Fly Pan Am
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CST155 180gLP • CD • DL
Release date: 21 May 2021
Norman Records (UK)
Piccadilly Records (UK)
Rough Trade (US)
Atom Heart (CA)
Societe des Loisirs (CA)
Taz Records (CA)
Le Souffle Continu (FR)
Balades Sonores (FR)
"Fly Pan Am have always wryly interrogated rock music convention in a way somewhere between high art and pranksterism. Formulaic structures treated as containers to fill with unfamiliar contents, momentum as something to be gently nudged off course. Frontera’s stand-out tracks, "Parkour" and "Parkour 2" see the band push at the limits of the motorik, interrogating the slim line between levitation and enclosure, escapist transcendence and marching song. On ‘Parkour’, the denouement is harrowed screams breaching a kosmiche crescendo, the human tearing at the barriers of the digital panopticon. On ‘Parkour 2’, it’s a choir, hitting a moment of arresting beauty against the machines’ rhythms. Michael Rother compared Neu!’s music to water, but Fly Pan Am burst the river’s banks." - The Quietus
“It’s a band locked-in to a nascent idea and expanding through throbbing repetition that’s immersed in claustrophobic intensity. This is essentially the feeling that the finest electronic albums evoke, but Fly Pan Am manage to replicate such raw energy with guitars. It’s quite astounding and if "Grid/Wall" is Frontera’s finest moment, the very idea of the album seems to be encapsulated between "Body Pressure" and "Fences"... an album that sees the band completely firing on all cylinders. The Canadian collective have found their niche and with it they really haven’t sounded better.” - Sun-13
"Shining a searchlight on new terrains for themselves, Fly Pan Am have generously quenched our insatiable appetite for revealing non linear melodramas. Causing a staggering commotion, this sometimes inscrutable, yet eminently danceable, album is a passport to uncover alien customs and engage in orgiastic corporeal activities.” - Music Ohm
“You might think you’re prepared for “Grid / Wall”, but imagining it and seeing are different things. Even in the clip, the synchronicity between the dancers’ kineticism and the band’s monolithic sounds is breathtaking – we can only imagine how powerful it is in the flesh.” - Beats Per Minute
Fly Pan Am have composed some of their most direct, visceral and immediately satisfying music for the acclaimed contemporary dance piece FRONTERA. Juxtaposing stern foreboding electronics and minimalist motorik avant-rock, the Frontera studio album superbly captures the bristling, sculpted, intensely evocative live score that Fly Pan Am developed in close conception and collaboration with Dana Gingras and her Montréal-based dance troupe Animals Of Distinction.
The Frontera album tracks faithfully to the narrative of the original work, where eight movements (featuring a company of 10 dancers) flow from controlled chaos and tensely choreographed kinetics to slow, wrenchingly austere set pieces. This tremendous multi-media performance – framed by the stark and peerless lighting design of United Visual Artists – is a discerning and deeply affecting meditation on borders and surveillance, resistance and separation, solidarity and cooperation; bodies blocked and restrained, monitored and pursued, hiding and escaping, yearning and overcoming.
After touring as the live band for the FRONTERA dance production into early 2020, the pandemic brought further performance dates to an abrupt halt (along with Fly Pan Am’s own scheduled UK/EU tours, in support of their terrific 2019 comeback album C’est ça). But during an easing of lockdown restrictions in late summer, the band was able to convene with Constellation’s go-to producer Radwan Moumneh at the storied Hotel2Tango in Montréal to put this soundtrack to tape.
Frontera is exquisitely packaged and showcases half a dozen striking full-colour photographs from the dance piece: the deluxe 180gram vinyl edition is printed with UV matte varnished inks, including an artworked inner sleeve and 12”x36” fold-out art insert with liner notes; the CD mini-gatefold jacket is printed on premium Spectro artboard and includes a 6-panel art insert.
We’re thrilled to present the soundtrack recording for one of the most moving multi-media works we witnessed last year. Thanks for listening.
Roger Tellier-Craig : computer, synthesizers
Jean-Sébastien Truchy: computer, synthesizers, drum programming, bass, voice
Félix Morel : drums, “scrap” cymbals
Original soundtrack recorded, mixed and produced by Radwan Ghazi Moumneh at Hotel2Tango.
Mastered by Harris Newman at Grey Market Mastering.
Cover and booklet photos by Yannick Grandmont.
Back cover photo by Dana Gingras.
Graphic design by Félix Morel.