From the macrocosm of musicians who can actually play instruments and compose materials with a spine, Miriodor’s icon materializes every once in a while to remind us that there is someone interested in producing intelligent records. Signal 9 is one of them, the last in the invariably stimulating discography by the Canadian ensemble (now consisting of Pascal Globensky, Rémi Leclerc, Bernard Falaise and Nicolas Lessard).
The eleven tracks comprise the trademark components of the group’s sound. For starters, the improbable balance of “typically atypical” rhythms and melodious cells for which the adjective “angular” is nearly offensive. In essence, Miriodor seem more and more concerned with keeping a listener chained to a veritable roller-coaster of unexpected harmonic transitions and start-stop-start again-stop again edginess. Only, they perform those challenging parts with the same cynical unconcern of a vicious surgeon experimenting new “bionic solutions” on an unsuspecting patient who was there for a simple visit.
The guys do possess an equally wicked sense of humor. Sudden turns towards soundtrack-ish atmospheres are rendered funnier by the insertion of (digitalized and warped) noises and voices of human and animal descent. A Nino Rota-like cheerlessness may forecast bad surprises; soft guitar arpeggios are besmirched by amusing samples and grotesque synthetic protuberances. You had found a modicum of relax after long moments of stress? The quartet will immediately slash your face with some black metal riff-cum-comical grimacing.
There’s so much to detect, as it always happens with difficult scores not deprived of irony. Anyhow, the expected comparisons with the usual RIO suspects plus King Crimson etc. did not find total confirmation this time. If anything, the mix of lucidity and elaborateness made us think about another Cuneiform band of the past, Forever Einstein, cross-pollinating with the never enough praised Albert Marcoeur (with a pinch of evilness added for good measure).
But don’t be fooled, not even by your host’s fantasies. Miriodor remains Miriodor: a unique example of still unsold creative thinking.