Monthly Archives: February 2015

dub rifles cd booklet cover

Revisiting the Dub Rifles

dub rifles cd booklet cover

A Retrospect by CKUT’s Vince Tinguely

A few years ago, I read a beat-up copy of Subculture: The Meaning of Style by Dick Hebdige. One could immediately sense this was a damn clever book when it came out back in 1979 – back in 1979 there weren’t too many books partaking of ‘punk’ design values – a lurid pink-black-and-yellow cover, featuring a stark cartoon portrait of a Ziggy-era Bowie-clone. It stood out to such an extent that I remembered it, a quarter-century later, when I came upon it in some thrift shop or other. Based on that odd media-memory alone (in our mediated world much memory devotes itself to media) I bought the book.

Reading Subculture: The Meaning of Style now means reading it as an artifact. Hebdige was writing about the punk subculture in Britain, specifically – dragooning ruminations upon its ‘antecedents’ like the mod, teddy boy and glam scenes in order to pad the book out beyond a couple of chapters. (Weirdly, he completely ignores or excludes the hippie subculture of the sixties – apparently because hippie culture was so big it falls outside of the purview of the ‘subcultural’ focus. But to me it looks like an omission big enough to drive Kesey’s bus through. I guess he likes his countercultures nice and small and contained within the dominant überculture.)

He was writing about punk in the very midst of that scene’s flourishing, which lent his thoughts a nicely unfinished, unpolished and inconclusive flavour. What I found most stimulating about the book was Hebdige’s examination of British Rasta youth culture as the flipside of the British punk scene. For some reason it was only by reading this book that I finally ‘realized’ the connection. It’s a strange thing, since I know for sure I lived this connection at the time.

I distinctly remember the first time I really felt like I was participating in something that I’d only previously known through mediated forms like records (ie. Gang of Four’s Entertainment, and the Lee Perry-produced Bob Marley and the Wailers bootleg bought at Canadian Tire for $3.99) – when the Dub Rifles played Domus Legis, a law frat house in Halifax, in June of 1983.

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Still wintery here in Montreal. Who wants to take me on a vacation?

We’re pre-empting regular programming tomorrow from sundown to sunup to present a very special broadcast: it’s the 13th annual Homelessness Marathon, hosted this year by our friends over at CFRC in Kingston. Every year, the Homeless Marathon serves up 14 hours of people-powered radio, broadcasted on nearly 40 radio stations across Canada. With the goal of being a consciousness-raising event, the Marathon will provide an opportunity for homeless people and their allies to take to the airwaves, and allow a nationwide discussion on homelessness issues and possible solutions. Stream it live on CKUT from 5pm onwards tomorrow evening, and be sure to catch the segments between 8-10pm for content produced by our own team here at CKUT.

ckut top 30 – february 24, 2015
1. cheap wig – magic idea – self-released CC *
2. matana roberts – coin coin chpt. 3: river run thee – constellation
3. xarah dion – le mal nécessaire – zodiaque musique CC *
4. heathers – s/t – saturn returns CC *
5. siskiyou – nervous – constellation CC Continue reading

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Shash’U + Matthew Daher // Underground Sounds

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Tonight on Underground Sounds, guest host Gabriel Guiterrez is behind the mic dishing out two hours of locally focused tunes, from 8-10pm.

Later in the show, at 9pm, we’ll be reaching percussionist/composer Matthew Daher by phone to ask about his first release since leaving Montreal for Detroit, and how his prog-jazz outfit Ismism influenced his new work. Listen to a sample of his material here.

But first, Shash’U is heating up the studio with an all vinyl DJ set. We’ll be chatting with him about his two new EP’s on Fool’s Gold records and how he keeps electronic music funky.

Listen to past interview and performances here.


Album review: Uaxyacac – Homemade Myth


By: Christopher Teti

If you’re a fan of dark synth pop, then Uaxyacac’s new album is likely to be a solid addition to your record (or tape) collection. Swelling with emotional depth, Homemade Myth is complex, dreamy and unwavering in its quest to find a light at the end of the tunnel.

Having been creating and composing music since 2011, Nick Smith, the leading creative mind behind the musical project known as Uaxyacac, officially released ten original tracks in January of 2015, all of which are self-recorded, written and mixed in Montreal and Moncton.

This record harmoniously fuses the synthetic sounds of today’s electronic music with the raw and faded tones of early 1970’s rock to father an audible experience that is inherently human;  ensuing an unfamiliar future while drawing on the shades of our past. With an extensive colour palate, like a mosaic of conflict, Uaxyacac manages to create songs that naturally evolve from their basic parts into convoluted pieces of art that struggle between reaching a conclusion and continuing to explore the depths of space and time.

Consisting of bouncy arpeggiators, phased electric guitars, fuzzy organs, pulsing pads, distant vocals, white noise risers, ambient friction and other experimental sonic elements, Uaxyacac pulls everything out of their bag of tricks for this release, resulting in an ever-evolving soundscape that is masterfully designed and detail-oriented.  Some stand-out tracks are “St.Mawr”, “Dreamin’” and “Nocturne”.

To listen to the album in its entirety, simply visit

kurvi tasch

Album Review: Kurvi Tasch – On Firm Ground

kurvi tasch

By: Mike Baek

Montreal band kurvi tasch’s On Firm Ground lies closest to the shoegaze movement with heavy nods towards ‘60s psych rock and surf pop with their reverb heavy vocals and guitar grooves that float easily over steady bass riffs. Sunken just below the reverb is a subtler similarity to ‘90s grunge and ‘80s new wave post-punk in their clean and just and discreetly intricate drums. All of this makes for a dreamy sound, like sunbeams drifting over swimming pools, suburban mirages, and breezy summer shadows moving through bedroom windows.

Genre defining issues aside, this album is all about testing boundaries, and bringing you to a point of almost unbearable discomfort and then just before its too much, they settle down and give you space to breathe once more. The album is split into three parts: the first is focused on their own desires being fulfilled, with songs like “my gain” and “test your will,” the middle is the discordant melding of the desire to break limits and bring you over the edge but never actually doing so, and the third is the acknowledgement of the existence of the firm ground you stand on, a final compromise of groovy mellowness that never brings you to the other side.

Despite its mélange of audio feelings and reactions, I don’t think that it’s an album that’s lost or confused, but in fact is very aware of what it does. It’s something that you can listen to in the morning while you’re making breakfast, while you’re sitting in a moonlit park at twilight, or while half asleep in the afternoon. And for me it’s that feeling of finding shade or a cold breeze on a hot summer day when you’re almost overheated, or the brief warmth of sunlight in the middle of winter. It’s like an addiction, simultaneously creating the need for and providing comfort. It’s something that you come to love after you get to know it well, and with each listen through it gets better and better, because after the first listen, you know that no matter what you’re always on firm ground.

erik hove

Album Review: Erik Hove – Saturated Colour

erik hove

By: Donovan Burtan

Montreal is a city bursting with local talent and Erik Hove certainly does not disappoint with his incredible new modern jazz album Saturated Colour. From his unique chord structures and technical solos to his intense meter and ensemble sound, Hove really captures everything the modern jazz listener is looking for.  The album is not quite recognized on the international scale and I would not recommend it for the kindhearted Michael Buble fans out there, however, regular listeners of the likes of Wadada Leo Smith or David Binney looking for something new would find Saturated Colour very intriguing.

One of the major strengths of the album is Hove’s use of contrast.  Hove does not stick to one idea for too long and when one idea has reached its climax he quickly explores a new direction.  The best example of this would probably be between the fourth and fifth track on the album (entitled “Ascending and “A Tree by a Pond Half-Lit“, respectively).  The fourth track is arguably the climax of the album as a whole and Hove follows this by a quiet, open sounding piece with very little noise all together, which gives the album an unpredictable feeling. Hove also does something like this within the fourth track itself where he builds up his ensemble to the loudest dynamic level possible then suddenly it all explodes into a collective free improvisation section and eventually melts into a quiet bass solo with no accompaniment.

Another strength of this album is the ensemble interaction and overall sound.  The ensemble sound is very interesting because Hove essentially has a quartet but instead of a pianist, Hove has a septet of horns and string players backing the soloist.  This gives the ensemble a very interesting texture and more improvisational freedom as more voices are in the equation. I was also very impressed by the interaction between Hove and Tighe (drummer) during his solos throughout the album, especially on the first track.

