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In 1993, Mixmaster Morris (The Irresistible Force) declared that we should all lie down and be counted. It was the middle of rave culture’s heyday, main room dancers were chewing their faces off on a techno grind whilst the chill out faction were busy wrapping their heads around the headiest electronic sounds available. This phenomenon was probably best encapsulated by Aphex Twin's landmark "Selected Ambient Works 85-92" (amongst many other classics). It was a more adventurous time in electronic music, a bridge era where the newest releases could be played seamlessly next to classics like Manuel Gottsching's "E2-E4" and Terry Riley's "A Rainbow In Curved Air". It’s in the heart of this era that Ghislain Poirier spent his formative years consuming music and having his future production style influenced.
You primarily know Poirier as one of the leaders of what’s been described as the "global bass" scene. He's a pioneer in crossing over Caribbean rhythms, in particular those of the Soca tempo'ed variety. But if you listen throughout his catalog, you'll discover the influence that the aforementioned era had on his production. After numerous releases under his own moniker, and never one to sit still or rest on his laurels, he debuted Boundary in 2013 with a self-titled release that harkened back to those early days. With a successful live launch at Mutek to accompany the release of his newest effort, his music made an immediate impact within the minimal / avant-garde electronics sphere and marked a clear divide between his two production monikers.
"This self-titled album shines. These songs are brittle but still dubby and surprisingly tense. Even with all the intelligence, Mr. Poirier hasn't forgotten the dance." (New York Times)
Which brings us to the new Boundary record, "Still Life", both a follow up to the debut and an expansion on the ideas which were presented. Aptly described as "electronic chamber music" after a recent performance at the Montreal Jazz Festival, it encapsulates and recaptures the merging point of classic electronics and classic electronica. It is an album recorded in the middle of the night and perfect for the middle of the night. Subliminally driving it is an imagined sci-fi score with a deep appreciation for the Blade Runner soundtrack; a product that is minimalist while also touching certain maximalist techniques used in Poirier’s other productions. Whether utilizing the repetition of Reich on the opening track "Rodinia" or on "Villes Infinies", channelling a classic Detroit minimal sound (Yamuna Expressway) or manifesting his aforementioned inner Vangelis on "Los Angeles 2019" and "Royaum", it's all put together seamlessly and made very much his own. "Still Life" is a record that positions him alongside contemporaries like Andy Stott, Actress, Boards Of Canada, TM404 and other innovators who push the boundaries of electronics.
Keep an eye out for Boundary tour dates at various stops around the world. His live shows include a drummer and a keyboard player, a proper head nod counterpoint to Poirier’s usual dance-floor explosion, further evidence of just how well rounded and diverse his newest output has become.