Monthly Archives: July 2013




Hi friends,

So much going on these days I can hardly keep track — the weekend found me hosting a clothing swap, attending dinner parties, playing a show with a new-ish project opening for BabysitterJLK (who, btw, are 100% worth seeing live should you get the chance), and hanging with Canada M. Fox and Omar and Katie from CJLO at a very rad Chihuly exhibit at the MMFA.

I am also trying to get my shit together for a voyage that will take me overseas for the first time in my life (!) — I am heading to various parts of Europe to visit friends, see the sights, and get some much-needed solo travel time. I will be out of the office from August 2nd until August 18th, so there will be no charts or tracking during this time. Our awesome music department interns and volunteers will be holding down the fort while I’m gone. Please note that I will NOT be checking email during my vacation – for urgent matters, you can contact our music librarian Tim Beeler:
But hey! It’s the summer. You really don’t want to be staring at a computer screen that much, do you? Go outside instead!

Have a great few weeks, and catch y’all in late August.


ckut top 30 – july 30, 2013
jen reimer & max stein – st. urbain underpass/square victoria metro – noisy kitchen
nouveau zodiaque – nouveau zodiaque EP – self-released CC
lightning dust – fantasy – jagjaguwar CC
monomyth – king, does this not please you? (behold the power) – self-released CC
v/a – fixture records comp – fixture CC
open relationship – poochy – self-released CC
the youjsh – who’s next? – self-released CC

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“Church of the Air” Montreal Sessions

This week: Year of Glad’s Alexandre Bergeron will be joined once again by Sam R. (of Slight).  Self-proclaimed lo-fi/ambient/dark new wavers She Divides (above) come by for a stripped-down in-studio performance, and Bergeron himself may lay down a few acoustic Year of Glad tracks.  3-5pm on your dial or streaming live.



Saxsyndrum/Sweet Mother Logic/Helado Negro @ Casa del Popolo, July 26


How often do you hear someone say, ‘Of the three bands in the concert, I liked the first one best’? Like bridesmaids, opening bands are expected to support the main act without overshadowing it. But if the upbeat electro-funk of Saxsyndrum, a local sax-and-drum duo who are gaining momentum in and beyond Montreal, runs counter to the pretensions of the indie scene, it’s hard to fault them for it. They’re just too much fun.

Thus on Friday, a small but rapt audience paid tribute to the spirit of good music by watching the improbably synchronised pair perform. Even their body movements were coordinated, when cheerful drummer Nick wasn’t attempting to kick one leg higher and higher. Their frenetic but tightly controlled energy was irresistible, and in no time much of the floor was dancing – at only 9:30 pm.

Second to play was Sweet Mother Logic, another local act with a sleepier, more intricately constructed sound. Like Saxsyndrum, they are purely instrumental, but their music is less aggressively dance-oriented. They play mellow and melodic songs with a gentle groove, structured around a cello and a violin that seemed subtly out of tune on Friday, just enough to lend their music an eerie quality.

After two acts with unusual instrumentation, the crowd welcomed an American artist who played no instruments at all. Aside from a set of loops and samples, Helado Negro relied on his mellifluous voice and dynamic stage presence to engage the crowd. And he is fascinating to watch: his gestures and expressions give him the appearance of someone telling a story. You can dance to him, or you can stand and watch in admiration as he plays out his imagined narratives. Helado Negro, aka Roberto Carlos Lange, has a number of other projects right now, including OMBRE (ambient) and Epstein (hip-hop/electronic). Hopefully this means plenty of opportunities to see him perform in Montreal.

In all, it was a night worth spending out, and credit goes to the MEG Festival for presenting three great acts. All were unique and inspiring, although my heart still belongs to Saxsyndrum. Just don’t book them for your wedding.


Pre-Passovah: Saltland

In the weeks gearing up to Passovah Summer Fest 2013, we’ll be posting Q&A’s from festival performers.  The local promotion/production outfit has some really A+ programming this year.  Check out the full line-up on their site here.

Our first Q&A comes from Constellation artist Saltland:

“a project led by Montreal-based cellist Rebecca Foon, best known as co-founder of contemporary chamber group Esmerine and member of Thee Silver Mt. Zion,Set Fire To Flames, The Mile End Ladies String Auxiliary and Fifths of Seven. Foon began composing solo work in 2010, featuring multi-layered cello and hushed, stark vocals that explored the intersection of drone, no-wave, improv, dream-pop and minimalism. Joined by Jamie Thompson (Unicorns, Esmerine) on percussion, programming and signal processing, Foon’s live performances in Montreal and abroad over the past two years have seen her sound progress towards gently rhythmic and electronic territory as well.”

We asked Rebecca to fill out our tried + true artist questionnaire (in digital format this time):

What is the name of your band:

What is the story behind your name:
Could not get this landscape out of my head while composing the music.



Latest recording:
I Thought It Was Us But It Was All of Us, Constellation Records

Describe the vibe feel of the recording:
Intimate homegrown ethereal dream-pop

What have you been listening to lately:
nick cave, james blake and sam amidon

What is your craziest most memorable/fave tour story: 
forgetting my cello bow at the laguardia aiport pre show - and buying a 
$40 temporary bow at sam ash that day. Then finding my bow the next day 
at laguardia.

What's your pre-show routine:
Good food (but not too much - ha!) and stretching

and post show:
a glass of wine with friends

What did you do last wednesday:
swam in a lake

Who would you love to share a bill with:
james blake

Dream collaborator:
brian eno

Most crucial equipment for music making:
loop pedal

What do you love most about montreal:
the people

any upcoming shows:
north american tour in nov 2013

Quick listen:

Another track as well as many others from Passovah artists are also available for free/by donation on the Villa Villa Nola-released festival compilation here.

All PWYC proceeds from festival and compilation benefit the IWC (Immigrant Workers Center) in Montreal.

Saltland will be performing live Friday, August 9th at Il Motore as part of Passovah’s Summer Fest 2013.


Nanimal + Nomad // Underground Sounds






The torrent of Montreal music is gushing again tonight 8 to 10 in the pm. To continue a 25 year tirade of local jams don’t miss grunge-rockers Nanimal and jazzy jambalayas Nomad live in the CKUT studio. Plus! A playlist to make your ear-hairs go ballistic.

Listen live at or 90.3 FM

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underground sounds july 29 2013


Babysitter plays music for you live on New Shit

Tune in today from 3-5pm to catch the latest bout of New Shit music dept programming   First hour: new releases and young up-and-comers from our very own Kids Camp.  Second: Babysitter have been taking up residence in Montreal for the last month.  New Shit sends them off with an in-studio performance before they head back to BC.


watch their set here:

and listen:

and our questionnaire they (sort of) filled out:



Countrywide: Live interview & performance on the Monday Morning After


Montréal artist Matt May oscillates between the poles of noise and understated folk under his solo moniker Countrywide. After quietly gathering material for the past four years, Countrywide released a long-awaited double album on July 23 and we’re very excited to welcome him into the studio during the Monday Morning After to talk about his work and play some songs from the record(s). It has been claimed within the walls of this very music office that Countrywide writes some of “the most crushing folk music in Montréal,” and this is a rare chance to hear him live on the radio working his magic. Catch it at 7:30am on Monday, streaming live at or on the dial at 90.3 FM.

The performance and interview are streaming below:



From The Vault: Odds – Diesel You Could Benenena (1990, cassette)

Diesel244The CKUT Music department has been reorganizing the Music Library’s Canadian cassette section, and with this task has come many little joys and oddities previously lost to the ages. Over the next few weeks, I will be profiling some of the library’s deepest cuts, focusing on local and Canadian tapes. When I can, I’ll be contacting the artists to get their perspective on their dustier releases, and to give them a chance to publicly reflect on their work, whatever they might be doing now.

Odds – Diesel You Could Benenena (Self-Released, 1990)

Composed of Montreal natives Martin Dumais and Daniel Langlois, Odds is a noise project from the early days of the Montreal electronic avant-garde underground. Mixing fractured beats with samples that seem to collapse in on themselves with a heavy dose of industrial, the tape freewheels through synthetic ambience, heavy ground percussive whirrs, and even a stray congo beat or two. The tape overflows with excitement; the sounds seem to be novel to both the audience and performers. The full tape (including secret track!) is streaming on Soundcloud.

