Brennan McCracken

Tess Roby. Ideas of Space. Montreal dream-pop composer and songwriter Tess Roby follows her promising 2018 debut with a perceptive self-produced LP, the first on her new label SSURROUNDSS. Ideas of Space is a pristine collection of songs about envelopment—by architecture, by colour, by emotion—that tempers[...] Read more

Recordings Brennan McCracken Issue 142

Joyfultalk. Familiar Science. Crousetown, Nova Scotia’s Jay Crocker revs up Joyfultalk for another kinetic record of rhythm and ooze. Whereas previous Joyfultalk outings have grown out of Crocker’s singular, often solitary practice of instrument-building (he calls his creations “compositional systems[...] Read more

Recordings Brennan McCracken Issue 142

New Chance. Real Time. Last night I held my finger to the sky and stood still long enough for the moon to shift one degree and crest my fingertip. This observation—that we feel the Earth’s axis in the vector of gravity’s pull—may verge on axiomatic, but to witness the Earth’s rotation[...] Read more

Recordings Brennan McCracken Issue 140

Intersystems. #IV. On Ghost—the first track on the new recording by the late ’60s Toronto exploratory psychedelic group Intersystems—a fragmented series of vignettes concresces over the irregular pulse of an analog synth patch. The lyrics, like the music they share space with, are unsettling[...] Read more

Recordings Brennan McCracken Issue 140

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

Colin Fisher. Reflections of the Invisible World. Colin Fisher is busy. For nearly two decades his musical output and collaboration have touched many corners of the Canadian experimental scene—he is known as one half of psych duo Not The Wind, Not The Flag, as a frequent collaborator with artists such as Caribou, and as a solo artist[...] Read more

Recordings Brennan McCracken Issue 139

Kind Mind. Kind Mind. Near the end of the eighteenth century, the German theorist Friedrich Schlegel proposed the fragment as an emergent refashioning of the form of criticism. Inherent to the short form of the fragment was a questioning of wholeness: for Schlegel, the fragment was not a recovered piece of some[...] Read more

Recordings Brennan McCracken Issue 138

Olivier Alary and Johannes Malfatti. u,i. If you were asked to choose a record to capture the spirit of 2020, you might make a compelling case for u,i, a new album by composers Olivier Alary (Montreal) and Johannes Malfatti (Berlin). The collaboration is an emotive and yearning exploration of distance, recorded using VOIP (voice[...] Read more

Recordings Brennan McCracken Issue 138

New Hermitage. Unearth. Unearth is a fitting title for the fifth full-length release from the Halifax- and Montreal-based improvisational quartet New Hermitage: spectral yet grounded, these recordings capture a group of musicians committed to the perception-shifting possibilities of close attention. The four[...] Read more

Recordings Brennan McCracken Issue 137