Thursday, July 28, 2016

Recording: Mas Aya + Khôra

Artist: Mas Aya + Khôra

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (Wolf's Nacho Wednesdays), July 20, 2016.

Mas Aya + Khôra - [excerpt]

An interesting combination here from Brandon Valdivia and Matthew Ramolo, as their normal solo projects usually have rather different vibes. Valdivia's avant-cumbia Mas Aya hews more towards conscious party jams while Ramolo's Khôra dissolves sounds into floating clouds while peering deep Within. The meeting point here was a space of electronic abstraction — Valdivia had a table full of gear that he spent most of the set deploying, only turning to the drum kit as things reached their peak. The upshot was a noise-field that gave Ramolo more forward thrust than usual and gave Valdivia more of a glimpse into the void.

Recording: Kyle Brenders + Andrew Zukerman

Artist: Kyle Brenders + Andrew Zukerman

Song: [excerpt from first piece]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (Wolf's Nacho Wednesdays), July 20, 2016.

Kyle Brenders + Andrew Zukerman - [excerpt from first piece]

Though cut from similar cloth as his partnership with Brodie West, this duo set with saxophonist Kyle Brenders pushed Andrew Zukerman into something of a different sonic zone. Paired with Brenders' full-bodied playing, this was one of the more musical and least provocateurish sets I've seen from Zukerman in a while — by the pair's second piece, he was barely even kicking back against the beauty of the music he was participating in.

Recording: Allison Cameron & Germaine Liu

Artist: Allison Cameron & Germaine Liu

Songs: [two improvisations]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (Wolf's Nacho Wednesdays), July 20, 2016.

Allison Cameron & Germaine Liu - [set 1, first piece]

Allison Cameron & Germaine Liu - [set 2, first piece] [excerpt]

Originally slated as a c_RL set, a summer cold meant this ended up as a duo between percussionist Germaine Liu and multi-instrumentalist Allison Cameron. Adding to the sense of something different than usual taking place, Cameron eschewed her usual variety of keyboards, mini-amps and other noisemakers and instead used the Southern Cross' venerable house acoustic guitar and piano. "The problem with the piano is that it just does notes," Cameron muttered after the first piece, but she did her best to subvert that. Perhaps the most intriguing moments came in a couple pieces where she doubled herself on guitar while Liu played recorder.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Recording: The Noah Sherman Quartet

Artist: The Noah Sherman Quartet

Song: Shadow Puppet Patrol [edit]

Recorded at The Emmet Ray (Somewhere There Presents), July 17, 2016.

The Noah Sherman Quartet - Shadow Puppet Patrol [edit]

This was the first chance I had to make it out for Somewhere There's casual monthly at The Emmet Ray. SWT collective member Noah Sherman brought out this grouping, with his percussion work enhanced by Emily Steinwall (sax), Luan Phung (guitar) and Peter Bull (5-string bass). Over two sets they tackled pieces from Sherman's songbook, a couple (including this one) from Bull plus pieces by John Zorn and The Thing.

Recording: Denison-Ballyk-O'Reilly-Clutton

Artist: Emily Denison/Mark Ballyk/Patrick O'Reilly/Rob Clutton

Songs: [set 1, first piece, in two parts]

Recorded at The Emmet Ray, July 17, 2016.

Denison-Ballyk-O'Reilly-Clutton - [set 1, first piece, part 1]

Denison-Ballyk-O'Reilly-Clutton - [set 1, first piece, part 2]

This Sunday evening set mixed three local emerging players (Emily Denison, trumpet; Mark Ballyk, drums; Patrick O'Reilly, guitar) with veteran bassist Rob Clutton. With the magic hour's glow filtering in from the skylight above, this was tasty stuff, perhaps nowhere more than right at the set's beginning with the quartet exploring textures more than rhythms.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Recording: Baby Cages

Artist: Baby Cages

Song: In Time*

Recorded at Double Double Land (NASA – Noise Against Sexual Assault), July 10, 2016.

Baby Cages - In Time

Envisioned as "a night of noise, dark electronic, and doom rock in support of sexual assault survivors and in solidarity with Larkin Grimm", this event was programmed as a counter-gig to Swans' local appearance. It was also an attempt for DIY spaces to face up to the problems of taking responsibility for what happens within their walls and to begin a discussion of some "best practices" to create safer spaces.

A promised improv jam from Baby Cages didn't come together as the band closed out the night, but they still managed to satisfy with their slightly-narcoleptic insecurity anthems, perpetually sounding as if their music had been dialed down about four semitones to create a vague sense of lurching unease.

