George Lewis & Splitter Orchestra. Creative Construction Set™. American trombonist George Lewis’ three-part Creative Construction Set™ (CCS) for Berlin’s Splitter Orchestra (SO) is an organic recasting of ideas first advanced by the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians’ (ACCM) sextet the Creative Construction[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman 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

Joëlle Léandre and Phil Minton. Léandre-Minton. Few musicians possess the spontaneity and sheer presence of French bassist Joëlle Léandre and English vocalist Phil Minton. Here the two senior masters meet on a Paris stage in October 2016, delivering a three-part concert Si, lence/ Is/ blu, ish. Léandre is a master of[...] Read more

Recordings Stuart Broomer Issue 129

Giant Claw. Soft Channel. Giant Claw is the vapourwave–plunderphonics sound-collage pseudonym of musician, visual artist, and Orange Milk label-boss Keith Rankin, of Columbus, Ohio. Soft Channel, his new album, is a paradoxical object, at once one of the most fragmented and one of the most listenable variants[...] Read more

Recordings Daniel Glassman Issue 129

Jamie Drouin & Hannes Lingens. Alluvium; The Holy Quintet. Borough. Far from his Victoria, B.C., home base, sound-artist–composer Jamie Drouin helps animate notable improvisational landscapes on these European-recorded sets. Two extended tracks on Borough find Drouin’s suitcase-sized modular synthesizer and radio put to good use in The Holy[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman Issue 129

Andrew Raffo Dewar / Andrea Centazzo / Anne LeBaron. Encantamientos. Residing in a soundworld created from aleatory, signal-processed, and improvised music, the seven tracks of Encantamiento are performed by musicians who move easily from one genre to another without fissure. Percussionist Andrea Centazzo is known for his jazz and soundtrack work, harpist[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman 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

Ka Baird. Sapropelic Pycnic. Nothing will ever remain the same. There is no such thing as firm ground that will give stability and security. Ka Baird’s solo album Sapropelic Pycnic revolves around the theme of transformation, in various senses. She processes the sounds of her flute, of her voice—multiplying[...] Read more

Recordings René van Peer Issue 129

Political Ritual. Political Ritual. Political Ritual, the eponymous release by the Québécois electronic music duo of Maxime Corbeil-Perron and Félix-Antoine Morin, presents itself as a mystery, white print on a grey cover, a series of lighter, vertical oscilloscope intrusions appearing almost possibly[...] Read more

Recordings Stuart Broomer

Gordon Grdina Quartet. Inroads. Moving away from the hushed nature of his earlier chamber music, Vancouver guitarist and oudist Gordon Grdina enlists a trio of New Yorkers to toughen his sound while maintaining its fluidity. The nine tracks on Inroads find keyboardist Russ Losing frequently elaborating themes in double[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman

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

Tim Beattie. Of Spectra. The debut release from young, award-winning Toronto classical guitarist Tim Beattie is filled with compositions that subtly shift, the way sunlight does in a room throughout the day. Merging classical guitar and electronics, Beattie, producer Connory Ballantyne, and engineer William Crann,[...] Read more

Recordings Laura Stanley