Champion Chill 'Em All

Having seen the spotlight more on its alternative and experimental offerings of late, Maxime Morin, aka Champion, wants to remind you Montreal is still a foremost beat-oriented city. Released to rave reviews in Quebec almost a year ago, Chill ’Em All is an offering of mostly techno rhythms kept together by forays into swampy Delta blues, dub, and the occasional soulful voice shouting disposable house lyrics. If it sounds all over the place, that’s because it is. Although Morin brings the party in British big beat style on songs like "No Heaven” and "The Plow,” Southern-fried rocker "Keep On,” and chills it out with smoky, laidback ska on "Tawoumga,” the dark overtures and cold minimalist beats that show up occasionally make it a very unsettling listen. There are some great ideas and Morin should have taken one or two and run with them, but instead he jams them out with too much studio wizardry and can’t decide if he wants to step to the dance floor or kill the party. (Saboteur)