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Canaille

Practical Men

Canaille
Toronto, ON-based sextet Canaille draw upon many different sources for new album Practical Men: Afrobeat, Miles Davis, Sun Ra, Ethiopia and overdriven rock. However, it doesn't feel like all the sources have been completely collated ― often you end up thinking more of Sun Ra, or Mulatu Astatke, or Egyptian surf-rock (if that exists) than the music you're listening to. Jeremy Strachan (on baritone and alto sax, flute and guitar) wrote seven songs (the other two are Sun Ra covers) and he has a good sense of orchestration. The band also include tenor sax, trumpet, keys, bass and drums. Jesse Levine adds some bouncy lines on Rhodes and Korg CX-3 that make this music more colourful and playful. The most effective track is "Angeer"; it's driving, in triple metre, with a tense, repeated bass drone. Each horn-player takes a solo and on Strachan's, playing baritone, it sounds like a horse is being slaughtered. I mean that as positively as possible, though you feel like doom is on its way. Then Canaille redirect abruptly ― quadruple metre, marching gait, nave melody ― and I smiled. (Komino)
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