Not too much to report this week, aside from catching a couple good shows — including Thor Harris (above) joined by Insect Ark and local electronic wiz Echo Beach. You seen anything awesome lately?
:::WHAT’S UP AT CKUT:::
Fun fact: July 1st isn’t widely known as Canada Day in Montreal. Instead, most folks recognize it as moving day since almost every lease in the city expires on June 30th. This means that the nation’s birthday is celebrated in our fair city with a cacophony of moving trucks, piles of furniture abandoned on sidewalks, and lots of stressed-out folks hauling stuff from one apartment to another. BUT! We at CKUT have your back in terms of moving stress, tenant rights, and landlord issues — whether you’re moving tomorrow or not, be sure to tune into our daily news program Off the Hour today from 5-6pm EST for a special panel discussion on housing rights in Montreal. The phone lines will be open so your voice can be a part of the conversation — this stuff is important!
ckut top 30 – june 30, 2015
1. narcy – world war free now – the medium CC *
2. the acorn – vieux loup – paper bag CC
3. scattered clouds – the first empire – e-tron CC
4. v/a – ne pas plier – howl! arts collective CC *
5. roxanne turcotte – fenetres interieures – empreintes digitales CC Continue reading
Initially the pairing of The Bad Plus with guest saxophonist Joshua Redman with Kneebody struck me as odd. As the concert in Théâtre Maisonneuve unfolded, I realized that the two groups were kindred spirits. Both are very dynamic bands with strong personal languages and no fixed “bandleader,” with multiple composers in the band showcasing all the musical possibilities of their groups. They are the electric and acoustic sides of the same coin.
Kneebody began the evening with a composition by saxophonist Ben Wendel, called “Drum Battle,” to be released on an upcoming collaboration with electronic artist Daedalus. The opening lilting hip-hop groove gave way to a distorted bass & Rhodes melody in 5/4 with both horns floating away on delay trails. Kneebody’s set was plagued by too much low end, at least where I was sitting – bassist Sam Minaie (subbing for regular member Kaveh Rastegar) and Nate Wood’s kick drum often overwhelmed Shane Endsley’s trumpet. When Endsley played delicate Harmon muted passages in other tunes, even that was full of low-end information.
There were still nuances to be had, like the uncanny blend between Wendel & Endsley. Adam Benjamin’s Rhodes, with heavy modulation, gave a sense of spaciousness to the music. His sparse solo on “Greenblatt” evoked the vocal quality of Joe Zawinul. Benjamin’s piece “Unforeseen Influences” moved through various episodes, showcasing the most electronic palette of Kneebody. Switching from the combination of ring-modulated Rhodes, chattering hi-hats and harmonized trumpet to a roaring punky-reggae party for Wendel’s solo. The set ended with Wendel’s piece “Still Play,” a rollicking perpetual motion line.
With the addition of Joshua Redman, The Bad Plus has unlocked new colours in their old repertoire and developed a truly cohesive language as a quartet. Their set was a display of everything that informs the band – references that have been more oblique on past trio dates are well and truly evident now. Opening with drummer Dave King’s composition “Beauty Has it Hard,” the band deconstructed the hauntingly simple harmony as though the world were crumbling around a Db major triad. Pianist Ethan Iverson’s “Faith Through Error” began with a cascading figure in unison with Redman – almost Kneebody-esque – that gradually splintered off into a four-way conversation reminiscent of the recently departed Ornette Coleman. Bassist Reid Anderson assumed MC duties and had the biggest share of compositions in this set. His songwriting has an element of innocence and joy. There was a true confluence of personalities here – I was sure Redman’s “The Mending” was written by Iverson, a cousin of the crying Ornette ballads like “Broken Shadows.” The tunes that put Redman most on his home turf – implying superimposed harmonies and flowing streams of 8th notes – were written by Anderson. The final Anderson composition, “Silence is the Question,” grew from a series of bass chords into a dense, fiery inferno before ending in silence. These two bands have set the bar incredibly high for the music to come this year.