[Baby Cages (along with Special Costello) will be performing in "an immersive environment inspired by early computer generated animations" as part of the boundary-pushing multimedia event Sound Circuitz at the SummerWorks Festival. (Friday August 12th at the Pia Bouman School for Ballet.)]

* Thanks to Halloway for passing along the title to this one.

Recording: Eyeballs

Artist: Eyeballs

Song: Eyeballs [Thee Cryptomaniacs cover]

Recorded at Double Double Land (NASA – Noise Against Sexual Assault), July 10, 2016.

Eyeballs - Eyeballs

Envisioned as "a night of noise, dark electronic, and doom rock in support of sexual assault survivors and in solidarity with Larkin Grimm", this event was programmed as a counter-gig to Swans' local appearance. It was also an attempt for DIY spaces to face up to the problems of taking responsibility for what happens within their walls and to begin a discussion of some "best practices" to create safer spaces.

This self-proclaimed noise/dance duo comes across as a sort of amiably-shaggy Lightning Bolt, a synth-punk attack that sometimes gets ridiculous (in the best way possible).

Recording: Brigitte Bardon't + SlowPitchSound

Artist: Brigitte Bardon't + SlowPitchSound

Song: Sylvia Anne Virginia [forest noise scene redux] [excerpt]

Recorded at Double Double Land (NASA – Noise Against Sexual Assault), July 10, 2016.

Brigitte Bardon't + SlowPitchSound - Sylvia Anne Virginia [forest noise scene redux] [excerpt]

Envisioned as "a night of noise, dark electronic, and doom rock in support of sexual assault survivors and in solidarity with Larkin Grimm", this event was programmed as a counter-gig to Swans' local appearance. It was also an attempt for DIY spaces to face up to the problems of taking responsibility for what happens within their walls and to begin a discussion of some "best practices" to create safer spaces.

Kristel Jax enlisted the assistance of turntablist Cheldon Paterson (a.k.a. SlowPitchSound) to add some extra noise to this piece. After building up their layers of sound-loops, both journeyed into the crowd — Jax providing some harrowing vocals while Paterson held a tape deck up to audience members' ears, adding a hyperspacialized sonic sheen.

Recording: APA + Jason Doell

Artist: APA + Jason Doell

Song: History [Duck Fight Goose cover]*

Recorded at Double Double Land (NASA – Noise Against Sexual Assault), July 10, 2016.

APA + Jason Doell - History

Envisioned as "a night of noise, dark electronic, and doom rock in support of sexual assault survivors and in solidarity with Larkin Grimm", this event was programmed as a counter-gig to Swans' local appearance. It was also an attempt for DIY spaces to face up to the problems of taking responsibility for what happens within their walls and to begin a discussion of some "best practices" to create safer spaces.

Xuan Ye (a.k.a APA) has brought a different sort of noise — from howling piano to erhu skronking — every time I've seen her perform, but I was surprised once again when for this set she pivoted to full-on "rock star", channelling her inner PJ Harvey on a cover of "To Bring You My Love". She was backed for this mini-set by Jason Doell — recently seen as a composer or noise-maker — making a rare atavistic throwback appearance to his rock'n'roll days.

* Thanks to APA for passing along the title to this one.

Recording: Hexzuul

Artist: Hexzuul

Song: [excerpt from first part]

Recorded at Double Double Land (NASA – Noise Against Sexual Assault), July 10, 2016.

Hexzuul - [excerpt from first part]

Envisioned as "a night of noise, dark electronic, and doom rock in support of sexual assault survivors and in solidarity with Larkin Grimm", this event was programmed as a counter-gig to Swans' local appearance. It was also an attempt for DIY spaces to face up to the problems of taking responsibility for what happens within their walls and to begin a discussion of some "best practices" to create safer spaces.

David Jones led off the night, mixing some harsh backgrounds with serenely-floating foregrounds — creating a sonic bed for some howling and other sounds.

[Hexzuul will be playing at The Monarch Tavern on Sunday, August 28th, with a rather compelling lineup that also includes Psychic Pollution, Mystic Triangle, and Cell Memory & Castle If.]

Monday, July 25, 2016

Concert Listings Roundup #159

You can read more about why I'm doing listings here. Long story short: This curated and decidedly non-comprehensive list contains nothin' but shows that I am going to/would go to if I had more time.


