Désolee. Enter Here. After nearly five years of dormancy, revered Toronto tape label Craft Singles has re-emerged from the underground with a bruised treasure: a cassette edition of Enter Here (also available on digital format), the debut album of avant-garde noise outfit Désolee, a recording project[...] Read more

Recordings Brennan McCracken Issue 139

Wormwood. My Two Minds Become Air. For the better part of the past decade, the London, Ontario-based husband-and-wife duo Wormwood have been quietly cultivating an aura of mystique with their spellbinding electroacoustic compositions. On their latest record, My Two Minds Become Air, the pair diverge from the IDM and[...] Read more

Recordings Griffin Martell Issue 139

The Underflow. Instant Opaque Evening. An evocatively named trio, the Underflow brings together three stars of the global experimental music scene, all with long-running ties to the city of Chicago: guitarist David Grubbs, saxophone virtuoso Mats Gustafsson, and cornetist Rob Mazurek. One senses the presence of the undertow in[...] Read more

Recordings Kurt Newman Issue 139

Scott Thomson. Pal o’Alto. Trombonist Scott Thomson has split much of his creative life between Montreal and Toronto. On this series of improvised duets with alto saxophonists, he explores key musical relationships in the two cities, playing with four distinctive musicians: Montrealers Yves Charuest and Jean Derome[...] Read more

Recordings Stuart Broomer Issue 139

Walter Smetak. Smetak & Interregno. The first comprehensive biographical article on Walter Smetak in English was published in Musicworks 121 (2015). Since then, interest has been growing: in 2017 the BBC Radio show Hear and Now dedicated an episode to his work; Smetak was the only artist to receive a full chapter in Sound Art[...] Read more

Recordings Neil Leonard Issue 139

claire rousay. A Softer Focus. Over the past while, prolific and multifaceted Canadian-American artist claire rousay has managed to find visibility and acclaim while maintaining a firm commitment to creative restlessness and sonic ambiguity. Recent outings have tended to showcase an evocative blurred-Polaroid approach[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring Issue 139

Ocelot. Ocelot. A program of carefully assembled small-group jazz and improv, Ocelot, the eponymous debut from the new trio Ocelot, features playing and composing by British-born reedist Yuma Uesaka, Vancouver pianist Cat Toren, and American percussionist Colin Hinton. Throughout, the near-gossamer sheen of[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman Issue 139

Naoto Kawate. Three Guitar Tunes. The faintest hints of the 1960s hit parade radiate off these three beautiful instrumental pieces for electric guitar by the Japanese composer Naoto Kawate. We are reminded, at arm’s length, of the optimistic twang of the Ventures or the crisp strummed chords of the Archies. But there[...] Read more

Recordings Kurt Newman Issue 139

Insides. Soft Bonds. Simon Reynolds’s well-known essay on post-rock was published in the U.K. magazine The Wire in May 1994. Though today the genre tag tends to connote a particular sound, in the context of Reynolds’s piece, post-rock was more of a tenuous label for a diverse bunch of curious bands[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring Issue 139

Godspeed You! Black Emperor. G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END! Epic multi-part compositions, long crescendos, drones and field recordings, gloomy moods giving way to cathartic orchestral climaxes—yes, it’s another Godspeed You! Black Emperor album. There are now more post-reunion albums than pre-hiatus ones, and the recent output has taken[...] Read more

Recordings Daniel Glassman Issue 139

Dániel Péter Biró. Mishpatim (Laws). “You must not carry false rumours.” These words from the Book of Exodus are the first to be heard in Dániel Péter Biró’s large-scale cycle of works, Mishpatim (Laws), composed between 2003 and 2016 and released on two CDs on the German new-music label[...] Read more

Recordings Jonathan Goldman Issue 139

Endlings. Human Form. Endlings is the duo of John Dieterich—best known as a guitarist for the bent-rock outfit Deerhoof—and composer, artist, and performer Raven Chacon. Much of their new album Human Form feels damaged and sweet in equal measure, its peculiar sonics tumbling all over you like an[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring Issue 139