Monthly Archives: October 2017


Album Review: A flame, my love, a frequency – Colleen

Call it a precursor to the winter blues, call it a product of my New England upbringing, call it a weird morbid streak: as soon as a chill hits the air, all I can think about is the cycle of nature. Walking around the streets of Montreal, with all the natural beauty it has to offer, it’s not hard to romanticize something as trivial as falling leaves. Enter Cécile Schott, the the French multi-instrumentalist behind Colleen, who released A flame, my love, a frequency just in time for some contemplative hibernation.

Schott has been on the music scene for almost two decades, quietly releasing EPs and full-length albums – this is her sixth studio album – that feature the Baroque-era trebel viola de gamba. While she only recently started including vocals into her music in 2013, Schott has always been fascinated by 1970’s Jamaican dub music, as well as loop pedals and synth. On A flame, she takes the opportunity to explore the latter; the viola de gamba is barely heard.

A flame, my love, a frequency uses highly produced instruments to create rich and detailed depictions of nature, all without much vocal assistance. Instead, the scant lyrics act as echoes for the instrumental landscapes, adding details to the conjured imagery. Schott, who is an avid bird watcher, describes various winged animals, and frequently uses layered arpeggios that mimic the flight patterns of birds. There is a return to simplicity on A flame, both in the presence of classical music structure and a focus on the absence of sound. Schott embodies the saying “Less is more,” choosing to use sustained notes and hypnotically repetitive sequences to create a vast soundscape.

The album is best heard listened in an uninterrupted sequence, because the tracks have a natural tendency to flow into one another, creating one long 45-minute track. However, a few tracks deserve noteworthy mentions: “Separating,” for example, is a seven-minute track that almost exclusively contains looped arpeggios that subtly move between keys, with timbre changes sprinkled here and there. The track appears as a rainstorm might: while initially only raindrops appear, the storm soon builds to a deluge before subsiding again. Schott employs vocal distortion techniques that transform her voice, briefly, into a beacon that pierces the instrumental fog.

“Summer night (Bat song)” features long, drawn-out synth tones that leave room for Schott’s breathy vocals, which describe the flight patterns of a bat in simple observational phrases; what seems like an uninteresting field journal entry is in actuality a transformative, hypnotic still life. “The stars vs creatures” captures the isolation and wonder of space while detailing a discussion between animals about the night sky. Schott expertly contrasts the yawning cosmos with the intimate delicacy of a conversation; low synth shifts as tectonic plates might, while arpeggios flutter about, seemingly suspended in air.

Album released: October 19, 2017

review by Juliana Van Amsterdam 

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Hello everyone,

Happy halloween! In a seasonally-appropriate move, our picture for this week’s charts is a throwback from a few years ago when CKUT staff dressed up as the witches and tried to magically conjure extra cash for our funding drive… speaking of which, it’s not too late to donate if you haven’t already done so. And also, get in the halloween spirit if that’s your jam!

Punks, take note! CKUT’s beloved late-night show The 27th Hour of Horror is going to be broadcasting live from Barfly on Monday November 6th. Those who know the show love it for a reason: it’s the best place on the dial to find deep cuts from the punk underground, no doubt. The hosts are also the ones who taught us all how to use our tape deck to add live distortion to the studio mic channels — basically, they’ve been pushing the boundaries for ages and have schooled me and many others in the art of making kickass radio. And now, after many years of jamming out in our basement studio, we’re thrilled to unleash the show upon the masses as it broadcasts live from one of our favourite dive bars in the city. Local bands Nuage Flou and Boar God will be performing live, and we’ll be airing the whole thing on from 11pm till midnight. Do not miss!
ckut top 30 – october 31, 2017

1. john carpenter – anthology: movie themes – sacred bones
2. blue hawaii – tenderness – arbutus CC *
3. pierre kwenders – makanda at the end of space, the beginning of time – bonsound CC *
4. godspeed you! black emperor – luciferian towers – constellation CC *
5. chad van gaalen – light information – flemish eye CC Continue reading



