Roger Tellier-Craig – ‘Instantanés’

Posted by on December 7, 2017

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In typical fashion, Root Strata allows neither genre nor geography to set boundaries on its catalog — including the grim elegance of Roe Enney, the solemn guitar meanderings of Hisato Higuchi, and the abstract and alien sound experiments by No UFO’s. Now, the imprint continues their eclectic run with Instantanés, the latest work by Roger Tellier-Craig, the long-running Montreal musician and member of Fly Pan Am, Pas Chic Chic, and Et Sans. While this isn’t the first time Tellier-Craig has issued work on Root Strata, with his solo guise Le Révélateur releasing the excellent Motion Flares tape in 2011 and a fascinating visual collaboration with filmmaker Sabrina Ratté just last year, Tellier-Craig returns to the RS fold with one of his boldest works to date.

Hot on the heels of Tellier-Craig’s recent collaborative efforts as a trio, with fellow Montrealers Karl Fousek and Devon Hansen on Dinzu Artifacts and Spring Break Tapes, Instantanés offers two surreal, ambiguous long-form sound sketches. The A-side’s “Soleil et chaleur dans le parc” feels both off the cuff and painstakingly precise, balancing a fine line between chance and calculation. Tellier-Craig seems to magnify minuscule tones and sound waves, examining each crevice and subtle shift as they present themselves under his microscope. Soon, bird calls and other field recordings sneak onto the recording, inviting children’s voices and other leisurely motifs you might associate with an easy day at the park. These commonplace sounds are foiled by more structured counterpoints, sounds that seem alien: synthetic static, droning metal, mechanical hums, and floating, clattering noise. On the B-side, “Truth Mining” continues the eerie but inviting sound collage, seemingly focusing a bit more on rhythm and repetition — but you won’t be grooving or nodding your head to these movements. This is true deep listening, so deep that it’s almost imperceptible without focus and close consideration. It’s a masterwork that hopefully won’t go unnoticed.

Instantanés is available now via Root Strata.