Monthly Archives: December 2015




Hi folks,

2015 is almost done! We made it! Despite the disconcerting lack of snow here in Montreal, it’s definitely time to pack up for the holidays and deliver the hotly-anticipated CKUT TOP 100 OF 2015. Y’all have been waiting for this, right? Right?

I’ll be out of the office chilling on beautiful Anarchist Mountain in BC from December 21 – January 4, so please be patient if I don’t respond to emails during that stretch. Hope you have a great & relaxing holiday season!


PS – I am bad with lists but here are some records I was especially fond of this year:
Colleen – Captain of None
Shining Wizard – Avec Grace Brooks & James Goddard
Ramzi – Houti Kush
Zomes – Near Unison
Chris Corsano & Mette Rasmussen – All the Ghosts at Once
Jerusalem in my Heart – If He Dies, If If If If If If
Illa J – S/T
Cheap Wig – Magic Idea
White Out w/ Nels Cline – Accidental Sky

1. drainolith – hysteria – nna tapes CC *
2. u.s. girls – half free – 4AD
3. narcy – world war free now – the medium CC *
4. katie moore – fooled by the fun – club roll CC *
5. buffy sainte-marie – power in the blood – true north CC
6. telstar drugs – sonatine – egg paper factory CC *
7. ought – sun coming down – constellation CC *
8. babysitter – s/t – psychic handshake CC *
9. jerusalem in my heart – if he dies, if if if if if if – constellation CC *
10. joyfultalk – muuixx – drip audio CC
11. helen – the original faces – kranky
12. siskiyou – nervous – constellation CC
13. stefan christoff & nick schofield – reves sonores a montreal – howl! arts CC *
14. hey mother death – highway – snake power CC
15. matana roberts – coin coin chpt. 3: river run thee – constellation
15. jaga jazzist – starfire – ninja tune
16. shamir – ratchet – xl recordings
17. black givre – explosion therapy – beaver club records CC *
18. frog eyes – pickpocket’s locket – paper bag CC
19. viet cong – s/t – flemish eye CC
20. ramzi – houti kush – 1080p CC
21. cheap wig – magic idea – self-released CC *
22. colleen – captain of none – thrill jockey
23. zs – xe – northern spy
24. suuns & jerusalem in my heart – s/t – secret city CC *
25. adam basanta – memory is the residue of thought – kohlenstoff CC *
26. destroyer – poison season – merge CC
27. moon – s/t – bruised tongue CC
28. maurice louca – salute the parrot – nawa recordings
27. valet – nature – kranky
28. the pink noise – decay – not unlike CC *
29. a sacred cloud/anarchist mountains – split – howl!/jeunesse cosmique CC *
30. magma – 45 years of creation off the beaten path – harmonia mundi
31. ashley soft – leave – shaking box music CC
32. esmerine – lost voices – constellation CC *
33. xarah dion – le mal nécessaire – zodiaque musique CC *
34. loscil – sea island – kranky CC
35. lightning bolt – fantasy empire – thrill jockey
36. v/a – ne pas plier – howl! arts collective CC *
37. eric chenaux – skullsplitter – constellation CC
36. white out w/ nels cline – accidental sky – northern spy
37. benoit pioulard – sonnet – kranky
38. warm wave – pyongyang suntan – self-released CC *
39. braids – deep in the iris – flemish eye CC *
40. fist city – everything is a mess – transgressive records CC
41. ok jazz – s/t – self-released CC
42. georgia – s/t – domino
43. shalabi effect – floating garden – self-released CC *
44. towanda – black sheep EP – self-released CC *
45. majical cloudz – are you alone? – arts & crafts CC *
46. colin stetson & sarah neufeld – never were the way she was – constellation CC *
47. l’appel du vide – mergin’ spaces – self-released CC *
48. the pop group – citizen zombie – freaks r us
49. hag face – R.I.P. – psychic handshake CC
50. chad van gaalen & seth smith – seed of dorzon – fundog CC
51. sam shalabi & phillipe lauzier – losing control – self-released CC *
52. corridor – le voyage éternal – self-released CC *
53. hua li – za zhong – art not love CC *
54. kurvi tasch – on firm ground – self-released CC *
55. d.f.w., k.b.d. & j.g. – a chance happening – shaking box music CC *
56. zomes – near unison – dischord
57. milk & bone – little mourning – bonsound CC *
58. m. mucci – dangerous summer – tall house recording co. CC
59. notta comet – success with houseplants – self-released CC *
60. fountain – fountain 2 – self-released CC
61. godspeed you! black emperor – asunder, sweet and other distress – constellation CC *
62. heathers – s/t – saturn returns CC
63. v/a – the many moods of healing power records – healing power CC
64. dark matt’r – neptune’s moons – howl! arts collective CC *
65. ultrathin – s/t – bruised tongue CC *
66. old haunt – refuge – self-released CC *
67. holly herndon – platform – 4AD
68. charlemagne palestine & rhys chatham – youuu + mee = weeee – subrosa
69. last ex – s/t – constellation CC
70. annabelle chvostek – be the media – self-released CC *
71. socalled – peoplewatching – dare to care CC *
72. circuit des yeux – in plain speech – thrill jockey
73. iskra 1903 – chapter one; 1970-1972 – emanem
74. battles – la di da di – warp
75. tang soleil – outboard sensory meridian response – dusty medical records CC *
76. skylab – skylab #2: large as life and twice as natural – tummy touch
77. crosss – lo – telephone explosion CC
78. old man luedecke – domestic eccentric – true north CC I
79. roxanne turcotte – fenetres interieures – empreintes digitales CC
80. loc-nar – hotter water – don’t fall CC *
81. richard pinhas & oren ambarchi – tikkun – cuneiform
82. sediment club – psychosymplastic – wharf cat records
83. no aloha – no problemo – poncho recordings CC *
84. yo la tengo – stuff like that there – matador
85. weird owl – interstellar skeletal – a recordings
86. the acorn – vieux loupe – paper bag CC
87. peaches – rub – i u she
88. eternal tapestry – wild strawberries – thrill jockey
89. kappa chow – collected output as of now – self-released CC
90. r u real – s/t – inyrdisk CC
91. grouper – ruins – kranky
92. nancy pants – total nancy pants – self-released CC
93. mands – 15-6-2014 – misery loves company CC *
94. philippe battikha – invisible background – samizdat CC *
95. ibeyi – s/t – xl
96. family band – family band ’15 – egg paper factory CC *
97. v/a – misery loves company complete discography vol. 2 – misery loves co. CC
98. disappears – irreal – kranky
99. purity ring – another eternity – last gang CC
100. scattered clouds – the first empire – e-tron records CC


