Eloi Brunelle: 5

The label and collective Epsilonlab celebrates its fifth anniversary in superb style with Trigger Recording co-founder François Lebaron assembling fourteen Eloi Brunelle cuts into a buttery-smooth, hour-long flow of grooving goodness. Not surprisingly, the quality level is consistently high as Lebaron pulls selections from the Montréal native's large compositional archive, including albums like Musique pour l'amour and Live @ Neuchâtel. 5 finds Brunelle's stomping cuts steamrolling through minimal techno and funky tech-house in Lebaron's precision-tooled mix.

The funky swish of Brunelle's chilled “Intro” gets things moving, and then segues quickly into the grooving stomp of “California.” Warmed by minimal Rhodes chords, the razor-edged “Erperten” steps out with a delicious bass-driven strut, but what follows is even more intoxicating. An album peak, Brunelle's infectious treatment of Mossa's “Town Hall Take One” spellbindingly loops an accelerated female vocal (“And when I say 'I love you all,' it's meant to be on the up and up”) but Brunelle tightens the noose even more with a feverish house backing. Seamlessly shifting gears, the vibe oozes skank during the sleazy electrohouse of “Silicone Girl,” turns rather filthy in “Me Likee,” and then Euro-sleek in “Rotations” and the electrified remix of Alland Byallo's “Good Touch.” For the uninitiated especially, 5 offers a solid and encompassing portrait of Brunelle's artistry.

May 2006