Hi folks,

Keeping this short today because it’s funding drive and there are a zillion tasks to be done around the station. We’re inching our way towards our $50,000 goal though — one donation at a time, we’re getting there. :)

We’re hustling those donations, giving out tons of sweet merch, and spreading the word about our sick grand prizes — ’tis the season, right? If you want to support CKUT and haven’t yet done so, it’s not too late! Find details on how to show your support for Montreal’s boundary-pushing, longest-running English freeform station here.
ckut top 30 – october 24, 2017

1. godspeed you! black emperor – luciferian towers – constellation CC *
2. blue hawaii – tenderness – arbutus CC *
3. parc x trio – dream – challenge CC *
4. cold specks – fool’s paradise – arts & crafts CC
5. the pink noise – freddie prinze – freeer records CC * Continue reading


Album Review: Mountain Moves – Deerhoof

As the reigning avante-garde veterans with a career spanning 24 years, it’s not surprising that Deerhoof have taken it upon themselves to gift us with the most intelligent punk protest of 2017. Make no mistake, Mountain Moves is definitely a protest album, with most of the lyrics critiquing the outcome of the U.S. election in one way or another. But Deerhoof expertly rise above the labels cast upon most protest albums, choosing instead to outwit their enemies by crooning barbed insults set in poetry instead of screaming out a list of injustices (which, at this point, would take much longer than the 40-minute album allows).

Deerhoof have always incorporated a variety of different musical genres and styles into their thirteen previous studio albums, and on Mountain Moves it appears that they are ready to up the ante. Each track is slightly different than the rest, keeping the listener on their toes; the fifteen tracks speed by in no time at all, with originals broken up at pivotal moments by interesting covers. Mountain Moves also proves the old adage that strength lies in numbers, employing numerous collaborators such as Juana Molina, Xenia Rubinos, and Awkwafina. Deerhoof creates a colorful tapestry of sound, the diverse textures noticeable but working together to achieve a common goal.

As the opener for Mountain Moves, “Slow Motion Detonation” signifies a return to the stage for Deerhoof. It smolders and simmers, a slow burn of a track that proves to be an interesting tactical choice; but then again, Deerhoof has never had a penchant for the ordinary or expected. “I Will Spite Survive” is the pop punk album that we’ve been looking for since January 2017, a highly accessible track that features Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner. Her smoky mezzo-soprano blends very well with lead singer Satomi Matsuzaki’s reedier soprano as they alternate singing the chorus: “Sleep at night/If you can stay alive/Stay alive/If you can sleep at night.”

“Your Dystopic Creation Doesn’t Fear You” easily serves as the most musically diverse track, a powerhouse that showcases classic punk guitar riffs while Awkwafina spits fiery rhymes. At one point, there is an abrupt shift in mood before returning to sizzling pop melody; the track moves effortlessly between hip hop, punk, and dream pop, a stunning reflection of existential angst and confusion. “Ay That’s Me” digs deeper into this theme, with esoteric lyrics provided by drummer Greg Saunier and lush, atmospheric instrumentals. The track slowly builds to a crescendo before a fleeting burst of strings catalyzes its decomposition; mysterious and haunting from start to finish.

The title track, “Mountain Moves,” is a truly bizarre and experimental track; but again, is anyone surprised? Matsuzaki alternates between spoken-word English and Japanese lyrics, an interesting use of her vocal talents and a chance for her to sing in her native language. However, it is Matana Roberts who makes the track come alive with her spectacular trumpet skills. Deerhoof includes three cover tracks on Mountain Moves, all different and relevant in their own right. “Gracias a la Vida” (Vioeta Parra) provides a beautiful, haunting segue in the first third of the album, the sorbet to Mountain Moves’ multi-course meal. Matsuzaki adds her interpretation of the Staples Singers’ “Freedom March,” morphing it into a rockabilly protest anthem.

The album finishes with “Small Axe” (Bob Marley), putting the perfect finishing touch – voila! – on such a cleverly-masked protest album. Deerhoof chooses to take a completely different approach with this track, stripping the song of any instrumentals save a few piano chords. This newfound intimacy allows the listener to internalize the band’s final fighting words: “If you are the big tree/We are the small axe/Ready to cut you down/To cut you down.”

