Hiding behind the moniker Galerie Stratique is Quebec City electronica artist Charles-Émile Beullac. Struggling to get recognition from a quasi-non-existent IDM scene in his hometown, he released his first full-length CD, Nothing Down-to-Earth, on the British label Law & Auder.
Beullac was born in March 1977. He began to experiment with synthesizers and sequencers at age 14. His training on violin, flute, and trumpet as a child had little impact on him, except maybe to convince him the performance and interpretation aspects of music were not his cup of tea. Beullac spent his free hours as a teen toying around with electronica and lo-fi hip-hop ideas. He experienced an epiphany at age 18 when listening to the Cure's song "A Forest." This introduction to atmospheric music opened up a whole new region he did not suspect. He dove head first into IDM, ambient, and early electronic music, quickly finding new heroes in Autechre, Boards of Canada, and Brian Eno.
Beullac bought his first analog synthesizer in 1997 and began to write more seriously. The next year, he was selected among the finalists of an international competition for composers using ReBirth software. Plans for a compilation CD curated by Anvil Records fell through when the label went bankrupt. Beullac continued to work in his bedroom, developing his polished IDM sound in private. In 2000, a first track titled "VU" appeared on the Worm Interface compilation alt.frequencies.4. This was the artist's first public appearance as Galerie Stratique.
Reviewers pointed out his contribution, which allowed him to start looking for a record contract. Since there is no serious electronica label in the Province of Quebec, Beullac had to turn to foreign outlets. The labels SKAM and Plug Research expressed interest, but Law & Auder offered better turnaround time and complete artistic control. Released in November 2001, Nothing Down-to-Earth received good press in North America, but was largely ignored in Europe.
In early 2002, while staying away from the concert stage, Beullac began to collaborate with other Quebec-based artists, namely the ambient post-rock group Below the Sea. ~ François Couture