Friday, September 22, 2017

Recording: A Quiet Little Village

Artist: A Quiet Little Village

Song: [an improvised suite, in three movements]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), August 27, 2017.

A Quiet Little Village - [an improvised suite, 1st movement]

A Quiet Little Village - [an improvised suite, 2nd movement]

A Quiet Little Village - [an improvised suite, 3rd movement]

Simply excellent work here from this new trio, consisting of saxophonists Kayla Milmine and Paul Newman with percussionist Tomasz Krakowiak. Frequent playing together on compositions and improvisations in several contexts, Milmine and Newman were in mind-meld territory from the get-go, while Krakowiak contributed his characteristic super-quiet percussive presence. Like a golf ball washer for the soul, this was cleansing stuff.

Recording: Heraclitus Akimbo & Matthew Fava

Artist: Heraclitus Akimbo & Matthew Fava

Song: [last section]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), August 27, 2017.

Heraclitus Akimbo & Matthew Fava - [last section]

Invited to open things up for this restful evening's music, I called upon Matthew Fava for some collaborative activity. He brought some of the software recently seen on stage with Stargoon, and I was planning to accompany with some peaceful drones. After discovering the Tranzac's electricity didn't favour some of my gear, it was on to Plan B — swapping things around and seeing what noises I could make other than krssrrgkkkrghsrrrr. Running things through the slicing looper on my fancy new Count to 5 seemed to work, which is rendered here as something like a broken Simon Says arguing with itself. Turned out to be a bit more abrasive than I was planning to get the room ready for an ensemble called "A Quiet Little Village", but sometimes you just have to roll with it.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Recording: YlangYlang

Artist: YlangYlang

Song: unknown*

Recorded at 940 Variety (Quiet Bedrooms Launch Show), August 27, 2017.

YlangYlang - unknown

Quiet Bedrooms is a cassette label/live series founded by busy videographer/archivist Brandon Caswell Douglas, formally launching with this ambitions inside/outside east-end show. Since relocating to Hamilton, songwriter and sonic explorer Catherine Debard has been making more frequent forays into T.O., but I hadn't managed to catch any of 'em before this one. Her current set of spectacular introspective drone-popsongs drifted past in a self-assured continuous flow, bringing a satisfying conclusion to the event.

[YlangYlang performs tonight (September 21st) at The Baby G, "a night dedicated to simplicity and unravelling" alongside ANAMAI and Xuan Ye + David Jones. Quiet Bedrooms will be presenting an afternoon show at the Dupe Shop on Saturday, October 1st with Allison Cameron, Sea Beau, and Happy Baby.]

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

Recording: Heraclitus Akimbo

Artist: Heraclitus Akimbo

Song: 222 Hz [edited excerpt]

Recorded at 940 Variety (Quiet Bedrooms Launch Show), August 27, 2017.

Heraclitus Akimbo - 222 Hz [edited excerpt]

Quiet Bedrooms is a cassette label/live series founded by busy videographer/archivist Brandon Caswell Douglas, formally launching with this ambitions inside/outside east-end show. Sadly, I missed the park segment while I was setting up for this, but I enjoyed the low-key vibes at this space.

This set was an attempt to see what I could wring out of a fairly limited set of inputs — just a single tone from my trusty function generator, plus some spring reverb rustles for texture. Presenting this for other people, there's always a certain temptation to "do more" — to add more sounds, to keep things moving — but I felt fairly satisfied with the amount of staying-in-place I mustered here.

[Quiet Bedrooms will be presenting an afternoon show at the Dupe Shop on Saturday, October 1st with Allison Cameron, Sea Beau, and Happy Baby.]

[photo by 940 Variety]

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Recording: Colin Fisher & Jonathan Adjemian

Artist: Colin Fisher & Jonathan Adjemian

Songs: [excerpt from first section] + [final section]

Recorded at Café Pamenar, August 24, 2017.

Colin Fisher & Jonathan Adjemian - [excerpt from first section]

Colin Fisher & Jonathan Adjemian - [final section]

Colin Fisher spent one part of his summer hosting intimate shows on the beautiful back patio of this Kensington spot, mixing together appearances from his host of ongoing projects with other excursions. Although this pair have shared stages innumerable times in different units, and have jammed together, after conferring back and forth they averred that this was their first formal duo appearance.

Adjemian was on his trusty Korg, while Fisher had brought his regular and microtonal guitars, as well as his sopranino sax, a more recent acquisition. That latter instrument (which can be a bit more difficult to play with as much poise and gravitas as a larger horn with more heft) created some crazy tones when guided through the pedal chain. Adjemian seemed more interested steering toward a more measured pace, and though there were some phat chirps and rubbery ping-sproings, some of the best moments came when Fisher throttled back to drift a little with him.

