I have a long history with Thisquietarmy’s music. It started sometime around his collaborative record with France’s Year of No Light. There was something about that release that caught me and I keep looking for and finding it in the music of Canadian one-man army (and touring addict) Eric Quach. I’ve played shows with Thisquietarmy, I’ve booked him in Sofia, I’ve seen him perform with collab projects like Hypnodrone Ensemble, we once even went to an OM concert in Berlin together, from which I ran away because, man, it was boring.
This being said I’m quite pretentious, dare I say demanding about Thisquietarmy’s work. I’ve been following most of the project’s transformations and developments and while I absolutely adore records like the above mentioned one, the droning beast Métamorphose (Grains of Sand, 2017) or The Body And The Earth (Consouling Sounds, 2018) albums like Anthems for Catharsis (Consouling Sounds & TQA Records, 2015) have been tougher for me to appreciate. The reason for this has always been the way drums were handled in different releases of Eric’s vast discography. So, when I heard Thisquietarmy is putting out an album with Michel ‘Away’ Langevin of Voïvod fame I knew I had to dissect this one.
And boy is this collaboration successful! It takes a complete different mindset to be able to accommodate Quach’s monumental wall of noise guitar playing without becoming a mere platform for it to shine or without silencing it. Quach has managed to reach a similar balance with Aidan Girt (Godspeed You! Black Emperor) in their duo Some Became Hollow Tubes but in their collaboration both instruments seem as if they had to take a step back from each other in order to adjust and create a more contemplative sonic environment. With Away the signature Thisquietarmy sound doesn’t have to make any compromises, it doesn’t have to adapt. Not for other reason but simply because Langevin’s drumming managed to fit like a glove with the sound, intensity, volume and fluid arrangement of the music. This being said, Away is also a musician with a very distinct style which also shines at its maximum here. His drumming is tight, structured and gives a solid ground to the freeform guitar explorations of Quach while still remains intertwined with it.
It’s amazing to see these two musicians—who are inhabiting quite different parts of the extreme music spectrum—collaborating so successfully to create something that sounds mutual, shared and representative of both their musical legacy. Besides the beautiful way the music on this record has been crafted, probably as a result of live recording sessions, it’s also perfectly captured and produced. It sounds solid, but sufficiently wild and raw to convey the energy poured in both musicians respective performances. I know that most of you reading this haven’t even heard The Singularity, Phase I yet but I’m already waiting for the day when Phase II will be unleashed upon the world. I’m certain these two have tons of unravelled sonic and musical territories to conquer.
The Singularity, Phase I releases on December 4 on Québec-based P572 imprint in a very beautiful packaging and a run of only 500 copies. You know what to do.