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Hi radio,

Peter Evans played here over the weekend and not only was it a terrific show, I even got a little help working the door from one of the venue’s resident kitties… I wonder if we can train him to count change and stamp hands in addition to looking cute and meowing for head-scratches?


Chances are those of you who dig funk, hip hop, and soulful grooves may have heard of a little CKUT show called WeFunk. They’ve been kicking it on the air here since ’96 and not only do they have a loyal Montreal following, they’ve taken things to the next level with countless European DJ tours (seriously, they were at around 15 last time I talked to them) and a cult following that spans the globe. These guys bring in listeners and donations from all over the world, and they make some of the best radio out there. They’ve just celebrated their 800th show, and we couldn’t be more proud to have them call CKUT home. Learn more about the show and check out all of their past episodes here.

ckut top 30 – february 10, 2015
1. xarah dion – le mal nécessaire – zodiaque musique CC *
2. towanda – black sheep EP – self-released CC *
3. ultrathin – s/t – bruised tongue CC *
4. siskiyou – nervous – constellation CC
5. black givre – autorail – beaver club records CC * Continue reading




Whoa, it’s cold out there. Stay warm wherever you are!

As some of you may know, the CKUT music department runs a sweet lil’ blog called Total Eclipse. It’s the go-to place to find out about special programming, upcoming interviews and in-studios, as well as plenty of awesome content from our amazing volunteers. In particular, our crew has been churning out top-notch reviews as of late, so if you’re looking for something tasty to feast your eyes on I recommend starting with these Grouper and Ariel Pink reviews and dig in from there.

ckut top 30 – february 3, 2015
1. viet cong – s/t – flemish eye CC
2. v/a – the many moods of healing power records – healing power CC
3. siskiyou – nervous – constellation CC
4. notta comet – success with houseplants – self-released CC *
5. fred frith & john butcher – the natural order – northern spy Continue reading

Exit Roots Rock Rebel, Enter The Rebel Beat

For those of you who dig ska, you’re probably familiar with longstanding CKUT show Roots Rock Rebel. For nearly a decade it’s been the go-to for Montreal’s ska movers and shakers, but there are changes afoot. To give you the news from the horse’s mouth, we’re turning things over to Aaron Maiden himself — read on for the full scoop:

To all the rude boys, rude girls, punks, mods, and rockers,

I have some bittersweet news. After broadcasting for 9 years, Roots Rock Rebel will be no more after January 2015. It has been an incredible passion and honour for me to serve the local and international ska, punk, and reggae scenes with this show, interviewing bands from around the world, and giving space to promote underground artists.

I am going to carry on doing a radio show and podcast every Wednesday from 10pm-12am on CKUT, but the show is getting a total overhaul. So I’m very excited to introduce to all of you – The Rebel Beat.

The Rebel Beat will launch with its first edition on February 4, 2015.

 Roots Rock Rebel has always been about ska, reggae, punk, and class war on the dance floor. With The Rebel Beat, my plan is to put the emphasis on the latter, and showcase revolutionary political music across different genres, and across different continents. 

We live in serious times. Militarized police states. Ecological devastation taking such a toll on our planet. Racism so crude that you’d think it was 1950, not 2015. But serious times call for serious action, and a serious soundtrack. That is where I hope The Rebel Beat will come in –  a show to connect musicians and artists with global movements for revolutionary change. Indeed, class war on the dance floor.

What will you hear when you tune in? Less ska and reggae, more hip-hop against police brutality, riot folk, anarcho-punk, union picket line hymns, slam poetry, plus interviews with artists, agitators, revolutionaries, community organizers, and more.

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has listened to the show over the years and supported us. People who have really come through and who should be named include:  Val Desnoyers, Cath Marchand, Reggie McClean and the Fundamentals, Victor Rice (who composed our theme song!), Danny Rebel and the KGB, Kman and the 45s, Lorraine Muller, Matt, Mike, Lora, Alex, and everyone at Stomp Records, Rebel Time Records, Jay Nugent, Dave Hillyard, and the Slackers, The Hangers, and of course the whole Montreal Ska Festival crew.

Below you’ll find some more info on The Rebel Beat. I hope you keep tuning in every Wednesday night on CKUT, or keep downloading the podcast, because this new show promises to be amazing.

Link us up!

Until next week, stay rude, and stay rebel,
Aaron Maiden


About the Rebel Beat
The Rebel Beat is a show of radical political music across different genres, and across different continents. It is the mixtape to a riot against police brutality. It is your nightly newscast set to bass and beats. It is a rallying cry against apathy. It is protest anthems from Hong Kong to Istanbul to Ferguson to Montreal.

Tune in every Wednesday from 10pm-12am EST on CKUT 90.3 FM in Montreal, or stream or download the podcast at Curated and hosted by Aaron Maiden (formerly Roots Rock Rebel), and featuring regular collaborators and guest DJs.


