Julien Desprez FIMAV, Victoriaville QC, May 18

Julien Desprez FIMAV, Victoriaville QC, May 18
Photo: Martin Morissette
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French guitarist Julien Desprez's technique might require the coining of a new musical field — pedal dancer — a field wherein he immediately would ascend to the championship. His trio is filled out by only slightly less pedal-enhanced bassist Jean-Francoiçois Riffaud, and German drummer, with the heaviest bass drum foot in the festival, Max Andrzejewski.
 
With a pedal array stretched across half the stage, and requiring two discrete quarter-inch inputs for his guitar, Desprez is unlike many tech-addicted musicians who collect pedals like vintage Star Wars figures; he is unafraid to play them all, with tap dancing delight.
 
He and Riffaud swapped and sorted noises and brief noisy riffs with the energy and precision of speed-addled Amazon employees, while Andrzejewski hammered out the packaging with death metal heaviness applied to jazz-influenced techniques.
 
The non-musical element came in the form of pedal- and sound-triggered stage lights that, at times, further enhanced the epileptic dangers of the performance. The slight limitations in the presentation came from how the applied technology was used for a "trick" dominated approach, with moments starting to repeat themselves before long into the show.
 
But for sheer intensity and will to rock cybernetically, not to mention pedal dancing prowess, Desprez and company are a tough team to beat.