Gig of the week:

LUKA [Summon Up a Monkey King release show!] (Eucalyptus [early show] / Stephen Prickett [late show]) / Burdock Music Hall 2016-07-26 (Tuesday – early + late shows!) [FB event]

Luke Kuplowsky's solo project-turned-band is so heart-on-sleeve direct that it's possible to mistake the musings on love's many avenues for some sort of single-minded formulaic determination — but like fellow love-strummer Jonathan Richman, think of it more as a prism through which one can view the world's (and, yes, the heart's) myriad variations. This release celebration offers up early and late shows, each with a different-flavoured opener.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Woodpigeon (Sandro Perri / Weatherman) / Burdock Music Hall 2016-07-25 (Monday) [FB event]

Nick Fraser Presents (feat. Fraser/Foisy-Couture/Qu / Bryan Qu Improvisors Ensemble) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-07-26 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Talking Songs: New Age Music And Consciousness Hacking (feat. Erik Davis) / Double Double Land 2016-07-27 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Wolf's Nacho Wednesdays (feat. Allison Cameron & Jonathan Adjemian) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-07-27 (Wednesday – early!) [FB event]

Wolf's Nacho Wednesdays (feat. Josh Cole Quartet) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-07-27 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Glitterclit (nightbummerz / Pins & Needles) / Smiling Buddha 2016-07-27 (Wednesday) [FB event]

VATS (HSY / Retired / Rambo Tonka / The Ghoul) / Faith/Void 2016-07-28 (Thursday) [FB event]

Somewhere There presents (feat. Michael Malis Trio / Baroque and Bass) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-07-28 (Thursday) [FB event]

Toronto Does Toronto (feat. Misha Bower / Brenna MacCrimmon / Felicity Williams & Daniel Pencer) / Art Gallery of Ontario 2016-07-29 (Friday) [FB event]

Scattered Clouds (ZONES / Technical Kidman) / Smiling Buddha 2016-07-29 (Friday) [FB event]

Versa / Sherbourne Common 2016-07-29 (Friday – free! outside!) [FB event]

DoVira [album release show!] (Waleed Abdulhamid) / Small World Music Centre 2016-07-29 (Friday) [FB event]

Sunshine & the Blue Moon (Ducks Unlimited / Slight / James Irwin) / Burdock Music Hall 2016-07-29 (Friday) [FB event]

The Ryan Driver Sextet / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-07-29 (Friday)

Ken Aldcroft's Convergence Ensemble w/ Peter Van Huffel / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-07-30 (Saturday)

Heaven For Real [album release show!] (Germaphobes / Body Swap Ritual / Carl Didur) / The Silver Dollar Room 2016-07-30 (Saturday) [FB event]

Mother Tongues (Poster Boy / Dead Neighbourhoods / Thick Cobra) / Smiling Buddha 2016-07-31 (Sunday) [FB event]


Add these to your calendar:

Reminder: This post only contains this week's updates — the full listings can always be found over on the right-hand sidebar!

Trios: August Residency (feat. Phil Dwyer/Andrew Downing/Nick Fraser) / The Emmet Ray 2016-08-01 (Monday) [FB event]

Ali Berkok/Peter Van Huffel/Matthew Miller/Nick Fraser / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-08-02 (Tuesday – early!) [FB event]

Ryan Driver & Tamara Lindeman / Holy Oak Café 2016-08-02 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Ghostlight [world premiere release of Buse 1] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-08-03 (Wednesday – early!) [FB event]

SummerWorks: Summer Drift [long-form tapestry of meditative sounds and drones] (feat. Victoria Cheong/Craig Dunsmuir/Jonathan Adjemian/Matthew Shaw/Randy Gagne/Kevin Hainey/Andrew Zukerman/Jaclyn Blumas/Trevor Blumas/Brandon Hocura) / Pia Bouman School for Ballet 2016-08-06 (Saturday – 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.!) [FB event]

Nite Comfort 36 (feat. Hidden Dances / Mikrosleep) / Handlebar 2016-08-07 (Sunday) [FB event]

Audiopollination #45.1 (feat. Sandy Ewen/Andrew Furlong/Olya Glotka / Sandy Ewen/William Davidson/Alan Bloor/Michael Lynn / Sandy Ewen [solo guitar]) / Array Space 2016-08-07 (Sunday) [FB event]

Somewhere There presents (feat. Powerdove / Blessings / Charles Spearin / Allison Cameron) / Ratio 2016-08-08 2016-08-09 (Monday Tuesday – note change of date!) [FB event]

Audiopollination #45.2 (feat. Holger Schoorl & Tomasz Krakowiak / Brian Abbott/Lorne Shapiro/Sarah Peebles / SlowPitchSound/Germaine Liu/Nilan Perera) / Array Space 2016-08-13 (Saturday) [FB event]

