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Ylang Ylang - Interplay [Electroacoustic] (Tape - Crash Symbols - 2020)

Ylang Ylang - Interplay [Electroacoustic] (Tape - Crash Symbols - 2020)

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Catherine Debard has been active as YlangYlang since 2012, a creative staple in the Montreal music community. She’s worked frequently as a collaborator, but continues developing her unique interstitial solo recordings through a variety of labels and performance experiments. Inspired in part by the writing of Danish poet Inger Christensen, in Debard’s words Interplay explores “how we are shaped and shaping our experience at the same time” and “how free we can be within our own limitations.”

Full of deceptive contradictions and some of Debard’s most mature orchestration, she describes it as the final instalment in a trilogy focused on relationships. After albums focused on the external world, this time she turns her attention more intensely on “the self.” It’s a fitting meditation, reflecting on how we adapt and survive as individuals in dark times. Interplay’s warming combination of synths, field recordings, and backing instrumentation weave together toward balance. Here the mixture of stern and soft, dark and light, is seamless.

Shaded by jazz, new age, and outernational psych, Interplay is the most refined and absorbing YlangYlang release to date. Tracks like “Our Provisional” and “Dualities” are provocative, but grounding; both are sad, but poised and without regret. “Lost Realms” and “Perspective” are introspective, while “Nocturnal” and “Limitless” stand out as examples of her engrossing style of spoken word raga. With able backing from friends and other talented locals, Interplay radiates a vibrant energy whether you hear the darkness or the light.

Arriving just months after a residency with Suzanne Ciani at Studio Bell's National Music Centre, Interplay is a charged and exciting listen. In addition to her regular work in Montreal and with Crash Symbols in the US, Debard has released on labels like Phinery (DK), Fluere Tapes (SE) and ΠΑΝΘΕΟΝ (RU), and has a long resume of workshops and performances. She was also a part of the 2019 Red Bull Music Academy at the National Music Center, in Calgary, with another busy schedule planned for next year. -Dwight Pavlovic

#31 on Le Canal Auditif's Top Albums of 2020
#49 on The Quietus' Albums of the Year So Far (2020)
Top Album of 2020 from Weird Ear Zine

"...introspective and sophisticated songs glazed in noise . . . For all its existential thrashing, Interplay exudes warmth. Even the harshest moments are grounded, exploring chaos but never spinning out. Seeking out the beauty in an array of precarious feelings, Debard follows her contradictory impulses into the ether. As she asks with the album’s closing lyric, 'What else is there to do?'" -Pitchfork

"Musically, the album is utterly free and breezy, with the vast array of luscious orchestral and synthetic timbres interleaving around a vaporous rhythmic pulse, the melodies and chords somehow collaged together without seeming atonal, while Debard’s vocal delivery abandons strict tunes and pristine delivery in favor of an infectiously blissed out grin behind every word . . . dreamy perfection." -The Quietus

"The album could be compared to a less sinister version of Inga Copeland’s Lolina, but may in fact have more in common with Rick Holland and Brian Eno’s poetronica. When YlangYlang says 'I wear my emotions at the nape of my neck,' we felt that." -Aquarium Drunkard

"There is a human quality to the sound; the music is soothing, yet disjointed, complicated yet appreciable. In the end, Interplay is a stunning record that avoids being pretentious yet is striking, challenging and very listenable." -Exclaim

"...a waking dream . . . superbly well put together." -Le Canal Auditif
(Le Meilleur de LCA)

"Whether you want to get lost or find your way, what YlangYlang does will always be a refuge of choice." -PAN M 360

"At this time of the year when the cold and the dark seem to drag on forever, an album like Interplay is worth delaying spring to hear." -Cups N Cakes

"...explores the quickly transitioning instant when jumping into a cool blue freshwater spring from the saturating humid heat." -Lost in a Sea of Sound

"Magnificent, warming, beautiful..." -Independent Music Podcast

"Like following a path into a dream." -Exposé

"...raw and poetic." -FACT Magazine

"...a rich and eclectic work." -Le Devoir

"...liberating and engulfing." -CultMTL

"Very free... totally January mood." -BTRtoday

"...gorgeous and serene." -Post Trash

Guest Musicians...
Amir Amiri: santur (1, 7)
Connor Bennett: saxophone (2, 4, 6, 8)
Audréanne Filion: cello (1, 2, 7)
Aaron Hutchinson: trumpet (2, 4, 6)
Adèle Levayer: flute (4)
Eddie Wagner: flute (4)
Evelyn Charlotte Joe: Rhodes (2, 8), upright bass (3, 4), acoustic guitar (6), and electric bass (6)

Production Notes...
Composition, production, and mixing: Catherine Debard
Additional production and mixing: Aaron Hutchinson
Mastering by Oliver Kuusmann
Artwork by Steve Rosborough
Recorded on Fairmount Street, Montreal, 2018
Additional recordings at Fort Rose in Hamilton, 2019
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