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Wondeur Brass biography
Wondeur Brass is the first musical (Justine being their second and Les Poules their third) project by Joane Hétu, Diane Labrosse and Danielle Roger. A particularity of this band is that it was composed of nine members, all women. It is probably Hétu / Labrosse / Roger?s most important. Under that name, they recorded three albums and two of them have been re-issued. Parano (never re-issued) in 1982, rAVIr in 1985 and Simoneda, reine des esclaves in 1988. At this period, they had already toured in Europe. Their first time on this other continent was in 1984, at the international congress ?Women & Music? in Paris. They would return to that congress every year until 1990. They also toured in Switzerland, in Germany, in Yougoslavia, in Belgium and in the United Kingdom.
They brought a new vision to the eighties poplar music. Their music conserved a simple, sometimes rudimentary and even almost homemade. They didn?t fear improvisation and experimentation, though.

Biography written by Gabriel Rivest (Tsevir Leirbag)

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3.13 | 5 ratings
2.75 | 4 ratings
Simoneda, reine des esclaves

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 rAVIr by WONDEUR BRASS album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.13 | 5 ratings

Wondeur Brass RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars The first of two albums and a very 80's-ish artwork with a leaping frog jumping towards you, just as the music of this all-female sextet does. We're in the mid-80's and RIO is still making babies, now outside the countries that helped its birth, such as Switzerland (Debile Menthol) and La Belle Province of Quebec with Wondeur Brass and a bit later Miriodor. As said above, this is an all-female and all-Québecoises band, so there is always a part of omni-present feminism in their work, and this is already plainly audible in the name taken from a twisted well-known under-garment that has mystified the their male counterparts for decades as how to get rid of it with scissors. The sextet has a three-woman brass attack with a synth and drum-bass rhythm section, the bassist also going for the odd guitar part.

Musically speaking, Ravir is stuck between a French-speaking very vocal RIO ala Etronfou and Art Bears or HC (when Dagmar's crazy vocals are very present) on one side and the future music that Miriodor would actually play (which is also often influenced by Manouche or Gypsy Jazz and Klezmer music). The first side is opening on Peau De Chat, which appears to have an un-credited accordion (this could e a synth as well) with a very playful gypsy atmosphere and filtered backingvocals. The four tracks are fairly short, as is the instrumental Free Fast & Clean, which sounds a bit new wave electro-pop ala Devo or Gary Numan, but the music is much more complex than you'd fear it in a first place. Bedard's trombone and Bergeron's baritone sax help giving much humour in the wind section as well as providing some musical depth. Indeed in Insane (closing side 1), the baritone sax is almost in its death throes along with some dramatic vocals over a pedestrian bass.

The flipside opens on a rapid tempo and again some still un-credited accordion and All four songs on this side are sung in French this time, even if Ombre Est Là/Umbrella is playing around in two languages. Comptine Pour Mademoiselle is a very feminist denunciation of girls' upbringing and the male tales to get inside them. The group closes on the magnificent (and lengthier since it reaches 8 minutes)Trois Baleines (three whales), a slow and solemn track, musically very close to Wyatt's Rock Bottom 's universe.

First excellent album that got approved by the government of Canada in terms of feminine promotion, this is music you'd never guess that an all-women ensemble would do. I'd recommend it to everyone, just to get the clichés a good whipping, but unfortunately too many males are not willing to leave their comfort zone when it comes to adventurous music.

Thanks to avestin for the artist addition.

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