Concert Review: La Nuit Tribe – an EDM show unlike others

For Nuit Blanche 2015, the Phi Center in Vieux Port, Montreal hosted a special show entitled La Nuit Tribe. There was a lot of things happening within the venue, mostly focused on indigenous culture and ethnic practices. Street artists Swarm and Red Bandit were creating a live installation. A video installation by Bear Witness and Jeff Barnaby’s feature film Rhymes for Young Ghouls was being screened. But the highlight of the night for most of the attendees was on the music stage / dance floor where EDM and powwow music was brought together as one.

If you’ve ever been to a powwow ceremony, you’ll be familiar with the iterative drumming that forms an integral part of the powwow music. Layered on this are long and harmonic vocables, falsettos and pitch shifts that bring a lot of emphasis on the hard down beats. Now imagine this, but with electronic samples, beats, drops, punches, and love. A basic flow, a bold feeling. Welcome to the “Electric Pow wow”. What tribe plays this, you ask? It’s A Tribe Called Red.

Their shows are never just an audio experience. The stage backdrop is showing videos from old movies, depictions of “native” or “tribal” scenes. There are occasionally powwow dancers or hoop dancers too. The stage and venue lights are similarly very beat driven, arousing a rave-like atmosphere. But it’s more than just a rave. There’s something special in the way the audience is responding to the music. There was force, there was moshing, there was a feeling of comradeship as the audience came as one and swayed together, like fingers closing in into a fist. I felt a sense of peace and harmony, as my ancestors long before me must have felt in the days before colonialism.

Understanding of colonialism and the present day status of the native population should be a must for any and all listeners of ATCR. They play music from the many tribes that were once part of the many nations across much of North America. They are also all witnesses to the effects of colonialism on their culture and livelihood. What they are doing has a great significance, greater than the feeling one finds at an uplifting rave. They play for the urban aboriginal, and they represent their nations with pride – Ojibway, Nipissing First Nation, Cayuga, Six Nations, and also other nations too, through collaborations. They have also spoken up in favour of the Idle No More movement and against cultural appropriation, and through their music, they are attempting to bring “more attention to that political struggle” faced by first nations throughout Canada and even elsewhere.

Such political messages and social depictions were equally alive in the installations elsewhere in the building during La Nuit Tribe, and there were many openings into life in first nation communities that many of us would not be aware of. Yet the unique merge between urban club environment and ethnic culture and sounds that ATCR brought together was definitely a captivating experience. They were followed by AfrotroniX, another brilliant DJ set who mixed electronic music with afrofuturistic ideas and ethnic imagery. It was another brilliant performance, and together, the show conveyed a minimalistic, back-to-the-roots feeling – one in which I was just another member of this dance tribe. And that tribe, would find itself dancing in harmony till the crack of dawn -ergo, La Nuit Tribe.

Review by Bimo Niraula

Klondike // Underground Sounds

underground sounds logo

Monday’s episode on March 23 was one for the books! Two smooth hours of Canadian independent music with a local focus, brought to you by host Nick Schofield. Have a listen to an  electrified performance by Klondike, or take in the whole episode, featuring new and exciting tunes by Petra Glynt, Adam Basanta, Kara-Lis Coverdale and Tamara Filyavich.

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Hey friends,

Had a pretty nice weekend that included getting to hear great sets from some visiting musician-pals (hi there Forest Management & Fire Moss) and lots of general catching up and hanging out. I sadly missed our current chart-topper Matana Roberts play on Saturday night because I was battling the Death Cough, but I heard it was terrific. Don’t wimp out like me if she plays your town!


CKUT is proud to announce the launch of our residency at Montreal’s freshly-minted Maison Sociale every Thursday from 7-8pm. This place is part bar, part cafe, part hang-out zone and to top it all off they’ve got live DJs spinning tunes around the clock in specified timeslots, radio-style. Stop by on Thursday evenings to hear a different CKUT programmer behind the decks each week, soundtracking the start to your weekend — cuz Thursdays are the new Fridays, right? Right.

ckut top 30 – march 24, 2015
1. matana roberts – coin coin chaptet. 3: river run thee – constellation
2. nancy pants – total nancy pants – self-released CC *
3. a sacred cloud/anarchist mountains – split – howl!/jeunesse cosmique CC *
4. viet cong – s/t – flemish eye CC
5.  BCH+C – live: taking a shot – small scale music CC * Continue reading

Art Not Love hosts The Montreal Sessions (#4)

For their fourth instalment, Art Not Love is spending today’s episode speaking with their artists and friends,  exploring deeper dimensions of what goes into their practice and approach. In the first hour, tune in for an interview and performance with L.A. Foster, a powerful yet soulful local force, one you may recognize from CKUT’s Venus collective. For the latter half of the program, Toronto-based Dirty Organs is in the 514 to unveil a live set over the radio waves. Be sure to check out what Art Not Love is keeping busy with when not revelling in radio.

CKUT + Green Room Radio

Check it out! You may have heard about Montreal’s new resto/bar Maison Sociale and the associated Green Room Radio channel that broadcasts for patrons and online-streamers alike. CKUT is pleased to host a weekly slot every Thursday from 7-8pm, directly after our good buds Cult MTL wrap up their 5-7 slot. The first transmission is today, so tune in to catch Nick Schofield, host of Underground Sounds, kick it off with an hour of local music selections. Stream it live right HERE.

Concert Review: Taking Back Sunday at Metropolis

By: Chris Teti

This winter has been a long one; halfway through March, and we are still seeing snowfall. After a promising week filled with warm weather and sunshine, a few hundred Montrealers piled into Metropolis this past weekend, as yet another snow storm covered the streets with a fresh coat of the fluffy white stuff. Inside the venue’s doors were high spirits and an unmistakable sense of excitement, as the much anticipated performance of alternative rockers Taking Back Sunday was only a few short hours away.

Opening the show was letlive, a post hardcore band reigning from Los Angeles, California. Following their performance was Pennsylvania’s own The Menzingers, whose musical style is much more reminiscent to that of early Taking Back Sunday, consisting mostly of emotionally charged, gang vocal style lyrical melodies and pop punk driven power chords. By the end of their performance, it was obvious that the crowd, a variety of young and old, was having a great time and was genuinely enjoying the acts leading up to the main performance. Despite the balcony being occupied by an older crowd, including myself, the area closest to the stage was filled with young (or the young at heart) fans who set the tone early by starting a mosh pit,  however tamed.

Eventually, the lights went out, and the main attraction took the stage, opening up their set with “Flicker, Fade“, one of the title tracks of their newest album “Happiness Is”, followed by one of their biggest mainstream hits, ”What’s it Feel Like to be a Ghost?” The stage allowed plenty of space for lead singer, Adam Lazzara, to perform his signature move; throwing and spinning his microphone through the air while holding onto the XLR cable, although he might have misjudged the size of the venue early on in the show, as I’m pretty sure he hit the ceiling with the microphone. Drummer Mark O’Connell was set up at center stage on top of a huge television screen, surrounded by another two large screens, which displayed video clips and colorful montages throughout the show. Rounding out the remainder of the band’s lineup was John Nolan at front stage right on lead guitar, backup vocals and keyboards as well as Eddie Reyes at front stage left on rhythm guitar. Rocking out behind Eddie Reyes was bassist Shaun Cooper and keeping things interesting was touring group member Nathan Cogen, providing additional guitar, keyboards and back up vocals.

The audience showed their enthusiasm and appreciation for Taking Back Sunday throughout the evening, chanting and cheering at any given opportunity. The best example of this was when Adam Lazzara described the upcoming song on their set list as an homage to a difficult and troubling time in his life and the crowd roared in affirmation. Adam Lazzara even jokingly passed a comment on how ridiculous it was to have people cheering for such an odd reason, but who could blame us? TBS has been a fan favorite of emo kids and alternative pop rock enthusiasts since the early 2000’s. I’m sure many of us never thought that we would still be seeing them in concert over ten years after their inception. The audience was more than willing to show their love for the band that provided the soundtrack of their youth whenever the opportunity presented itself. It was such a nostalgic atmosphere for me personally, running into old friends from high school whom I haven’t seen since Taking Back Sunday had just released their album Where You Want to Be. The lyrics to their songs were still on the tip of our tongues, as it felt like just yesterday that I’ve listened to their music, when it reality, it has been years.

After an hour or so of a whirlwind of classic songs mixed lightly with newer music, Taking Back Sunday walked off the stage, only to come back a few short minutes later in order to finish their show off in style. They did not disappoint, as they closed out the show with a performance of Make Damn Sure, but not without first playing an all-time fan favorite song, Cute Without the “E”, which was the ultimate crowd pleaser. In the midst of a surprisingly large mosh pit and array of crowd surfers, it seemed as though everyone in the audience was singing along to the lyrics “why can’t I feel anything for anyone other than you?,” putting a smile on Adam Lazzara’s face so big that I could see it all the way from the top of the balcony. At this point in time, it was clear that the audience had gotten their money’s worth, and that the members of Taking Back Sunday had been reminded of how much their music has touched the hearts of so many people.