Burn Down The Capital presents (feat. Crabe / Creep Highway / La Fete / Zwarun) / handlebar 2016-08-13 (Saturday) [FB event]

The Draperies / Quixotic Sounds 2016-08-14 (Sunday) [FB event]

Trios: August Residency (feat. Phil Dwyer/Dan Fortin/Ethan Ardelli) / The Emmet Ray 2016-08-15 (Monday) [FB event]

Burn Down The Capital presents (feat. Eucalyptus / Loose Scrunchie) / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2016-08-19 (Friday) [FB event]

Switches (Planet Creature / Gold Pony / Camp Girls) / The Silver Dollar Room 2016-08-20 (Saturday) [FB event]

An Evening of Otherworldly Chamber Music (feat. The Cluttertones / Sweet Session) / Burdock Music Hall 2016-08-20 (Saturday) [FB event]

Blood Ceremony [Lord of Misrule album release party!] (Comet Control / Hollow Earth) / Lee's Palace 2016-09-02 (Friday) [FB event]


Bandcamp corner:

  • Get ready from a workout from this duo. Mike Gennaro's percussion style often provides his sparring partners with some forward momentum, which drives Ken Aldcroft's knotty guitar work on this new selection from their improvised sets.
  • Meanwhile, a very-pleasing surprise in the form of this new digital release from MIMICO's Ben Oginz, who Mystic Triangle side-project has been percolating some excellent synth-groovers for a little while now. As the title suggests, this one exchanges the direct-to-video 80's action movie soundtrack of past releases for a more meditative deep underwater voyage — relax as your mini-sub sinks to the lower depths of your mind.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Recording: Hoover Party

Artist: Hoover Party

Song: [first section]*

Recorded at Tibet Kitchen's back patio, July 10, 2016.

Hoover Party - [first section]

A delightful summer tradition, Jonathan Adjemian once again hosted this afternoon of music in the beautiful back patio of Parkdale's Tibet Kitchen. When last-minute scheduling issues meant a replacement act was needed to complete the bill, Adjemian stepped in to close out the afternoon with a short set from his Hoover Party project. More than just the dronescapes he sometimes traffics in, this current work mixed a subtle laptop-based ambiance (with ghostly guitar licks and birdsongs joining the keyboards) with his doo-wop cantor-styled vocals. A moment of calm before the streets outside would fill with horn-honking cars celebrating the conclusion of a football tournament.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

Recording: Blunt Chunks

Artist: Blunt Chunks

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Tibet Kitchen's back patio, July 10, 2016.

Blunt Chunks - unknown

A delightful summer tradition, Jonathan Adjemian once again hosted this afternoon of music in the beautiful back patio of Parkdale's Tibet Kitchen. Caitlin Woelfle O'Brien was originally planning to showcase more of her abstract/ambient side, but the bright afternoon sun — ancient enemy of electronic musicians playing outdoor sets — made that somewhat difficult to pull off. To absolutely no one's disappointment, she quickly switched over to "song" mode — the lyrical lead-off here of "when I go outside, I want to be in love" felt just right for a hot and sunny summer day.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

Recording: Karen Ng

Artist: Karen Ng

Song: [excerpt from solo improvisation]

Recorded at Tibet Kitchen's back patio, July 10, 2016.

Karen Ng - [excerpt from solo improvisation]

A delightful summer tradition, Jonathan Adjemian once again hosted this afternoon of music in the beautiful back patio of Parkdale's Tibet Kitchen. Consummate collaborator Karen Ng played a rare solo set, offering musical meditations on being alone versus loneliness and starting off in a rather meditative zone, reminiscent of some Paul Newman's work — as refreshing as the cool breeze making its way over from the lake. She'd also tackle a Steve Lacy piece to close out the set.

Recording: Simone Schmidt

Artist: Simone Schmidt

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Tibet Kitchen's back patio, July 10, 2016.

Simone Schmidt - unknown

A delightful summer tradition, Jonathan Adjemian once again hosted this afternoon of music in the beautiful back patio of Parkdale's Tibet Kitchen. Recently returned from a west coast jaunt with The Highest Order, Simone Schmidt lead things off with some of the songs from her forthcoming Fiver album based on case files of inmates in the Rockwood asylum. There's some local flavour in this tale of a member of the notorious Brooks' Bush Gang, who occupied the untamed lands of the Don Valley in the 1850's — the song's cast of characters includes Jane Lewis and James Brown, victim of the last public hanging in Toronto.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!