Ghislain Poirier No Ground Under

Ghislain Poirier has united the world in trying to pronounce his name. Seriously, "Ghislain Poirier” doesn’t trip off the tongue like "Scott Storch” but it’s somehow fitting that every vocalist on this album brings a different shade to their shout outs. Poirier’s latest finds him toning down the hyperactive rhythm programming of previous efforts. As a result, this album sounds more natural; it’s obviously still dominated by hard-edged electronic sounds but flows more effortlessly than before. First cut "Blazin” with Face T is a superior party starter, with ragga beats giving way to rave-y keyboard stabs. The vocalists’ positive lyrical energy is another refreshing aspect to this album, in contrast to the "badder than dem” tone of so much dancehall-inspired music. Rappers Omnikrom, whose profile continues to rise in Quebec and beyond, collaborate once again with Poirier over the springy rhythm of "Jusqu’en Haut.” Things get a little choppier with "Hit & Red” as dub shots punctuate backwards and forwards guitar loops overtop a bumpy groove. When Middle Eastern hand drums, soca cadences or Balkan-inspired string loops enter the mix, Poirier manages to come up with solid song ideas that make the most of these inspirations; his programming works with, rather than against, the samples. And that’s the story of this album. However, the lapses occur when the programming runs roughshod over everything else. Most of the time, though, it’s cool runnings. (Ninja Tune)