Phases compiles the A-sides of Montag’s 12-month singles project of the same name. 2012 saw Montag, a.k.a. Antoine Bédard, writing a new song (or two) for digital release each month of the year. Bédard chose this unique and innovative release method to experience songwriting and producing in a new, challenging way. The songs showcase a range of styles while sharing elements from the electronic pop of Montag’s previous work. “Sun Fat Explosion” is Bédard’s noisy go at krautrock, an improvised jam taken from a “one-night-band” session with fellow Montreal musicians. Erika Spring of Au Revoir Simone lends her lovely voice to “Memori,” a synth-pop gem with a bittersweet melody, built on chords written by Spring. Phase five, “New Found Land,” features Bédard’s lyrics about a land untouched by human hands, the “one place where we belong.” The track begins with a Kate Bush-like sweep of sustaining synth sounds before becoming a louder, M83-style tune. This new, time-sensitive writing method didn’t allow for much tinkering before release. The limitations gave Bédard a fresh perspective on songwriting. “It felt dangerous, and sometimes I wondered if it was too ambitious, but it also felt good, having to write the songs in time and on time every month,” he writes in the LP liner notes. “Each song is a time capsule of what I was living in the moment and what was inspiring me.”
Montreal’s Montag, otherwise known as DJ Antoine Bédard, launched his first record, Are You a Friend?, in 2002. The record was released on electronic music record label, Gooom Disques, which is also home to M83. Are You a Friend?’s dreamy and minimalistic sounds were soon noticed by France’s Les Inrocks. His extensive discography, which consists of two EPs and five records, demonstrates his composing abilities. Bédard’s talent has sent him on major tours across the world.
The 2005 release of Alone, Not Alone (his first release on Carpark Records), received international praise, including a 7.8/10 rating from Pitchfork. His third release, Going Places (2007), was well-received in Japan where he toured with Au Revoir Simone and YACHT.
Through the years, Montag has performed live at a number of music festivals such as Mutek (Montréal), SXSW (Austin, TX), Sonorama (Guadalajara), Canadian Music Week (Toronto) and CMJ (New York). He has shared the stage with Caribou, Broadcast, Feist, The Junior Boys, Lali Puna, Xiu Xiu and Stars among others. Montag regularly collaborates on visual art installations, theatre plays, art videos and other audio art projects.
In 2012, he conceived Audiosphere, an award-winning iPhone application that allows transit users to discover local artists with use of geolocalisation. In early 2013, he worked on the original score and sound design for Pascal Grandmaison’s Le jour des 8 soleils, presented as part of the event Luminothérapie in Montreal.
In parallel to his work in musical composition, Bédard has been producing various soundwalks that explore the relationship among sound, urban environment and history. He also co-hosts and spins at some of Montreal’s highly attended gay nights, Mec Plus Ultra and Audioporn Club.
Photos by Frederic Bouchard:
(click for hi-res image)
Photos by Alejandro Santiago:
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• College Radio Promotion by Terrorbird
• Summer North American tour dates being planned
• Music video and very special remixes in the works
• The Phases LP track sequence follows the same chronological order as the original singles project
• Vinyl includes free digital download
• Remixes of select tracks included with free digital download
1. New Design
2. Trip The Light Fantastic
4. Next Life
5. New Found Land
6. There Is A Voice
7. True Love (feat. James Bay)
9. Sun Fat Explosion
10. MEMORI (feat. Erika Spring)
12. The Last Call