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Ghislain Poirier - Beats as Politics

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Artist: Ghislain Poirier

Album: Beats as Politics

Label: Chocolate Industries

Review date: Jan. 29, 2004

Ghislain Poirier is a Montreal based music and visual artist. After hosting a college radio show for five years, he began making beats in 2000. He dropped his first album on New York's 12k label in 2001. He kept busy in 2002 with a performance at Montreal's Mutek festival in June and a second album in August, this time on hometown label intr_version. The fall of ’03 gave us two more full lengths from Poirier, his second on intr_version, and his first for Chicago's Chocolate Industries.

Where Poirier's previous ventures have explored the realms of ambient dub techno, Beats as Politics serves up dirty chunks of boombastic hip-hop. The record is fun, but nothing groundbreaking. At first, it reminds me of Dabrye's instrmntl release on Eastern Developments. Both Dabrye and Poirier use similar style samples to create the mood. But where Dabrye keeps his beats locked to a tight swing, Poirier's feel loose and chunky. Furthermore, Beats as Politics could benefit from Dabrye's masterful use of the Virus synth. On "Montreal Ans Ma Tete", Poirier borrows those swelling bass pads and boom-bap b-boy drums characteristic of a Beneath Autumn Sky tune. In working with rapper Diverse on "Grey Space,” Poirier forces the Prefuse comparison, one which he cannot quite stand up to. Diverse still blows up the track as usual. On two other tunes, Poirier teams up with Montreal rapper Seba, whose flows sound smooth and if I spoke French I'm sure I would be really into these joints.

All in all, Beats as Politics is a tasty snack, but for those experimental hip hop fans looking for a main course, this record ain’t quite hearty enough.

By William Mitsakos

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