Concert Review: Vince Staples @ Belmont

unnamedA fantastic night at the Belmont that perfectly illustrated the difference between a critically acclaimed, touring rapper and a local hype machine.  Vince Staples takes a relatively hardcore approach to his extremely well thought out songs and it provides for a fantastic live show.  Posterz took a similar “hyped” approach to the night, but their lyrics and artistic directions put them a bit out of Staples’s league.  Don’t get me wrong, Posterz put on a great show that proved some of their artistic potential, but the mature lyrical approach to Vince Staples’s mosh-pit inducing beats was untouchable that night.

The night began with a local rap group with a lot of potential.  Anytime a group leaves everything on the stage it makes for a fun time and they also brought some brilliant musicality to their work.  They mentioned at one point that once they get more money they want to hire a band and after hearing them sample the bass line from Tame Impala’s New Person Same Old Mistakes, I could totally see them being backed by some sweet neo-soul grooves.  Also, I was very impressed by the beats overall.  The bass wasn’t overbearing and they had enough detail to be considered unique. Posterz had their hints of immaturity, there were technical difficulties and songs about hitting licks and turning up the bass. However, their flow and production value clued into their future growth and I truly hope to see them again in the future. Continue reading




Hi folks,

I went to Ottawa over the weekend to catch some pals play an amazing cover rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours (one of my ultimate ‘70s faves), and their performance was just as swoon-worthy as the original album. Pretty dreamy stuff!

I’ll be around next week and will send out one more batch of charts (including a year-end top 100!) before taking off for the holidays. Hit me up before December 18th if you want any last tracking updates for 2015. :)


For the month of December, two of Montreal’s most legendary sonic trailblazers take over CKUT’s artist-in-residence program If You Got Ears. Sam Shalabi and Alex Moskos will be teaming up to host the show from 12-2pm every Wednesday, and if their respective oeuvres are any indication we’re in for a real treat. Sam is known for his ability to fuse Middle Eastern traditions with experimental techniques in his solo work as well as collaborations like The Shalabi Effect, while Moskos is the twisted mastermind behind Drainolith and former axe-wielder in the legendary noise behemoth AIDS Wolf. These two pals will be conjuring a whole range of out-sounds to treat & challenge your ears, and we highly recommend tuning in cuz this pairing is truly one of a kind.