Recording: Khôra

Artist: Khôra

Song: [excerpt from first piece, in two parts]

Recorded at Café Pamenar, August 24, 2017.

Khôra - [excerpt from first piece, part 1]

Khôra - [excerpt from first piece, part 2]

Proposing to offer something less structured than his usual sets, Matthew Ramolo declared he was going to be "letting the synthesizer play itself." While he was definitely more hands-on than that statement might suggest, there was definitely some indeterminism at play as he shuffled patchcords to try and guide things along. The layers of ticks and melodic blips heard here is definitely less meditative than his usual offerings.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Recording: Sandy Ewen

Artist: Sandy Ewen

Song: [two excerpts]

Recorded at Array Space (Audiopollination #53.3), August 21, 2017.

Sandy Ewen - [excerpt 1]

Sandy Ewen - [excerpt 2]

As when I had seen Sandy Ewen at Audiopollination a year ago, I was amazed at the sonic range she could derive simply from electroacoustic manipulations. Forgoing tonebending pedals (she simply had a volume pedal that altered the mix between her two amps) the set was a treat to watch all the treatments, bits of metal finding their way onto the guitar neck — and sometimes then clanking to the floor.

Recording: Insect Factory

Artist: Insect Factory

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Array Space (Audiopollination #53.3), August 21, 2017.

Insect Factory - [excerpt]

Touring partner to Peter Prescott's Minibeast, this solo project from Maryland's Jeff Barsky felt more at home in the space, building a delicately-constructed ambient guitarscape. The project's name turns out to be fully apt, hinting at the possibility of some scratching, rustling, buzzing swarm combining to create something elegant, floating just above the sunset horizon.

Recording: Minibeast

Artist: Minibeast

Song: two unknown songs*

Recorded at Array Space (Audiopollination #53.3), August 21, 2017.

Minibeast - unknown #1

Minibeast - unknown #2

It worked out slightly curiously that this group, founded by postpunk legend Peter Prescott (Mission of Burma/Volcano Suns) ended up in town on an improvised music bill rather than playing at a more straightforwardly rock gig. That meant a downgrade from the touring "postpunk legend" standard of an audience of dozens to the improvised music gig standard of an audience of several. That didn't seem to bother the trio, who seemed content to tear off some rigourous slices of rhythmically-driven music.

Prescott (on guit, keyb, and electronics) was joined by Keith Seidel on drums and Eric Baylies on bass. Seidel, in particular, really shone here, propulsively motorvating the tracks — no surprise that someone who came to fame as a drummer would pick a good one to back him on his side project. Several of the songs featured a locked-in pulse that brought The Ex to mind, and the pieces were more about that groove than lyrical or melodic structure — although Prescott did indeed add some vox, they were more for texture than something to hang the song on.

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

Monday, September 18, 2017

Concert Listings Roundup #217

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:

ANAMAI (YlangYlang / Xuan Ye + David Jones) / The Baby G 2017-09-21 (Thursday) [FB event]

Anamai's What Mountain release show back in May felt like a truly special event, a space where the rock'n'roll bar crowd simultaneously agreed they were there for some Deep Listening, quietly absorbing the music's delicate strands. We can only hope for as much as this night — and there are some excellent fellow voyagers on hand as well, with now-Hamilton-based YlangYlang's bedroom electronic self-ruminations and the insert-question-mark-emoji-here investigations from Xuan Ye + David Jones, a pair of restless explorers/occasional collaborators.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Yi (Jo Marches / Bobbypin) / Smiling Buddha 2017-09-18 (Monday) [FB event]

Arraymusic presents (feat. Quatuor Bozzini with Philip Thomas) / Gallery 345 2017-09-19 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Not Dead Yet presents (feat. Flesh World / New Fries / Sahara / Josephine) / The Baby G 2017-09-19 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists (Dany Laj and The Looks) / Lee's Palace 2017-09-19 (Tuesday) [more info]

Quatuor Bozzini [exploring the work of Martin Arnold] / Canadian Music Centre 2017-09-20 (Wednesday – all ages! early show @ 6 p.m.! free with RSVP!) [more info]

Wire (Noveller) / Lee's Palace 2017-09-20 (Wednesday) [more info]

Mount Eerie / The Great Hall 2017-09-20 (Wednesday) [more info]

Star Triptych [Elisa Thorn/David Riddel/Laura Swankey] / The Rex Hotel 2017-09-20 (Wednesday – PWYC!) [FB event]

RPM Live : 006 (feat. Yamantaka//Sonic Titan / nêhiyawak / WHOOP-Szo) / Smiling Buddha 2017-09-20 (Wednesday) [FB event]

c_RL / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-09-20 (Wednesday – early!)

