Published Oct 25, 2017Montreal new wave outfit Cham-Pang, recently rediscovered via the excellent Montreal New Wave documentary film, never did release an LP in their short tenure. Under their original, new wave configuration, the group did manage to release a seven-inch EP in 1981, but then moved in a darker, more experimental direction, and later sessions didn't make it to vinyl while Cham-Pang were still active.
The outfit had a malleable line up that clearly revolved around vocalist Yvel Champagne, but at times featured musicians from popular outfits such as Men Without Hats and Rational Youth alongside experimentalists Bernard Gagnon and Robert Lepage. This diversity in membership led to a fruitful creativity, a crossbreeding of post punk, electronic experimentation, minimal wave and noise.
Tant Pis 81-82 collects a host of material that was laid to tape prior to a somewhat legendary performance in April of 1982. The album features chilly new wave warped by Bernard Gagnon's fierce electronics, but is bolstered by Champagne's fierce vocal delivery. At times, it sounds as if Champagne is delivering a spoken word performance, and at others she's mellifluously yet chillingly spouting melodies. The musicians, meanwhile, are either laying down a slinky beat or are free improvising expertly.
That such a tasty slice of Canadiana took this long to be unleashed is a crime. Many kudos to the folks behind the Tenzier label and their discerning curatorial vision for unearthing such a gem. (Tenzier)