Eric Chenaux is a Toronto-based guitarist, songwriter, and sound sculptor; he is a key figure in the city's improv and indie music scenes. He has worked both as a bandleader and sideman in a wide variety of settings, from experimental and modern classical composition to jazz, country, and folk. He is active in many bands at once, either as a performer or as a composer and arranger.
Chenaux's first band, the post-punk trio Phleg Camp, self-released their eponymously titled debut cassette in 1989, and followed it with the full-length Ya'red Fair Scratch on Cargo Records in 1992. Following the band's split, Chenaux concentrated on composing for the guitar and was half of the duo Lifelikeweeds, who only issued a two-sided single. While Chenaux was active during the rest of the '90s, he wasn't recording. In 2001, he and Martin Arnold co-founded the boutique label Rat-Drifting. In 2003, he resumed recording with Love Don't Change, a duo album with former Crash Vegas vocalist Michelle McAdorey, and Blase Kisses, with his experimental cover band the Reveries.
Chenaux signed to Constellation in 2006, and released the first of his singer/songwriter albums, Dull Lights, and appeared on labelmate Sandro Perri's Plays Polmo Polpo. His sophomore effort, 2008's Sloppy Ground, highlighted his technically advanced and highly original guitar playing. The Reveries privately issued a CD-R entitled Play the Music of Sade the same year. Warm Weather with Ryan Driver appeared on Constellation in 2010. The album showcased a shift, as multi-instrumentalist, improviser, and jazz composer Driver -- also a member of the Reveries -- added new elements to Chenaux's musical architecture. That same year, Chenaux played guitar and sang on Martin Arnold's Tam Lin album.
In 2012, the songwriter released the completely solo Guitar & Voice, but it was no strum-and-sing fest. A highly experimental recording that showcased various techniques -- both playing and recording -- and textural elements, it was widely celebrated. Also in 2012, the limited-edition offering The Sentimental Moves, recorded in collaboration with recording engineer and sound and video artist Radwan Ghazi Moumneh (Black Hand, Jerusalem in My Heart), was released, as was a split 10" with singer Eloïse Decazes.
Chenaux spent the next few years playing shows with several artists, including the Guayaveras and the Draperies; he also became a member of the jazz quintet Drumheller and provided narration for Norberto Lobo's film (and soundtrack) Fornalha. Skullsplitter, his fifth album for Constellation, was another solo effort mixed by Radwan Ghazi Moumneh. It was released in February of 2015. Chenaux's next release arrived in 2018. The six-track Slowly Paradise was recorded in France in 2017 and produced by Chenaux and Cyril Harrison. ~ Thom Jurek, RoviSource [Spotify]