Reviews

DeVon Russell Gray, Nathan Hanson, and Davu Seru. We Sick Recording inside a church on a single day in December 2020, the three musicians on We Sick found themselves in a sanctuary rendered empty by the pandemic and the ensuing quarantine. The liner notes reference a Malcolm X speech from 1963 before bringing us back to the present day:[...] Read more

Recordings Patrick O’Reilly Issue 146

Kate Gentile and the International Contemporary Ensemble. Biomei.i. Kate Gentile and Andrew Smiley. Flagrances Obliquity Records is a new label started by drummer–composer Kate Gentile and pianist–composer Matt Mitchell. They are likely familiar to fans of the composed and improvised experimental music coming out of New York, having both worked with artists like John Zorn, Tim Berne, and[...] Read more

Recordings Patrick O’Reilly Issue 146

Markus Floats. Fourth Album Montreal composer Markus Floats’ dynamic new LP moves between free jazz, musique concrète, and minimalism. Whereas his previous records were largely individual endeavours produced solo with MIDI instrumentation, Fourth Album welcomes contributions from Ari Swan (violin), James[...] Read more

Recordings Brennan McCracken Issue 146

Jason Doell. Becoming in Shadows ~ Of Being Touched On Becoming in Shadows ~ Of Being Touched, Jason Doell’s piano and electronics roam wherever they please. The Toronto-based composer and sound artist created the music by recording piano phrases and tinkering with them using an algorithmic program, but it rarely sounds inflexible.[...] Read more

Recordings Vanessa Ague Issue 146

Susan Alcorn, José Lencastre, Hernâni Faustino. Manifesto One of the joys of improvised music is its openness to unusual instruments and novel sounds. The pedal steel guitar, largely restricted to country music, has found new life in the creative vision of Susan Alcorn, whose practice extends to the works of Olivier Messiaen and Astor Piazzolla as[...] Read more

Recordings Stuart Broomer Issue 146

Experimental Music Unit. Land Sea Sky Land Sea Sky is certainly not rock music, but it’s elemental like a weathered stone, and similarly resists any kind of interrogation. This is music as stripped down to its fundamental components as possible. It just simply is. Yet, like a rock, for those who speak the language of[...] Read more

Recordings Jonathan Bunce

Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra. Voices—A Musical Heritage. Assembling twenty-six of the city’s finest jazz-oriented improvisers and composers in various formations, the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra’s twenty-fifth anniversary session collates ten arrangements which reflect the varied heritage of the Prairie city and beyond. The tunes range[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman Issue 145

Christopher Butterfield. Souvenir. “Memory is not an instrument for exploring the past, but its theatre,” suggested Walter Benjamin, recalling his childhood in Berlin. The music of Christopher Butterfield has, in that sense, a theatrical dimension: It enacts perspectives on the past, placing them in dynamic[...] Read more

Recordings Julian Cowley Issue 145

All Hands Make Light. Darling the Dawn. All Hands Make Light, a collaboration between Montreal mainstays Ariel Engle (Broken Social Scene, La Force) and Efrim Menuck (Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Thee Silver Mt. Zion), follow up their self-titled cassette release of 2021 with a cosmic debut LP for Constellation Records. Like their[...] Read more

Recordings Brennan McCracken Issue 145

Carmen Jaci. Happy Child. Netherlands-based French-Canadian Carmen Jaci crafts maximalist collages out of electric shards. Classical symphonies crash into dance beats and video game music-like bleeps, all coloured in neon. Happy Child codifies her style in seven pieces, each capturing a lightheartedness—and[...] Read more

Recordings Vanessa Ague Issue 145

Danielle Shlomit Sofer. Sex Sounds: Vectors of Difference in Electronic Music. Danielle Shlomit Sofer’s Sex Sounds sets the reader on the hunt for things missing in most discussions of electronic music: sex, sexuality, libidinal drive. Guided by Sofer, once we start looking for the missing element of sex in electronic music, we begin to see it everywhere.[...] Read more

Books Kurt Newman Issue 144

Adriana Barton. Wired for Music: A Search for Health and Joy Through the Science of Sound. What happens to a person who spent their entire childhood and youth practising to be a professional musician and can no longer play? Adriana Barton, who took up the cello when she was five years old and had dreams of being a concert soloist, was forced to give it up when she developed soft[...] Read more

Books Mary Dickie Issue 144