Album released: September 8, 2017

review by Juliana Van Amsterdam 



Hello everyone,

I’m back from a whirlwind trip out of town to celebrate the marriage of two amazing friends — it was such a nice (albeit quick) getaway before the zaniness of the funding drive fully kicks off. We are now T-2 days until the drive begins, and everyone around here is super pumped for what’s in store! Check out the note below for more details, and keep an eye on our websiteFacebook, and twitter pages for updates as they come. It’s gonna be a big one!


Funding drive is what’s up, obviously. You already knew that. But let us make it extra-easy by giving you a special guide to follow along with… We recommend you start by coming out to Art Lounge tomorrow for a very special night with some of Montreal’s finest beatmakers courtesy of the excellent Lo Signal crew. Reading this from afar? Not to worry — we’ll be streaming that event live on from 8pm – midnight EST, so you can enjoy these fine electronic jammers no matter where you are. On Friday, we’re back at it with our official funding drive kickoff party at Le Ritz with TamayugéDominique Alexander MoskosStrangerfamiliarthe XX Files, and the Jazz Amnesty Sound System. This stacked lineup spans everything from the most ear-bending experimental sounds to expertly crafted pop tunes to dancefloor-friendly grooves so regardless of your personal taste, we’ve got you covered. Help us kick off the funding drive in style AND celebrate our 30th birthday on the FM dial at this fine gig — and don’t forget to donate online to help ensure CKUT keeps pushing the boundaries of radio for many years to come.

ckut top 30 – october 17, 2017

1. pierre kwenders – makanda at the end of space, the beginning of time – bonsound CC *
2. cold specks – fool’s paradise – arts & crafts CC
3. the pink noise – freddie prinze – freeer records CC *
4. blue hawaii – tenderness – arbutus CC *
5. chicago afrobeat project ft. tony allen – what goes up – self-released Continue reading

ccc iyge


Hi folks,

It was a grey, rainy long weekend here but that made for a good excuse to stay in, cook a ton of food, and catch up on some good books and films. As a west coast expat, I guess I’ll always have a soft spot for dreary overcast weather — even if it makes it a bit tougher to get outside and enjoy the changing leaves that are at long last beginning to hit Montreal.

We’re also counting down the days until our annual funding drive begins… stay ahead of the curve and check the full scoop on it here. I’ll be including plenty more info on the drive in next week’s charts, so keep an eye out for even more hot updates then.

C.C.C. (Catherine Colas) will be hosting If You Got Ears for the month of October. This edition of IYGE will be dedicated to the balance & dark introspections of the libra & scorpio season. Delivering an intricate and heavily curated sonic collage of emotional landscapes, dejected compost particles, slowed down garburation, retina scanners, the tricklings of disengagement, tarot misreadings,majora in full bloom, sharpening of the interior design, the stems of many cells, and soft ripples. Wednesdays 12pm – 2pm, throughout October.
ckut top 30 – october 10, 2017

1. deerhoof – mountain moves – joyful noise
2. golden retriever – rotations – thrill jockey
3. blue hawaii – tenderness – arbutus CC *
4. pierre kwenders – makanda at the end of space, the
beginning of time – bonsound CC *
5. christian carrière – field of containment – funktionslust CC * Continue reading

DF album art

Concert Review: DF EP Launch @ Art Lounge

Montreal-based audiovisual duo DF released their new EP abcdf this past week, marking the occasion with an evening of stellar local music at Art Lounge that featured sets from Justin Lazarus (Look Vibrant) and Joni Void, as well as DF themselves.

I was fifteen minutes late to the soirée; by the time I arrived the huddled audience was already seeped in the wooze of Lazarus’s characteristically idiosyncratic, adventurous songwriting. Lazarus and his two accompanists had a stripped down set up of vocals, sampler, bass and keys that glowed with analog warmth. He took the crowd to chord school, teaching us to celebrate mixing disparate colours in the same song. Whatever emotional arc Lazarus’s songs demanded, he always chose the sounds that were right for them. His set coupled this free-spirited vision with earnestness and vocal abilities bent to his will, making for an unfailingly exciting live experience.

