Bisbâyé — pronounced ‘bees-bow-yay’ — translates as “what happens when there is nothing else one can do, when uncertainty and obstacles require excelling oneself” and was founded in 2001 by guitarist and main composer Jean-Pierre Larouche.
Bisbâyé may be most notable for including two guitarists and two drum kits, with the two guitarists answering each other’s riffs and the two percussionists answering each other’s beats in real time, and the bassist being the musical fulcrum. This polyrhythmic superposition creates a compelling stereo effect (best experienced with headphones on).
The band’s leader cites Don Caballero and Meshuggah as influences. King Crimson’s influence is also undeniable, so is the sophistication of the math-rock genre’s best acts, while you can find some of Larouche’s favorite composers (Steve Reich, Gyorgy Ligeti) in there as well.
Larouche explains his artistic process: "By superposing melodic layers and different forms of rhythms (polyrhythms, isorhythms, phase shifting and contrapuntal ones), I create sonic textures of emerging properties. Their sometimes disorienting and complex effects are contrasted with instrumentation and simple composition structures borrowed from popular music. Mostly, I tend to toy with the listener’s perception, inviting them to let go of their preconceptions to dive completely into the sound itself to explore new frontiers of possibilities."
Undeniably, this is their most accomplished effort so far, summing up everything that makes what Bisbâyé is. This time around, the band put a lot of emphasis on their sound’s polyrhythmic aspect, while tightening up the compositions’ structures. Underneath densely layered, yet dissonant arrangements, there are some subtle, looped up grooves that will grow on you after a few listens. The Sense of an Ending is guaranteed to teleport any open-minded avant-garde music enthusiast into Bisbâyé’s voiceless multiverse. A place where heavy music’s most hypnotic riffs perfectly cohabit with asymmetric, condensed prog, luminous melodies and the most hostile soundscapes.
“Polyrhythmic anger and dissonant mathematics. That’s how I would describe Bisbâyé’s album. Rarely have I listened to music where polyrhythms truly feel polyrhythmic. [Here] there’s no doubt you’ll feel each separate rhythmic pattern on its own, thanks to the ingenious arrangement of the drums and guitars, and it creates an unnatural, counter-intuitive, and mesmerizing feel. This particular playing paints a form that is truly Bisbâyé’s own...” – Can This Even Be Called Music
Note: If you like what you hear here, and want to check out more, there are other releases on the band's own BandCamp page!
releases January 29, 2021
JEAN-PIERRE LAROUCHE : Guitar
NATHANAËL LABRÈCHE : Guitar
JULIEN DAOUST : Drums
HUGO VEILLEUX : Drums
VINCENT SAVARY : Bass
ENREGISTRÉ ENTRE DÉCEMBRE 2019 ET JANVIER 2020 AU STUDIO MAKINA ET AU STUDIO KAPPA À MONTREAL.
RECORDED BETWEEN DECEMBRE 2019 AND JANUARY 2020 AT STUDIO MAKINA AND STUDIO KAPPA IN MONTREAL.
REMERCIEMENTS / THANKS
MARTIN LAROUCHE, PHILIPPE KEYSER, BENOIT PARENT, SIMON BÉLANGER, MICHEL SIMARD, PAVEL MAXIMYTCHEV, STEVE FEIGENBAUM, PATRICE LANGLOIS.