– Review by David Ryshpan
Alas, the day has arrived…the last of an epic month of The Montreal Sessions freshly served by Suoni Per Il Popolo. A sad occasion indeed, but our hosts Paula and Pablo have many musical treats in store for us to make up for that. Over the past ~30 days, we’ve heard a selection of experimental jazz, rock, and classical music that explore the boundaries of modern music. We’ve also had numerous interviews and live performances from talented musicians taking part in the 2015 Suoni Per Il Popolo festival.
If you are keen to catch any of those passed episodes, check out our archives, and you can catch the last of June’s MTL Sessions this Wednesday from 3-5pm. Stay tuned for July’s show hosted by Saturn Returns, which you can read more about right here. These are exciting times, guys. Keep it locked~~
Steve Jr. is the duo of Corbin Ordel and Gleb Wilson, and through a sonic alchemical reaction they have spawned the truly monstrous Gudge EP. Their new musical beast is more sprawling than their self-titled debut, veering from the anthemic punch of their early material to explore heavier territory. It wanders, pacing through a thick swamp of pure sludge till the grooves are worn deep. The guitar and drum dirges bleed into heavy psych, but they still maintain the hooks that have made many a head bob at live shows. Pummelling drums and Ordel’s buzzsaw guitar will be familiar to longtime fans, but their aesthetic reaches new levels of ferocity on the punk-influenced “Intro” and heavy jammer “Mutt”.
The dense, distortion-steeped background contrasts well with sparse vocals that veer between emphatic shouts and complete lyrical disaffection. On “Oh Well,” a tight groove layered with echoed, melodic vocals kicks off into a chaotic breakdown midway through the song and they duo lets everything fall apart in the best way possible: the voice rips into incomprehensible yells before Wilson repeats, over and over again, “Oh well….” over a loose and sludgy riff. The lyrics may convey apathy, but the steady propulsion of noise in the background keeps things afloat: you can’t give up with that kind of momentum chugging along. Recalling the ’90s heyday of Royal Trux with its walloping distortion and loose, meandering songwriting style, Gudge is another solid output from one of Montreal’s heaviest duos.
– Joni Sadler
Corona Theatre was full to the brim with eager Montrealers awaiting Rhye’s show on June 8th. I sadly missed the opening act, HAERTS, an 80s-reminiscent synth pop band whose sound falls somewhere between Haim and Young Galaxy. The vocalist of HAERTS, Nina Fabi, has a singular, almost Stevie Nicks-esque quality to her voice, adding an edgy tone to their sound. Their self-titled 2014 LP is definitely worth a listen.
Rhye kicked off their set with their 2012 single “The Fall”, a crowd favorite for its sensual R&B-inspired smooth soul-pop. The band, which originally started as a collaboration between producers Robin Braun and Mike Milosh, performed as a six-piece act for their Montreal show. The keyboardist’s synth progressions had the passion of someone savoring their last moments on the Space Odyssey. The bassist was jiving to a funk beat and the lead guitarist dabbled with some post-rock solos. Even though the first couple songs were muddled by some minor technical difficulties, Rhye kept the audience happily enthralled with their stage presence.
What really impressed me was how the band members were almost all multi-instrumentalist. Milosh sang and played some drums, the keyboardist played synths and vocals, the lead guitarist also rocked the trombone and viola, accompanying the violin player next to her. And despite all this musical juxtaposition, they transitioned well from one track to the next. Not many bands sound better in person, but they did!
Towards the end of their set, Rhye asked the audience to try to be as quiet as possible to be able to play an acoustic song for them with no mics or amps. They were able to and succeeded in making Corona feel like an intimate venue of soulful music. Finally, their show came full circle with the much-anticipated single “Open,” and the crowd was left craving more of Milosh’s sultry voice.
Rhye’s energy and obvious love for what they do just confirmed why I love to go see live music — and always will.
