|Vancouver meets Montreal! Recorded at the Factory in Vancouver, The Unexpected One documents a meeting between four pillars of free improvisation: two guitarists, Bernard Falaise and Ron Samworth, and two percussionists, Pierre Tanguay and Dylan Van der Schyff.
They proudly present this debut album of noisy interlacing, where sounds cover a wide spectrum, from the minimal and subtle to the unbridled. Strings and percussion converse: the guitar throws in syncopated, jarring, industrial-tinged notes, letting a short and soft melodic loop occasionally surface. The percussion unfold relentlessly, nervously, expressing themselves by leaps and bounds. The whole thing is quivering, eager to absorb the listener under its inventive horizons. Therefore The Unexpected One is proof of these talented musicians’ impressive flexibility and skilled playing.
by Nate Dorward
in Exclaim! (Canada), September 1, 2004
Two guitarists, two drummers, an open-ended improv setting: the potential for a long and self-indulgent blow out is pretty high, as anyone unfortunate enough to own the Metheny/Bailey fiasco The Sign of 4 will know. But this foursome— two Montrealers, two Vancouverites/— specialise instead in wriggly, pointillist, accretive improvisations made out of sonic flickers and blips and spurts thrown in the air like confetti. The results are like a user-friendly version of classic ‘70s scritch-scratch improv. The pacing is generally languorous — it’s never really in a hurry to get anywhere but always slip-sliding to some unexpected destination anyway — but there’s always plenty going on. Sometimes these guys get all epic on you, like the moody, ravaged guitar-scape at the end of the 18-minute Pink Crimson or the squalling conclusion to It Was Nice! But they can also sound like daft birds twittering in the rafters, or a cart with a squeaky wheel, or a lone guitarist noodling on Rockabye Baby. The palette is further varied on Oh My! with the addition of electronics — though I could have done without the inclusion of lengthy snippets from a pre-game radio sportscast — and there’s a nifty banjo and guitar encounter on Yes Happy Chew, sounding like a barnyard squabble between Bill Frisell and Eugene Chadbourne. The Unexpected One is a surprisingly relaxing experience: it’s pleasantly topsy-turvy music, a constant source of small delights and discoveries.