ckut top 30 – december 8, 2015
1. majical cloudz – are you alone? – arts & crafts CC
2. esmerine – lost voices – constellation CC *
3. telstar drugs – sonatine – egg paper factory CC *
4. corridor – le voyage eternal – self-released CC *
5. ylangylang – no exist (feel special) – carpi records CC *
6. peaches – rub – i u she
7. bodies that matter – glorify! glorify! glorify! – optical sounds CC
8. ought – sun coming down – constellation CC *
9. bill orcutt & jacob felix heule – colonial donuts – palilalia records
10. moss lime – zoo du québec – telephone explosion CC *
11. cheap wig – agoness – self-released CC *
12. white out w/ nels cline – accidental sky – northern spy
13. l’appel du vide – mergin’ spaces – self-released CC *
14. technical kidman – something stranger coming on the horizon – self-released CC *
15. stefan christoff – post mortem – old bicycle records CC *
16. chairs – drawn into mazes – kinnta CC *
17. tang soleil – outboard sensory meridian response – dusty medical records CC *
18. old haunt – refuge – self-released CC *
19. grimes – art angels – 4AD CC
20. jerusalem in my heart – if he dies, if if if if if if – constellation CC *
21. yves bouliane – champ (10 operations) – tenzier CC *
22. oneohtrix point never – garden of delete – warp
23. v/a – unceded voices: mixtape – self-released CC
24. perils – s/t – desire path CC *
25. christina vantzou – no. 3 – kranky
26. smokes – zone eater – self-released CC *
27. u.s. girls – half free – 4AD
28. soupcans – soft party – telephone explosion CC
29. shalabi effect – floating garden – self-released CC *
30. v/a – bombay disco 2 – cultures of soul

ckut jazz  – december 8, 2015
1. harris eisenstadt – canada day iv – songlines CC
2. david s. ware / apogee – birth of being – aum fidelity
3. steve lacy quintet – last tour – emanem
4. wadada leo smith +  john lundberg – celestial weather – tum
5. matt mitchell – vista accumulation – pi
6. slobber pup – pole axe – rare noise
7. darius jones 4tet – le bébé de bridgite – aum fidelity
8. adam rudolph – go: organic guitar ork. – turning towards the light – cuneiform
9. william parker raining on the moon – great spirit – aum fidelity
10. shalabi effect – floating garden – self-released CC *

ckut global – december 8, 2015
1. jerusalem in my heart – if he dies, if if if if if if – constellation CC *
2. v/a – bombay disco 2 – cultures of soul
3. v/a – senegal 70 – analog africa
4. dieuf-dieul de thies – aw sa yone vol. 2 – teranga beat
5. lotring and the sources of gamelan tradition – bali 1928, volume III – world arbiter
6. mella mella – mystery & joy – nunca CC
7. souljazz orchestra – resistance – do right! music CC
8. lula all stars – salsa de la buena! – lulaworld CC
9. grupo fantasma – problemas – blue corn
10. elage diouf – melokaane – pump up the volume

ckut rpm – returns next week!

ckut beatbox – december 8, 2015
1. v/a – unceded voices: mixtape – self-released CC
2. illa j – s/t – bastard jazz
3. prof – liability – rhymesayers
4. skim milk – ghosts of jazz – self-released CC
5. haviah mighty – bass loud – self-released CC
6. bleubird – lauderdale – fake four
7. raury – all we need – columbia
8. k-os – can’t fly without gravity – dine alone CC
9. big grams – s/t – epic
10. royce birth – art on fire! – hand’solo CC

ckut loud – december 8, 2015
1. fuzz – II – in the red
2. tau cross – st – relapse CC
3. tribulation –  the children of the night – century media
4. monster magnet – cobras and fire – napalm
5. kadavar – berlin – nuclear blast
6. satan – atom by atom – listenable
7. mirror – mirror – metal blade
8. danzig – skeletons – nuclear blast
9. fuck the facts – desire will rot – noise salvation CC
10. tv freaks – bad luck charms – deranged CC


An Ode to Brainfeeder

An Ode to Brainfeeder


They caught my attention at The Epic, blew my mind with The Beyond/Where the Giants Roam and Chinese Nu Yr, and changed my religion at Kneedelus.  Founded in 2008 under the direction of god-amongst-men, Flying Lotus, Brainfeeder Records has grown into a Mecca for Jazz, Hip Hop, and electronic music lovers alike and its wide array of musical artists has led to an absolutely earth-shattering year of releases in 2015.  By utilizing the characteristics of many contrasting genres, the label has achieved a sound aesthetic like no other that both bleeds modernism and pays homage to Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, and the rest of musical fusion’s past.

