The National Parcs, veterans of Montreal's celebrated Freeworm, have gone into the wild – and come back with a look and sound that's as big as the world.
The three young men were born in the backwoods of Quebec, Malawi and B.C., but bred on Montreal streets buzzing with the noise of every nation on earth. For this groundbreaking CD/DVD album, they strip back down to basics, returning to their roots in the bush. The great outdoors becomes their studio, and their songs come alive with all-natural samples of wood splitting, sand slipping, paddles slapping, water dripping. Their cameras and microphones are trained on the trackless woods around them, but their ears have been trained on Grime and Hip Hop, Afrobeat and Baile Funk, American Spirituals and Malian Blues. The resulting Timbervision tracks are an invitation for the world to dance, starting with the half-remembered hum of our own backyards and smuggling in the best that the world has to offer.
The band first joined forces for Freeworm's 2001 live shows, which pioneered their fascination with grafting exotic and broken beats onto the rhythms of maple forests and canoeing. This was the year the city first got out of its seats for the trio's infectious found-sound and found-image stage experience: their Club Soda performance at the Montreal Electronic Groove Festival won them the MIMI "Show of the Year" award. Two Freeworm albums later, they're making the partnership official as The National Parcs. The French–English mash-up of the band's new name suggests the range of their influences, while the parkland theme is a nod to preserving what matters.
Summer, fall and winter, the band went off the grid to collect the raw materials for the Timbervision album. Miles away from a studio or even a drum, they discovered echoes and ambience unlike anything heard in the city. The footage records the three-man crew in their natural environment, banging sticks, jumping on four-wheelers. The National Parcs' new album is a reminder that freedom makes the kind of art you can move to. This is the message of Timbervision, shot and recorded in the wild: let everyone join the party, and let the party never stop.
According to Vincent Letellier (AKA Freeworm): "We wanted to throw a party that would get five continents bouncin' – and you need more than just an album for that. You need music and video that rise up together, shot and recorded as one." Says Chimwemwe Miller, who joins Vincent on the music and lyrics: "If you want to bring the world together, you need summer hits that ignore borders and boundaries, but you can't close the door on the shadier stuff: Death in a bone suit, African snow like a sky full of ashes." Ian Cameron, the visual director responsible for the videos' nature documentary esthetic, agrees: "Most of all, you don't just ring up six billion neighbours without knowing where you came from yourself."