Pop Montreal Review: Koudlam, October 1, Musée d’art contemporain

Montreal – Koudlam is an electronic musician from France who bills himself as a “symphonic composer” and while he does incorporate symphonic sounds into his music, I don’t think anybody will be confusing what he does for classical music.  This show was a unique one for Pop Montreal as it was taking place in an art gallery.  In a partnership with the Musée d’art contemporain and it’s Nocturnes series, entry to the show also allowed access to the exhibits on display.  Along with features on artist Paul Emile Bourduas and a bizarre video entitled “Shut Your Cockface Up” (featuring what i think were hot dogs drinking 40s and taking about a bank heist), there was also a screen playing the video for Koudlam’s “Eagles Of Africa” on a constant loop.  This could be heard pretty much throughout the whole museum, but it’s a testament to Koudlam’s songwriting and composition skills that I didn’t get totally sick of hearing it over and over.

When the time came about for Koudlam’s show to begin, the room was already full of dry ice smoke.  The table was set up for Koudlam with two laptops, an empty bottle of water and an apple with one small bite out of it.  The apple would go untouched for the duration of Koudlam’s set.  As he began to play, I was struck not only by how catchy his songs were, but by what an engaging performer he was.  For a guy who said almost nothing during the duration, he was somehow pretty interesting to watch.  He even lit up a couple cigarettes during his set.  Seeing as how I’m pretty sure smoking was not allowed inside, the organizers of the show obviously did not provide him with an ashtray as he seemed to be ashing it wherever and even left the lit cigarette lying on the table as he played. 

His songs ranged from moody, atmospheric sounds to more uptempo tunes that had shades of ’80s synthpop and were augmented by the video projections on the screen behind him.  Ranging from still images of buildings to football hooligans rioting  in the park  to topless bikini babes cavorting in the ocean, the footage was always an interesting accompaniment to the music and vice versa.  I believe much if not all of the footage was provided by video artist Cyprien Gaillard, which probably explains why this show was held in an art gallery.

Now if only I can figure out what that mysterious partially eaten apple was supposed to mean.

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Posted on by Paul in Concerts, Everything, Pop Montreal

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