On a pas mangé de framboises depuis 1266 jours is an impressive little harvest of fruit from the collective project initiated by the poet Mathieu Renaud and the musician Pierre-Luc Clément from the group FET.NAT. This first offering expresses the fragmented, but in every way coherent, will to propose a “post-apocalyptic, poetic rock opera without opera and without rock”. It goes without saying that we are swimming on the very fringes of the usual Quebec musical landscape.
Recorded in a small cottage in Gatineau with poets Alexandre Dostie, Marjolaine Beauchamp, Maude V. Veilleux and JFNo, this hour-long oddity flirts with experimental minimalism and nocturnal jazz, and abounds in bursts of sax, organs, synthesizers, birdsong, and thick guitars that blend into the cracks of a skillfully woven mosaic. In spite of its singularity, some references to local counterculture are perceptible – think of Péloquin / Sauvageau, L’Infonie and the cult track “Le château hanté” by the group Les Champignons.
The arrangements are surprisingly theatrical, the collective unafraid to put their instruments aside to better present their words. The abundance of sonic atmospheres and the texture of the collages transport the listener into a disturbing universe. The narrative form of the album surprises and even provokes, as much by its convincing musicality as by its lyrical charge supported by a colourful language. The subject matter raises high this poetry freed from its pages, which settles tragically between the notes. An authentic delight to be discovered for all those who wish to be attend an intimate ceremony, as evasive as it is assertive.