Country : Québec Canada Label : Indépendant Genres and styles : Ambient / Contemporary / Downtempo / Electronic / jazz groove / Minimalist / Post-Rock Year : 2022

Architek – 6 Changes

· by Frédéric Cardin

Architek is a quartet of percussionists from the “McGill stable”, prolific in both quantity and quality. Founded in 2012, the ensemble has commissioned, performed, and premiered dozens of important contemporary works by such luminaries as Nicole Lizée, Jason Sharp, Kevin Volans, George Aperghis, Lukas Ligeti and Nico Muhly. But after a decade of ‘traditional’ scholarly repertoire, here is an album that marks a radical shift: 6 Changes is the creative showcase of one of the ensemble’s founding members, Ben Duinker. All the compositions on the album are his. The sound palette, mellow, polished, and minimalist in phraseology, is also imbued with colours and sonic gestures picked from the gardens of electronica and post-rock. It’s not surprising to find oneself bathed in atmospheres reminiscent of the Sound of Montreal (Suuns, Patrick Watson) as well as a certain urban jazz (E.S.T) and international names such as Tortoise or Steve Reich. This syncretism is made hyper-warm by the minor tonal anchorage of most of the pieces. The most demanding of new music fans will perhaps find reproach them in the lack of harmonic and instrumental asperities and the resulting softness of the effect (especially when compared to the band’s past repertoire), but in so doing Architek will probably reach a wider audience, one with a background in ambient electronica, chill groove and medium/downtempo music. Very nice and even addictive. 

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