Thursday, November 15, 2018

Recording: Processor

Artist: Processor

Song: Sea Side

Recorded at Handlebar (Nite Comfort 60), October 7, 2018.

Processor - Sea Side

Celebrating the release of their new Sea Side album, M. Joakim and Lorenz Peter played the whole thing front to back, including a track or two that won't be in their regular live sets. The album explores their chosen terrain from different perspectives — from noisy winter storms to pleasant summer excursions.

Nite Comfort will be back at Handlebar on Sunday, December 2nd, celebrating an album release from deep sludge-drone explorers Northumbria (plus a set from Subterranea as well).

Recording: Memorex

Artist: Memorex

Song: Self-Discipline

Recorded at Handlebar (Nite Comfort 60), October 7, 2018.

Memorex - Self-Discipline

Streamlining things from the trio format that I last saw, this new phase for Memorex saw founder David Lush taking the stage on his own, surrounded by a floor full of synths. Adding bass and vocals while keeping synth sequences and drum machines from going off the rails contributed to the sense of tension and paranoia often evident in his songs — plus, it's always more entertaining when the audience gets the sense that things could veer out of control at any second.

Nite Comfort will be back at Handlebar on Sunday, December 2nd, celebrating an album release from deep sludge-drone explorers Northumbria (plus a set from Subterranea as well).

Monday, November 12, 2018

Concert Listings Roundup #276

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:

Dastgah: Adam Rudolph's Go:Organic Orchestra (feat. Araz Salek/Sadaf Amini/Hamidreza Khalatbari/Jonathan Adjemian/Ernie Tollar/Aline Homzy/Nelson Moneo/Rob Clutton/Karen Ng/Emily Denison/Peter Lutek/Jay Hay/Pedram Khavarzamini/Brandon Valdivia/Nick Fraser) / The Music Gallery @ 918 Bathurst 2018-11-17 (Saturday) [FB event]

When Adam Rudolph brought his Go: Organic concept to the Music Gallery nearly three years ago, it was satisfying both musically and conceptually in finding ways for a large improvising ensemble to work together. Araz Salek (who's also been active recently as one of the driving forces behind the Labyrinth Ontario workshop and concert series) was part of that ensemble the last time 'round, and was inspired to think how Rudolph's system of conducting and notation could be applied to the Iranian modal tradition he works within. This concert is the outcome of that line of inquiry, mixing musicians from different streams who will be guided by scored material and hand gestures to approach playing together in a different way. It's a super-impressive crew of musicians, many of whom should be familiar to frequent visitors to this space.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Brodie West Quintet [November residency!] / The Rex Hotel 2018-11-13 (Tuesday – early show at 6:30 p.m.!) [FB event]

Ornate presents (feat. Sonic Perfume and friends [playing the music of Ornette Coleman]) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-11-13 (Tuesday – early!) [FB event]

Burn Down The Capital presents (feat. Charlie Looker / Tryal / Clarinet Panic) / Burdock Music Hall 2018-11-13 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Mother Tongues (Matt "Doc" Dunn) / Monarch Tavern 2018-11-14 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Music By & For Ken Aldcroft XXIII (feat. Blackout Over Rio [Nico Arnáez/Will Northlich/Mark Segger] / Emily Denison & Friends [Jonathan Adjemian/Rob Clutton/Emily Denison/Germaine Liu) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-11-14 (Wednesday) [FB event]

AMBiENT PiNG (feat. naw / Paul Kwitek) / Handlebar 2018-11-14 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Musicworks at 40 (feat. Desert Island Re-Direct [John Oswald & Sandro Perri] / Gayle Young & Phil Melanson / Bonjay) / Array Space 2018-11-15 (Thursday) [FB event]

Chandra (Teenanger / Slurry) / The Baby G 2018-11-15 (Thursday) [FB event]

Sahara (Mimico / Mr. Joy) / Monarch Tavern 2018-11-16 (Friday) [FB event]

Not Dead Yet presents (feat. Drew McDowall / Hiro Kone / Group) / The Garrison 2018-11-16 (Friday) [FB event]

Long Winter, Volume 7.1 (feat. WLMRT / Perfect Health / Hezi) / The Tranzac 2018-11-16 (Friday – all ages! PWYC!) [FB event]

