to it on an iPod while walking around downtown Detroit a few weeks ago, and it kept me going through the cold rather than entering a building and breaking the mood. Nor did De Temps Antan feel out of place in an urban sonic landscape of electronic sound banging out of people's cars their music is rhythmically intense enough to command your kinetic impulses in the way contemporary dance music does. Yet my sounds were people powered.
De Temps Antan consists of young current and former members of La Bottine Souriante, a Quebec group that appeared at the Ark and used to be featured from time to time on WCBN's late, lamented folk show. In place of that group's large collection of instruments, De Temps Antan distills the high-energy songs and dances of Quebec down to a very hard core: some combination of fiddle, accordion, a plucked stringed instrument, and the irrepressible foot percussion (executed, remarkably, while the instruments are being played). The band's repertoire is about two-thirds traditional; the rest is new compositions following traditional models.