Hailing from Toulouse, France, and now living in his adopted city of Montreal, Olivier Alary created Ensemble, his musical alter ego, in 1998. Initially looking to mine ground between melodic noise and off-kilter pop, Ensemble released their first disc, Sketch Proposals, on Rephlex records. It soon found its way into the hands of one Björk Gudmundsdóttir. Alary eventually remixed several of the Icelandic diva’s tracks before co-writing and producing Desired Constellation, on her album Medúlla. For the follow-up to Sketch Proposals, Alary travelled from Montreal to Atlanta to Dordogne, by way of Berlin, soaking up a diversity of atmospheres. The self-titled second album from Ensemble was released on the Fatcat imprint in 2006. Enriched by guest spots from Chan Marshall (Cat Power) and Lou Barlow (Dinosaur Jr), it melds shimmering electronica and lounge with symphonic orchestrations and intimate folk-pop. Live, Alary plays guitar, manipulates his laptop and sings, accompanied by a keyboardist and drummer.