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Au Coeur De L'Aube
Artist release
Review by Chris Nickson


cd cover After more than two decades together, the three members of Genticorum form one of the tightest units on the planet. In music from their native Québec (both traditional and original) they have found a rich seam that clearly has plenty of treasures to mine.

They open with “La Batelière,” which crackles with gleeful energy. The interplay between the instruments and harmonies is sharp and adept, yet still a completely natural, high-octane conversation that constantly shifts from one player to another.


Music of the Month Those driving melodies power all the way through “Le Brandy Des Montagnes Noires,” with a jaw harp pushing an eager beat, while fiddle and flute soar in an original tune that could easily have had its birth across the Atlantic in Ireland. Then “Ruban Rose” takes things back home, in a softer showcase of shimmering guitar work and three voices working effortlessly together.

But that’s what Genticorum do: make it seem so simple. Maybe after all these years together, they’ve become telepathic in their musical communication. But the truth is there are obviously months of hard slog behind this, creating and perfecting arrangements that sound as if they were came together in a single live take for each song. To manage something that seems so off the cuff is a sign of real quality. Whatever they touch sounds like it’s been hewn from and shaped by traditional Québecois music. It’s there to such a degree that it even flows through a new piece like “Old Yamaska” to the point where it feels like part of the continuum.


You won’t find solos from the instruments; each part contributes to the whole, with all excess stripped away – right away, in the case of “Belle Alouette Au Champs,” which is simply three voice and foot percussion. But the sound is perfectly full; anything more might be overkill. “Goûtons Du Palisir” takes it even further, with just three men singing, leading into “Fortcalquier,” the album's high-energy closer, but an ache of memory to lie quiet on the heart.

Genticorum remain a band with the Midas touch and Au Coeur De L’Aube is filled with gold.

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Au Coeur De L'Aube is our pick for Music of the Month for September, 2023.
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