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MMCircle biography
A Québec-based chamber rock unit MMCIRCLE were founded in 2001 by Martin MAHEUX, a drummer / composer for conceptualizing a music mixture of rock, jazz, avantgarde, classic. Their debut album "Physics Of Light", released in the following year, recorded / produced by Frédéric ALARIE (contrabass), Rachel DUPERREAULT (violin), Guy DUBUC (piano, keyboards), Jean-François GAGNON (trumpet), and Martin (drums). They've developed themselves along with Martin's original idea to complete a classical string quartet combined with jazz essence like Miles or Herbie. As a result, since the latter half of 2000s, Martin's replaced other players with newer ones and released two albums - "Sibylle" (2006) and "Requiem Pour Un Vivant" (2008).

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Mmcircle Requiem Pour Un Vivant Mainstream JazzMmcircle Requiem Pour Un Vivant Mainstream Jazz
Requiem Pour Un VivantRequiem Pour Un Vivant
Unicorn Digital 2008
$18.45 (used)

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MMCIRCLE discography

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MMCIRCLE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Physics Of Light
2.14 | 3 ratings
4.00 | 2 ratings
Requiem Pour Un Vivant

MMCIRCLE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Requiem Pour Un Vivant by MMCIRCLE album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.00 | 2 ratings

Requiem Pour Un Vivant
MMCircle RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams

4 stars There's nothing better than a viola if you want to paint your music with dark colours. It's not a case that HP Lovecraft has put a viola in the hands of his character Erich Zann. Without the strigs quartet the music in this album would haven't been so intriguing.

As in all the best RIO albums, the mixed influence of chamber music and jazz creates a soundscape able to capture the listener into a bubble of apparently disconnected sounds. It's inside this bubble that the drumming of Martin Maheux inserts itself like a snake in a hole.

But what has caught my attention more is the second track of the album which satrts with no drumming: just viola and violin. When the drums come in, they do it gently. It's interesting how this apparently disconnected music is well defined into structures: when the drums stop, the structure of the track is revealed. The whole is repeated a second time before taking its way to a different place. The pizzicato sustained only by the charleston in alternance with a strings chord interrupts the main structure but only to enter a shorter sequence of repetitions, then the strings quartet takes off. ...and the drums are still there in the background.

The album title, "Requiem Pour Un Vivant"(Requiem for a living one) is well represented by the sleeve design. The overall music inside is not as dark as the title and the cover art can suggest. It's RIO, so nothing "funny", but the music is sstructured enough to be appealing to listeners used to chamber music and contemporary classics. Let me add that there are also parts which could be called "rock" in a large sense, like at minute 7:50 of the second track.

Track Three, "Stagnation" is more jazzy on a slow swing tempo but with the strings alternating the jezzy theme with interludes of chamber music reminding of Debussy, until it takes the control. It's like a battle between the jazzy and the classic elements. A sort of conflict which doesn't have much to do with the stagnation of the title.

The title track has a start based on minor chords, as it's appropriate for a requiem. Then it evolves to orchestral accents, pizzicato and jazzy moments which gives it the mood of a horror movie soundtrack. I have in mind a couple of videogames which could be backed by a track like this, but the other consistent element of this track, which is common in many RIO music, is that it's like it stays in the border between night and day. It has the feeling of being just about to fall asleep. The thing I like most here is the viola driving the track and keeping it consistent even when the other instruments start going elsewhere. The part of viola, violin and drums is excellent.

The closing track starts with a parossistic piano which makes it sound more like Zeuhl than RIO. This is the track with more rhythm, the one which qualifies as rock, not just chamber music. This Eric St. Jean is an excellent pianist. When it calms down after the about two minutes of interlude, it's unexpectedly melodic, for how melodic can a RIO track be. Lovers of classical music will surely enjoy this. Then it turns into jazz. I wish there was more piano throughout the album.

In brief, this music is challenging for a listener who is not used to this kind of music, but is not as challenging as some classics of the genre like the last Stormy Six outputs. Stay away if you don't like the genre. For al the others, this is an excellent album.

 Sibylle by MMCIRCLE album cover Studio Album, 2006
2.14 | 3 ratings

MMCircle RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars After three studio albums with Spaced Out Martin Maheux decided it was time to record another album for his project MMCircle.For this reason he established both a jazz and string quartet, the later features Martine Gaumond, Sarah Ouellet, Catherine Lesaulnier and Jeremie Cloutier, while the jazz ensemble features (besides Maheux himself) Frederic Grenier on string bass, Ivanoe Jolicoeur on trumpet/flugelhorn and Eric St-Jean on piano.This sophomore work was released in 2006 under the title ''Sybille'' on Unicorn Digital.

As with almost all personal projects Maheux'es approach with MMCircle has nothing to do with the powerful Prog/Fusion of Spaced Out.''Sybille'' is an album swirling around the territories of Classic/Free Jazz and Chamber Music with a strictly academic sound and a high degree of composing difficulty.Depending on the track the eight-piece ensemble established by Maheux either explores the innovative and improvisational side of Jazz with long individual solos and based on horn sections, piano lines and string bass grooves, or penetrates the mysterious world of Chamber Music with haunting string arrangements, featuring viola, violin and cello, having mostly a deepressive atmosphere.In the two longer pieces of the album, the 15-min. ''Aller simple'' and the 13-min. ''Metamorphose'' Maheux makes an attempt to blend these different styles into long movements with loose structures and weird grooves, sometimes these tracks deliver a strange KING CRIMSON-ian feel through the violin work of Sarah Ouellet.But for the most of their length all the arrangements are hard listenings, based on stretched ideas and extended solos.

An album heading only to the mystified audience of the Prog community.Partly jazzy, partly pure Chamber Music, partly even R.I.O.-ish, ''Sibylle'' will only find some fertile ground among the fans of the more experimental and academic side of music.

Thanks to DamoXt7942 for the artist addition.

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