Following Lazarus was Joni Void, who performed found-sound electronic music, backed by projections. For the most part, he kept a filter over the projector’s lens, lightly distorting the visuals so the audience had to recall them from memory. Void began his set with a dusky lullaby of a rarity from his side project, Boy With a Red Cap. Its serene sine blips were spare but not reaching for anything more, twinkling enough that the crowd could lock into Void’s vision. The set’s highlight was a song based on an ambulance siren that flashed before the audience, running to and from opposite ends of the stereo image. During this song, Void showed us video clips of city life, but never the ambulance itself. The siren passed again and again, suspending me in a daily moment I rarely otherwise think about. Off-kilter harmonies formed around the visuals and a discernable beat took me into a bizarre trance, where the sound and visuals of daytime were bent to rhythms typical of nightlife. Joni Void uses an impressively sparse set of sounds to command of the listener’s mind, and in this set he had me captivated.

Headliners DF performed next in front of their own massive light fixture, an array of panels that visual artist Dan Freder puppeteers in pulses and patterns, responding to Dustin Finer’s saxophone. Throughout the set, Freder hopped from dimension to dimension, switching between altering the patterns on the light fixture and projecting various visual mapping schemes against the venue walls. Prior to this show, I had only seen the duo’s music video for “She’s Great and All…,” which superimposes 3D animations against real life footage. When the two played the song live, Freder opted for alternate imagery, casting ripples on a set of delighted dots. Through innovations such as this, DF made sure the night didn’t feel like a playthrough of the EP, and Freder demonstrated versatile imaginations that paired well with his partner’s music.

On the music end of the set, Finer ditched the potential baggage of the solo-instrument-loop-pedal performance by making sure to get the most out of his tenor sax. Digging deep in the sax’s sound, he reached Hammond-organ-like bass tones and created mechanical glitchy percussion by tapping his horn’s keys. Finer had a family of hearty, triumphant tunes ready for the communal vibe, but he also made time to rip freeform solos through a yummy stacked-4ths harmonizer.

My personal favorite piece of the night was the manic “Hobgoblin,” where Finer squealed through his horn as Freder shook a piece of foil against a beam of light. The fact that “Hobgoblin” lasts only one second is further testament to its reckless creativity, and the duo’s broad, promising conception of art. The nature of AV shows demands they be experienced live, so DF are a group you should see for yourselves – and there will definitely be many more opportunities, as this duo’s future has plenty in store.

– review by Rian Adamian

big brave edited


Hello radio,

Well, the heatwave has finally broken and fall is here at last; with the change of seasons, I’m always inclined to tune my ears to heavier jams. Summery jangle pop has been replaced by loud, harsh sounds in my personal playlist and so naturally I was extra pumped for the Big|Brave album launch (pictured above) over the weekend. They’ve been one of my fave local bands for a good while but their new record is truly next level… I ran into Omar from CJLO at the show and we were similarly blown away. Definitely recommended for those craving a good eardrum pummelling.


Join Strangerfamiliar for the month of October as she hosts the Montreal Sessions every Tuesday from 3-5pm. This edition will explore the eclectic range of influences from this Chilean-born, Canadian-raised visual and cry-pop artist. This residency will be delving into everything from hip-swaying, blood-pumping Island sounds that bid farewell to summer to introspective, emotional ambient tracks to welcome fall. The songs and interviews through out the month are an exploration into the healing power of music overall. And it’s a timely feature, too: coming fresh off the incredible Polaris win by Colombia’s own Lido Pimienta, expect to hear a mix of New Latin Wave, witchy electropop vibes, afrobeat, soulful hits, chillwave synth jams and plenty more!

ckut top 30 – october 3, 2017

1. pierre kwenders – makanda at the end of space, the beginning of time – bonsound CC *
2. the pink noise – freddie prinze – freeer records CC *
3. colleen – a flame my love, a frequency – thrill jockey
4. souljazz orchestra – under burning skies – strut CC
5. respectfulchild – 在找 : :searching : : – coax records CC Continue reading