Beats on Canvas Beats on Canvas

Montreal composers Martin and Dominique Bernard, and Catherine Latendresse derive their album's world, classical and downtempo electronic fusions from the paintings of globetrotting Haitian artist Marc-Bernard Phillipe. An accessible hybrid of backbeats, folk touches and jazzy progressions, Beats on Canvas makes for a warm tribute in sound to Phillipe's vivid, continent-hopping artwork (some of which accompanies the CD). The music skips around the Earth plenty, from old-world Parisian accordions ("La Joconde Et Ses Trois Fantômes") to guzheng (Chinese zither) on the likes of "Doki" or flamenco flavours, including sultry, soaring vocals on "Fertility." For the downtempo set (read: Thievery Corporation devotees), "Sinking the Eight Ball in Zaire " slinks along nicely, while DJ Vadim's "Doki" remix works the strings into a medley of walking beats perfect for a sunny afternoon anywhere on the planet. Meanwhile, Patrick Watson reworks the piano lament of "Spirit" with a more sinister electro buzz. Most listeners digging acid jazz, world fusions and (shall we call it) intelligent downtempo should dig at least a few tracks on this forward-looking endeavour. Check out "Cuban Tile" for a glimpse of the coming fiery affair between tango and turntablism. (BOC)