Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Reviews:: Montag Hibernation

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Normally you hear someone mention a “stop-gap” EP and assume it’s going to feature "the single", a remix and maybe an ironic cover or an old b-side, acting as an amuse bouche to whet your palette and little else. When it comes to Montreal’s Antoine Bedard - aka Montag - history shows us that he uses these EPs to explore sounds and shape his upcoming release.

If that’s the case, we can expect a cold chill this summer when his new record is released. The seven songs on Hibernation are Bedard’s attempt to encapsulate the winter months with crisp sounds that slowly expand like the crystalline structures that find a home on the corners of windows when the mercury drops. Making use of vintage synths and the inspiration and experience he gained from scoring films and manipulating other people’s work, Hibernation moves slowly but very confidently.

Obvious Bedard has a vision that he presents clearly – or maybe it would with some camera tricks and lighting – but like many cinematic/artistic explorations, the vision may fall into the “I appreciate it, but am not sure how often I'd revisit it” category. Like a beautiful painting on a wall, this EP is one I'd see in a gallery, enjoy and walk to the next exhibit.

The seven songs – only one uses vocals and that’s in French – use tone and pace to set the mood, instead of relying on clichéd metaphors about scarfs and toques. Hibernation wasn't just a few songs penned about the cold, dark months Montreal gets engulphed by each year. You can tell that the cinematic scope of the project inspired Antoine, as the songs tigger vivid memories of chilled mornings, but cymbal washes and glacial paced synth riffs aren’t going to grab most listeners attention without well shot images playing along side. Without a doubt, the combination of sounds are beautiful (Nord I puts a frost covered kiss on you within the first 30 seconds of the EP), but they start to blend and the quick hitting 7-song EP feels like a much longer listen.

When Bedard resists the urge to hunker down and sleep through the winter and explores the playful, childish nature we all rediscover when the snow is falling, the output is much more successful accessible. La Symétrie Du Coeur warms the EP, building on a whimsical melody and gentle psychedelic was, offering the listener the biggest reward, probably because it’s the most interesting. And that’s probably the biggest problem I have with this EP. Bedard’s art is beautiful and shows obvious talent, it’s just not the art I gravitate towards.

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Posted at 8:12 AM by ack :: 1 comments

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At 10:55 AM, Anonymous marc xavier leblanc (aka bones) did sayeth:

hey boys. i got this error when i clicked on the mp3 link... here is what i got:

just thought i'd let you know.

marc... aka bones


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