Daily Archives: December 8, 2015




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