Reviews

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

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

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

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra New Music Festival. LIKE A BENEVOLENT OCTOPUS, THE VANCOUVER SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA'S ANNUAL NEW MUSIC FESTIVAL HAS BEEN EXTENDING ITS TENTACLES in a variety of occasionally surprising directions since its inception four years ago. This year, for example, the event opened with a performance by avant-jazz[...] Read more

Concerts and Events Alexander Varty

26th Winnipeg New Music Festival. Winnipeg New Music Festival (WNMF) in recent years has been noteworthy for its eagerness to book a program that edges ever further from expectations. The twenty-sixth edition of WNMF was anchored, as usual, at the Centennial Concert Hall. Unconventional satellite venues have become the norm[...] Read more

Concerts and Events Daniel Emberg

The Cosmic Range. New Latitudes. I’d certainly forgive someone who proclaimed that capital-P psychedelia’s death knell sounded long ago. With so many acts flogging the familiar, tired mélange of tropes pilfered from various underground-rock sources of yore, it’s difficult to find any new music[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring

Anne-F Jacques & Tim Olive. Tooth Car. Creating music that’s like the soundtrack for a building-site documentary, sound artists Anne-F Jacques of Montreal and Kobe-based Canadian ex-pat Tim Olive use magnetic pickups and amplified rotating surfaces to generate industrial-style improvisations. It’s ironic that the work[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman

Avec le soleil sortant de sa bouche. Pas Pire Pop, I Love You So Much. “Theme and variations” isn’t exactly rock ‘n’ roll’s modus operandi, unless you count the retrograde lyrical motif of “cars, girls, repeat.” But thanks to this modern-day Montreal quartet, it’s no longer the exclusive domain of Mozart and[...] Read more

Recordings Jonathan Bunce

Tanya Tagaq. Retribution. To follow her Polaris Music Prize-winning album Animism, Tanya Tagaq has gathered her considerable resources—her talented backing band of producer and violinist Jesse Zubot and drummer Jean Martin, plus her astounding vocal skills, musical inventiveness, electric energy, and powerful,[...] Read more

Recordings Mary Dickie