Recorded, mixed and mastered by Jean Martin at the Farm, Toronto
Matchmakers Volume 2: The Music Of Sade (Barnyard Records, 2012) is the long-awaited follow-up release to The Reveries' Matchmakers Volume 1: The Music Of Willie Nelson (Rat-drifting, 2007). An unlikely pairing of artists, you might say. Well, these two artists are considered by The Reveries to be two of the very finest crafters of popular love ballads, which is the only kind of music that The Reveries choose to play. Sure, The Reveries do have speakers in their mouths when they sing (which amplify and wah each others' instruments while making it difficult for them to pronounce words accurately) and they do use a number of unconventional and home-made instruments, so at first listen their renditions may not seem the most romantic music in the world. But there is true love all over their garbled, exotic meanderings. Much like love, The Reveries embody adventure, experimentation, playfulness, intimacy, reverence, co-operation, sacrifice, and suffering.
The Reveries are Eric Chenaux (electric guitar, harmonica, voice, mouth-speaker), Ryan Driver (street-sweeper bristle bass, thumb-reeds, mouth-microphone, voice, mouth-speaker), Doug Tielli (electric guitar, nose-flute, saw, voice, mouth-speaker), and Jean Martin (electric and acoustic drums).
With Matchmakers Volume 2, The Reveries offer their unprecedented revisionings of such lovely hits as No Ordinary Love and Kiss Of Life, among seven other delights from Sade's gorgeous catalogue of pop masterpieces. Each of the songs here appeared in its original Sade version on either Love Deluxe (Epic Records, 1992) or Lovers Rock (Epic Records, 2000). We sincerely hope you will feel the love within this music, within yourself, within all things, outside of all things, and everywhere beyond.
The Reveries (one of the many super-groups of Toronto, ON's now-defunct Rat-Drifting label) are truly psychedelic music, eliciting a peculiar, conflicting mix of emotions ? confusion, nostalgia, laughter and wonder ? simultaneously. Using a strange process where waterproof speakers outputting their instruments are inserted into each other's mouths (while singing), their treatment of covers ends up anything but faithful. Words are garbled, while fringes of their signature trip-to-the-dentist wah-wah lap in and out like shrivelled ocean waves. Definitely playful, their oddball M.O. is always executed with a delicately clumsy beauty that undermines any ostensible novelty or silliness. On this disc, their sound has become more lithe, sensuous and funky, while still maintaining their frayed surrealism. Ryan Driver's street sweeper bristle bass (think ruler-on-the-edge-of-a-table) is sturdier-sounding than before. Their CSN&Y-tinged harmonies (Driver, Doug Tielli and Eric Chenaux share vocal duties) still hold up remarkably well, even though their marble-mouthed falsettos individually are more soul-tinged than ever. Jean Martin's drumming exercises a coy restraint, creating a great anchor amidst the waywardness wooziness.
While it may sound hyperbolic, there is simply no other group in the world like the Reveries, and this is their best recording. (Barnyard)
Ever try singing with a finger in your mouth? Imagine that finger as a cellphone speaker with a wire hanging from it, and you’re partway to imagining the DIY wonderfulness of the Reveries, a Toronto quartet (Eric Chenaux, Ryan Driver, Doug Tielli and Jean Martin) that plays bent, handmade versions of smooth pop ballads. The mouthspeakers impair the singers’ diction, but also amplify other players’ instruments, with obvious opportunities for oral wah-wah. The band’s kit includes nose-flute, saw, and a couple of invented instruments, whose collective weirdness becomes very thick indeed at the start of The Sweetest Gift and By Your Side. The results are amusing, imperfect and remarkably touching. Sade’s mellow melancholic oeuvre has never sounded more poignant. Robert Everett-Green
Deuxième album des Reveries, un groupe de crooners très inusité composé d’Eric Chenaux, Ryan Driver, Doug Tielli et Jean Martin. Le cahier de chansons à l’ordre du jour de ce second disque est celui de Sade. Trois des quatre musiciens (le batteur Jean Martin étant l’exception) chantent, mais ils le font en ayant un mini-haut-parleur dans la bouche - haut-parleur qui relaie la musique d’un de leurs comparses. En plus, donc, de chanter comme s’ils avaient une patate dans la bouche, les mouvements de la bouche modulent la musique des autres. Le résultat est à la fois familier (c’est Sade!), sensuel (euh..., c’est Sade!) et dérangé. Très agréable et unique en son genre. [CI-dessous: Un extrait de “Ordinary Love”.]