined for a yellow Sony Sports Walkmen, I mean, they were waterproof) – and of course, who can forget PM Dawn. No, not for the music but for the legendary story of KRS-1 bumrushing the stage and pushing that tubby hippie off the stage. I know neither image is what Antoine is channeling on this time capsule of his musical journey, but we here on the hill still talk about both stories at least once a month, so it seemed important.
So anyway, the EP.
This ode to music and music collection from back in the day is a great stop until the next full length because it really opens you up to see who Andre is. The “EP” is a six song collection of tracks that in original form, wouldn’t really fit together on even the most outlandish mix tape. The thing is, Antoine’s respect of the songs mixes with his creativity to actually pull it off. I’m not sure many listeners can connect the dots between The Breeders, PM Dawn, Low, Supertramp and Bronski Beat, but his crisp, crystalline electronics and subdued vocals really helps his take on the songs work nicely as a cohesive piece.
He really pay homage to the songs but still makes them his own. Instead of trying to replicate Prince Be‘s rap, the song is transformed by Antoine’s spoken work delivery, but grounded by the familiar sounds of Spandau Ballet on the chorus and the longing heartbreak of the surprisingly touching verses. The slowcore build of Low’s classic Sunflower is replaced with a slow moving electro beat and a more Beach House feel, but the core of the song is there for any fan of the band. You can’t help but smile as he loses the simple chunky riff and sonic explosion that The Breeders use to drive No Aloha and turns the song into a frigid morning walk along the beach, they type of walk where the chill and greys consume you, before doing a 180 and spiking the tempo and energy.
Honestly, the EP is fun. I’m not sure Antoine wanted to accomplish other than give his listeners song new songs at Christmas, but even trapped amongst the cold textures and heartache, he’s shown us another piece of who he is… and done it in a way that brings a smile to music lovers that remember the old days but aren’t stuck in them.