Boomkat Product Review:
I must say I'd been wondering where Mr. Perri had got to recently, the last we heard of him (under his Polmo Polpo guise) he was re-interpreting the work of Arthur Russell on 'Kiss Me Again and Again', and since then there's been nothing. Those of you that remember his frankly incredible 'Like Hearts Swelling' album on Constellation a few years back will know why fans are pining for new material, its breathtaking mixture of sub-aquatic electronics and driving post-rock textures was more than addictive and over time it has proved to be one of the surviving albums of the ailing 'electronica' scene. With this new album Sandro has returned to the songs featured on that album and given the material a brand new, totally different reworking. An interesting way to play it I think, going back and taking the riffs and structures from songs which were intrinsically electronic in sound and then transforming them into haunting acoustic improv folk. The songs on offer here were recorded from various live performances, most of which Perri performed with Eric Chenaux as a duo, but occasionally the two managed to rope in 4-6 other players (culled from the burgeoning Montreal avant-rock scene of course...) to help move the sound into still more grandiose places. The opportunity for failure here is immense, I must say on hearing about this project I was a little sceptical, re-interpretations of songs I already love... by the person that made them in the first place, the word 'pointless' did spring to mind, but before the opening track was out (the gorgeous 'Romeo Heart') I knew this was something very special indeed. Rather than merely covering the tracks, Perri has plucked elements from them and transformed their very nature, sometimes re-structuring them into full-blown songs adding his assured vocals over the top and sometimes using them as the basis for improvisation. Take 'Sky Histoire', one of the highlights of the 'Like Hearts Swelling' album - this beautiful pseudo ambient piece of music has been transformed into a full-blown song, with the memorable drum structure making up the backbone and the spine-tingling melody picked out on trombone. Perri has re-contextualised his own music here in a way that I would never have assumed possible and doesn't come across as trying to belittle his older work or 'correct' it as many artists would. If this is suggestive of his forthcoming album then I couldn't be more excited, Perri has with this shown again that he is one of Canada's brightest musicians - let's hope he brings the show to Europe sometime soon.