Tides have been changing this year.  The addition of Thundercat’s virtuosic bass work and Robert Glasper’s brilliant orchestration to Kendrick Lamar’s masterpiece To Pimp a Butterfly has exposed the mainstream audience to Hip-Hop/Jazz fusion.  Meanwhile, Chance the Rapper simply will not tour without his high school friend/instrumental partner in crime Donnie Trumpet and the one and only David Bowie has caught wind of all this activity and released an epic single, Blackstar, featuring the Saxophone prowess of Donny McCaslin and high intensity jazz drumming of Mark Guiliana.  The 90s discographies of The Roots and Tribe Called Quest display the obvious tendency for jazz and popular music to be intertwined, however, it is also valid to say that jazz has held a much more prominent role in the worlds of hip hop and rock this year, which may lead to more genre bending collaboration in the future.

This “Jazz trend” in the commercial music world has been epitomized by Brainfeeder.  Kamasi Washington’s The Epic, Thundercat’s The Beyond/Where the Giants Roam, and Kneebody’s collaboration album with Daedelus are three examples of Jazz music taking strides into the realm of fusion while somehow maintaining some sense of accessibility. The Epic can only be described using that one word; Epic.  The three hour manifesto seamlessly blends classic elements of Latin-American jazz and straight ahead swing with more progressive elements such as complex meter and scales while somehow still leaving room for catchy vocal hooks.  Through the inclusion of all these elements the album has payed tribute to the past, advanced the genre into more progressive territory, and preserved appeal to the less experienced jazz crowd.  This mentality is brought to every jazz related album on the label thus resulting in some of the most important jazz music of the year.

Brainfeeder’s glorious execution of jazz fusion is made even more impressive by their grasp of other experimental genres.  Not only does the label emphasize the advancement of older genres into new territory, it also supports the idea of entirely new, futuristic explorations.  Iglooghost’s ep, Chinese Nu Yr, is a prime example of progressive electronic music that has achieved an entirely forward thinking sound aesthetic. It is important to note that Iglooghost is only 18 years old.  Despite his young age, Iglooghost has achieved a very mature sound that screams futurism and truly sounds like nothing else in the world.  Chinese Nu Yr does not come with the same level of accessibility as some of the other artists on the label, but the difference between this music and that of Kamasi Washington shows just how many boundaries the label has broken down.

Contrast is possibly the most important aspect of any musical endeavor, therefore record labels themselves should produce enough contrasting albums to fully explore the palate of their listeners.  It would be rare for a single record label to incorporate all of the musicians of Brainfeeder, never mind the amount of cross-collaboration the label has encouraged.  All of the masterfully produced and creatively composed music of Brainfeeder’s 2015 catalogue has resulted in a truly spectacular collection of contemporary music that will be absolutely be seen as prolific for years to come. Continue reading


Concert Review: The Paper Kites at Théâtre Fairmount

IMG_0469I arrived late to The Paper Kites’ concert this past Wednesday, having endured a four-hour study session for an upcoming final exam. In a panic, I rushed up the stairs of the Fairmount Theatre and stuttered my name to the woman behind the counter, praying that there had been no confusion about the guest list. The next few minutes were a blur: hand stamped, coat and bag checked, and when I finally registered my surroundings, I noticed that no artist was on the stage. It was 10:11 pm. “Late,” I thought, but was glad because it meant that I could see the whole performance, despite missing the opener Old Man Canyon. Within the next few minutes, The Paper Kites had ascended the stage to raucous cheering and clapping from the packed theater.

The venue itself is intimate, located on the corner of Fairmount and Parc in the Mile End. It was the perfect place to reflect the atmosphere and sound of The Paper Kites, especially their newest release twelvefour (see my review of the album here). The band is a five-piece from Melbourne, led by frontman Sam Bentley. They came onto the small stage with quiet professionalism, and launched into “Renegade” without introduction. The crowd swayed amicably, at times imperceptibly, save a handful of fangirls in the fringes of the crowd chatting excitedly in rapid-fire French and grabbing at each other.

The Paper Kites have toured in North America only once before, and are still labeled as an “up-and-coming” band by many. However, they played with a polished air, as seasoned musicians completely at home with their instruments and with each other. David Powys slipped up on a guitar solo but recovered quickly with a smile, and Christina Lacy’s microphone was initially too low to make out her harmonies in a number of songs. Other than these small mishaps the concert went off without a hitch, and it was refreshing to be reminded that often, live music can be complicated.

