Partager l’ambulance, Misc’s sophomore album, is out today on Bonsound. This new effort by the instrumental trio formed by Jérôme Beaulieu (piano & synthesizers), William Côté (drums & percussion) and Simon Pagé (double bass & electric bass) follows the 2016 release of their eponymous album. Partager l’ambulance was recently praised by notorious UK radio DJs Gilles Peterson and Tom Ravenscroft, who played the song Mad on both of their respective BBC Radio 6 shows.
With this new album, the trio pursues their musical exploration and further blurs the boundaries between jazz and other genres. Firmly rooted in a questioning era of stormy social context, Partager l’ambulance (which translates to Sharing the ambulance) refers to the global crisis that shakes humanity right now. The music explores the choice we have to either address the crisis and minimize the fallout, or ignore it and risk severe consequences in the future. This reflection is illustrated on the highly colorful album cover, designed by Christophe B. de Muri.
The importance of telling a story through good melodies and grooves remains at the core of our approach, explains Jérôme Beaulieu. At the same time, since the piano trio format has been enormously exploited and recorded throughout history, we try to have fun with the sounds available to us by drawing from our vast inspirations. Our music consumption is extremely eclectic and diverse, and so are the ideas that come to mind and ignite us.
Mad, the album’s focus track, showcases their ability to dig into their artistic background to deliver songs that are both complex and restriction-free. On Partager l’ambulance, Misc plays with textures using percussion, synthesizers and solid bass lines, all without compromising the melodies. Although most of the songs were born out of soundchecks or late-night jams, the trio's penchant for experimentation also led them to cover Suuns' X-ALT, making their version completely unexpected.
Misc embraces traditional jazz through their vocabulary and improvisation, but they also know how to put their influences to good use by pulling from electro, rock, and pop riffs, as well as an optimal blend of samples and sound effects. For example, the song Petite apathie oscillates between a delicate lounge atmosphere and ominous tones, ultimately building to a searing crescendo. Une chiée offers the listener a foray into a psychedelic universe where repetitions are enhanced by the divan bağlama (played by Jérémi Roy). While the use of contact microphones in the studio gives the album an intimate late-night feel, and accentuates the architectural nature of the compositions, the great cohesion lies in the distinctive style for which Misc has been renowned since their beginnings.