The Pineapple [Karen Ng/Rob Grieve/Alex Fournier] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-09-20 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Frequencies (feat. Korea Town Acid / Spookyfish / Leucrocuta / Maks) / Handlebar 2017-09-21 (Thursday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Robyn Hitchcock (Kate Boothman) / The Drake Underground 2017-09-21 + 2017-09-22 (Thursday + Friday) [more info]

Opus:Testing presents Tower & Helm [new works for Carillon by Zach Clark, Crescenzo Dicecco, Alex Eddington, Juro Kim Feliz, Cory Harper-Latkovich, Lauren McCall, Janet Sit and Matthew Tran-Adams developed as part of the Opus: Testing workshop] (feat. Roy Lee) / parkette in front of Metropolitan United Church 2017-09-22 (Friday – free! all-ages! outside! the bells! THE BELLS!) [FB event]

Nick Ferrio [Soothsayer album release!] (Dan Edmonds / Ansley Simpson) / Burdock Music Hall 2017-09-22 (Friday) [FB event]

Star Triptych [Elisa Thorn/David Riddel/Laura Swankey] (Band Called Crow) / Orchard Bar 2017-09-22 (Friday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Trnsgndr/vhs (Così e Così [LP release show!] / Brigitte Bardon't / Girls Rituals) / Double Double Land 2017-09-22 (Friday) [FB event]

Michael Louis Johnson [Half Moon, Half Crazy album release show!] / The Dakota Tavern 2017-09-22 (Friday – early show!) [FB event]

Quiet Concerts (feat. Allison Cameron) / Toronto Public Library – Scarborough Civic Centre Branch 2017-09-23 (Saturday – free! all-ages + family-friendly! afternoon show @3 p.m.!) [FB event]

The Seams (Sunshine & The Blue Moon / No Frills / Tange) / Smiling Buddha 2017-09-23 (Saturday) [FB event]

Feast In The East 64 (feat. Petra Glynt / Zacht Automaat / Fet.Nat / Joanne Pollock) / Matt Durant Studio 2017-09-23 (Saturday – all ages!) [FB event]

ZOË (Charise Aragoza / Blunt Chunks) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-09-23 (Saturday) [FB event]

Somewhere There presents (feat. Bruce Cassidy/Chris Cawthray/Paul Neufeld) / The Emmet Ray 2017-09-24 (Sunday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Toronto Improvisors Orchestra with featured soloist Rob Clutton / Array Space 2017-09-24 (Sunday)

Weeping Icon (Sigil) / The Baby G 2017-09-24 (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!

88 Days of Fortune @ Nuit Blanche: Cosmic Melanin/Enter The Loop ["12 hours of visual art, music and performance"] (feat. Witch Prophet / Above Top Secret / Dey / Sydanie / Yasmine) / Nathan Phillips Square 2017-09-30 (Saturday – free! all ages!) [FB event]

Array presents: Music by Ben Patterson (feat. Martin Arnold) / Array Space 2017-10-01 (Sunday) [more info]

Riverrun (The Lowlighters) / Burdock Music Hall 2017-10-04 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Ghostlight / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-10-04 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Jock Tears (Protruders / Tough Age) / The Dupe Shop 2017-10-07 (Saturday – afternoon show @ 1 p.m.! all-ages! PWYC!) [FB event]

Afternoon Hootenanny (feat. Carolyn Mark & Corin Raymond The New Best Friends) / The Horseshoe Tavern 2017-10-08 (Sunday – afternoon show @ 4 p.m.!) [FB event]

Thin Edge New Music Collective presents: Speaking [season opener!] (feat. Thin Edge Ensemble and Shi-An Costello) / Array Space 2017-10-10 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Pet Sounds / Instrumental (feat. Christine Bougie/Dafydd Hughes/Julia Hambleton/Andrew Downing) / Burdock Music Hall 2017-10-12 (Thursday – early and late shows!) [FB event]

The Canadian Electronic Ensemble / Canadian Music Centre 2017-10-13 (Friday) [FB event]

Kazuki Koga (YlangYlang / Joni Void / Sages) / Tough Guy Mountain 2017-10-14 (Saturday) [FB event]

