Nick Storring

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

Those Who Walk Away. The Infected Mass. Though Gavin Bryars’ 1972 The Sinking of the Titanic is itself widely known, its influence on subsequent works by other composers has yet to be duly recognized. One could argue that Bryars’ work gave rise to an entire subgenre’s worth of imitators who wrapped their elegiac[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring 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

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

Benedict Schlepper-Connolly. The Weathered Stone. At a time when rhythmic repetition in chamber music is so often co-morbid with cloyingly banal indie-isms, The Weathered Stone, from Irish composer Benedict Schlepper-Connolly, offers a rather bright glimmer of hope.   From the outset, with its first and titular track (a[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring Issue 126

Amy Brandon. Scavenger. Truro-based guitarist and composer Amy Brandon is a quietly singular figure whose musical language hovers softly between numerous familiar styles—notably outside jazz, fingerstyle, and modern composition. Scavenger, her debut recording, isn’t especially conspicuous, yet it’[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring Issue 126