Guillaume & the Coutu Dumonts, They Only Came Out at Night

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[Musique Risquée]


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Guillaume & the Coutu Dumonts is a slightly misleading name. The “group” might only have one member, Guillaume Coutu Dumont, but his output of the last year could be described as a one-man Hitsville Berlin (via Montreal). Recording and remixing for no less than nine labels in the past year, Guillaume has spread his wealth by giving strong labels like Circus Company and Musique Risquée some of their biggest hits. In this case, Marc Leclair might be Guillaume Coutu Dumont’s foil. Best known for his cut-up work as Akufen, LeClair was one of the defining voices of micro-house at the turn of the century. And three years ago, he went off the grid. With Coutu Dumont’s latest single, we can finally welcome LeClair back.

My first reaction to Coutu Dumont’s LP, Face À L’Est, was contact high. The musician was academy-trained in both percussion and electroacoustics — the album is drenched with both. Drums are layered into Rube Goldberg machines, like “Can’t Cheat with Concrete” with an array of samples and live percussion just toying with the 4/4 beat. And then there are tracks like “Ze Blob.” Which isn’t exactly bad, but has a melody that verges on unlistenable. Thankfully, “They Only Came Out at Night” is one of the highlights of Face À L’Est. The melody is as instantly engaging as the drums were virtuosic. The track walks a fine line; each permutation is as delicate and firm as the last step. Liking “They Only Came Out at Night” is easy, but that doesn’t take away from the just-right decay on the pads, the hollowed strums, the dribble and splash of sighs.

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Taking up his Horror Inc. alias for the first time as a remixer, Marc Leclair returns to a style defined by sickly minor keys and darkened warehouses made for serial killers. His “Sometimes They Come Back ‘Horror Inc.’ Remix” looks back — to the alias’ first appearance on Revolver. Like the slow deep build of “The Sentinel,” the remix accumulates gravity before unloading a shimmy of a bass line. But for all the minor stabs and echoed strums of the first half, the remix actually sounds closer to the melancholic tone of the original “They Only Come Out at Night.” Not relying on the same foreboding VST-plug-ins for darkness, Leclair’s dark sighs earn the astral-lullaby of “he has all the stars in the palm of his hand” by the end. It’s ridiculous, sure, but Leclair has come back. And, just as importantly, he doesn’t sound willing to repeat himself.

ninja  on June 22, 2008 at 10:08 PM

I’m also really liking the Coutu Dumonts remix of Sety – Mogane.

Mas  on June 23, 2008 at 10:04 AM

The track has some nice elements (the “evil”-ish sounding chimes in the middle section) but is ultimately pretty flat and boring. And it goes on a bit, doesn’t it? This is innocuous wallpaper house for neo-mod DJ bars. His Akufen stuff was great when it came out though…

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