An absolute and understated classic from Marc Leclair, “Musique Pour 3 Femmes Enceintes” was released in 2005. Leclair is probably best known for his work as tech-house wizard Akufen, but with “Musique” he tapped into something special, and overall it exceeds his work under the Akufen moniker, because it’s much broader in scope and so much more subtle in execution. Yes, I love “My Way”, and when I first saw Akufen play in Detroit in 2002 with Luciano and Dandy Jack at The Works, I thought I’d witnessed the future of techno music. I remember smiling and dancing non-stop and being proud that he was representing Canada and MTL, the city I would move to a year later. And for awhile, Akufen was indeed the shit — his tracks were meticulously produced, uber-groovy, and they bumped hard and heavy — but he was never able to match the grandeur and finesse of “My Way”. His releases afterwards fell flat or felt samey in comparison.
Yet with “Musique Pour 3 Femmes Enceintes” he tapped into a whole new vibe. Leclair seamlessly meshed the ambient with the minimal, and the organic with the digital to smashing effect, and tossed in the conceptual aspect of his wife’s (and 2 friends) pregnancy to go along with it. The album features nine tracks, one for each month and begins almost clinically with “1er jour”, a collaboration with Rechenzentrum featuring very dark and digital programming, presumably signifying the child’s conception. By “64e jour”, the album begins to warm up, with organic ambience and Steve Reich inspired piano patterns. The next two tracks feature the sounds of water, rain, thunder, and begin to slowly open — as if he’s trying to recreate the experience of the nascent child growing in the womb. By “150er jour”, Leclair’s aesthetic palette expands exponentially, adding in guitars, loops, glitched beats, and by the end of the track a soft rolling 4/4 beat.
The album slowly unfolds and evolves from quiet minimal ambience to full on Akufen-inflected tech house by the album’s last track, “236e jour”. The baby is being born, it’s amazing and joyous, and you can’t help but wanna get up and dance. Throughout, Leclair’s knack for production is flawless, and as an album its flow is perfect in execution. I have fallen asleep countless times to this album, but I have also put it on many times as the precursor to a great night out. “Musique Pour 3 Femmes Enceintes” is truly a fantastic electronic album and one that needs to be listened to by more people. It’s never too late to check it.