Fly Pan Am - Frontera
Fly Pan Am have composed some of their most direct, visceral and immediately satisfying music for the acclaimed modern dance piece Frontera, by Montréal-based troupe Animals Of Distinction. Juxtaposing stern foreboding electronics and minimalist motoric avant-rock, the Frontera studio album superbly captures the bristling, sculpted, intensely evocative instrumental pieces the band developed in close conception and collaboration with the dancers.
As the Frontera recordings demonstrate, this music also works powerfully and exceptionally well on its own: oscillating between tension and release; evoking open, anxious interzones and closed, claustrophobic spaces; conveying an overarching landscape of forbidden access, foreclosed movement, and the unfathomable multiplicities of trauma and resilience that occur under our dehumanising international apparatuses of inadmissibility and control.
Field recordings contributed by David Bryant (Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Hiss Tracts, Set Fire To Flames) comprise some of the raw material here too. 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 multimedia 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. 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.
Grid / Wall
- Canadian import
- LP pressed on 180g vinyl and includes artworked inner-sleeve, a 12"x36" fold-out art insert of production stills from the dance piece, and download coupon
- CD housed in gatefold card jacket with 5mm spine
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