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PASCAL GLOBENSKY – ZIGZAG (2023) (Cuneiform Records)

Pascal Globensky is a founder member of MIRIODOR, a Quebec band who straddle Rock in Opposition, Jazz, Prog and Chamber music with aplomb. The pieces on “Zigzag” span a decade of ideas left undeveloped by Miridor. Quoting BRIAN ENO, Pascal says, “Limitations can be positive and help us to be more creative.” On listening to the album, it surprised me that it was recorded using a computer, an app, a sound card and a keyboard, with a little help from some friends from Miridor on a few tracks, as well as snippets from Miridor jams. Pascal also says that he enjoyed working within the limitations of vignettes (specifically short ‘song’ formats, although note there is little in the way of voice), with carefully selected sounds.

I was surprised, because “Zigzag” is far from the cold, inorganic album that could have resulted, the first, ‘Overture/ Machu Pichu’, reminding me of the quirky side of Canterbury, with ZAPPA orchestral touches, and as the music progressed, a POPOL VUH filmic quality. There is nothing borrowed though, as the spirit of Miriodor shines through, a sudden sparking synth forming a grand transition to ‘King’s Approaching’, which shows how a simple melody can go somewhere else entirely with quixotic layers of sounds, and thus far the impressions of harpsichords and vibes. It all works amazingly well, with vignettes like the playful ‘Jour de Paie’ whetting the appetite for a more extended piece, even if compromises four parts on the 12 minutes of ‘Marche…’ etcetera. Penultimate piece, ‘Tramway/ Station Signal’ is accomplished, surpassed only by final track ‘Approche’, a worthy way to end an intriguing, and at times startling album, that borders on the otherworldly.

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