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"This lovingly produced and gorgeously packaged LP contains seven previously unreleased electronic pieces that Gagnon realized at McGill University’s Electronic Music Studio. Leading off the proceedings is “Gwendoline Descendue!,” an electronics/tape piece crafted from snippets of Moog modular tones and a variety of instruments created by Hugh Le Caine. It’s a dramatic sample of sci-fi movie elements and jarring bursts of sound that heighten the tension. “Sea Lunch” was created with the not-quite-modular Arp 2600 analog synthesizer, while Gagnon utilized the Synclavier II to realize “Totem Ben,” “Improvisation,” and “Nous Sommes Tous des Cré Basile.” This instrument was one of the earliest modes of digital synthesis/sampling, and Gagon does his best to wrangle some diverse and downright weird tones from the beast. “Dictée” is probably the most abstract piece featured – the phrase “le boa mange Léo” is manipulated and modified into non-existence, disappearing into the sound of a pencil scraping on a desk before reappearing in the midst of a synthesizer war. The final piece presented is “Gololo-Mashta,” in which Gagnon presents the sound of a four-piece rock band being treated to the effects of a Moog modular synth. This song veers close to experimental post-punk with its exhilarating rhythmic intensity. Such near-cacophony is the perfect way to close out an epic LP of way-out sound!” - Bryon Hayes (Foxy Digitalis)
Born in 1953, Bernard Gagnon is a product of Quebec’s late 1960s underground music scene. In 1973, the Montreal-based musician turned to music theory, studied with Iannis Xenakis and met John Cage. That year, his band Mergélèpe-Guorismogue joined Montreal’s Atelier de musique expérimentale (AME), an organization created by Raymond Gervais, Michel Di Torre, Yves Bouliane and Robert M. Lepage to promote improvised music. Two years later, Gagnon began experimenting with electronic sounds as a member of Kevin Austin’s MetaMusic. At the turn of the decade, he studied under alcides lanza, Mariano Etkin and Paul Pedersen. It is then that he composed and recorded his first electroacoustic pieces using the electronic music studio at Mcgill University. In 1981, he was awarded both the CAPAC Hugh Le Caine Award and Radio-Canada’s Prix national de composition électro-acoustique. Gagnon then joined Cham Pang, a multimedia electro collective, and reconnected with Lepage with whom he recorded and performed. The 1980s saw Gagnon turn to musique actuelle explorations which culminated with groups such as Stylo (with Lepage and Jean Derome) and La Flore Laurentienne (Lepage, Derome and Guillaume Dostaler among others).