Quintron and Miss Pussycat put their creative lives on display at NOMA earlier this year in the show, “Parallel Universe.” She displayed her puppets, photos and videotapes, while Quintron set up his gear amid portraits from the museum’s collection and recorded an album. Sucre du Sauvage is that album, and the conceptual structure serves him well because the need to fill the time frame forced him to slow down. “Face Down in the Gutter” could have been on any of Quintron’s recent albums, but with time to fill, he adds embellishments that may not be crucial, but that add subtle dimensions. Working among a room full of carefully composed artworks created a context that encouraged composition, so he developed up new grooves and more ambitious songs. It’s all still very Quintron and Miss Pussycat, but a more fully realized version.
In a sense, Sucre du Sauvage is Quintron’s Low. What the liner notes mark as the first half of the album is him at his most accessibly adventurous, writing such keeper lines as “Keeping it sexy for the president.” The second half is instrumental and more ambient, incorporating field recordings he made in and around the museum. In “Elevator” and “Bells,” the found sounds are obvious. In the gorgeous “Deer in the Clouds,” they provide a subtle rhythmic device that starts the track. These halves effectively sum up Quintron’s output, pulling them together into one well-executed collection. Leave it to Quintron to create his own retrospective while on display in an art museum.