Live-hybrid minimal house from Montreal.

Formed from an unexpected one-off collaboration for a remix for Crackhaus on Mutek_rec in 2003, Flabbergast is the alias of Guillaume Coutu Dumont and Vincent Lemieux. Launched in 2014, it draws on a wide array of influences including jazz and hip-hop, while fusing electronic sounds with organic instrumentation. Since 2014, the focus has shifted from spontaneous live improvisations to focused compositions and an increased presence in recorded music. In 2015, they released their debut 12″, Nr 1, on Circus Company, and they’ve since put out music on Yoyaku, their own Copier/Coller, and Switzerland’s Adam’s Bite—which is where they recently put out Default Mode Network, four tracks of wonky minimal. (Their debut album, Consolation in Constellation, will land on Paris label Chapelle XIV soon.) Their performances fuse DJing with live production; Lemieux on his records with Guillaume on his instruments.

For this week’s XLR8R podcast, they’ve delivered a segment of a recent performance at Le Salon Daomé in Montreal—a memorable night in front of their old friends in their hometown. “It’s always fun when we play over there because there is a good mix in the crowd,” Guillaume says. “Old ravers and younger freaks. That’s when the sauce really thickens.” Tune in for 83 minutes of free-wheeling minimal, techno, and dub, recorded on the fly.

01. What have you been up to recently?
We are currently on tour. We just finished the Berlin leg with a show at Hoppetosse. We have been keeping ourselves busy in the studio lately. Since the pandemic, the amount of music we’ve produced is quite staggering. Some of it will see the light of day in the upcoming month. The Default Mode Network EP is now out on Adam’s Bite, and 11:15 in Your Dream on our own label, Copier/Coller, will come out soon. We can also announce our first album, Consolation in Constellation, on Paris label Chapelle XIV. We are very excited about this one. It’s quite different from everything we did together thus far. This summer we are also releasing a first digital EP on our label. All that material has been created with a Yamaha Electone organ that we named Roberto. Then there will be a second EP for Circus Company.

02. What have you been listening to?
Sault, Jungle…so good.

03. When and where did you record this set?
We recorded this set live at Salon Daomé in Montreal where we do occasional parties. We do two types of show. We have a full on machine live with only our music, like the one we’ll be performing during MUTEK in Dubai or this year’s 25th edition in Montreal. But we also do a hybrid version that usually better suits the club context. In that format Vince plays records while Guillaume plays live on top. It’s a very fun way to improvise and it’s very entertaining for both of us.

04. What setup did you use?
Vince used turntables and CDJs into an Allen & Heath Xone:92 mixer. I had the HandSonic HPD-20 drum pad, Eventide Pitchfactor delay, Waldorf Streichfett String synthesizer, Elektron Digitakt, and the computer and soundcard.

05. How did you choose the tracks you’ve included?
We absolutely never plan our sets. So this is fully improvised. Vince also chooses material that is sometime more stripped down than other tracks he could play in other moments. The fun thing is that we don’t do it in a back-to-back format. There are usually three channels open on the mixer at the same time. It’s a lot of work for Vince to keep all this synced up but I think it helps to create something special.

06. What’s next on your horizon?
We leave for Dubai where we do three shows for MUTEK festival. Then we’ll head over to Tbilisi for a show, and then back to Berlin at Club der Visionaere. Then back to Montreal to finish mixing a bunch of releases. We’ll also have to start preparing our new show for MUTEK Montreal.

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