Breaking The Fourth Wall
This is the second album by Guillaume & The Coutu Dumonts. Since releasing his debut album on the Musique Risquée label in 2007, the Montreal-born Berliner has released a steady stream of EPs, remixes and compilation tracks for Circus Company, Oslo, Cocoon and many more. Throughout, he's developed one of the most distinctive styles in contemporary house music -- a deep, powerful and original fusion of Afro-Latin percussion, instrumental melodies, soulful vocals, and intricate rhythm programming. With Breaking The Fourth Wall, he takes another big step forward. From dark-and-stormy basement jams to Ethiopian-tinged fantasias, from Afrobeat to ambient house, this album finds Guillaume venturing far beyond the limits of 4/4 boompty-boompty. He set himself the added challenge of making the album sound as much like the work of a live band as possible. To do so, he availed himself of a close community of musician friends, beginning with dOP, recording in their Paris studio. Dave Aju recorded the vocals for "On The Lips" in his San Francisco studio. Switzerland/Zaire's Dynamike brings an Afro-beat feel to "Radio Novela." Guillaume's longtime collaborators Marc-André Charbonneau, Sébastien-Arcand Tourigny and Nicolas Boucher all feature on various tracks, playing guitar, saxophone and Rhodes. Even Guillaume's brother turns up on guitar on "Discothèque." Together, these and other ferociously talented musicians help translate Guillaume's musical vision into a living, breathing, collective effort. While the DJs will have plenty to keep them busy, the album takes many turns, slipping into a slow 6/8 shuffle on "Discothèque" and digging into a kind of dub-cumbia on "Radio Novela"; "Intermede" and "Unwelcomed" both explore murky atmospheres swirling with organ and sampled acoustic instruments. It's that acoustic element that gives Breaking The Fourth Wall such uncommon depth. Muted synthesizers and unobtrusive drum machines are the glue and staples holding together a panoramic collage of saxophones, congas, piano, Rhodes, Hammond organ, choral passages, preachers' vocals, brushed drumming and more. It's all polished off with killer hooks and vocals you might call subliminal, they burrow so deep into your head. Guillaume blurs the lines between sampling and composition, between machines and acoustic instruments, between the nightclub and the living room. Put it on and witness a new musical world coming sharply into focus -- no 3D glasses required.