Reviews

Leblanc / Vincente / Antunes / Ferreira Lopes. A Square Meal Portugal has a vibrant free-jazz scene with prolific record labels like Clean Feed, prominent festivals like Jazz Em Agosto, and a plethora of world-class performers. This CD brings together two such musicians from Lisbon, trumpeter Luís Vicente and double bassist Hugo Antunes, with[...] Read more

Recordings Lawrence Joseph

Lisa Cay Miller. 682/681 Recorded in one day-long session, this CD has Vancouver composer and pianist Lisa Cay Miller matching tones and techniques with ten Amsterdam-based improvisers in duo or trio configurations. Although the twenty-two [!] meetings confirm her ability and adaptability, the few extended tracks[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman

Ensemble Paramirabo / Thin Edge New Music Collective. Raging Against the Machine. Toronto’s Thin Edge New Music Collective joins forces with Montreal’s Ensemble Paramirabo for this double-sextet album that mixes two modern classics with three new Canadian works inspired by them.   The more famous composers bookend the album. First up is Steve[...] Read more

Recordings Daniel Glassman

Jim Denley & Éric Normand. Plant. Working the sweet spot where noise communication decisively rubs up against textural experimentation are the verdant improvisations that make up Plant, the new LP from Rimouski-based electric bassist Éric Normand and Australian alto saxophonist and bass flautist Jim Denley. Don’[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman

Vicky Chow. A O R T A. One hundred years ago, Erik Satie coined the phrase furniture music. The French composer and pianist applied the term—Musique d’ameublement, more correctly translated as “furnishing music”—to short repetitive pieces meant to be heard as background music in[...] Read more

Recordings Jonathan Bunce Issue 127

Those Who Walk Away. The Infected Mass. Though Gavin Bryars’ 1972 The Sinking of the Titanic is itself widely known, its influence on subsequent works by other composers has yet to be duly recognized. One could argue that Bryars’ work gave rise to an entire subgenre’s worth of imitators who wrapped their elegiac[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring Issue 127

Kid Koala, Featuring Emilíana Torrini. Music to Draw To: Satellite. The first in a projected series of works in the label’s Music To Draw To series, Satellite is a bit of a surprise swerve for Kid Koala, a.k.a. Eric San, who’s renowned for making experimental hip-hop that features clever samples of vocal recordings and found sounds, and a[...] Read more

Recordings Mary Dickie Issue 127

Just Got Death. Miella Totomi. A power trio gone rogue, Montreal-based Just Got Death (JGD) matches the ingot-hard guitar flanges of Sam Shalabi with the surging bass thumps of Jonah Fortune and the nimble percussion accents of Michel F. Côté in a program of seven originals that ricochets between punk-metal[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman Issue 127

Mark Hannesson. Angels. When one thinks of the work of the Wandelweiser label’s composers, one might imagine an ultrafragile, moment-to-moment formlessness that hovers indefinitely for a piece’s duration—any given sonority is somehow equivalent to any other. Mark Hannesson’s new disc of solo[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring Issue 127

Darcy James Argue Secret Society. Real Enemies. Its title meant to be taken satirically, Real Enemies is an extended multimedia meditation on paranoia and conspiracy theories—and you can dance to it. Created by Vancouver-born composer Darcy James Argue and interpreted by eighteen of New York’s top improvisers, the thirteen[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman Issue 127

Punk Ethnography: Artists & Scholars Listen to Sublime Frequencies Last Christmas, our new Syrian friends were telling us about dabke, the Syrian line dance. “Dabke,” I said. “That’s what Omar Souleyman plays!” They laughed out loud and said, “We’d never heard of him in Syria, but now that we’re here, he[...] Read more

Books Daniel Glassman

Sixth Dither Extravaganza. Despite its name, the guitar quartet Dither means business. The New York-based group made waves with the 2015 Tzadik release John Zorn’s Olympiad Vol 1: Dither Plays Zorn, with the foursome playing some of Zorn’s less-heard game pieces. But even before that, they were hosting an[...] Read more

Concerts and Events Kurt Gottschalk