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Guillaume & the Coutu Dumonts – Breaking the Fourth Wall review

Guillaume & the Coutu Dumonts has constantly challenged people’s perception of dance music throughout a career that has seen him develop one of the most distinctive styles in contemporary house music. His sound has encompassed a deep, powerful and original fusion of afro and Latin percussion, instrumental melodies, soulful vocals, and intricate rhythm programming. His second artist album, which is released into an even more fragmented scene than his first effort, sees the Montreal native moving even further beyond the conventional definitions of house and techno.

Breaking the Fourth Wall meanders effortlessly between deep house, minimal techno and acid jazz. Inspirited less by laptops and drum machines and more by traditional Afro and Latin percussion, the album consists of almost entirely live instrumentation. Aided by a host of players, the album features several collaborations which includes Circus Company chums dOP and Dave Aju, who injects a Chicago feel into the project. Forward progressing percussive cuts such as “Can’t Have Everything” and “Mindtrap” sit alongside Pink Floyd-esque reflective pieces like “Intermède” and “Discothèque” that play out with guitar solos and horns whilst house tracks such as “Walking the Pattern” and slow burning afro-grooves such as “Radio Novela” slot into the album where they please. Their disjointed arrangement makes the tracks much more suited to listening to the album as a whole rather than picking out single tracks, another testament to the musicality held within it.

Striking a perfect accord with the eclecticism of Circus Company, Breaking the Fourth Wall is not only a wholly satisfying experience from start to finish, but will also cement Guillaume & the Coutu Dumonts’ place in the worlds of house, jazz, minimal and everything in between.

Review: Tom Jones