Burn Down The Capital presents (feat. Bill Nace/Twig Harper/John Olson / Not The Wind, Not The Flag / Dandy Dusted) / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2017-10-16 (Monday) [more info]

Caution Tape Sound Collective: Singles Vol. 3 [world premieres from composers Patrick Arteaga / Julia Mermelstein / August Murphy-King / Bekah Simms / Janet Sit / Tyler Versluis] (feat. Jonathan MacArthur / Evan Bowen) / Array Space 2017-10-21 (Saturday – all ages!) [FB event]

Burn Down The Capital presents (feat. Elliott Sharp with Contact / Luge / H. de Heutz / Fraydee Cat) / Tough Guy Mountain 2017-10-21 (Saturday – all ages!) [FB event]

Riparian Acoustics presents (feat. Ora Clementi [crys cole/James Rushford] / Fleshtone Aura / c_RL) / Array Space 2017-10-23 (Monday) [FB event]

Burn Down The Capital presents (feat. Chik White / Castle If / Smomid / Doom Tickler) / Less Bar 2017-11-10 (Friday) [FB event]

Array Music's Rat-drifting series (feat. Sarah Hennies / Kurt Newman) / Array Space 2017-12-02 (Saturday) [more info]

Destroyer (Mega Bog) / Phoenix Concert Theatre 2018-01-22 (Monday) [more info]

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Recording: Deerhoof

Artist: Deerhoof

Songs: Paradise Girls / Exit Only / Fresh Born / I Will Spite Survive

Recorded at Longboat Hall (Camp Wavelength – Night 3), August 20, 2017.

Deerhoof - Paradise Girls

Deerhoof - Exit Only

Deerhoof - Fresh Born

Deerhoof - I Will Spite Survive

Since 2009, the summer Wavelength festival has been a highlight of the season, slowing down the hectic "festival experience" to an Island pace and making the whole thing as much about the vibe and the location as the (always well-curated) music. When this spring's floods shut the Island down, there was a ripple of apprehension from many quarters at the loss of favourite summer hangs, culminating in the festival decamping to the mainland. The WL crew did an excellent job in emulating the festival experience in the outdoor/daytime portion, but it was harder to feel the same sense of relaxation and freedom in a bar.

I've always considered myself to be a casual fan of San Francisco's long-running Deerhoof. (It turns out I have four of their albums when I just checked, though that's a pretty slim slice of their full output.) Relying on their recorded work, especially relatively-recent albums like La Isla Bonita and The Magic I'd always thought of them as a quirky pop band, not realizing that their live show has a reputation (earned, it turns out) as a shred-fest.

Performing as a guitar/bass/drums quartet with none of the elaboration found on their albums, the band cranked out song after song with plenty guitar heroics from Ed Rodríguez. They'd occasionally pause to catch their breath — a chance for drummer Greg Saunier to amble over to the mic to share some abstract observations with the crowd, or for vocalist Satomi Matsuzaki to demonstrate the principles behind the imminent solar eclipse — before diving back in. With this show coming on the cusp of their latest effort, they seemed comfortable to wander through their back catalogue, which was defintely a crowd-pleasing move. Big name out-of-town headliners can feel a bit discontinuous from the general vibe of a Wavelength festival, but hopefully it serves to pull in folks who are looking for some more adventurous musical journeys and might return for something cool and homegrown.

Recording: The Luyas

Artist: The Luyas

Songs: Beating Bowser + Bucky's (2 Hours) Late

Recorded at Longboat Hall (Camp Wavelength – Night 3), August 20, 2017.

The Luyas - Beating Bowser

The Luyas - Bucky's (2 Hours) Late

Since 2009, the summer Wavelength festival has been a highlight of the season, slowing down the hectic "festival experience" to an Island pace and making the whole thing as much about the vibe and the location as the (always well-curated) music. When this spring's floods shut the Island down, there was a ripple of apprehension from many quarters at the loss of favourite summer hangs, culminating in the festival decamping to the mainland. The WL crew did an excellent job in emulating the festival experience in the outdoor/daytime portion, but it was harder to feel the same sense of relaxation and freedom in a bar.

When I see Montréal's The Luyas every couple years or so, it always turns out that I like them a bunch more than I remember. Over their last couple releases, it also sounds like they've gotten a bit groovier, which made this a less moody set than I recall getting from the band. Perhaps it was that Singer/guitarist Jessie Stein left her Moodswinger at home — in any case, for her part, she was in a cheerful mood, confessing that "there was a point in my life, when I was quite a bit younger, where my goal in life was to play Wavelength."

