Monthly Archives: December 2017

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CKUT TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE CHARTS::: December 12, 2017

Hi friends,

These are my last CKUT charts! It’s definitely a bittersweet feeling to leave this office, although it’s with great excitement that I introduce Alex Moskos as our new music coordinator. Some of you will be familiar with his excellent work in DrainolithDan’l BooneAIDS Wolf, and a zillion other projects; others, the real old-school folks, will also recall his stint as CKUT’s music resources coordinator back in the day. We’ll both be checking the music@ckut.ca email address until the holidays, and starting in the new year he’ll be taking over full-time. On a more personal note, thanks to everyone who’s sent us great music, supported CKUT, and generally been a kickass music pal during my stint here – I’ll miss you all!

xo
joni

:::CHARTS:::
ckut top 30 – december 12, 2017

1. ida toninato & jennifer thiessen – the space between us – ambiences magnetiques CC *
2. mich cota – kija/care – egg paper factory CC *
3. neil campbell & richard young – six scores- shaking box music CC
4. esmerine – mechanics of domination – constellation CC *
5. valiska – on pause – trouble in utopia CC Continue reading

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Concert Review: Mal Devisa, Skin Tone, Joni Void @ Casa del Popolo

I went to Casa del Popolo this past week to catch the stacked bill consisting of Mal Devisa along with locals Skin Tone and Joni Void. People were a bit in short supply, it being a Sunday night, but high quality art was not!

Skin Tone’s set explored the outer limits of the saxophone on a bed of drone, and did not lose any steam for its duration. It started with a couple frozen notes, then dissonant wrinkles emerged and grew eerier as Skin Tone began to stomp onstage – a march away from his more melodic material. His horn was already saying a lot, but Skin Tone made the message of his set explicit: Do not be complacent in the continuous displacement of indigenous peoples and killing of black people. At this point, Skin Tone ceased marching and began free-form squealing his portrait of racism, capturing fear and sadness in a pure form. It is worth noting that this squealing is beyond where other sax heroes like Pharoah Sanders go. If you want to hear the place between overtones where a person’s soul lies, then see Skin Tone and watch him crack it wide open.

This set was one Joni Void had been looking forward to since supporting Mal Devisa years ago at a Brooklyn show, and being consequently inspired to continue developing his style. Playing at Casa del Popolo, as opposed to Art Lounge (where I previously saw him), allowed him to dial up the low end of his tracks. This gave the thick, patient thump of Joni Void’s kick drum a greater physical presence, making better friends with the freckled, high-end glass sounds. The opening and closing tracks of his set were particularly special, being composed not of found sounds, but of photos: the opener, a picture of himself, the closer, one of his father.

This was Mal Devisa’s first time playing in Montréal. She played a string of songs, and it feels more appropriate to talk about her style in general rather than the individual tracks. Together, her voice and bass put other forms of expression to shame. As a songwriter, each of her songs are a world of their own in a nutshell. She does not waste a single word in drawing emotional arcs complete and cathartic. The songs compel you to cry at the way things are, then instill a warm confidence in knowing things are that way. When she sings, it’s as though you are with her instead of with the audience, demonstrating a rare ability to command any space she decides to play in. It is exciting to watch where she will go from here, as she is already a master. Overall, I am super happy to have been able to catch three inspiring artists in one go – all are highly recommended!

– Review by Rian Adamian

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CKUT TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE CHARTS::: December 5, 2017

Greetings radio,

Not too much to report this week, as we’re busy prepping for holiday programming (which is a big job around here!) and hiring our incoming music coordinator. We’ll be introducing them either next week or the week after, so stay tuned for an update on that very soon.

xo
joni

:::WHAT’S UP AT CKUT:::
IF YOU GOT EARS/LOVE DANCING

Throughout the month of December, our illustrious If You Got Ears curator will be speaking with four Montrealers with remarkable dancefloor presence about what special ingredients can make or break a night out. Your host Zoe (aka DJ Frog) explores the relationship between person and party, experience and aesthetic, environment and sound with a keen sense of exploration during this special month-long residency. Tune in from 12-2pm every Wednesday to find out why we – and you – love dancing!

:::CHARTS:::
ckut top 30 – december 5, 2017

1. mich cota – kija/care – egg paper factory CC *
2. julie & the wrong guys – s/t – dine alone records CC
3. neil campbell & richard young – six scores- shaking box music CC
4. mlodrs – dvdul – jmmx CC *
5. esmerine – mechanics of domination – constellation CC * Continue reading

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Album Review: On Pause – Valiska

With December and the final stretch of the semester upon us, finding time to relax can be hard. Exams, Christmas shopping, and work parties compete for our attention and fill every blank space of our agendas, leaving little time to sit back and enjoy some relaxing alone time. Luckily, Valiska’s new record, On Pause, offers us incentive to pause for the thirty minutes it takes to listen. It’s just enough time to sink into a blissful state of relaxation, guided by the soothing music of Valiska.

As a Calgary-based artist, Valiska’s music is perfectly suited to the Canadian Prairies; the melancholy of long winters and the solitude of space stretching in all directions are infused into the music. Combining ambient sounds, simple melodies and minimal instrumentation, Valiska weaves together an impressively introspective album. Listening to it with the lights out and a few candles burning comes close to a meditative experience, with the music inviting contemplation and reflection. It’s the only way to truly appreciate this album.

The album opens with the appropriately named “Heavy Riser,” in which an eerie and waltzing synth riff is slowly joined by a muted bass and a shimmering piano to create a melancholic atmosphere. This sets the tone for the entire album, which rises and falls in slow cadences as long periods of dark, ambient music are followed by short bursts of sound-energy. The album description mentions the use of the Moog Sub 37 synthesizer as the central instrument and various looping techniques to add textures and variety, which are processed through analogue tape to give unity and cohesiveness to the album. The result is the feeling of listening to one very long piece of music separated in small sections, while the whole acquires new meaning as a brilliant exercise in mood.

“Softness,” the second track of the album, includes mournful chants and heavily manipulated sounds reminiscent of Radiohead’s “Everything in its Right Place.” “Mornings” includes distant tearing sounds, a mournful melody, and the looping of the words “try again.” An organ-like sampled sound is present on “Fake strings for False Memories” and is joined by violins and choirs to give it a decidedly medieval air.

“Across a City, Across a Country,” runs just over 10 minutes, and it is the most dynamic and complex song on the album. It gives rise to the only prolonged moment of loudness. As manipulated sounds, melodies, piercing synths and heavy bass clash together, we find ourselves at the height of our musical journey, at the point where everything comes together to create a striking portrait of hope, longing, and desire. As the song fades out, “Interlude” comes on with a feeling of having made it to the other side. The electronically manipulated voice offers us a final word of wisdom. “Forever,” which closes the album, sounds like a religious procession exiting a church after a particularly intense ceremony.  

The last notes linger in the silence that follows, like a dream slowly disintegrating into one’s memory. When silence finally comes and we emerge from our trance, we feel relaxed and richer. My advice to you: pull up a cushion, light a few candles, turn off the lights and enjoy the music!

– Review by David Krushnisky