Dumais has become somewhat of a fixture in the Montreal and European doom-drone-black-metal-ambient community (which is larger than you might imagine); he has released nine records under the name AUN, and has played locally at almost every venue and festival in the city, from MUTEK to Suoni, Piknik Electronique to Cagibi, Cafe Campus to Katacombes. Internationally, he’s toured Europe (avant-metal’s spiritual home), and has performed at SXSW, Barcelona’s Sonar Festival, and quite a few more.

Dumais seemed surprised (or, at least, what I took for surprise via email) that I asked about this tape–he doesn’t have a copy anymore. He started putting out these noise tapes as a series in 1986, and remembers this as his favourite. It sold through the long-defunct Bunker Records’ St-Denis storefront, which was, at the time, Montreal’s hot spot for industrial and experimental tapes. (Bunker Records’ releasing arm put out some truly bizarre music, notably the scuzz-industrial band “…Of Tanz Victims”, whose second tape Holiday In Siberia I will be diving into eagerly in coming weeks).

At the time, Dumais was listening to a mix of industrial, early techno, and post-punk, whose combined influence paved the way for his later work: he cites Sonic Youth, Ministry, Front 242, and Coil as defining acts. The tape was a collaboration with best friend Daniel Langlois. The pair were a self-described “community of two”, making art and music at St-Catherine’s Foufounes Electrique, which back then was a “real refuge for outsiders of all sorts”.

Montreal’s avant-garde community was, and remains today, small, with an audience of mostly musicians, and Dumais found early on that CKUT and Francophone community station CIBL were the only avenues for broadcasting this kind of music.To this day, Dumais is more popular in Europe, despite a string of successes in Montreal’s local community. (CKUT remains critical to the Montreal avant scene; AUN’s recent release was in the CKUT charts just the other week.)

Dumais plots a clear path from these early, experimental recordings (recorded straight to cassette) and his more developed work in AUN. The line is clear: both AUN and Odds share a commitment to space and patience, as well as broad and inventive sounds that straddle industrial and ambient aesthetics. The Odds tape, from a younger artist, is more unsettled, jumping between sounds and styles freely, excitedly, while AUN’s darker releases are content to steep in long tones for minutes at a time. This release is enigmatic and inventive, and CKUT is happy that we could unearth this small piece of Montreal’s weird history.



LVL UP interview on Aack!!

Tune in, as always, to Aack!! this Friday, July 26th from 3-5pm to steep in the dark + heavy, the grainy, grimy, slow, low and dreary to whatever else.  Filling in Lorrie’s imitable shoes this week incoming music librarian Tim B.

As a bonus, south-of-the-border lo-fi-ers LVL UP will be calling in to talk about their newest release Extra Worlds  out now on Double Double Whammy and their Montreal show this Saturday with Babysitter, Harsh Reality, and Grace Glinko at Brasserie Beaubien.  In addition to keeping up with a half-dozen other projects and playing with the band near-constantly, these folks also run their own label and are fiercely DIY.  Looking forward.

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Album Review: l’Ensemble Sefarade et Mediterraneen – Sephardic and Mediterranean Together

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Founded in 2007, l’Ensemble Sefarade et Mediterraneen (ESME) values tradition and creation. This is exemplified on their newly released album Sephardic and Mediterranean Together, where they mix jazz, classical and old world music to create a unique record that honours tradition, while experimenting with new sounds.

Drawing from various influences, this album focuses on the journey of the Sephardic Jews to the Middle East. The songs work seamlessly together to evoke the painful journey into exile. The percussion and bass provide a solid backbone to the trance like vocals and melodic lines of the oud, violin, clarinet and flute. Overall the paced and woeful tone can be heard from beginning to end, taking the listener through the trials and tribulations of the journey. Eerie tracks like La Serena and Nani Nani raise feelings of uncertainty and loneliness while more up beat tracks like Morenica elite temporary moments of triumph and joy. Sephardic and Mediterranean Together proves to be a musically and emotionally dynamic album that takes listeners into an unknown world.

Check them out on facebook!