Mile End Ladies String Auxiliary From Cells of Roughest Air

An absolutely lovely idea; it’s amazing it took this long to gather the pre-eminent Montreal ladies of the stringed instruments together for their own compositions. Comprising Beckie Foon (Esmerine, A Silver Mt. Zion), Genevieve Heistek (Hangedup) and Sophie Trudeau (GY!BE), From Cells of Roughest Air crackles with energy, leaving the listener both moved and somewhat disturbed. The opener, "Sequences of a Warm Front,” is the centrepiece of the album and rightfully so. Starting off deceptively slow and complacent, it keeps upping the ante in tension and while some listeners may be off-put by the repeating screech of the dominant violin, it gives the piece a basic urgency that is sometimes lost in their usual bands’ large instrumentation. Indeed, the ending of the piece comes off strongest with the Ladies going at full-tilt and it is here where Cells works the best magic. The other, shorter pieces also work, with "Low Pressure Phenomena” stirring the imagination in its limited time, but the Ladies falter with "Line Squall,” which tends to be more chaotic and cacophonous than is pleasurable. An almost primal listen, Cells inspires in its rough-hewn approach to music and is essential for those who enjoy these Montreal ladies in their other projects. (Rock out)