Miriodor were formed in 1980 in Quebec City by François Émond and Pascal Goblensky, and had the internet been around back then, would have instantly become part of the Rock In Opposition movement that was striking out on the other side of the Atlantic. As it is they have had a parallel career to the likes of Henry Cow, Stormy Six, Univers Zero, Samla Mammas Manna and Etron Fou Leloublan, and in one form or another have outlasted nearly all those aforementioned bands.
Signal 9 is only their ninth album in all that time, and arrives four years after the rather fine Cobra Fakir, and finds the band a settled quartet with the full-time addition of bassist Nicolas Lassard. This makes for an organic group, and Signal 9 sees some of the hardest edged music this individualistic band have committed to the ether, as the gnarly riffing and synth abuse that percolates through the avant-symphonic Portrait-robot attests. This tune twists and turns through thematically linked sections, eventually hitching a fairground ride before getting back on the RIO train, summing up Miriodor’s penchant for complex yet highly melodic composition and arrangement.
“Metaphorically, we could say that Miriodor is a planet, with aliens communicating in their mysterious ways with planet Earth”, says Pascal Globensky, and the ninth transmission from the home planet is an engaging fifty minutes of music that marries Miriodor’s journeys into avant chamber rock territory with their ear for melody in a manner that results in an album that while intermittently spiky need not scare the children unduly.
Chapelle luniare begins and ends with pounding rhythms, the beginning almost Faust-like in its insistence, and the trademark melody and counter melody played out on myriad keyboards and guitars makes for an interesting listen. The longer pieces are linked by short impressionistic intervals, Cryogénie being an alien calling card beamed in from another galaxy.
“Playful” is a word often bandied about in the same sentence as Miriodor, and this album does not disappoint in that respect. The music can be completely unpredictable and often ends up in a place you wouldn’t have suspected at the start of any particular tune. Passage secret sums up the band’s approach in its title and contains a hypnotic guitar figure that leads into a space cruiser breakdown somewhere near the asteroid belt, disembodied robotic voices bouncing in and out of the mix, before fading away into the ether, the original theme forgotten along the way.
Labyrinthine and with any number of permutations, Signal 9 is a rewarding listen for those of us who like to get completely lost in the intricacies of music now and again. Highly recommended!
01. Venin (4:33)
02. Peinturé dans le coin (4:34)
03. Transit de nuit à Jakarta (2:00)
04. Portrait-robot (8:47)
05. Déboires à Munich (1:21)
06. Chapelle lunaire (6:52)
07. Cryogénie (1:38)
08. Passage secret (9:58)
09. Gallinule d’Amérique (1:40)
10. Douze petites asperges (2:39)
11. Le ventriloque et le perroquet (8:13)
Total Time – 52:20
Bernard Falasie – Guitars, Keyboards, Turntable
Pascal Globensky – Keyboards, Synths, Piano
Rémi Leclerc – Drums, Percussion, Electronics
Nicolas Lassard – Bass, Double bass, Keyboards
Record Label: Cuneiform Records
Catalogue#: Cuneiform Rune 438
Date of Release: 12th May 2017