Overall great album — I would love to see this ensemble live.

Notable Tracks: Ascending, Brain Freeze, Partially

Notable Soloists: Andy King (trumpet), Josh Zubot (Violin), Evan Tighe (Drums)


Towanda on the Montreal Sessions



For their third episode of the Montreal Sessions, local punks Towanda keep the mic pointed squarely towards the ladies in the house. Delving into the history of ’77 punk, feminist rap, and riot grrrl they dust off some true gems and dig into how these sounds came to influence Towanda as we know (and love) them today.

Bringing things into the present day, they invite local musician and Rock Camp for Girls coordinator Heather Hardie into the studio to discuss the intersection of feminism and music culture. If we do say so ourselves, it struck the perfect mix of insightful conversation and kickass music. In case you missed it the first time around, be sure to check out the full audio here.


Feeling under the weather. Seeking book recommendations, movie tips, and soup recipes.
Stay warm & healthy friends


You remember when we told you about The Montreal Sessions a couple weeks back, right? HERE’S a refresher in case you missed it… Anyway, a new month is upon us and we’ve got a different crew of kickass folks taking the reigns as our February Montreal Sessions curators. Meet Towanda:

Towanda is an all-lady three-piece that plays for keeps with their straight up minimalist punk. This freshly anointed Killer Haze Records band has been gigging since the fall of 2013 in central and Eastern Canada with their Negative Capabilities EP, and are coasting fresh on the release of last month’s Black Sheep EP.  They’re an agro-femme engine fuelled by sludgy, melodic, fuzzed-out guitar riffs, rhythmic vocals, potent lyrics, thunderous drums and dirty distorted basslines. Once described as “Babes in Toyland meets Sacrilege” Towanda, is a very good kind of heavy.

Hear them let loose on CKUT every Tuesday from 3-5pm EST and get ready for an earful of raw feminism, DIY celebration, and plenty of good old rock & roll.

ckut top 30 – february 17, 2015
1. matana roberts – coin coin chpt. 3: river run thee – constellation
2. black givre – autorail – beaver club records CC *
3. xarah dion – le mal nécessaire – zodiaque musique CC *
4. last ex – s/t – constellation CC
5. v/a – the many moods of healing power records – healing power CC Continue reading

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Adam Basanta + Siskiyou // Underground Sounds

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Welcome to another episode of Underground Sounds with your host Nick Schofield – airing new Canadian independent music with a local focus on the Montreal scene.

Tonight, Nick has invited Adam Basanta, a much-loved local sound artist, to perform and share his new compositions in anticipation of an exhibition opening and and album release. Lots to talk about here! The exhibition is called “The Sound of Empty Space” and opens at Galerie B-312 on Thursday February 19th.

Stick around, ‘casue later in the show Siskiyou is in to talk about their latest release, Nervous, out on our brethren label Constellation records. Want more? Check out the show blog for past interviews and performances.


Hi radio,

Peter Evans played here over the weekend and not only was it a terrific show, I even got a little help working the door from one of the venue’s resident kitties… I wonder if we can train him to count change and stamp hands in addition to looking cute and meowing for head-scratches?


Chances are those of you who dig funk, hip hop, and soulful grooves may have heard of a little CKUT show called WeFunk. They’ve been kicking it on the air here since ’96 and not only do they have a loyal Montreal following, they’ve taken things to the next level with countless European DJ tours (seriously, they were at around 15 last time I talked to them) and a cult following that spans the globe. These guys bring in listeners and donations from all over the world, and they make some of the best radio out there. They’ve just celebrated their 800th show, and we couldn’t be more proud to have them call CKUT home. Learn more about the show and check out all of their past episodes here.

ckut top 30 – february 10, 2015
1. xarah dion – le mal nécessaire – zodiaque musique CC *
2. towanda – black sheep EP – self-released CC *
3. ultrathin – s/t – bruised tongue CC *
4. siskiyou – nervous – constellation CC
5. black givre – autorail – beaver club records CC * Continue reading