Bentley spoke after playing two or three songs, speaking in halted and rehearsed French, before switching to English. The audience applauded his attempts and gave encouraging yells before he introduced “Bleed Confusion,” stating that “it’s got a little story to it, which I’ll sing now.” This was clearly not the end of his goal for audience participation; after performing “Bloom,” an older track that had the audience giddy with excitement, he challenged us to remain completely silent for the next song. In many concerts I’ve gone to, this tactic has been used by artists mostly in desperation; Bentley, however, had an expression akin to a mad scientist, admitting that “I’ve never tried this before, let’s see if it’ll work.” It did – this is Canada, after all – and the room fell silent almost immediately, with plenty of shushing reverberating through the venue. Bentley, accompanied only by Lacy, then started “Neon Crimson,” pausing initially to tune his guitar. This song was a beautiful solo, and the silence in the audience only magnified this. All ears and eyes were on Bentley.

He also took the silence as an opportunity to make a long intro to the next song, also a solo. Dedicating the song, “Paint,” to long-distance relationships everywhere, he sang a deeply intimate and emotional song that had the audience rapt. This signaled the end of the solo work, however. The next few tracks were again with the full band, and they really came to life in the last twenty minutes of performing. A fantastic rendition of “Turns Within Me, Turns Without Me” bled straight into “Relevator Eyes,” and the band exploded to life for “I’m Lying To You Cause I’m Lost.”

The Paper Kites finished the hour-long set with the slow-burning final track “Too Late,” hammering home the intimate, late-night feel of twelvefour. Bentley announced that there would be no encore, which was refreshingly honest. Thankfully, no audience members acted out or complained; we were all adults here, coming together for some good music in an intimate, amicable setting. The Paper Kites did not disappoint with their new album, and seeing them perform it live was just as good a musical experience as listening to it in the station. I can only hope that these Aussies come to Montreal again soon; they will most certainly be welcomed back with open arms.

Review by Juliana Van Amsterdam


Shalabi & Koz Take Yr Ears By Storm

For the month of December, two of Montreal’s most legendary sonic trailblazers take over CKUT’s artist-in-residence program If You Got Ears. Sam Shalabi and Alex Moskos will be teaming up to host the show from 12-2pm every Wednesday, and if their respective oeuvres are any indication we’re in for a real treat. Sam is known for his ability to fuse Middle Eastern traditions with experimental techniques in his solo work as well as collaborations like The Shalabi Effect, while Moskos is the twisted mastermind behind Drainolith and former axe-wielder in the legendary noise behemoth AIDS Wolf. These two pals will be conjuring a whole range of out-sounds to treat & challenge your ears, and we highly recommend tuning in ‘cuz this pairing is truly one of a kind.



Hi radio,

Things are quieting down around the office as students hunker down to write papers and study for exams. ’Tis the season!


Local queer/feminist performers Esther Splett and Tiffany Paige, of the misandrist mall-goth duo Jilted X, will be doing an eXtreme takeover of this month’s The Montreal Sessions! Tune into CKUT every Tuesday from 3-5pm EST for experimental audio performances, saucy interviews and loads of cackles with your favourite local artists and musicians Perverted Justice, Roadcake, WIVES, No Bro, Starchild Stela, Ghost Taco, Malokio, Douce Angoisse and an eXclusive never before heard interview with the one and only Courtney Love! Go big or go home, folks.

ckut top 30 – december 1, 2015
1. ought – sun coming down – constellation CC *
2. u.s. girls – half free – 4AD
3. ylangylang – no exist (feel special) – carpi records CC *
4. shalabi effect – floating garden – self-released CC *
5. jerusalem in my heart – if he dies, if if if if if if – constellation CC * Continue reading


MTL Sessions Xtreme Take Over with Jilted X

blueseamonstersTis the season, and you know what that means. It’s time for some disgustingly fabulous face-melting content on The Montreal Sessions, and who better to bring that than Jilted X. Get ready for the Xtreme take over this month, featuring yr hosts/group members Esther Splett and Tiffany Paige. Jilted X are a femmecore performance art duo based right here in MTL, who “use a haunted harp, crackling synth vibrations, punishing drums beats, magical midi wands, textural samples and their own grotesque physicality as arsenal in performing a collection of lovesick songs about murder, misandry, being dumb as resistance, perpetual pubescence as resistance and resistance as resistance.” This month will feature some wicked tunes and manic laughter with guests such as Perverted Justice, Roadcake, WIVES, No Bro, Starchild Stela, Ghost Taco, Malokio, Douce Angoisse, and an interview with Courtney Love (!!!)

Check out their facebook page for some informative slash hilarious descriptions of how they formed/what they’re all about, and tune in today and every Tuesday from 3-5pm for the month of December to join the party~~~~