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

TAK Ensemble. Love, Crystal and Stone The terms vanity label or vanity press can carry a connotation of indulgence, even aggrandizement. Were all indulgences as grand as TAK Ensemble’s packaging of Ashkan Behzadi’s music, Mehrdad Jafari’s paintings, and the poetry of Federico García Lorca, however, we[...] Read more

Recordings Kurt Gottschalk Issue 144

Monica Pearce. Textile Fantasies Fabrics and music have an obviously sensuous connection: Think of weaving, texture, soft and strong qualities. Prince Edward Island-raised composer Monica Pearce, who is now based in the U.S., explores these links in her excellent debut album, Textile Fantasies, which features a cycle of[...] Read more

Recordings Helen Pridmore Issue 144

John Oswald. Classics from the Rascali Klepitoire I first met John Oswald as a fellow musician in Toronto’s new music, improv, and modern dance scenes of the 1970s; we co-launched Musicworks in 1978. By his own account, he began mashing up appropriated music on a home tape recorder as a teen. Since then, he’s explored and[...] Read more

Recordings Andrew Timar Issue 144

Pauline Oliveros & James Ilgenfritz. Altamirage Pauline Oliveros is best known for her invention and development of Deep Listening, which in essence encouraged intense attention to all possible details of sound. While that can conjure relaxing tones and quiet drones, this highly entertaining recording bursts with wit and energy, exposing[...] Read more

Recordings Lawrence Joseph Issue 144

No Hay Banda. I Had a Dream About This Place No Hay Banda, a commissioning group, presenter, and record label founded in Montreal in 2016, codifies their work in the Canadian experimental music scene on their adventurous debut album, I Had a Dream About This Place. The four-track record presents winding, texturally explorative pieces[...] Read more

Recordings Vanessa Ague Issue 144

Alice Ping Yee Ho. A Woman’s Voice Alice Ping Yee Ho is renowned in the Canadian music community for her elegant compositions that play inventively among dissonances, pleasing harmonies, and colours inspired by Chinese opera and folk music. Her new CD, A Woman’s Voice, draws together a number of her vocal works and[...] Read more

Recordings Helen Pridmore Issue 144

Marina Hasselberg. Red Ricercar Primo, by composer Domenico Gabrielli, opens Vancouver cellist Marina Hasselberg’s Red by dropping us into a hollow, windy atmosphere that feels a little like a haunted house. Her cello gradually enters with a Bach-like solo, resonant and a little forlorn, surrounded by[...] Read more

Recordings Vanessa Ague Issue 144

Robert Diack. Small Bridges With energized minimalism, Toronto drummer and synthesizer player Robert Diack reconstitutes fragments of other genres into this fourteen-track CD, using repetitive textures driven by his solid drum beats to create resourceful if somewhat claustrophobic pieces.   With[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman Issue 144

Matt Choboter’s Hypnopompia. Sleep Inertia Aiming to portray hypnopompia—hallucinations that occur while waking up—Vancouver pianist Matt Choboter has created an eight-part auditory suite that turns subconscious dreamscapes into musical exploration. Featuring clarinetist François Houle, guitarist Jacob Wiens,[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman Issue 144

Yves Charuest, Michel Ratté, and Peter Kowald. Montréal, 1985 In the past decade, Montreal-based alto saxophonist Yves Charuest has re-emerged as one of Canada’s most significant improvisers. The LP Montréal, 1985 documents a brilliant moment in Canadian jazz when bassist Peter Kowald, a founding figure of the German jazz avant garde,[...] Read more

Recordings Stuart Broomer Issue 144