By Pras RajagopalanIt appears that Montreal’s fertile music community has yielded another left field winner with Torngat’s You Could Be. Here the orchestral noisemakers sound more confident than ever, thawing out traditionally icy post rock structures with bright melodies crafted from an assortment of organs, clattering percussion and brass. There’s constant motion in these songs — Hammond lines bob and weave around swelling horns in dissonant harmony.
"We work out a lot of ideas and spend a lot of time rehearsing, and just improvising and listening. Listening to each other is really important,” says keyboardist Mathieu Charbonneau. "It’s like a conversation.”When Torngat first appeared on the scene in 2001, they were a highly improvisational quartet. When bassist Sylvain Delisle left the band in 2003 after the release of their self-titled debut, Charbonneau, Julien Poissant, and Pietro Amato (Bell Orchestre, the Luyas) decided to continue as a three-piece with a more structured sound and released the La Rouge EP in 2005.
"It took a while to feel really comfortable playing with no bass,” says Charbonneau. "It was pretty structured because it was the first record we were doing as a trio and we wanted to make sure we didn’t fall on our faces playing shows.”
La Rouge fell into the right hands and Torngat ended up signing a two-album deal with respected Montreal experimental label Alien8, home to such diverse acts the Unicorns, Keiji Heino and Merzbow. That a band whose style defies classification would get into bed with a label with no particular stylistic fingerprint makes perfect sense. It’s that rejection of rigidity that brought Torngat together in the first place. "I think the most interesting aspect of the band was that none of us were going for a certain style. [We liked] the liberty of just creating what we had in our heads.”