New Music: Régis Victor’s Dix-sept titres de la République du Civou

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Montreal’s Régis Victor’s Dix-sept titres de la République du Civou is unlike anything I’ve heard before. Split into two halves, face jaune et face bleue, the album stabs its way through a musique concrète jungle in the dark, poking glittering eyes with a heated sword.

The album opens with Zinc, a discordant argument between rattling percussion and ascending flute shepard tones (the ascending staircase illusion of music). Saxophones and infrequent piano notes attempt to moderate, but the flute and skins are persistently stubborn.

On Doug, wooden mallets smash with abandon; warbling, hesitant synths dips their toes into far waters only to slink away behind black trees. The caucophony is punctured by the descent of glassy bells, droning racecar zoom of samples, and grumbling assorted vocal snippets.

Halfway through each song, the elements shift like slithering snakes, coiling under roots and becoming unrecognizable—on Lampagisto, pleading synths submit to nimble, choppy fingers plucking a detuned guitar, while rough, almost obnoxious flutes bleat insistently.

When vocals do appear on Isosceles Not A Centipede, they sit removed and docile behind a strange sound that reminds me of a rubberized machine.

The album’s first half—face jaune—is urgent, anxious, confusing, yet confident. It drills and drives towards the album’s second half—face bleue—which carries a deferential playfulness, drawing more from electronic instrumentation than the wild acoustics of the former.

Refreshingly abrasive and unforgivingly complex, Dix-sept titres de la République du Civou is a palate cleanser.

Best Tracks: Zinc, Doug, Lampagisto, and Shhh

Zinc

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Doug

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Lampagisto

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Shhhh

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Grab (or stream) the rest of the album for free at Free Music Archive.

New Music: FIN’s Ice Pix

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Vancouver-born, Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist Rebecca Fin Simonetti is a self-proclaimed “tender psycho” and brilliant synthpop explorer.

With vocals that stroke against throbbing dance rhythms and plucked harp samples, Ice Pix’s echoing production brings to mind singing to one’s self in the resonant bathroom of an all-night abandoned church rave. With hollowed out vocals flowing over hallowed ground, Ice Pix is delicate, nodding, and curious to see where the night might take it. Let it take you too.

Best Tracks: Opula, Nightflowers, and  Pike

New Music: Sarah Pagé’s Dose Curves

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Fans of Sarah Davachi will appreciate the hypnotic beauty of Montreal’s Sarah Pagé’s work—at times, it is circularly beautiful, echoing the rippling of a calm blue lake on a dim shoreline; at other times, it becomes menacing, brimming with subdued violence—the metallic shredding of hair gathering friction against string can set the teeth on edge.

Recorded live at Hotel2Tango by Thierry Amar in the winter of 2016, Dose Curves is a collection of solo compositions for pedal harp, homemade pickups, bows, fans, four amps, and electronics. A masterpiece of electroacoustic experimentation, Pagé’s spontaneous incorporation of avant techniques and unexpected instrumentation often makes one forget she’s playing the harp at all. Perfect for reflection, resolution, and revival.

Best Tracks: stasis, ephemeris data, and lithium paper

 

 

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

dream erasure

100% Canadian weirdos. Ambient, stark drone, and teeth-on-edge experimental noise.

1. I – Clara Engel
2. Dysnomia – Mooons
3. PL10A – Tresilaze
4. Fifth Transcombobulation – Mike Smith & Jonathan Adjemian
5. Far Out – Phillipe Lauzier

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