Faster Presents (feat. Identity Crisis [Brian Abbott/Mike Smith/Kayla Milmine] / James Bailey) / Gerrard Art Space 2018-11-17 (Saturday) [FB event]

Somewhere There presents (feat. Blackout Over Rio [Nico Arnáez / Will Northlich / Mark Segger]) / The Emmet Ray 2018-11-18 (Sunday – PWYC!) [FB event]


Add these to your calendar:

Note! New listings will be added tonight! Check back in later! Meanwhile, the full listings can always be found over on the right-hand sidebar.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Recording: Laura Swankey

Artist: Laura Swankey

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Burdock Music Hall, October 4, 2018.

Laura Swankey - unknown

This night was in celebration of the release of Once More, Swankey's digital EP "for solo voice and electronics". Toiling over her pedal rack, she managed to create percussive backdrops and harmonic lattices to allow her voice to find its way through — like a plantshoot emerging from the soil and then carefully tended into something strong and powerful.

[Laura Swankey will be offering one of four solo sets (alongside Black Givre, Kee Avil and Patrick O'Reilly) at a Somewhere There show in Wenona Lodge's basement on Monday, December 3rd.]

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

Recording: ZOË

Artist: ZOË

Song: The Rock

Recorded at Burdock Music Hall, October 4, 2018.

ZOË - The Rock

Zoë Alexis-Abrams' "solo" project often sees her joined by Kvesche Bijons-Ebacher and Johnny Spence, but this set was a true solo outing. Relying on a sampler rather than a looper to back her keyboard playing up has opened some space to explore her vast cathedrals of sound (and there was still some rather nifty glitch-looping with Alexis-Abrams latching onto sounds with her DD-7). That helps take her popsongs to some unexpected places, such as this one with its ABA structure that turns itself inside-out in the middle section.

Recording: b mcc-b

Artist: b mcc-b

Song: [first piece]

Recorded at Burdock Music Hall, October 4, 2018.

b mcc-b - [first piece]

Also known as Ben McCarroll-Butler in some quarters, b mcc-b (who also works as an emerging composer) brought some spirited improvisations for saxophone and clarinet. This first piece manages to establish a strong sense of tempo and melody but still feels as relaxed as a walk through a breezy park on an autumn day, and a subsequent investigation for clarinet and harmon mute was filled with subtle joys as well.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Concert Listings Roundup #275

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:

Burn Down the Capital presents (feat. Vampire Belt [Chris Corsano / Bill Nace] / Horseman, Pass By / American Standard Trio) / Burdock Music Hall 2018-11-11 (Sunday) [FB event]

American Underground Legends Chris Corsano and Bill Nace have both been through town in the not-too-distant past, but it should be a hoot to see 'em smashing sounds into each other. But as is always the case, this BDTC gig also has a formidable supporting cast, with a much-anticipated return of Bennett Bedoukian (drums/electronics) and Mark Molnar (cello/electronics) ranging from punk shredding to skewed grooves to tense textures plus further developments from upstart noise-as-jazz crew American Standard Trio.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Riverrun / The Emmet Ray 2018-11-05 (Monday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Track Could Bend #44 (feat. Araz Salek & Colin Fisher / Julie Reich / Alex Fournier & Tara Kannangara) / Wenona Lodge 2018-11-06 (Tuesday – PWYC!) [FB event]

The Daguerreotypes (Ryan Driver) / Burdock Music Hall 2018-11-06 (Tuesday – early show! 6 p.m. doors!) [FB event]

Brodie West Quintet [November residency!] / The Rex Hotel 2018-11-06 (Tuesday – early show at 6:30 p.m.!) [FB event]

Julien Gasc (Marker Starling) / The Tranzac (Tiki Room) 2018-11-06 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Demons 9 (feat. Sydanie / Kaspr / Esther Splett / Blue Light) / The Beaver 2018-11-06 (Tuesday – no cover!) [FB event]

U.S. Girls (Dorothea Paas) / Lee's Palace 2018-11-07 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Jason Kenemy (Conception Vessel [Harley Card/Colin Fisher/Jeff Luciani/Dan Fortin]) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-11-07 (Wednesday)

