Continuo’s Canadian Week
01 Joseph Carey Merrick part I (05:27)
02 Joseph Carey Merrick part II (04:38)
03 Joseph Carey Merrick part III (10:32)
Total time: 20:35
Alexandre St-Onge: vocals, bass guitar and electronics
Released 2007, Oral CDep 22
Reknown for previous solo discs (notably on Alien8) exclusively made from recordings of a microphone inside his mouth, bass player and performer Alexandre St-Onge (b1976) is also bassist in Canadian drone-improv outfit Shalabi Effect, and a member of various Montreal-area avantgarde bands. ‘Joseph Carey Merrick’ is a short CD of processed bass with blatant electronic treatments, to which St-Onge adds eerie vocalizations. Part II contains overtly bass playing, while elsewhere you’d be hard pushed to detect any string work. The amount of electronic transformations is akin to Oren Ambarchi’s music, though St-Onge is not afraid of dirtier, more grotesque effects, like on the remarkable Part III, where the vocals are treated beyond recognition and the music seems out of horror movies sound effects library, until 06:20, when sublime bass chords and slow, treated vocals brings you in heaven-like dreamscape. Maybe this is where the composer intended to bring us: how to find beauty amid complete uglyness. An impressive, all too short disc. More Alexandre St-Onge music files here and here, in collaboration with Napalm Jazz and Musée Des Survivantes.