Last Ex debut full-length out now on Constellation, opening for Timber Timbre on tour this week, plus video footage revealed‏

October 15, 2014


   New instrumental rock ensemble from Quebec’s experimental/punk scene Last Ex release their self-titled debut album via Constellation Records this week, as they simultaneously kick off their UK tour as the opening act for Timber Timbre. Here are the remaining tour dates:
Oct 14 | London, UK | Heaven
Oct 16 | Liverpool, UK | Leaf
Oct 18 | Brighton, UK | The Haunt
  Last Ex recently released a video (via Drowned In Sound) for the album track “Girl Seizure”, a stunning animation by filmmaker Gabriel Mangold. You can also listen to and share the track “Hotel Blues” as part of the Constellation Autumn release compilation.

  Last Ex is led by Simon Trottier and Olivier Fairfield, best known as core members of Timber Timbre, which spawned the Last Ex project.  When Timber Timbre’s ambient music for a horror film went unused back in 2012, Trottier and Fairfield began revisiting the sound palette they had built up for the soundtrack at Trottier’s studio in Hull, Quebec, expanding on their techniques and textures, adding drums, bass and various other instruments. The duo found that they had dug into some very fertile territory, writing additional songs throughout 2013 and bringing their obsessions with sound collage, tape-based music concrète and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop to bear on the cinematic lyricism of the initial widescreen guitar- and string-based material. Derived from the title of the abandoned film, Simon and Olivier dubbed their new project Last Ex.
  Constellation knew nothing of this back story when the label received the Last Ex demos in spring 2014; they just heard a compelling, compact, coherent, highly evocative instrumental album that kept worming its way into their ears. By the tenth time someone in the office said “Let’s play that Last Ex stuff again” – and everyone enthusiastically agreed – it was time to contact the band. This music belonged in the Constellation catalogue: an instrumental rock album of superb compositional and melodic sensibility, balancing minimalism and restraint with atmosphere and tone, bound by a refreshingly original approach to production.
  Last Ex makes ample use of the electric guitar as both lead instrument and textural sound source, structuring most of the pieces around deliberate melodic and contrapuntal deployments of Spaghetti Western twang, while distressing, degrading and redeploying those sonics through Fairfield’s analog tape-based manipulations. Trottier takes on most of the guitar duties, with Timber Timbre’s Taylor Kirk contributing on a couple of tunes as well. Tight bursts of trap set rhythms played by Fairfield, and usually captured with just a couple of microphones, along with consistently excellent basslines laid down by both Simon and Olivier, propel the album and make this anything but an ambient listen. Strings appear on several pieces, courtesy Mika Posen (also of Timber Timbre), in a wide range of textures and treatments.
  With its combination of assured lyricism, cinematic guitars, dusky analog atmospherics and taut percussion, this is a vivid, concise and expressive instrumental album that sits snugly between fellow label acts Do Make Say Think and Exhaust on the one hand, Hrsta, Tindersticks and Evangelista on the other. Fans of early Trans Am, early/mid Tortoise, Calexico and (obviously) Timber Timbre should appreciate this as well.

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