Recordings

Vicky Chow. A O R T A. One hundred years ago, Erik Satie coined the phrase furniture music. The French composer and pianist applied the term—Musique d’ameublement, more correctly translated as “furnishing music”—to short repetitive pieces meant to be heard as background music in[...] Read more

Recordings Jonathan Bunce Issue 127

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

Kid Koala, Featuring Emilíana Torrini. Music to Draw To: Satellite. The first in a projected series of works in the label’s Music To Draw To series, Satellite is a bit of a surprise swerve for Kid Koala, a.k.a. Eric San, who’s renowned for making experimental hip-hop that features clever samples of vocal recordings and found sounds, and a[...] Read more

Recordings Mary Dickie Issue 127

Just Got Death. Miella Totomi. A power trio gone rogue, Montreal-based Just Got Death (JGD) matches the ingot-hard guitar flanges of Sam Shalabi with the surging bass thumps of Jonah Fortune and the nimble percussion accents of Michel F. Côté in a program of seven originals that ricochets between punk-metal[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman 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

Darcy James Argue Secret Society. Real Enemies. Its title meant to be taken satirically, Real Enemies is an extended multimedia meditation on paranoia and conspiracy theories—and you can dance to it. Created by Vancouver-born composer Darcy James Argue and interpreted by eighteen of New York’s top improvisers, the thirteen[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman 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

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