Category: New Release
Yes, Chuck Blazevic writes for this blog. And as you may already know, he’s one of the members of the consistently incredible ambient pop duo You’ll Never Get to Heaven, whose Adorn EP we adored and just yesterday scored #35 album-of-the-year honours from our friends at Gorilla vs. Bear. But what you might not know: he also has an equally impressive solo project called Dreamsploitation.
Dreamsploitation has been quiet since 2012’s Jupiter Flight, but two weeks ago he released The In-Between Years: 1959-1963, an ambient deconstruction of recordings of “teen music” that existed in between the two major cultural explosions of rock music in its early decades. The classic songs are manipulated beyond recognition but at the same time feel intimately familiar and nostalgic, with the gossamer turned up to 11. It’s a beautiful and engrossing listen, and despite our indisputable pro-Chuck bias it is well worth your time.
Montreal’s ¡FLIST! has been on our radar for quite some time, little did we know that during that time he had been working on a magnum opus denser and more layered than most debuts we cover on the blog. This makes sense since Fuck You I’m Dead took eight years to make, which is an impressive feat in of itself.
The record plays like a concept album, with unified themes of death, terror and general sense of unease throughout. While sonically similar, no two songs sound alike: there’s the frenetic freak-out of “Imagine,” the Nick Cave goth-rock of opener “Purify Your Soul,” and the horror music chase-scene of “Cruoritosis.” It’s clear that ¡FLIST! is one of the most fascinating things going right now, and we just hope we don’t need to wait another eight years for the next release.
Fuck You I’m Dead is out now on Art Not Love available digitally, on cassette or as a limited edition silk-screened poster.
If you a go to a Jay Arner show, you will probably see Jay Arner. You will also probably see Jessica Delisle there, too. Now, the bandmates/humans have joined forces as psychedelic synth-pop duo Energy Slime. The newly minted group just released their debut on Vancouver mainstay Mint. The 10-track 7″(!!), entitled New Dimensional, features a song (amazingly) titled “Graham Fucks the Queen”. New Dimensional is a perfect piece of interstellar micr0-psychedelia definitely worth a listen.
While you’re at it, check out the new video for Cool Ship II where Jay Arner says he “finally realized my dream of a music video with a greenscreen where you don’t use the greenscreen.”
One of the best underground concert series in Toronto, Nite Comfort specializes in dark electronic music that skews towards the ambient and experimental. Last month, they celebrated their first anniversary with a compilation featuring many of the artists that have graced their stage, and it’s a wonderful cross-section of the city’s avant-garde synth explorers, including new tunes from Silent Shout faves Chanteclair, Sarin, Processor, and Zachary Gray. If we had to pick out a couple of highlights though, we’ll go with Dirty Inputs‘ majestic new synth epic “The Light of Day for Everyone” and Chobo‘s expansive exercise in sonic contrasts “Tingkle Away.” But really, check out the whole compilation on Bandcamp.
Dirty Inputs and Chobo both perform in Toronto this Thursday along with another Silent Shout darling, Zoo Owl, at the Silver Dollar. Recommended!
“Help me God, help me God this time.” Not a lyric that we would expect from Jay Holy, the Toronto-based gothically skewed psych-rocker. Scopolamine Dream is his first release since last year’s excellent Skeletor EP and picks up exactly where that left off: emotional pleas set to a backdrop of musical freak-outs. The title and album art reflects a troubled person trying to deal with his issues through drugs, pain, self-loathing and, apparently, God.
It is a strong statement from one of the city’s most original acts. “Buried Alive” features one of the best codas in recent memory, with an instrumental dance breakdown that we could have had go on for another five minutes. “Catacombs” might be the grooviest song on the album, but with a severe sense of foreboding through the sole oft-repeated lyric of “can’t do it again.”
Jay Holy wrote and recorded all the parts himself, an impressive feat for such thick and luscious instrumentation. That said, he seems to be embracing his live-band as of late with the release of an also spectacular Halloween Ottobre EP recorded with his bandmmates over a few days.
Both records are available PWYC on Bandcamp, and are well worth your time.
We’re delighted to feature Arrival, the latest ambient-drone release by Lindsay Dobbin. Eschewing the song-based aspects of her Broken Deer recordings, these long form tracks showcase Dobbin’s facility for working with minimal soundscapes, in style somewhat sonically akin to William Basinski’s oeuvre, or the loop-based instrumental works of Grouper or Jefre Cantu-Ledesma.
The immersive title track captures the experience of hearing gorgeous sounds from afar; the attack of each pitch becomes subsumed by the decay of its predecessor, evolving gently at glacial pace into a tapestry of harmonic resonances and overtones. Surender your undivided attention to Arrival and it may be one of the most rewarding listening experiences you’ll have this year.
Pick up a digital or cassette copy direct from Phinery.
Prolificacy and quality may often be mutually exclusive, but in the case of YlangYlang’s œuvre this clearly isn’t so: first, she kicked off the year with Blossom, a sublime collection of abstract ambient pop gems. Next was an irresistible set of ’90s Top 40 R&B covers, followed by Pyramid Island / Parallel Beaches and video game soundtrack Dream Warrior. Now we have am i being overdramatic?, YlangYlang’s latest full length album and fifth solo release of 2014. Even more intimate, fractured, and melancholic than Blossom, its intricate sound design, elegiac melodies, and dreamy, soft focus textures make for a highly rewarding listen.
Kontravoid has expanded with Votiiv: the new side-project from everyone’s favourite dark-wave mask-enthusiast, and we definitely love what we hear! Adding vocalist Kat Duma and more of a dance-club vibe to the proceedings makes the project more in keeping with Cam Findlay’s previous projects Parallels and Crystal Castles.
And apparently, they’ve been busy: in the span of 24 hours, the band dropped the video (above, directed by Nadia Khashan), and EP (below) and the news that they are opening for TRUST tomorrow at the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto. Really, there couldn’t be a more appropriate pairing.
We’re going go out on a limb and say that Bruce Haack is the most original, prolific, and pioneering Canadian electronic musician of all time, by some distance. A schoolteacher who began self-releasing recordings on his own Dimension 5 label in 1963, his most well-known and widely-released album was The Electric Lucifer, which came out on Columbia in 1970. Electric Lucifer Book II is the sequel, recorded in 1979, more futuristic and forward-thinking than its predecessor, but despite its merits, it’s a strange record and nobody would release it. It was finally released to little fanfare in 2001, long after Haack’s death. It’s a criminally overlooked album.
Toronto-based Telephone Explosion Records is righting some major wrongs by reissuing this lost classic, and making sure Haack’s magisterial work remains in print, and helping garner some deserved attention to possibly the best electronic album in Canadian history. Buy it here.
Montreal is a city that is constantly generating new incredible talent, and it seems like much of the new crop is collected on this compilation released by management group/distribution collective Summer Cool, which is based out of both Montreal and Berlin. One is the first in the collective’s planned biannual compilation series, and it is a stellar listen from beginning to end, a great summation of two weird pop scenes we so adore. It includes some old favourites (Magic Island, Adam Wilcox, Mathématique) and plenty of new ones, including the super-fresh Vesuvio Solo jam we premiered a few weeks back. Our favourite brand-new discoveries off this compilation are the woozy electronic funk of Noni Wo‘s “Solarstorm” and the bombastic synth-rock of COUNTRY‘s “Life-Like”. Amazing tunes both!
But there’s such a wealth here, really, and you should hear it all. One is available on cassette in a highly-limited run, or as a free digital download, both at Summer Cool’s Bandcamp.