Ami Dang (Korea Town Acid / New Chance) / Handlebar 2018-11-08 (Thursday) [FB event]

Riparian Acoustics presents (feat. Thin Edge New Music Collective) / Canadian Music Centre 2018-11-08 (Thursday) [FB event]

In Between Sounds #91 (feat. Lorde Awesome) / The Only Café 2018-11-08 (Thursday) [FB event]

Toronto Tabla Ensemble [Bhumika CD release!] / Harbourfront Centre (Studio Theatre) 2018-11-09 (Friday) [FB event]

416 Toronto Creative Improvisers Festival (feat. Eugene Martynec/Mark Gane / Colin Fisher/Andrew Furlong/Glen Hall/Mark Hundevad) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-11-09 (Friday) [FB event]

LeBarons [Summer Of Death record release!] (United Snakes / The Old Salts) / The Dakota Tavern 2018-11-10 (Saturday) [FB event]

Audiopollination #65 (feat. Chris Cawthray/Sean O'Connor/Andrew Furlong / Brenda Joy Lem/Christof Migone / Rob Carroll/Tiina Kiik/John Yelland / Robert Appleton /Ian Jarvis) / Array Space 2018-11-10 (Saturday) [FB event]

Balmy (Bunny / Carinae / PAX) / Handlebar 2018-11-10 (Saturday) [FB event]

416 Toronto Creative Improvisers Festival (feat. Sonic Perfume [Patrick O'Reilly/Phill Albert/Patrick Booth/Jon Taylor] / Ossingtone [Glen Hall/Bruce Cassidy/Phill Albert/Chris Cawthray/Diane Roblin]) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-11-10 (Saturday) [FB event]

Mega Bog (Ice Cream / Chiquita Magic) / Burdock Music Hall 2018-11-10 (Saturday) [FB event]

Ayal Senior (Nashville Minimalism Unit / Nick Flanagan [comedy]) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-11-11 (Sunday – afternoon set, 3 to 5 p.m.!) [FB event]

Sonic Perfume [CD release party!] / The Rex Hotel 2018-11-11 (Sunday – early!) [FB event]

Lake Affect [Ashley Urquhart/Stefan Hegerat/Alex Fournier] / The Rex Hotel 2018-11-11 (Sunday) [FB event]

Somewhere There's Second Sunday Series (feat. Mike McCormick's Proxemics / Irene Harrett & Josh Sinclair) / Array Space 2018-11-11 (Sunday) [FB event]

ECM's Generation 2018 [works by James O'Callaghan, Thierry Tidrow, Patrick Gigue`re, Sophie Dupuis] (feat. New Music Concerts) / The Music Gallery @ 918 Bathurst 2018-11-11 (Sunday) [FB event]

Ronley Teper and The Lipliners / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-11-11 (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!

Brodie West Quintet [November residency!] / The Rex Hotel 2018-11-13 (Tuesday – early show at 6:30 p.m.!) [FB event]

AMBiENT PiNG (feat. naw / Paul Kwitek) / Handlebar 2018-11-14 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Long Winter, Volume 7.1 (feat. WLMRT / Perfect Health / Hezi) / Array Space 2018-11-16 (Friday – all ages! PWYC!) [FB event]

Faster Presents (feat. Identity Crisis [Brian Abbott/Mike Smith/Kayla Milmine] / James Bailey) / Gerrard Art Space 2018-11-17 (Saturday) [FB event]

Somewhere There presents (feat. Blackout Over Rio [Nico Arnáez / Will Northlich / Mark Segger]) / The Emmet Ray 2018-11-18 (Sunday – PWYC!) [FB event]

The Sea and Cake (Beams) / Lee's Palace 2018-11-19 (Monday) [FB event]

Brodie West Quintet [November residency!] / The Rex Hotel 2018-11-20 (Tuesday – early show at 6:30 p.m.!) [FB event]

Material Girls (B-17 / Wave of Terror / Besties) / Monarch Tavern 2018-11-20 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Small World Music Society/Polyphonic Ground presents: From the Nile to the Don (feat. Waleed Abdulhamid & Friends) / Small World Music Centre 2018-11-24 (Saturday – all ages!) [FB event]

North Wind Concerts presents: From Far Away, Nearby (feat. Ben Grossman / Alison Melville / Arja Kastinen) / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2018-11-25 (Sunday) [FB event]

Brodie West Quintet [November residency!] / The Rex Hotel 2018-11-27 (Tuesday – early show at 6:30 p.m.!) [FB event]

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Recording: Elinor Frey

Artist: Elinor Frey

Song: With concord of sweet sounds [composer: Isiah Ceccrelli]

Recorded at The Canadian Music Centre (CMC Presents/Riparian Acoustics Presents), October 3, 2018.

Elinor Frey - With concord of sweet sounds

This first instalment in a new season of CMC presentations at Chalmers House celebrated new music for an old instrument, bringing together a series of compositions commissioned for Elinor Frey's 4- and 5-string baroque-style cellos. These pieces (including a première of a piece by David Jaeger at this performance) have been accumulating over the past few years, and Frey was sharing them here before heading into the studio to record them. The results of conversations and exchanges with her composers, the pieces both work within and against the instruments' traditions, sometimes hinting at "baroque" music, but just as often finding new ways to explore their unique qualities. This beautiful offering, for example, explores open strings and shifting fields of overtones, heading into a hypnotizing drone zone.

[There's plenty more in store in this series at the CMC, curated by the dependably-curious ears of Nick Storring. All the events are recommended, and you should definitely have the next couple — with Thin Edge New Music Collective (on November 8th) and Germaine Liu & Sarah Hennies (on December 6th) marked down in your calendars.]

Friday, November 2, 2018

Recording: The Velvet Crystals

Artist: The Velvet Crystals

Songs: Intergalactic [composer: Diamond/Horovitz/Yauch/Caldato Jr.] + Aria [composer: John Cage]

Recorded at Wenona Lodge (Track Could Bend #43), October 2, 2018.

The Velvet Crystals - Intergalactic

The Velvet Crystals - Aria

As sometimes happens, I made an invitation to a musician (in this case, Olivia Shortt) to perform at TCB without knowing what I was getting myself into. She said she was going to be bringing a new performance collective she's involved with alongside Emilie Gelinas-Noble, Austin Lamarche, and Katherine Watson, but besides that I had scant details, so this performance turned out to be a rather-delightful surprise.

Taking the form of a chamber ensemble that refuses to treat itself with any of the seriousness that phrases connotes, the quartet's songbook drew from as much from pop music as the avant garde — this is the first time TCB has seen a performance of a work by Pauline Oliveros or The Beastie Boys, never mind both together. This closing survey of Cage's Aria (intended for "unmusical use of the voice, auxiliary percussion, mechanical or electronic devices") was tailor-made for the group's skillset, and tackled with heady and joyful ferocity. Meow.

[Track Could Bend is back at Wenona Lodge on Tuesday (November 6th) with sets from Araz Salek & Colin Fisher, Julie Reich and Alex Fournier & Tara Kannangara.]

Recording: Jakob Rehlinger

Artist: Jakob Rehlinger

Song: [track 2, edited excerpt]

Recorded at Wenona Lodge (Track Could Bend #43), October 2, 2018.

Jakob Rehlinger - [track 2, edited excerpt]

Since retiring his BABEL moniker, Jakob Rehlinger's various bursts of "solo" activity have been accompanied by the emergence of this self-titled tendril for "kosmische synthesizer work as a solo musician". This reorganization (which includes, for those keeping track, the re-classification of some formerly-BABEL recordings) has so far resulted in the eponymous project's first "formal" release, as well as a split CD with Guelph's M. Mucci. This improvisation is of a kind with the latter, and the set also included a major new piece dedicated to the memory of Rehlinger's mother in her garden.

[Track Could Bend is back at Wenona Lodge on Tuesday (November 6th) with sets from Araz Salek & Colin Fisher, Julie Reich and Alex Fournier & Tara Kannangara.]

Recording: Uxvae

Artist: Uxvae

Song: unknown [edit]*

Recorded at Wenona Lodge (Track Could Bend #43), October 2, 2018.

Uxvae - unknown [edit]

Fitting their forest-sized goth-drones into the available space, this cowled pair dialed it back a bit for this set, which is to say there was more of an accent on the slow build and atmospheric roil than Bryan Bray's guitar heroics.

[Track Could Bend is back at Wenona Lodge on Tuesday (November 6th) with sets from Araz Salek & Colin Fisher, Julie Reich and Alex Fournier & Tara Kannangara.]

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

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Recording: A Nilan Perera Ensemble

Artist: A Nilan Perera Ensemble

Song: [second piece]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (SynapticCircusSundays), September 30, 2018.

A Nilan Perera Ensemble - [second piece]

Colin Fisher (who played in the night's previous set) was a last-minute addition to this ensemble, adding some drums to a group that included Wes Neal on double bass and Kayla Milmine on soprano sax alongside Perera's electric guitar. If the change in personnel shifted the sound Perera was aiming for, there was certainly no sign of a lack of ideas, as he nudged the quartet in several interesting directions.

In this piece, he returned to an occasional theme he's been pursuing in his appearances in this series of using folk motifs as the launchpads for improvisation. This time, however, it came out more in a progressive folk kind of vein, like a throwback to when you'd hear the FM stations playing side-long jams late at night. Some excellent restraint from Milmine here, who simply closed her eyes and nodded along for the whole long first section of this piece, waiting for the right time to come in and give it some new momentum for the endgame.

[Half of this ensemble will return to Synaptic Circus in the Southern Cross on Sunday, November 25th with Kayla Milmine and Wes Neal being joined by Rick Sacks — plus music from Bakan, Lutek, Murley and Underhill LLP.]

Recording: Fake Humans

Artist: Fake Humans

Song: [first piece, in two parts]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (SynapticCircusSundays), September 30, 2018.

Fake Humans - [first piece, part 1]

Fake Humans - [first piece, part 2]

It's always exciting to get a chance to hear Carl Didur playing piano, and even moreso when it's being deployed to shift expectations for what a Fake Humans set should sound like. Colin Fisher is on drums in this section (which moves from spiritual jazz territory towards an étude) and would duet with Didur on sax later in the set.

[Colin Fisher will be playing a duo set alongside tar master Araz Salek at Track Could Bend #44 on Tuesday, November 6th at Wenona Lodge. Synaptic Circus will return to the Southern Cross on Sunday, November 25th with sets from Bakan, Lutek, Murley and Underhill LLP plus Kayla Milmine, Wes Neal and Rick Sacks.]

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Recording: François Houle & Nick Fraser

Artist: François Houle & Nick Fraser

Songs: [1st set, excerpt from 1st piece] + Sticks and Stones [composer: John Carter]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), September 30, 2018.

François Houle & Nick Fraser - [1st set, excerpt from 1st piece]

François Houle & Nick Fraser - Sticks and Stones

This wasn't the first chance I took in a set with an unfamiliar name based on Nick Fraser's presence — and is so often the case, it lead to a proper introduction to a visiting musician as well as a powerful spontaneous collaboration. François Houle was actually slightly familiar to me by reputation (he was in town not so long ago with Gord Grdina and plays with all the West Coast/Drip audio types) but it was really an inspiration to see him extending his clarinet's sounds through some creative pedal use, including some bent and warped loop action. Moving from tasty l'il dits and arpeggiations to frenzied blasts, there were plenty "excitatious" moments (to use Houle's phrase) through two sets.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Recording: Cosmic Homeostasis

Artist: Cosmic Homeostasis

Song: She Sells Moondust Down by The Sea of Tranquility [excerpt]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (Cosmic Homeostasis VIII), September 30, 2018.

Cosmic Homeostasis - She Sells Moondust Down by The Sea of Tranquility [excerpt]

Another cheerfully-cluttered afternoon at The Tranzac, gathering past performers and new faces together to generate some spacious ambient drones. The crew this time included Patrick O'Reilly, Del Stephen, Niamh Shiffra Girling, Jordan Brown, Mira Martin-Gray, Abigail Trotsky, Chris Trotter, Ronnie Blake, Paul Newman, and Heraclitus Akimbo and got some welcome vocal assistance from aspiring homeostasisists Wolfgang and Annika. As usual, you can stream/download the whole thing over at Bandcamp:

[Cosmic Homeostasis IX will take place at The Tranzac on the afternoon of Sunday, December 30th — and the series will continue with four more fifth-Sunday-of-the-month instalments on 2019!]