The Alaclair Ensemble boys are back with their 3rd record titled “Toute Est Impossible” (Everything is impossible).
As you know, here at MIMS we don’t do “music reviews” per say. We’d rather spend our energy talking about the records we truly love instead of those we think are one or two star records. We only cover stuff we think is 5-star material.
From the first time Kenlo handed me a copy of the “4,99” album (that came with a penny taped on the back) I’ve been on the Alaclair bandwagon. I even helped organised their first show in Montreal, a great one with our good homie Onra also on the bill.
4 years later (3 full records, 20 solo projects, 5 special sub-group projects) I’ve seen the group completely change the landscape of Quebec and Canadian hip-hop. As a DJ, they’ve made me proud to play their tracks in my sets from Paris to Belgrade to Vienna. They’ve influenced new talents like Kaytranada (who produces the amazing “Fast Lane” track on the record) and the Dead Obies.
I always felt I “understand” the madness behind Alaclair Ensemble: their wacky PR tactics (leaking the record on the “deep web”), the standard 2-3 tracks per record that range from 80’s power cheese to songs for children (of the 23rd century), to their obsession of repping for the “Bas-Canada”. What has always frustrated me is when some media consider them a “comedy” group. The comedy comes a distant second, the skills come first. That’s what people who don’t really know their hip-hop don’t quite understand. The best comparisons for AE would be crews like The Pharcyde, Digital Undeground, The Beastie Boys. All of which made sometimes humorous joints and videos but beyond anything else where fu**ing talented and original.
Beyond all of that, I have tons of respect for their “Do it yourself” approach and their unwillingness to play by the rules of the industry.
After a few listens, as much as I want to say “Toute Est Impossible” is their best record yet all I can say it’s pretty much on the same level as the previous two in terms of quality but that all three show constant progression.
Big Big Tracks: “Dough Large”, “3 Point”, “Fast Lane (with Kaytranada)”, “Licornes”, “Vieux Knowl (with Jam)”… but I’m sure they will all grow on me.