Le Duc Celebration

Celebration is Didier Mignot's first release on Vancouver-based label NuTone Records, and marks a movement from his early work during the '70s in French rock music to punk and new wave, before he discovered techno in the early '90s. The trajectory of discovery is not surprising, and may explain the mood of recent debut releases by artists on NuTone. Much of it desperately wants to be different but ends up being rather unoriginal as a result. If label-mate NatarajXT's Indian love affair was not bothersome enough, Le Duc traverses "Eastern spiritual" music without specifications - so this is essentially an album of songs that revel in the making of anything non-white as exotic as possible. The opening track, "Paccaya," is a rather banal, mellow dance number with a repetitive Sanskrit incantation that is badly pronounced and robbed of any of its powerful intonation. The album is scattered throughout with obscure and unspecified vocal samples of anything from the aforementioned Sanskrit chanting to Buddhist incantations and Arabic songs. Celebration would possibly work as an album if Mignot stuck to writing straight-up dance numbers, and there are hints in some tracks, such as "Runas," that this may be within his means. But there seems to be a rush of musical outpourings that think taking the exotic route is the only way to avoid obscurity. Though some may make misconceived references to Banco de Gaia and Transglobal Underground, there is a little more real dialogue happening between the various disparate musical parts there. There may have been something musically revolutionary about the fractured beats and Palestinian political interests of Muslimgauze, but this release is pretty forgettable and if not anything else, just plain offensive. (Nutone)