Martin Tétreault and Kid Koala Phon-O-Victo

Despite Martin Tétreault’s sound explorations wandering further afield than Kid Koala’s — the Kid being far more rooted in traditional structures than Tétreault’s John Cage-inspired sound odysseys — few should be shocked that the two Montrealers would collaborate, since both share a fervent ardour for utilising turntables as instruments. Their strategy for Phon-O-Victo was to use 100 percent vinyl (of course) "determined by the venue,” in this case Cinema Laurier in Montreal. That meant digging out records that had a cinematic quality. On the theoretical level, the pairing of the two musicians suggests a sort of balanced affair — Tétreault’s brutish soundscapes grounded by gently manipulated finds from Koala’s eclectic library. Instead, Tétreault unleashes an explosive chaos of brusque vinyl manipulation that dominates the record, subsiding only briefly to allow Koala’s signature elements — the odd sample from a blues album or a vocal cut from an old instructional record — some breathing space. Despite the imbalance, a constant barrage of scratching by the duo unifies the disparate sounds and styles. The result is a strangely symphonic and compelling record. The latter if only for its contribution to sound. (Victo)