Alexandre Dallaire (drums/percussion/synths) and J.P. Fortin (guitars/synths) make up Origins, an instrumental rock duo from Quebec City, Canada. Formed all the way back in 2007, they’ve been experimenting over many years until the release of this brand new debut. Self-titled and entirely self-produced, Origins features seven striking compositions founded on simplicity and pleasure. The instrumentals offered on the debut are fairly diverse, but especially notable are the jazz and post-rock influences that all tracks borrow from.
It’d be interesting to see what specific artists Origins were inspired by when making this. I feel like the vibe that Origins is going for is closest to that of Scottish instrumental rock behemoths Mogwai. I feel like this is one album where the cover perfectly matches the tone of all of its tracks. On the opening piece “Pure North,” the acoustic guitar flourishes and jazzy electric tones coalesce beautifully over crisp drum work. The shuffling percussion on the next track, “Peace in a Shell,” sounds like it’s coming from a phone for a few measures until it becomes clearer. Tambourines enter at two minutes in, and more smooth jazz-inflected guitars are laid down very skillfully.
One of my favorites happens to be the third number, “White Birches.” It begins with a sweet acoustic progression and has tons of kinetic energy stored in the guitar solo midway through, with just the right amount of distortion. The cleaner guitar tones work wonders as well. Another real treat on the album is the wah-wah-drenched “Mr. Spector.” Like I’ve mentioned before, it prominently uses a wah-wah pedal to achieve that wavy ‘70s lounge fly effect. Of course, bass is an important part of Origins’ sound, too, and the bass provided by Aron Turcsanyi pays big dividends on “Mountains.” Sonically, this is the most interesting because of all the percussive clattering and deep, rich bass notes. I thought the guitar riff here was slightly darker, but it still fits the tranquil vibe, nonetheless.
“Contact” sounds very spacey in comparison to the rest of the album. Perhaps that’s because of Buzz Aldrin’s famous “one small step for man” quote being sampled at the beginning, but the drum grooves as well as the heavier doses of guitar and synth riffs make this one feel interstellar, too. The band’s stab at amplifying the guitar presence and distortion on Origins’ closing track, “Horizon,” is a fruitful one. However, it is balanced with quieter, more serene atmospheres akin to post-rock act Hammock every so often. The swelling crescendos feel all the more massive, once again recalling post-rock. With that said, the wailing waves of funk guitars towards the end were a pleasant surprise.
I wonder where Origins plan to go from here. This blend of post-rock atmospheres and jazz structures works extremely well, even without any lyrics! Origins is a cohesive and fun little LP that never overstays its welcome and stays engaging throughout. Overall, it is strongly recommended listening.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook