Friday, December 2, 2016

Recording: Determinist?

Artist: Determinist?

Song: [excerpt, in two parts]

Recorded at at Dundas Video (Track Could Bend #20), November 1, 2016.

Determinist? - [excerpt, part 1]

Determinist? - [excerpt, part 2]

One suspects that this duo dig like their politics like they dig their sonic environments – defiantly radical. There are shades here of the sounds that Ian McPhedran is pursuing in Bodies That Matter and that Phil Hamilton is exploring in Beard Closet, but the extremes are being pushed further. That comes out in the intense volume (this might have been the loudest-ever TCB set), punishing feedback squeals, exaggeratedly ironic cock-rock guitar heroics and bursts of off-mic shouting. That was all paralleled by the spoken word-bursts McPhedran deployed, sampling Bob Black's The Abolition of Work and Judith Butler's Gender Trouble. Despite the uncompromising sounds, though, there was also a sense of play here, with the two performers seemingly trying to surprise or subvert each other throughout the set, as if they would leave no structure unchallenged — maybe that's why the project's name ends with a question mark.

[The next Track Could Bend will be taking place on Tuesday, December 6th with sets from No Parking (members of Protruders), Heather Saumer plus Del Stephen & The Bedroom Refuge Holiday.]

Recording: Billion-Year Contract

Artist: Billion-Year Contract

Song: [excerpt from first piece]

Recorded at at Dundas Video (Track Could Bend #20), November 1, 2016.

Billion-Year Contract - [excerpt from first piece]

I invited Andrew Furlong to bring whatever sort of project he wanted to TCB and was rather chuffed when he said he had put together a trio with two other double basses. Joined by Mike Lynn and Chris Adriaanse there was a bit of glorious impracticality in seeing the players grouped together in front of the stage. Moving from tasty pluck-twanging to triple-bow drones, there were some really fabulous textures here – sometimes utterly impractical experiments work out rather elegantly.

[Billion-Year Contract will be returning next Saturday (December 10th) as part of Audiopollination #49.1 at Array Space. The next Track Could Bend will be taking place on Tuesday, December 6th with sets from No Parking (members of Protruders), Heather Saumer, plus Del Stephen & The Bedroom Refuge Holiday.]

Recording: Bears and Children

Artist: Bears and Children

Song: [excerpt from first piece]

Recorded at at Dundas Video (Track Could Bend #20), November 1, 2016.

Bears and Children - [excerpt from first piece]

Some very interesting side-roads here from this trio whose normal stock-in-trade is a rather dense and stylized "electronic glitterdoom". For this set they were in improvisation mode, shedding any semblance of song structure. With the focus almost entirely on sonic textures rather than harmonic/melodic elements, one could sense the influence here of Doug Van Nort — the group's members also play in his Electro-Acoustic Orchestra up at York and are associated with his DisPerSion Lab. (This shift was especially apparent for Fae Sirois, who was investigating the violin's skrunk-skreetch acoustic possibilities instead of playing through an extended pedal chain.)

[The next Track Could Bend will be taking place on Tuesday, December 6th with sets from No Parking (members of Protruders), Heather Saumer, plus Del Stephen & The Bedroom Refuge Holiday.]

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Recording: HSY

Artist: HSY

Songs: Easy + More Over*

Recorded at Monarch Tavern, October 31, 2016.

HSY - Easy

HSY - More Over

It'd been a little while since I checked in with local sludge faves HSY, so it was interesting to see their development on a couple different axes. Sonically, Kris Bowering (ex-Crosss) is now in the fold, adding distorted synthwaves underneath the band's roiling noise. That leaves more room for Anna Mayberry to set down her guitar and drift among the crowd – an extension of the sort of movement work she's been doing with Open Fortress. The slo-mo kinesthetic vocabulary she's deploying here creates all sorts of interesting tensions with the sounds coming from the stage and lends as much grist for seeing the band from a different angle as the new synth parts. The upshot is that there were several times where I wasn't sure if I was hearing a new song or a mutation of an older familiar one — a rather pleasant sort of disorientation.

[HSY are playing next Wednesday (December 7th) at the 'Shoe alongside Frigs, Scattered Clouds and Prom Nite.]

* Thanks to the band for passing along the titles to these!

Recording: Vallens

Artist: Vallens

Song: Long Snake Moan [PJ Harvey cover]

Recorded at Monarch Tavern, October 31, 2016.

Vallens - Long Snake Moan

I missed out on this year's Death to T.O. Hallowe'en covers spectacular, so I was glad that Vallens held this one song over from their PJ Harvey tribute set. The forceful strangulating lurch here fit in pretty seamlessly with the rest of the band's set.

[Vallens will be playing at the super-stacked, can't-be-missed all-star summit at The Garrison on Friday, December 16th, alongside Odonis Odonis and Doomsquad.]

Recording: DRI HIEV

Artist: DRI HIEV

Song: Debris*

Recorded at Monarch Tavern, October 31, 2016.

DRI HIEV - Debris

This Calgary crew was a pretty reasonable pairing with HSY, making their first trip to T.O. before joining the similarly de-vowelled locals for a tour. With plenty of menacing un-ease, this had something of the feel of a version of Big Black that wanted to stay locked in its room to update its livejournal instead of heading out to burn down the next town over.

* This seemed to be the title as gleaned from the band's setlist. Please leave a comment if you can confirm or update this!

Recording: Protruders

Artist: Protruders

Songs: In Line + Cold Energy + Hot Glue

Recorded at Monarch Tavern, October 31, 2016.

Protruders - In Line + Cold Energy + Hot Glue

At some point over the past year, the mighty Kappa Chow disappeared, to be supplanted by Protruders. Musically, that has been accompanied by straight-line evolution more than any sort of radical reinvention, meaning there's still plenty exuberant garage-punk momentum on stage. Careening through songs like a subway on a crash course (one of the lyrical topics essayed here) and gaining momentum throughout, this set basically followed the track laid out on the first side of their tape.

[There'll be some different modes of propulsion being explored when No Parking ("follicles flaked from The Protruders' skin mass") take the stage at Dundas Video on Tuesday (December 6th) at the next Track Could Bend.]

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Recording: The Mike Smith Company

Artist: The Mike Smith Company

Song: Famous Wildlife Movies

Recorded at The Tranzac's Main Hall (All-Set! Autumn Release Show), October 28, 2016.

The Mike Smith Company - Famous Wildlife Movies [part 1]

The Mike Smith Company - Famous Wildlife Movies [part 2]

This second release spectacular from All-Set! Editions added three new albums to their catalogue, and all three of the recombinant groupings played to celebrate. The highlight of the night was seeing the tunes from Mike Smith's new album presented by what was, by his own admission, "a large band".1 That added to a history of Smith treating his compositions with a certain malleability — besides its "fixed" iteration as a recording, I've seen the album's title track take on a few different manifestations. These large group arrangements were quite lovely, going as often to smaller, quieter shadings with different subsets of instruments as veering into full-on big band wallops.

[A less-expanded version of the Mike Smith Company will be playing at the Music Gallery's Moondog 100 concert this Saturday (December 3rd), playing songs from their own book as well as some new arrangements of Moondog's pieces.]


1 If my notes are correct, the ensemble at this show was:

  • Mike Smith – composition, conductor, flute
  • Pete Johnston – bass
  • Blake Howard – percussion
  • Jamie Drake – percussion
  • Jake Oelrichs – percussion
  • Jonathan Adjemian – synth
  • Ali Berkok – piano, clavinet
  • Heather Saumer – trombone
  • Tom Richards – trombone
  • Rebecca Hennesey – trumpet
  • Mika Posen – violin
  • Jay Hay – Tenor sax, flute
  • Karen Ng – alto sax, flute
  • Jeremy Strachan – guitar, sax, flute

Recording: Aurochs with Jean Martin

Artist: Aurochs with Jean Martin

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Main Hall (All-Set! Autumn Release Show), October 28, 2016.

Aurochs with Jean Martin - [excerpt]

This second release spectacular from All-Set! Editions added three new albums to their catalogue, and all three of the recombinant groupings played to celebrate. Since the release of their Rational Animals album a couple years ago, Aurochs have evolved from the original trio, seeing Mike Smith join the ranks as a sound manipulationist. Another Helpful Medicine sees a more warped'n'ziggzagged group with Ali Berkok's piano (and accordion), Pete Johnston's bass and Jake Oelrich's percussion building and burbling through a continuously-evolving improvisation, further filtered through Jean Martin's mixage. To give a taste of the process that created the album, the group invited Martin to join them at this release show, adding further layers of melting, ping-ponging swooning dub-drip interference to the musical interface.

Recording: See Through 5

Artist: See Through 5

Song: Piecing Together That Dream

Recorded at The Tranzac's Main Hall (All-Set! Autumn Release Show), October 28, 2016.

See Through 5 - Piecing Together That Dream

This second release spectacular from All-Set! Editions added three new albums to their catalogue, and all three of the recombinant groupings played to celebrate. Margins, the new album from Pete Johnston's malleable chamber-prog ensemble, is cut from the same cloth (and was recorded, so far as I can tell, at the same sessions) as least year's Utilities. That means listeners can expect further tuneful explorations with plenty of counterpoint and zigzag diversions. (All-Set! has also released Johnston's See Through Two album of bass duets with Rob Clutton with a bit less fanfare. Both albums are available on a name-your price basis over on bandcamp.)

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Recording: Retired

Artist: Retired

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Baby G, October 27, 2016.

Retired - unknown

This night was a release celebration for this quartet's new Crimes Against Jazz album, a proper document of the project's current lineup. Recorded live off the floor, it captures their range fairly well, from stop-start hardcore outbursts to melting meditative drones. From their album title on down the band seems ambiguous about their relationship with jazz (song titles include "3 Day Jazz Bender" and "Fear Of Jazz") and their musical affiliations put them closer to noisy rock shows than anything in the city's "creative" music scenes, but there's really good work happening here. This was the fiercest and most wide-ranging of the live sets I've seen, with the band incorporating drummer Cyril Penney Jr.'s spoken word passages and saxophonist Alex Howard's harsh-noise EWI.

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

Recording: Pissbowelking

Artist: Pissbowelking

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Baby G, October 27, 2016.

Pissbowelking - unknown

This duo's non-user-friendly band name is a fair signpost to their menacing/abrasive music. They don't seem to have much of an online presence, so for now you'll have to keep an eye out for your chance to step into their darkness, with machinegun percussion, harshly-torquing synths and equally-effected vocals. This was a seriously relentless set at concert volume — the recording tames it a bit, so be sure to crank up your volume.

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

Recording: Fake Humans

Artist: Fake Humans

Song: [final section]

Recorded at The Baby G, October 27, 2016.

Fake Humans - [final section]

This duo between Carl Didur and Colin Fisher can sound like a full band, especially when the latter gets to multi-tasking and playing taishogoto and synthesizer simultaneously. This section, with Fisher moving from drums to sax, is a bit more spare in its execution but has some really lovely interplay.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Concert Listings Roundup #177

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:

New Fries [More 10" record release] (Private Joy / Carl Didur / Fountain) / The Garrison 2016-12-01 (Thursday) [FB event]

With a new 10" (out on Telephone Explosion), New Fries are ready to celebrate with a night of weird and adventurous sounds. Get ready for push/pull rhythms, stop/start dynamics and possibly some art-adventure flourishes. Great supporting cast, too, including the always-essential Carl Didur.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Rainy Days on Monday ["great songs of the 70's, jazz standards, originals"] (hosted by Paul Linklater with many guest stars) / The Cameron House 2016-11-28 (Monday – early! 6 to 8 p.m.!) [FB event]

My Misshapen Ear [Anthony Argatoff/Andrew Furlong/Joe Sorbara] / The Emmet Ray 2016-11-28 (Monday – early! PWYC!) [FB event]

Professor Andy Dolgin's Medicinal Show #1 (feat. Professor Andy Dolgin and The Candy Apple Jazz Band) / Grossman's Tavern 2016-11-29 (Tuesday – free!) [FB event]

Camargo (Blunt Chunks / Country Lunker) / Burdock Music Hall 2016-11-29 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Piano Party! (feat. Mike Smith / Jonathan Adjemian / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-11-30 (Wednesday – early!) [FB event]

Wolf's Nacho Wednesdays (feat. Allison Cameron/Josh Cole/Sandro Perri/Nicole Rampersaud) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-11-30 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Bears & Children (Doom Tickler / David Jones) / Smiling Buddha 2016-11-30 (Wednesday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Wavelength 715 (BRAIDS / Most People / Nyssa) / The Garrison 2016-11-30 (Wednesday – $3 with RSVP) [FB event]

KENTROИ (Mesonyx) / Smiling Buddha 2016-12-01 (Thursday) [FB event]

Queen Mab Trio [Marilyn Lerner/Lori Freedman/Ig Henneman] / Gallery 345 2016-12-02 (Friday) [FB event]

Emily Denison [Kindred tape release!] (Jonathan Adjemian / Emily Denison / Raphael Foisy-Couture / Brad Eaton / Karen Ng / Laura Swankey) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-12-02 (Friday) [FB event]

Long Winter 5.1 (feat. Blonde Elvis / Twist / Cupcake Ductape / Zoe Sky Jordan / Mazola / OBUXUM) / SPK/Polish Combatants' Hall – new venue! 2016-12-02 (Friday – PWYC! all ages!) [FB event]

Professor Andy Dolgin's Medicinal Show #2 (feat. Professor Andy Dolgin and The Candy Apple Jazz Band) / The Local Pub 2016-12-03 (Saturday – free!) [FB event]

Moondog 100 (feat. Nexus with Suba Sankaran / The Mike Smith Company) / The Music Gallery 2016-12-03 (Saturday) [FB event]

Hommage à Miriam Makeba (feat. Lorraine Klaasen) / Alliance Française 2016-12-03 (Saturday) [FB event]

Optical Sounds presents (feat. Magic Shoppe / B-17 / Brenda / Dong Vegan) / The Silver Dollar Room 2016-12-03 (Saturday) [FB event]

Persons (Guy Madonna / Man Made Hill / Coldboi) / Double Double Land 2016-12-03 (Saturday) [more info]

Daniel Pencer/Dan Fortin/Brandon Valdivia/Colin Fisher / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-12-03 (Saturday) [FB event]

Nite Comfort 40 (feat. Prone / Squelcher) / Handlebar 2016-12-04 (Sunday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Ultimate Painting (EZTV / Century Palm) / The Horseshoe Tavern 2016-12-04 (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!

Somewhere There Presents (feat. Ig Hennemen/Marilyn Lerner/Karen Ng/Nicole Rampersaud / Sweet Session) / Array Space 2016-12-06 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Minotaurs / Burdock Music Hall 2016-12-06 (Tuesday – no cover!) [FB event]

Frictional: Making Sounds With Stuff (feat. Kristina Guison / Inchoate / Xuan Ye / Jason Doell) / Electric Perfume 2016-12-07 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Dream Date (Colin Roy Gillespie / Mills) / Handlebar 2016-12-08 (Thursday) [FB event]

Poster Boy (Cares / Greydini) / The Dupe Shop 2016-12-10 (Saturday) [FB event]

Ig Henneman & co. ["short sets of improvised music featuring Toronto friends"] (feat. Marilyn Lerner / Germaine Liu / Pete Johnston / Brodie West / Heather Saumer / Ryan Driver / Rob Clutton / Nick Fraser / Daniel Pencer / Lina Allemano) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-12-10 (Saturday) [FB event]

Jenny Berkel (LUKA / Will Kidman) / Monarch Tavern 2016-12-13 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Audiopollination #49.2 (feat. Sound of The Mountain / Craig Pederson/Brian Abbott/Cheryl O / Elizabeth Millar/Laura Swankey) / Array Space 2016-12-18 (Sunday) [FB event]

Jennifer Castle (Fiver / Damian Rogers) / The Horseshoe Tavern 2016-12-21 (Wednesday) [more info]

Hello Ocho (Eliza / Dohn Valley / Mr. Joy) / Double Double Land 2017-01-18 (Wednesday) [FB event]

TV Girl (Ice Cream / Scott Hardware / Poppet) / Smiling Buddha 2017-01-26 (Thursday) [FB event]

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Recording: Off World

Artist: Off World

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Ratio (Off World LP 1 Release Weekend – Night 3), October 23, 2016.

Off World - unknown

Off World celebrated the release of their first album with three nights of sonic exploration at Ratio. As a recording project, Off World is quite open-ended, meant to serve as a clearinghouse of sorts for a backlog of Sandro Perri's collaborative recordings. Live, it's something of a different beast, existing as a duo with Processor's Lorenz Peter. Set up against Ratio's long side wall instead of in the "stage" zone, the m.o. here was for Perri to deploy some pre-recorded stems as grist for live remix/dub treatment, incorporating Peter's keyb interventions. Perhaps a bit more than the night before, this set felt rather true to the band's name, a trip to the planetarium to lean back and consider the cosmic symphonies of burbling basslines, space-slug slow-skank, sounds like the Sounds of the Sounds of Science and trace elements of Night Flight to Venus.

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