New Music: D-Zero’s soft planet

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Kitchener’s D-Zero—a self-professed “university dropout and aspiring Sun Ra”—dips into subzero ambience on soft planet, creating a submerged Korg Kaoscillator landscape with electronic pulses bubbling to the surface. Paddling with the reliable strokes of a Volca Beats drum sequencer and mixed with a Tascam 2488, soft planet takes inspiration from the soundscapes of late 90s and early 00s video games. This album works best when it drifts where it wants to.

Best Tracks: q ni edulerp, sometimes when you wake up, and crystal shards

New Music: Castle If’s Plant Material

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Plant Material is Toronto experimental electronic musician Jess Forrest‘s 7-track love letter to her apartment’s large-n-luscious house plant collection. The album idea sparked after legendary taper/music curator Joe Strutt asked her to play his Music Gallery show, EMERGENTS IIIJoe told Jess to play, “anything she wanted,” and the concept was born.

Castle If’s previous releases are messages received and decoded from the endless drone of deep space—colourful Moog Lil’ Phatty nebulas flanked by milky way Oberheim oscillations, all dubbed to deliberately hissy tape. With Plant Material, Jess returns to earth—or more precisely, she reaches her hands down into the mossy loam of her plant pots, scoops up mineral-rich handfuls, and watches the dark grains of soil tumble back down onto the glossy leaves.

With delicately rendered cover art by painter Anna May Henry, file this release firmly in the card catalogue under library music; urban tropicalia, creature comforts.

Best Tracks: Sedum Morganianum, The Grass Is Greener, and Sansevieria Trifasciata.

Castle If Bandcamp

Indie-licious Tues June 21st 2016

I took advantage of the 1080p Birthday Sale and now I’m swimming in a glitchy soup of weird electronic music. Tell me this isn’t what you’re craving right now.

1. Summer In The City – Beat Detectives
2. Novodene – Tlaotlon
3. Squiggles – Karmelloz
4. Now I’m In Love – LNRDCROY*
5. The Colours Of Life – CFCF*

*Canadian

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Indie-licious Tues Oct 13th 2015

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*Canadian

1. Praha – Sarah Davachi*
2. Codex – Sarah Davachi*
3. every fucking day – Shaun Weadick*
4. old as hope (whale song) – Shaun Weadick*
5. Hypothetical Planet – Cyclopean Wall*
6. Clockwatcher – Bong Sample*
7. Midnight Oscillations – Bong Sample*
8. Pommel Horse – Joyfultalk*
9. Buschbabies – Joyfultalk*

Much love to Weird Canada, as always.

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ambient//electronic//orchestral: Akio Suzuki, Philip Glass, Michael Nyman & Ando Laj

A while ago, I wrote a piece on Weird Canada about Sounds You Love / Sounds You Hate, a special exhibition and archival project performed for this year’s Vancouver New Music Festival. It reminded me that Japanese musician Akio Suzuki gave a solo performance for the festival and I wish I could’ve been there.

I’m quietly listening to this piece called Analapos (A-1) Opening Music For Yokosuka Museum Of Art from K7. The piece was commissioned by the museum to be played at opening and closing. It was recorded at the museum in 2007. You can just imagine the paintings blowing dust off themselves and the statues rolling their shoulders back.

Yesterday morning, I was listening to an old podcast of Toast and Jams, my old favourite CIUT show (it ended in December 2013). It opened with a few movements from Philip Glass’s soundtrack to Koyaanisqatsi (1982). Later that night while speaking to my boyfriend on the phone, I told him about how much I enjoyed hearing these compositions for the first time. Strangely enough, the movie was recommended to him earlier that morning by his friend Carol, the Director of Music at Wychwood Art Barns. I like weird coincidences like that; they make me feel like I’m on the right track.

Prophecies plays with tempo to great effect. The slow repetition of the organ feels like an interrogation and a funeral.

How to describe Einstein On The Beach? It feels like elbows plopped down on an organ while you nod in succession. “These are the days, my friends.”

Delectable, chewy strings in this Michael Nyman piece, Wheelbarrow Walk. It feels triumphant and brisk, like the windswept hair toss of a rebellious woman standing in the middle of a pale yellow wheatfield at dusk.

After working on various Weird Canada projects for the past few months, I’ve decided to start writing about music. It’s what I’ve been interested in for a while, but never been bold enough to try. I’m not sure why it was so intimidating for me, but I think it might have been the fact that I read WC for so long that it felt like an institution to me.

I’m currently working on a piece on Ando Laj (Andy Lajeunesse) a Toronto experimental electronic musician releasing music under Hacktivism, a Michigan-based label that focuses on breathing analog life into digital tracks. Here’s a track that I didn’t end up writing about; it’s excellent; spacey and deep with small quirks and an interesting lite bongo drum machine beat. It sounds like bent wires flexing back into shape.