Champion Chill 'Em All

Montreal-based Champion spent three years on this combo of guitar loops and tempered general techno beats, resulting in a relaxed but not strictly chill out collection. Sounding like it’s been culled from live instruments that have been heavily processed, the bulk of the tracks plod along gently from a chugging beat pulled by a muted bass with the guitar, in its many incarnations, to take the lead. "NnGg” is exactly this with a western mystery theme, and "Die in Peace” is an apt title for the slowly swelling drama from looped guitar effects. "Tawoumga” touches on reggae, and "Two Hoboes” raises the energy just before the end. Betty Bonifassi’s understated soul voice dotting the album is a definite highlight. (Saboteur)