When the show ended, the crowd dispersed and made their way out onto the cold Montreal streets, but maybe this time, feeling a little bit warmer.

Ellwood Epps hosts If You Got Ears (#3)

small scale music

On today’s episode of If You Got Ears, Epps recapped some of the action from this years edition of FONT (Festival of New Trumpet Music), which just happened this past weekend at venues around the city. We also heard from Raphael Foisy-Couture, a local bassist/improviser who books concerts at La Passe and runs Small Scale Music, a local imprint label. Listen to the archive here for an interview and performance with Raphael and Epps (shredding).



Hope all you SXSW folks enjoy all the tacos, Lonestar, and Sonicbids-sponsored gigs that Austin has to offer. Up here in Montreal, we’re revelling in another fresh snowfall (no Texas weather for us) and digging deep into Hip Hop Week Mtl – read on for more about that…


If you dig beats & rhymes, listen up: Hip Hop Week is going down March 15th – 21st, and there’s a stacked lineup of performances, workshops, and panels in the works. The program was put together by four independent McGill students and is supported wholeheartedly by us here at CKUT. They’ve got some pretty big names lined up, including Jean Grae, Rakim, Nomadic Massive and plenty more. CKUT is giving away tickets, airing interviews with the organizers, and doing plenty of coverage throughout the week. Check out the full schedule here.

ckut top 30 – march 17, 2015
1. xarah dion – le mal nécessaire – zodiaque musique CC *
2. a sacred cloud/anarchist mountains – split – howl!/jeunesse cosmique CC *
3. ibeyi – s/t – xl
4. viet cong – s/t – flemish eye CC
5. stefan christoff & nick schofield – reves sonores a montreal – howl! arts collective CC * Continue reading

Art Not Love host The Montreal Sessions (#3)

After a scintillating second week on CKUT’s airwaves, Art Not Love returns with more local gold. Straight from the horse’s mouth: “We’re back on CKUT Tuesday, March 17th with a live performance from musical maverick, Ari Swan, and a back and forth between ¡FLIST!‘s Charlie Twitch, and Hua Li‘s Peggy Hogan!”

Album Review: Ibeyi – Ibeyi


Franco-Cuban twins Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz comprise Ibeyi. They’ve built a 2014 EP and now this self-titled LP debut with piano, traditional Cuban percussion, English poems of wildly variant efficiency, and Yoruban (a Nigerian language) chants. All these instruments are too defeated for hip-hop, but too indignant for jazz. Hence, they deftly choose to forge a fusion between the two genres, part of a broader spiritual and musical mending that’s compromised here over thirteen tracks.

The constant in Ibeyi’s universe: loss, and the ensuing yearning for people and ideas that aren’t present for them; whether because of death, health, unwillingness, or not being of this world entirely. This is a dialogue with themselves, the earth-bound humans, and the sky-bound entities they need to expel their grief.

We begin by hearing the twins’ personal talk with Eleggua, the Yoruban orisha tasked with linking the spiritual world with the physical one. The song is simple, like an easy morning with too much unassigned time and space.

“even if I don’t feel or see you, take me” they chant to Oya, orisha of female empowerment. The trumpets of the Western heavens foreshadow the falling out between human and spirit near the song’s end. “Ah, toi le seul et l’unique / Mais qui pars sans moi / Toi qui pars sans moi.”

Ibeyi dedicates the next three tracks to mending a tarnished relationship. Their appeals are scarred with harsh, loud, strong, unwelcome drums. Each song ends with pleas in tongues foreign to the vast majority of those crude enough to overhear. Ibeyi backs up their plea with two simple, repeated, poetic verses detailing their troubles of the soul and hidden, personal demons.  As they testify, they falter and hesitate. They deploy gentle, whimpering piano as witness, crippled here to only play the most simple chords. It’s the most they can muster while facing the scorn of an angry deity.

They reach Behind the Curtain, the demarcation, their final judgement on whether to spurn deities for good. They lose a man, both a suitor and a father. Or do different men play these roles? “Have you gone behind the curtain? / We are so far, oh very near”

Their decision is made clear in the album’s remainder. No spirits for the protagonists; they take their concerns to earth-bound creatures they can see and touch and obtain satisfaction from and maybe even enjoy the company of. Tracks are now flooded with lyrics not often repeated. Instrumental complexity aligns evenly with that of increasing lyrical – now a second constant for Ibeyi as they’re freed of divine rules and control of their lives.

Review by Evan Vassallo