Daily Archives: July 30, 2013

“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: https://soundcloud.com/constellation-records/ica

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.