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Montreal’s Bernardino Femminielli gets under the skin

Nov 12, 2015

Plus hear new music from Yves Bouliane, Karneef, and Bing & Ruth.

Bernardino Femminielli photo: Nela

No Rest for the Obsessed is a column spotlighting some of the most exciting new music AUX’s Associate Editor Jesse Locke finds each week. It began in 2010 for Calgary’s dearly departed alt-weekly FFWD, and takes its name from a Lightning Bolt song.

Bernardino Femminielli – “Tatouage”

The past few years have seen Bernardino Femminielli creep under the radar with some blink and you’ll miss ’em releases from his acid techno duo Femminielli Noir, including an excellent Factory Floor rework. Now, he’s heated back up to silk degrees with his Plaisirs Américains LP, out next year from Japan’s MIND Records and Femminielli’s own social club/label Bethlehem XXX. The lush orchestration and whispered vocals of “Tatouage” bring to mind Lucio Battisti or Jean-Claude Vannier era Gainsbourg with an aromatic hit of European-does-American decadence. Watch the video closely for a still shot of Femminielli’s moustachioed face covered by faux flames as it slowly fades back to reveal a sly smile. It’s an apt metaphor for the man and his music, beginning with a ominously mysterious tone before revealing the humour in his fuzzy heart.

Yves Bouliane – Champ (10 Opérations)

Montreal’s Tenzier is one of the most laser focused archival labels in Canada with a dedication to the under-documented Quebec avant-garde. Its latest missive is a solo cello recording from Yves Bouliane, a heavily active free-improv musician of the early 1970s. Throughout a relentless 30 minutes, Bouliane bows, plucks, and hammers his stringed instrument into a springboard for all manner of mind-scrambling sounds. The initial run of the LP include a bonus cassette with tributes to Bouliane from modern-day Montreal free-improv heads Jean-Sébastien Truchy and Alexandre St-Onge.

Karneef – I Love You Dylan

I’ve already spilled enough ink on Philip Karneef in a previous column, so I’ll keep this one short. Not only is his 18-song weird-prog opus Musique Impossible now available to stream in full, but he’s also delivered a five-song “minimal techno” EP (his words – sounds pretty maximal to me). Karneef keeps it moving with these deliriously fun bangers, showing off his usual sense of humour with song titles like “Zumba” and “I Just Broke Into Your House.”

Bing & Ruth – “Broad Channel”

Brooklyn’s dreamy drone ensemble Bing & Ruth were a major highlight of this year’s OBEY Convention and they’ve now re-emerged with a beautifully cinematic video. In conjunction with a reissue of their 2010 debut from RVNG Intl., the group has teamed with director Alex Priestley for a surrealist sci-fi trip to South Wales. The six-minute video for “Broad Channel” features an elderly man slowly crossing the countryside to encounter a group of featureless humanoids. It flashes back to Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin, and with that, we’ve come full circle.

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