Exclaim!'s Top 10 Improv & Avant-Garde Albums Best of 2016

Charles Barabé
Les Dernières Confessions
(Orange Milk)
Charles Barabé has spent the better part of this decade doing two amazing things: curating the intimate yet immense Victoriaville-based La Cohu imprint, and splattering the loveliest of synthesizer-based sound bombs across numerous reams of magnetic tape. That he's offered up these sonic curios for the world to gorge themselves on is a blessing for those who've listened. Les Dernières Confessions is not the only tape that Barabé has released this year, and it's not his longest, either (the double cassette Cicatrices takes that particular prize).
It is, however, his best. That this debut was made for the always amazing/outrageous Orange Milk Records label — which counts sonic deviants such as Foodman, Giant Claw, Man Made Hill and Piper Spray as alumni — designates it something of a match made in synthetic heaven, and the output of Les Dernières Confessions is exemplary of this predestined union. Coming across as a series of near-symphonic masterpieces, the music is emotionally charged, engaging and full of energy. It's Barabé at his best — and that's pretty darn epic.
Bryon Hayes