Nick Storring

Music In The Barns. Bolton-Godin-Oesterle. While one no longer has to adopt postmodernism’s cheeky nihilism when referring to the past in exploratory musical domains, exhibiting this hungry curiosity in concert-music circles might still earn you the regressive neoromantic label. Toronto composer Rose Bolton addresses this[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring Issue 134

Terry Rusling. The Machine Is Broken. Despite his collaborations with notable poets (Gwendolyn MacEwan, Bob Cobbing), affiliations with pioneering studios at stalwart institutions (BBC Radiophonic Workshop, the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music, and others), and ties to that legendary beacon of Toronto subculture the[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring

Overleaf. Overleaf. The recently formed Overleaf assembles three of Toronto’s most distinct yet unsung voices in a compelling and elusive amalgam. Synthesist (and occasional bamboo flutist) Heidi Chan (aka Bachelard), saxophonist Kayla Milmine, and Mira Martin-Gray, who has an uncharacteristically[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring

Samuel Andreyev. Music with no Edges. The six works on Toronto-born, Strasbourg-based composer Samuel Andreyev’s brilliant new disc were conceived separately over the span of a decade. Yet the album’s gripping first two minutes serve as a perfect introduction to his world.   Vérifications[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring

Kyle Gann. Hyperchromatica. Kyle Gann’s eccentric and extravagant double-disc set Hyperchromatica is easily one of the year’s most fascinating releases. So don’t let him convince you otherwise: his tacky titles for the work’s movements (“Spacecat” and “Galactic Jamboree,[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring Issue 132

Joseph Shabason. Anne. Saxophonist and electronic composer Joseph Shabason’s 2017 debut recording Aytche was a warm, charismatic release that invited repeated listening, even though its influences occasionally swam pretty close to the surface. The credits on Anne, his latest, actually include Gigi Masin (one[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring

Event Cloak. Vague Definition. Life Strategies, the 2015 record by Montreal electronic musician Nick Maturo, made one of the most compelling cases for sixteenth-note grids in recent memory. Like a revisionist history of early-1990s ambient music packed into a single LP, its dancing arpeggios and rhythmic flickers of[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring Issue 131

Steve Roach. Structures from Silence. Since the mid-2000s, a lot of ambient music has been moving into increasingly abrasive and gothic territory—at times even cozying into the coffin right next to doom metal. The recent reappraisal of New Age music, on the other hand, has brought some welcome sweetness and even humour[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring Issue 129

Rasmussen, Dorji, Damon. To The Animal Kingdom. To these ears, the most exciting improvised music—regardless of its temperament—carefully balances surprise and stability. The strongest performances of this work tend to maximize the friction between compulsive change and the urge to establish a clear, communal sound world[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring Issue 129

Daniel Lentz. River of 1,000 Streams. Daniel Lentz is one of a number of composers who emerged in the wake of American minimalism and used some of the movement's primary tenets to leverage a distinct, hard-to-pin-down voice. But the sweeping River of 1000 Streams, a work for solo piano and cascading delays, is anything but[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring Issue 129

Civvie. Inheritance. Weaving is a frequent metaphor for music-making, especially when the interplay of discrete elements creates a single cohesive texture. The Winnipeg trio Civvie's overcast, mahogany-hued sonics lend themselves to such a metaphor, but their peculiar instrumentation adds another dimension[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring Issue 129

Nick Fraser. Is Life Long? The opening four minutes of Toronto drummer and composer Nick Fraser's new disc consists almost entirely of long astringent tones that seem simultaneously on the brink of decay and of gathering momentum. This impression is compounded by Fraser’s brittle, skittering accompaniment of[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring