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!
Yesterday, we posted a lo-fi goth artist who went in, while still dark, poppier direction. Today, we have Vancouver’s Animal Bodies, who come from similar roots as Low Factor, but have gone in the opposite direction. “Start the Suffocation” doubles down on the darkness, BDSM imagery and Skinny Puppy vibes (who, it bears reminding, also hail from Vancouver).
The song is the first track on the newly released The Killing Scene, a fantastic eight-track EDM mind-freak from the duo.
We’ve long been a fan of Montreal dark pop persona Low Factor, but it seems like she’s entering a whole new era with her latest single, “Icicle”. Her previous work was characterized by lo-fi recording values and experimentalism, which was wonderfully chaotic, but she’s tightened up her approach and gone full-on pop. Well, full-on pop in an alternate universe.
The video, directed by Kaspar’89 and Rubin, captures Low Factor in her natural alien habitat, a dark, strange place, with an amazing set, costume, and video effects reminiscent of Geneva Jacuzzi’s wonderful clips. Inspiring stuff! Her album Leçon de Tonnerre: Comment Créer un Orage is coming soon, but not soon enough.
Petra Glynt plays Toronto this Saturday at Wavelength, together with Silent Shout faves Jooj on a phenomenal bill.
“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.
Saxsyndrum have been keeping busy since releasing that fine, fine remix album back in March. Turns out they’ve been hard at work on a new EP! This one’s called SXD_EP is another great release further cementing their reputation as Canada’s premier electronic jazz deconstructionists. They’ve also released a video to go along with the EP’s single “Lac Marsan,” and it’s a lovely NFB-inspired colour bars animation directed by Catherine Morley.
You can stream the new EP on Soundcloud, and purchase it from Art Not Love Records on cassette or MP3. And Montrealers, be sure to check out the release show this Thursday with Hilotrons at Cabaret Playhouse.
The first new Blue Hawaii since the release of Untogether is definitely something to get excited about! Recorded earlier this year, the band found themselves becoming more and more dance oriented, so made two versions of the same song, “Get Happy” in their older softer style and “Get Happier” as the banger one has learned to expect from their live shows. The difference between live and recorded Blue Hawaii is always striking, and it’s interesting to see them reconcile that in their latest output.