Alexander St-Onge Joseph Carey Merrick

Though Mon Animal Est Possible, released last October by Alien8, constituted a welcome return to solo work, Montreal experimentalist Alexandre St-Onge hasn’t wasted any time in following it up with the even more harrowing and emotive Joseph Carey Merrick, an EP that borrows its name from the medical anomaly better known to the world as the Elephant Man. This 20-minute recording is divided into three untitled sequences that have St-Onge following up the dark and brooding Badalamenti-inspired compositions of Mon Animal with a fittingly Lynch-ian tribute to twists of nature. St-Onge is at his best when dealing with the macabre, and so this tribute to Merrick echoes with demented howls and scrapes falling into place in the style of Keiji Heino’s voice work while maintaining the looped tenacity of Luc Ferrari’s off-kilter tape experiements. Unhinged and challenging, Merrick nevertheless offers greater evidence that St-Onge is coming into his own as a leading voice of Canadian experimental music. (Oral)