Plaster (band)

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Origin Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Genres Electronica, acid jazz, trip hop, electronic rock, minimal techno, nu jazz
Years active 2001 (2001)–present
Associated acts Afrodizz, Beast, Deweare, Le Golden
Members Jean-Philippe Goncalves
Alex McMahon
François Plante

Plaster is a Canadian electro-jazz/electro-rock band formed in 2001 in Montreal. Their sound has been compared to such artists as Amon Tobin, Kruder & Dorfmeister and Medeski Martin & Wood.[1][2] The trio's debut album, First Aid Kit, was released on Nov 10, 2005 and won the ADISQ award for Best Electronic or Techno Album in 2006.[3]


Keyboardist Alex McMahon and percussionist Jean-Philippe Goncalves (also of Afrodizz and Beast) met while attending the Cégep de Drummondville.[4] The pair formed Plaster in 2001 and were joined by bassist François Plante (also of Afrodizz) a year later.[1][2][5]

The trio's name is derived from a slang term in Québécois for an adhesive bandage[2] and its sound has been described as a mixture of electro-jazz, funk, and drum and bass[1][2][6] (however Goncalves has stated in an interview that he finds the term "electro-jazz" to be somewhat pejorative and described their sound as "electro-chunky-jam".)[4] Their sound is at times atmospheric, much like movie soundtrack; in a 2005 interview with the Montreal Gazette, McMahon stated that Plaster was interested in composing a movie score, but the band was still waiting on proposal.[1][2][6] Their live performances are improvisational and have been described as having the energy of a rock show.[1][2] As per Plaster's biography from its official press kit, the band's sound is inspired by the music of Amon Tobin, The Herbaliser, Jazzanova, The Cinematic Orchestra, and Medeski Martin & Wood.[5]

Plaster's debut album First Aid Kit was released on Nov 10, 2005.[1] The album was originally to be released on the London label Ninja Tune, but due to frustration with the label's push-back of the release date they decided instead to sign with local label La Tribu.[7] The First Aid Kit release party, held at Montreal nightclub La Tulipe, was a great success; much to their own surprise the band opened to a capacity crowd and sold all the CDs they had on hand that night.[2] In 2006 First Aid Kit went on to win the ADISQ award for Best Electronic or Techo Album.[3]

In 2005 the band also collaborated with Lauryn Hill; Hill was in Montreal looking for collaborators for a new project she was developing. Goncalves was invited to audition for her and to demonstrate his programming expertise. He returned the next day for another session when a producer in attendance mentioned that Goncalves also played drums. Goncalves advised Hill that he was a member of a band and an hour later he was joined by his Plaster bandmates.[2] During an interview with the Montreal Gazette Goncalves said of the experience: "We recorded until 6 in the morning, and then she left for New York City." "It was 12 intense hours with la reine de R&B soul (the queen of R&B soul)," said McMahon. The pair were however wouldn't elaborate much more on the collaboration. "We had a lot of fun with her, but it's a delicate topic. I don't know what to say. It was nice," said Goncalves.[2]

In 2011 the band returned to the studio to work on their second album.[8] In an interview with La Presse Goncalves stated that whereas Plaster's first album could be described as electro-jazz, their second album could be described as electro-rock.[8] Titled Let It All Out, the album was released on May 15, 2012 and debuted at number 43 in Canada.[9][10][11]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Lamarche, Bernard, "Un Plaster à la bonne place", Le Devoir, Nov 4, 2005 (French text) Last accessed Nov 8, 2008
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Dunlevy, T'Cha, "Plaster on the fast track", Montreal Gazette, page D5, Dec 22, 2005 Last accessed May 11, 2012
  3. ^ a b List of 2006 ADISQ Award nominees and winners Archived 2008-11-18 at the Wayback Machine. (French text) Last accessed Nov 9, 2008
  4. ^ a b Martel, Stéphane, "Becs et Bobos", Voir, Nov 10, 2005 (French text) Last accessed Nov 17, 2008
  5. ^ a b Plaster's biography from its press kit at Archived 2006-10-30 at the Wayback Machine. Last accessed Nov 9, 2008
  6. ^ a b Mello, Marie-Hélène, "Plaster - Experience Live", Longueur d'Ondes, Winter edition 2005/2006 (French text)
  7. ^ Renaud, Philippe, "Plaster: Premiers Soins", La Presse, Sep 28, 2005 (French text)
  8. ^ a b Côté, Émilie, "Jean-Phi Goncalves, musicien sur commande", La Presse, Nov 29, 2011 (French text) Last accessed Mar 24, 2012
  9. ^ Robillard Laveaux, Olivier, "Plaster: Évolution numérique ", Voir, May 10, 2012 (French text) Last accessed May 27, 2012
  10. ^ Côté, Émilie, "Plaster: bye-bye le jazz, bonjour le rock", La Presse, May 12, 2012 (French text) Last accessed May 27, 2012
  11. ^ Nielsen SoundScan Top 100 Albums in Canada for the week ending May 23, 2012

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