– Review and photo by Jess Newfield
Today we had our last session for June of If You Got Ears with Charlotte Loseth from Ssurfacing, and what a way to end it off. During this month’s show we have been hearing a myriad of ambient noises and meditative sounds, along with improvisations from Charlotte and her guests. In this week’s final episode, we heard the gorgeous combination of a live flute and an electronic sampler, and It’s definitely something worth a listen to! If you didn’t catch todays episode, fear not. You can hear all of this month’s IYGE on our archives. Don’t forget to check out some of Charlotte’s music on her bandcamp, and read more about her residency here. Aside from that, soak up the sun and enjoy the sweet holiday today folks!
Saw The Ex last night, my mind is still blown. Also a puppy visited CKUT last week so basically life rules.
:::WHAT’S UP AT CKUT:::
As part of our ongoing experimental radio residency, local sound artist ssurfacing (aka Charlotte Loseth, aka Sea Oleena) has been sculpting beautiful audio collages every Wednesday afternoon on CKUT. Drawing from field recordings and live improvisations, ssurfacing explores the theme c a l m and thus provides the absolute best mid-afternoon sonic dream zone a radio listener could ask for. Hear the final episode of her residency tomorrow from noon till 2pm EST, streaming live on ckut.ca. (Psst? Wanna hear past episodes of her lovely radio work? Check out our If You Got Ears archives from the past three Wednesdays right here.)
ckut top 30 – june 23, 2015
1. narcy – world war free now – the medium CC *
2. colin stetson & sarah neufeld – never were the way she was – constellation CC *
3. warm wave – pyongyang suntan – self-released CC *
4. buffy sainte-marie – power in the blood – true north CC
5. braids – deep in the iris – flemish eye CC * Continue reading
What better to do on a fine, muggy, Montreal summer day than chill out and listen in to a fresh episode of New Shit? The answer is nothing, so tune in today from 3-5pm with our host Joni for a very special sesh that includes an interview with The Ex.
The Ex are a band formed in 1979 from the Netherlands, and are known for their legendary punk sound. They’re definitely worth a listen or two, so don’t forget to check out some of their music tonight at La Sala Rossa at 8:45pm as part of the Suoni Per Il Popolo festival. We’ve got lots more in store for future episodes of New Shit too, stay tuned folks..
Yesterday we had jazz superstars Chris Corsano and Mette Rasmussen into the CKUT studios for a live performance on the music department’s show, New Shit. It was insane! They’re not playing too many dates together on this mini tour, but if they hit your town be sure to check ‘em out — these two do not disappoint.
:::WHAT’S UP AT CKUT:::
As part of our ongoing coverage of Suoni Per Il Popolo, we’re thrilled to be broadcasting live from Casa del Popolo tomorrow evening during the Dave Rempis/Josh Abrams/Avreeayl Ra + L’appel du Vide show. Stream it live on our website from 8-10pm EST for all the free jazz your ears can handle, or come and say hi in person if you’re in Montreal! Should be lotsa fun and a good exercise in ear & mind expansion.
ckut top 30 – june 16, 2015
1. colin stetson & sarah neufeld – never were the way she was – constellation CC *
2. buffy sainte-marie – power in the blood – true north CC
3. narcy – world war free now – the medium CC *
4. braids – deep in the iris – flemish eye CC *
5. annabelle chvostek – be the media – self-released CC * Continue reading
If you happened to be listening in on Monday’s edition of New Shit, you’ll know that we were lucky enough to have drummer Chris Corsano and alto-saxophonist Mette Rasmussen perform live for us in the studio. With crazy talented improvisations and interesting techniques (including putting seemingly random items in instruments), the result was a myriad of jazzy sounds that were something else entirely.
In the case that you missed out, don’t worry. You can check out the episode here. If you like what you hear, and we think you will, Chris and Mette have released an album worth hearing called All The Ghosts At Once. Jam out to your hearts content, and tune back to CKUT for more exciting performances and guests!