Recording: Emilie & Ogden

Artist: Emilie & Ogden

Song: Closer

Recorded at Longboat Hall (Camp Wavelength – Night 3), August 20, 2017.

Emilie & Ogden - Closer

Since 2009, the summer Wavelength festival has been a highlight of the season, slowing down the hectic "festival experience" to an Island pace and making the whole thing as much about the vibe and the location as the (always well-curated) music. When this spring's floods shut the Island down, there was a ripple of apprehension from many quarters at the loss of favourite summer hangs, culminating in the festival decamping to the mainland. The WL crew did an excellent job in emulating the festival experience in the outdoor/daytime portion, but it was harder to feel the same sense of relaxation and freedom in a bar.

Montréal-based Emilie Kahn was celebrating her last show billed as a duo with Ogden, her harp. Backed by a rhythm section, her delicate harp tones were occasionally muscled aside by the other instruments, but there was usually a tasty equilibrium. A tremendously impractical thing to take on tour, on imagines, it's always a treat to hear a harp in a rock'n'roll context. The crowd, who looked more like a here-to-see-Deerhoof bunch than Wavelength Explorers, were admirably into this.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Recording: ZUZE

Artist: ZUZE

Song: Lay Lay

Recorded at Sherbourne Common (Camp Wavelength – Day 2), August 20, 2017.

ZUZE - Lay Lay

Since 2009, the summer Wavelength festival has been a highlight of the season, slowing down the hectic "festival experience" to an Island pace and making the whole thing as much about the vibe and the location as the (always well-curated) music. When this spring's floods shut the Island down, there was a ripple of apprehension from many quarters at the loss of favourite summer hangs, culminating in the festival decamping to the mainland.

There's been a number of WL events that have taken place at spots that've been overtaken by the city's voracious development, so it was a pleasant change to be in a new space — one's that's still not fully integrated into the city and that is going to be around for a while. With a wall of almost-completed condos along the park's east side, Sherbourne Common isn't going to be hosting too many festivals in summers to come, so hopefully some of Camp Wavelength's energy will remain imprinted on the space. Meanwhile, with the water glistening in the background and a sense of isolation from the city proper, this did a really superb job of capturing the feel of a show on the Islands. (Plus there was the bonus of the awesome slapback echo bouncing back from the new buildings surrounding the park.)

In a day dominated by electronic-hewing acts, this sprawling collective was the cheerful exception, rolling eight members deep. Self-declared purveyors of the "afrofunk music of Iran", they brought a groove-based approach to Persian and Azerbaijani folk tunes, joking all along as they encouraged the mellow sit-in-the-sun crowd to lay back and boogie internally.

Recording: SlowPitchSound

Artist: SlowPitchSound

Songs: unknown* + "scene from Freak Show" (feat. Shikha Sehgal)

Recorded at Sherbourne Common (Camp Wavelength – Day 2), August 20, 2017.

SlowPitchSound - unknown

SlowPitchSound feat. Shikha Sehgal - scene from Freak Show

Since 2009, the summer Wavelength festival has been a highlight of the season, slowing down the hectic "festival experience" to an Island pace and making the whole thing as much about the vibe and the location as the (always well-curated) music. When this spring's floods shut the Island down, there was a ripple of apprehension from many quarters at the loss of favourite summer hangs, culminating in the festival decamping to the mainland.

There's been a number of WL events that have taken place at spots that've been overtaken by the city's voracious development, so it was a pleasant change to be in a new space — one's that's still not fully integrated into the city and that is going to be around for a while. With a wall of almost-completed condos along the park's east side, Sherbourne Common isn't going to be hosting too many festivals in summers to come, so hopefully some of Camp Wavelength's energy will remain imprinted on the space. Meanwhile, with the water glistening in the background and a sense of isolation from the city proper, this did a really superb job of capturing the feel of a show on the Islands. (Plus there was the bonus of the awesome slapback echo bouncing back from the new buildings surrounding the park.)

In his sets, turntablist Cheldon Paterson sometimes goes deep down rabbit holes (to Wonderland or to sci-fi destinations) but this time 'round he unfurled more of a discography-spanning mixtape approach, pulling together fragments old and new. There was a walk on from Shikha, whose voice has graced a couple of his releases, but the main collaborative element here was dancer Libydo, whose presence continues to expand the physical presence of Paterson's work — to the extent that that Libydo feels increasingly like a doppelgänger as the two occasionally switch places, making their artistry feel ever more like two sides of the same coin.

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