Constellation release Musique Fragile 2 – beautifully packaged, superb music

22 May

Musique Fragile Volume 02 is the second in the series of limited-edition, artwork-intensive box sets featuring three full-length albums by three different artists, available June 26 on heavyweight vinyl and as a digital bundle. The vinyl set will be limited to 500 hand-numbered copies, lovingly designed and hand-assembled: each album comes in its own jacket accompanied by a pull-out poster, and all three albums are housed in a lovely screenprinted slipcover box (pictured above). Records are pressed on 180 gram virgin vinyl and the box, jackets and posters are all screenprinted by Jesse Purcell at Repetitive Press in Montreal.

Pre-order your copy directly from Constellation and it will ship to arrive on or before release date.

Musique Fragile Volume 02:

Kanada 70 • Vamp Ire
Pacha • Affaires Étrangères
Hangedup & Tony Conrad • Transit Of Venus


Kanada 70 • Vamp Ire

Kanada 70 is the home-recording project of Toronto’s Craig Dunsmuir, who started giving away CD-R micro-releases under this moniker in 2006. There have been over two dozen K70 titles issued since then – truly a treasure chest of 21st century études, where the repetitive and cyclical nature of mostly loop-based tracks is conditioned by the fact that Dunsmuir plays and punches everything by hand; returns of phrase contain odd stutters and variations, intention and accident collide, and there’s an organic immediacy throughout. Vamp Ire spans a wide range of influences, from abstract techno, industrial and noise music to prog-rock, African funk, no wave and metal. The hardest part was selecting only 45 minutes worth! But we think Vamp Ire opens a window to Craig’s subtle, introverted and brilliant sensibility.

Dunsmuir is known for his work as one half of Glissandro 70 (with Sandro Perri) and as an encyclopedic musicologist on staff at Toronto’s Soundscapes record store. Under his Max Gross alter-ego, Dunsmuir recently remixed “Love & Light” from Sandro Perri’s Impossible Spaces album, which will be part of a Perri remix album issued by DFA in summer 2012. Craig also DJs disco 12″s as part of Invisible City Sound System. Other Kanada 70 compilations have appeared as digital releases on Polyphasic, Medusa Editions and Inyrdisk. Vamp Ire marks the first appearance of K70 material on vinyl. The album was mastered by Sandro Perri.

Pacha • Affaires Étrangères

Pacha is the solo work of percussionist Pierre-Guy Blanchard, who recorded this album at home with engineer Radwan Moumneh in 2009 and subsequently self-released it in a tiny run of CD-Rs. Affaires Étrangères features intensely satisfying rhythm-heavy instrumentals often propelled by fried, amped-up Middle-Eastern synth lines and sprinkled with guitar, bass and oud along with the odd looped field recording. Think early Trans Am if they had come out of Cairo or Beirut, or Oneida in their motorik mode and with an Arabic pop fixation.

Blanchard received a BA in music in 2003, majoring in percussion performance, and then escaped the ‘new music’ trajectory by traveling extensively and immersing himself in Middle Eastern and Balkan traditions, studying under various masters and playing with a wide range of regional groups. During his periods back in Canada he performed in countless ensembles and first came to Constellation’s attention when he was recruited as guest percussionist for Black Ox Orkestar and ultimately appeared on that group’s Nisht Azoy album, about which Tiny Mix Tapes wrote “Blanchard’s freeform jazz-indebted playing opens the album up to even more adventurous terrain…the second leg plays like a Balkan Henry Cow”. Pierre-Guy has also performed regularly with Sam Shalabi’s jazz/psych/arabic orchestra Land Of Kush.

Constellation re-sequenced and remastered the Affaires Étrangères CD-R for vinyl and is proud to be giving this album a more substantial life. It marks Blanchard’ first attempt at a definitive musical statement of his own and we think it succeeds wildly.

Hangedup & Tony Conrad • Transit Of Venus

A meeting of the legendary violin minimalist and one of the past decade’s finest instrumental punk bands. Tony Conrad needs no introduction, having made crucial contributions to avant-garde experimental film and sound since the 1960s. Hangedup – the Montréal duo of Eric Craven and Gen Heistek – released three searing albums of steam-engine percussion and layered, distorted, dive-bombing viola on Constellation in the early 2000s.

Conrad and Hangedup first met in 2003 at the k-raa-k festival in Belgium, which led to a series of shared concerts and collaborations in 2004 and a pile of live-in-the-studio recordings captured while the trio were working up various pieces and improvisations. These tapes rock. Having gone unreleased at the time, Craven together with Harris Newman at Greymarket Mastering recently plunged back into the archives and started shaping an album from the various 2-track and live-mixed multi-track source material.

Transit Of Venus documents this fertile collaboration and includes some enormous slabs of drone rock alongside more decomposed pieces and gorgeously gritty string duos.



Kanada 70 Vamp Ire
1. Ignore Dub I
2. Mou
3. Krankqui
4. Molle
5. Delivery
6. Gnaer
7. Errora High II
8. Chimura
9. For T.O. (Perish)
10. Annoyo
11. Redrag
12. Thumas
13. Redsidled
14. Scorpi
15. Doubles

Pacha Affaires Étrangères
1. L’Aeroport De Charlo
2. Macedonian Mind
3. Modern Malaise
4. La Gare De Podgorica
5. Tunel
6. Ankara
7. Starcevo
8. Le Soviet

Hangedup & Tony Conrad Transit Of Venus
1. Flying Fast n Furious
2. Transit Of Venus
3. Principles
4. Bright Arc Of Light
5. Gentil The Unlucky Astronomer
6. Panorama From Maxwell Montes

Read more and listen on the Constellation website.



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