With a lifetime spent in rhythm and production, Auflassen is an exuberant maturation and homecoming for Guillaume Coutu Dumont—a sonic distillation of wisdoms acquired over almost 2 decades working in the realm of electronic music. Inspired by the musicianship of pioneering German electronic masters like Burnt Friedman, Jan Jelinek and Pole, Coutu Dumont has crafted his own new direction, revelling in echoes of jazz, exotic textures, fanciful yet restrained arrangements and dashes of soul and techno.
After studies in electroacoustics, Latin and classical percussion, Guillaume Coutu Dumont established himself as fixture of Montréal's leftfield microhouse and techno scene—with Artificiel’s Julien Roy as EGG and in Chic Miniature with Ernesto Ferreyra, in the early days. A move to Berlin in 2007 hatched solo project Guillaume & the Coutu Dumonts, a propulsive fusion of house, jazz, gospel, techno, and Afrobeat, while more collaborations followed, such as ambient venture Museum and percussive five-piece GCD & The Side Effects. Back in Montréal a decade later, he formed Flabbergast with Vincent Lemieux and released an EP under the name Vieux Renard. Following his own unrestrained creative path, Coutu Dumont gathered his jazz-inclined collaborators for a new project: Auflassen. Robbie Kuster studied jazz performance in university in British Columbia and played drums professionally before moving to Montréal, where he joined Patrick Watson. Pianist and television director-producer Nicolas Boucher has been a member of groups The Side Effects, Les Impromptistes and [iks]—he also runs documentary production company DBcom Media. Saxophonist Sébastien Arcand-Tourigny has performed and recorded with new classical ensembles and groups such as avant-garde jazz-pop band [iks]. As Auflassen, the artists collaborate not only as experienced professionals but as expressive musicians in search of new sounds. Auflassen's brand new live set elaborates on the group's recently recorded and forthcoming album, mixed and mastered with Ricardo Villalobos in Berlin.
Closing out MUTEK in euphoric style on Sunday night, Auflassen introduces the almost-jazz sound of their first album to the city, complete with improvised flourishes and the kind of unique elements that can only be experienced in a live performance.
Circus Company, Musique Risquée, Freerange Records
Auflassen means “leave open” and refers to a habit of the director Renoir, who would leave the studio door open when he was shooting to “let life in,” which resonated with Coutu Dumont