Miriodor – Signal 9

[Cuneiform Records, 2017]

Εισαγωγή: Δημήτρης Καλτσάς
Μετάφραση: Αλέξανδρος Μαντάς
20 / 07 / 2017

Η ναυαρχίδα του πειραματικού rock στον Καναδά είναι χωρίς καμία αμφιβολία οι Miriodor από το Montréal, οι οποίοι πρωτοεμφανίστηκαν δισκογραφικά το 1986 με το θαυμάσιο Rencontres. Έκτοτε, κάθε κυκλοφορία τους αποτέλεσε και ένα μεγάλο βήμα στην καταξίωση εντός του avant-prog θώκου και στην αναγνώριση από το RIO ακροατήριο και όχι μόνο. Μεταξύ των ιδιαίτερα αξιόλογων albums τους, προσωπικά ξεχωρίζω τα ηχητικά πάντα επίκαιρα Jongleries Élastiques (1996) και Avanti! (2009) στα οποία αποτυπώνεται ιδανικά το μουσικό κράμα των Miriodor. Τέσσερα χρόνια μετά το Cobra Fakir, φέτος κυκλοφόρησε ο ένατος δίσκος με τον δηλωτικό τίτλο Signal 9.


 

The recipe of guaranteed diversity

Miriodor’s come back was a must this year, not only because it has been a quadrennium since Cobra Fakir and the last 16 years they are stuck to this schedule, but also they could not be no-show in a year where avant-prog has enthralled us. In Signal 9 the band becomes a four-piece one (the last time they recorded as a quartet was on Avanti!) with the addition of Nicolas Lessard (bass, double bass, keyboards) to the regular trio of Bernard Falaise (guitar, keyboards), Pascal Globensky (keyboards, synths, piano) and Rémi Leclerc (drums, percussion). As before, this line-up change had no bearing on their direction. Miriodor sound as pluralistic as ever and the addition of a fourth member simply renders the band more flexible, in the studio at least.

The structure of the ninth album of the Canadians is not dissimilar to Cobra Fakir with the difference that the lengthy songs are lengthier and the short are shorter with the exception of the one-two openers (Venin and Peinture Dans Le Coin) that clock in at four and a half minutes introducing ideally the listener, combining compositional depth with astute phrases and Miriodor’s humour of high aesthetic quality that still sounds fresh and peerless. The initial conclusion is verified by the songs that come next where nothing, in every sense of the word, is aimless. Signal 9 is one more typical Miriodor album with numerous cascading melodies, multidimensional compositions, abrupt mood changes where the often “lurking” rhythmic disposition and the unrestrained experimentation are its main feats, with an added bonus of Falaise’s tricks with the turntable and assorted electronic sounds provided by Leclerc. This recipe of the ageless group with Univers Zero and The Muffins as main ingredients, based on RIO and Canterbury sprinkles is proved flawless once more and sonically diverse.

After repeated listens, it is gathered that it is yet another essential step of an enviable career. This particular release deserves a special place in Miriodor’s discography that outdoes Cobra Fakir, although it could be even better. A major minus is the weak flow, mainly because of some short experimental cuts that intervene providing ingenious intermissions and all, but they throw this fragmentation into sharp relief, even though this is something that Miriodor practice for years now. In a final outcome that bristles with instrumental energy and unconventionally experimental avant-prog spirit, the sublime Portrait-Robot stands out, one of the pinnacles of the band followed by the also magnificent Venin and Passage Secret.

Signal 9 neither breaks new ground nor adds to the legacy of Miriodor. It lends itself (as the previous eight albums) to a fraction of the experimental rock fans, to suckers for Rock In Opposition of high standards, to those who love refined humour and savour the freedom that oozes from unconventional creativity.

7.5 / 10

Dimitris Kaltsas

 

2nd opinion

 

Four years after the remarkable Cobra Fakir, Miriodor are back with Signal 9 and verify their prolonged, low-profiled but meaningful course, making constantly steady progress. In this case they present us an out-of-this-world avant-prog masterpiece. All the feats we came to love from the genre we are talking about are filtered through their French/Canadian temperament and their artistic disposition to update their sound and style. They totally achieved to move with the times at no discount and simultaneously they pulled off to sound attractive – to the extent it is possible – with a reinforced line-up. Well-balanced themes full of pleasant surprises as they unfold, humour, musical ingeniousness and introversion are but a few of the qualities that grab immediately the listener. Songs like Portrait-Robot, Chapelle Lunaire and Passage Secret might make the cut as the best ones in an amazing album. If Univers Zero, Art Zoyd and Fred Frith is your bag, you will surely take in with open arms the latest musical proposition of Miriodor.

9 / 10

Giannis Zavradinos

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