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

Anne-F Jacques & Tim Olive. Tooth Car. Creating music that’s like the soundtrack for a building-site documentary, sound artists Anne-F Jacques of Montreal and Kobe-based Canadian ex-pat Tim Olive use magnetic pickups and amplified rotating surfaces to generate industrial-style improvisations. It’s ironic that the work[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman

Avec le soleil sortant de sa bouche. Pas Pire Pop, I Love You So Much. “Theme and variations” isn’t exactly rock ‘n’ roll’s modus operandi, unless you count the retrograde lyrical motif of “cars, girls, repeat.” But thanks to this modern-day Montreal quartet, it’s no longer the exclusive domain of Mozart and[...] Read more

Recordings Jonathan Bunce

Tanya Tagaq. Retribution. To follow her Polaris Music Prize-winning album Animism, Tanya Tagaq has gathered her considerable resources—her talented backing band of producer and violinist Jesse Zubot and drummer Jean Martin, plus her astounding vocal skills, musical inventiveness, electric energy, and powerful,[...] Read more

Recordings Mary Dickie

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

James O’Callaghan. Espaces tautologiques. Montreal-based James O'Callaghan confirms his position as a world-class composer with the release of Espaces tautologiques, his first album on the Empreintes Digitales label. Composed between 2011 and 2015, the four acousmatic pieces on this fifty-minute recording are further proof of O[...] Read more

Recordings Pierre-Luc Senécal Issue 126

Jason Sharp. A Boat Upon Its Blood. Baritone and bass saxophonist Jason Sharp is a long-time collaborator with poet Kaie Kellough and has been involved in the Montreal music scene for several years as a member of large ensembles (Sam Shalabi’s Land of Kush, and Nicolas Caloia’s Ratchet Orchestra), playing with[...] Read more

Recordings Daniel Glassman 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

Various Artists. Kudatah—Vol. 1 Electronic dance music has always been notorious for its overly rarefied stylistic niches. Within the past few years, the cartoonish overabundance of incomprehensible genre designations has folded in on itself, producing a vast polymorphous body of peculiar and self-aware work. Record labels[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring

Lerner, Filiano, Grassi. Live at Edgefest. Although a tale of two cities—three if you count the Ann Arbor, Michigan, recording location—this CD confirms that Toronto pianist Marilyn Lerner has cemented a mutually beneficial musical relationship with bassist Ken Filiano and percussionist Lou Grassi, both based in New York[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman

Not the Wind, Not the Flag. Vermillion. STALWARTS OF THE TORONTO MUSIC SCENE, guitarist / saxophonist Colin Fisher and percussionist Brandon Valdivia—who collaborate as Not the Wind, Not the Flag—have diverse avant-garde credentials. They have played everything from rock to new music to free jazz, in[...] Read more

Recordings Daniel Glassman

Nick Fraser Quartet. Starer. Known for  powering—literally—jazz or improvised ensembles from behind his kit, Toronto drummer Nick Fraser brings his compositional talents upfront on Starer.   Like a gracious host who ensures each of his guests is properly included in party discourse, the[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman