2014-02-19 12:14:54 UTC
Montag Profile

Montag (Antoine Bédard) recently returned to Montreal after three years in Vancouver. After the successful release of Going Places (Carpark Records, 2007), Montag toured in Japan, Mexico, France, Singapore, Holland, Belgium, the UK, the US and across Canada. His side projects in 2008 included several collaborations with contemporary dance and theatre artists in Vancouver and Montreal, scoring an animation film and releasing series of remixes for the likes of [ M83 ], [ Au Revoir Simone ], [ You Say Party! We Say Die! ], [ I’m From Barcelona ] and more. 2009 was the release of a new Montag album, but to warm up the first weeks of winter, Montag teams up with Paper Bag Digital to release HIBERNATION, a self-produced EP featuring mostly instrumental tracks combining orchestral arrangements with vintage keyboards.

[ Alone, Not Alone ]

Montreal composer Antoine Bedard's perfumed, stylishly retro electro-pop is the latest in a lineage that can be traced backwards from contemporaries like M83 and Cyann and Ben, to modern forerunners like Stereolab and Air, to the French pop singers of the '60s. America in the 1960s was clearly not hungry for nuance-- in looking abroad for a musical craze, it wholeheartedly latched on to the pragmatic soulfulness of Brits like the Beatles and the Kinks, but failed to chart the romantic abstraction of French pop stars like Serge Gainsbourg and Francoise Hardy. But in a different, more subtle America, one unsaddled with a desperate need to constantly prove its vitality to itself, a French Invasion might have replaced the British one, a mirror world where mobs of cool, calculating teens calmly adored Belgium's French-speaking Jacques Brel as he disembarked from an ocean liner.

Many American listeners are familiar with Gainsbourg, and there's a subtle contradiction you may have noticed in his songs that also typified those of his contemporaries-- they were light, lacy confections, all sweeping acoustic melodies and mannered joie de vivre, but the pristine, precise inflections of the singers also had an aloofness to them, a sense of distance alien to the American preference for "soulful" singing. It's no surprise, then, that the advent of digital technology has also seen a rejuvenation of the '60s French pop style: Digitally sampling analog instruments allows composers to capture this dichotomy of warmth and sterility more strikingly than ever before, and the genre is being not so much revisited as transformed.

Montag inhabits the aesthetic more fully than many of his counterparts-- M83, for whose albums Montag composed string arrangements, traffics in outsized versions of classic French pop's minimal melodic phrases, but lacks the slightly ironic remove; Air plays up the kitschy qualities; Stereolab emphasizes elegance and detachment but lacks warmth. On Alone, Not Alone, Montag has achieved a cunning equilibrium between distance and immediacy by covering the range between elastic, swooning electro-pop and concise, considered standoffishness.

While the latter category is pleasurable-- the digital clockwork of "Le Temps d'Observer les Voles Ouvertes" and the chiming serenity of "Motif" spring to mind-- it's in the former that Alone, Not Alone really shines. Amy Milan of Stars turns in charming duets on the fluid, clattering "Angles, Country & Terrain Connu" and the Stars-style neon orgasm of "Perfect Vision", her mobile melodies darting around Bedard's whispery, deadpan baritone. James Cargill of Broadcast lends bass and electronics to "Figures of a New Color", a staticky suite of celestial strings and muttering samples. Ariel Eagle weaves her angelic, staccato syllables through twinkling chimes and Bedard's lackadaisical croon on "Grand Luxe", and on tracks like "All I See"-- where Bedard provides the sole vocal presence-- he concocts jazzy chill-out that suits his limited range.

Montag pulls off the neat trick of being strikingly modern by way of chicly old-fashioned-- his droll lyrics and gorgeous, slightly icy melodies expand upon the traditions of the '60s French pop icons while honoring them, as he emotes with precision, restraint, and a sardonic eye. Let the French (-Canadian electro-) Invasion commence! __[ Pitchfork ].

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Montag - No Signal Artist - Montag Album - No Signal / Pas de signal Release Date - 2012 Genre - Indie , Ambient, Electronica, Indietronica Tracklist 01. Sign-on / Prise d'antenne 01:36 02. Channel 2 / Poste 2 02:13 03. Channel 3 / Poste 3 03:40 04. Channel 4 / Poste 4 01:58 05. Channel 5 / Poste 5 02:44 06. Channel 6 / Poste 6 02:30 07. Channel 7 / Poste 7 00:57 08. Channel 8 / Poste 8 03:44 09. Channel 9 / Poste 9 01:31 10. Channel 10 / Poste 10 02:34 11. Channel 11 / Poste 11 01:35 12. Channel 12 / Poste 12 01:40 13. Channel 13 / Poste 13 03:00 14. UHF 01:47 15. Sign-off / Remise d'antenne 02:20 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Montag - No Signal / Pas de signal -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Artist - Montag Album - Des Cassettes & Un Walkman Jaune Release Date - 2009 Genre - Indie , Ambient, Electronica, Indietronica Tracklist 01 - Angel I Will Walk You Home ( Unrest ) 01 - Even In The Quietest Moments ( Supertramp ) 02 - No Aloha ( The Breeders ) 03 - Set Adrift Memory Of You ( PM Dawm ) 04 - Small Town Boy Never Gonna Cry Again ( Bronski Beat Eurythmics ) 05 - Sun Flowers ( Low ) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Montag - Des Cassette -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Alone, Not Alone Artist - Montag Album - Alone, Not Alone Release Date - 2004 Genre - Indie , Ambient, Electronica, Indietronica Tracklist 1 Le Temps D'Observer les Voies Ouvertes 1:27 2 Grand Luxe 3:22 3 Temps Partiel 3:01 4 Perfect Vision 5:16 5 All I See 3:42 6 Time Difference II 2:07 7 Figures of a New Color 4:02 8 Motif 1:06 9 Angles, Country & Terrain Connu 3:43 10 Les Chose Se Placent 3:47 11 Exit Melodie 3:15 12 (Lady Grey) 2:28 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Montag - Alone, Not Alone -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Montag --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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A combination of retro aesthetics, enduring lyrics and alt-rock grit. The best music happens when artists refuse to remain stuck in their own comfort zones and creative boxes. Whenever this happens, they are free to give full range to their vision, and they can really come up with something that’s groundbreaking and personable. This is certainly the case here with Tommy Red and his brand new EP release, “I Wanna Be Exploited.”



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