Foe Destroyer


This is Montreal-based Stephen Beaupré's (half of duo Crackhaus) first full-length solo album. Foe Destroyer's wildly varied sonic tableaux aptly reflects the vivid imagination, sharp wit, and keen sense of humour of master sampler Beaupré. To his ears any sound source is fair game, any noise a potential instrument. In the Buddhist tradition, the term "Foe Destroyer" refers to a student who has abandoned all delusions of worldly importance, through training on the path to enlightenment. Fittingly, Beaupré strips his sample sources of all but the most fleeting remains of their origins, weaving them into complex percussive networks. Described in this way, Beaupré's creative process seems closely related to the manifestos of Akufen and Mathew Herbert, associations which, during Foe Destroyer's danciest moments, will be clearly audible to discerning ears. His meticulous editing clearly shows he can splice and filet his samples with the best of them, easily overcoming the worn out clichés of intelligent dance music. It is a sense of fragility, the feeling that each song might collapse upon itself at any moment that marks Foe Destroyer as a unique creative vision. The disc begins with "El Gato," a mid-tempo tech house affair which invokes images of a 1930s traveling carnival with its playful melodies and dark undercurrents. On "Shy Moon," Beaupré strips away all but the most essential elements to create a chugging, blues-fueled late night special. On "Keep Your Hands Off," Beaupré sends the album running for the dancefloor with an infectious bassline and schizophrenic melody running circles around the title's mantra. "Les Filles" combines the most basic of male confessions with a dirty little bassline to form this album's certifiable floor filler. "Plump City" keeps spirits high with a disparate array of oddball effects and noises configured into a stumbling break. On "Jacaranda," Beaupré offers a modern soundtrack for locking, popping, and big time B-boy floor moves, while "Sacrelicious," delivers the album's most infectious rubber bassline. Finally "Dark Water" is a fittingly tranquil ending for what is a promising sign of things to come from one of Montreal's finest electronic music composers.