Ghislain Poirier: Breakupdown
Chocolate Industries

Words like polished, refined, and finessed come to mind when listening to Ghislain Poirier's Breakupdown. One that doesn't—refreshingly—is derivative. Oh, sure, the Montreal-based producer has in all probability thoroughly studied the terrain mapped by his instrumental hip-hop brethren but Poirier's spacey clip-hop sounds totally fresh. The singularity of his sound isn't attributable to MC turns (Beans on the tough lurch “Cold as Hell,” Omnikrom on the mesmerizing “Rivière De Diamants,” Séba on “Elephant”) or ragga detours (“Mic Diplomat” featuring DJ Collage), by the way. It's the vision and imagination pouring forth from cuts like “Synthetic Rhythms,” “Refuse to Lose,” and the clank-hop burner “Close the News”; you'll first sway, for example, to the tribal slap of “Don't Smile, It's Post-Modern” and then swoon to its sublime criss-cross of backwards strings and burbling synths. Best of all, the disc's twenty cuts are wholly accessible with no compromise to their experimental character. Crunked-up, pimped-out—whatever your preferred label, Breakupdown is an innovative addition to the experimental hip-hop genre and fine sequel to Poirier's 2003 Chocolate Industries joint Beats as Politics.

March 2006