Hey friends,

Hope all of you in the northeast are enjoying your snow day. Here in Montreal, we feel your winter woes — but I’m writing this from a cozy, well-heated office so it certainly could be worse. January is also the Month of Birthdays at CKUT (we aquarius folks are creative types, y’know?), mine included, and last week my heart was warmed by a gang of friends who braved the cold to shower me with chocolate, whiskey, and other treats. The collective hangover was a little easier to bear this year and while I’d like to credit it to us being a wiser and more mature crew, I feel like that is perhaps wishful thinking.

You guys all know how amazing the Free Music Archive is, right? How about CKUT’s page on the FMA? It’s pretty chock-full of live studio sessions in more genres than we care to list, and we’ve just added a couple recent gems from Echo Beach and Hazy Montagne Mystique to the collection. Give ‘em a listen and don’t forget to check past entries too — we’ve been running this page since 2011, and there’s plenty of good stuff for your ears to discover.

ckut top 30 – january 27, 2015
1. viet cong – s/t – flemish eye CC
2. stefan christoff & nick schofield – reves sonores a montreal – howl! arts CC *
3. charlemagne palestine & rhys chatham – youuuu + mee = weee – subrosa
4. siskiyou – nervous – constellation CC
5. notta comet – success with houseplants – self-released CC * Continue reading

New Tracks on the Free Music Archive

Have you perused CKUT’s page on the Free Music Archive lately? We’ve got a couple of new recordings up and we’re really excited to share them with your ears — check out this long-form sonic tapestry from Echo Beach and these beautiful electronic pieces from Jeunesse Cosmique favourite Hazy Montagne Mystique. Plus, we’ve got plenty more recordings in the works so keep an eye on the FMA page for new goodies to arrive very soon…


Hi folks,

The weekend flew by in a whirl of amazing shows, including another amazing edition of Art’s Birthday — just check out that shot of the CKUT Circuit Workshop kicking off the night with their lab coats and homemade circuit-bent wonders. It was zany!


CKUT has a totally rad, award-winning monthly artist-in-residency program called the Montreal Sessions. Each month a new local artist/DJ/band/label/festival/promoter/collective programs a month’s worth of live, weekly radio shows which air on Tuesdays from 3-5pm. Check out the whole list of past curators (there are a ton of ‘em) here.

This month, we’re really excited to be welcoming Nomadic Massive into the studio to host the Montreal Sessions. Rapping in English, French, Creole, Spanish and Arabic, Nomadic Massive is the city’s secret weapon of politically conscious beats & rhymes.  Sharing a message of universal understanding and social justice, the live powerhouse has released two LPs & two EPs and toured all over the globe with the likes of Charles Bradley, K’Naan, and Deltron 3030. With a dedication to spreading their sound across borders and cultures, the group has captivated audiences and critics worldwide.  Tune in every Tuesday in January from 3pm – 5pm to hear them talk about what’s real in Montreal and beyond.

ckut top 30 – january 20, 2015
1. notta comet – success with houseplants – self-released CC *
2. towanda – black sheep EP – self-released CC *
3. r u real – s/t – inyrdisk CC *
4. stefan christoff & nick schofield – reves sonores a montreal – howl! arts CC *
5. fire moss – mars//moon//earth – self-released CC Continue reading

Art’s Birthday 2015

The time has come: we are on the eve of another edition of Art’s Birthday, and once again we’re taking over the legendary Brasserie Beaubien for a night of wild music, art, cake, and partying. Seriously folks, check out this lineup:

+++CKUT Circuit Workshop

… and then we’ll have the unforgettable styles of DJ Rehtse Ttelps taking us to the end of the night.

Doors open at 9pm, bands start at 10pm sharp. But you should be on time because, y’know, CAKE. Sweet treats wait for no one. $7-10 sliding scale, and don’t forget — it’s a fundraiser for CKUT!

Need more convincing? Listen to the good folks over at Cult Mtl and Voir, they know what’s up.
Tomorrow night. We’ll see you there.



Hey folks,

This past week was a little rough because I had the luck of catching the Montreal Winter Plague and having the hot water tank in my apartment break. Winning combo! Thank goodness for awesome friends who delivered soup, cold meds, and whiskey to my house… having a solid crew is important!

This is a pretty exciting week for a couple reasons: first off, we’re thrilled to be welcoming The 27th Hour back to CKUT airwaves. This is THE show for fans of Montreal punk, garage rock, psych, hardcore, and other noise from the loud side of the spectrum… They killed it in a late night slot for many-a-year, took a hiatus, and now they’re back to stir up the airwaves every Monday night from 11pm – midnight. Stream it online or hear past episodes here.

Secondly, we’re celebrating Art’s Birthday with a big shindig on Friday night at local watering hole Brasserie Beaubien. There will be plenty of weird & wonderful live music (everything from circuit-bent electronics to free jazz to punk, f’real), installation art, cake, and much more. It’s a fundraiser for CKUT, and if past years’ birthdays are anything to go by this one’s gonna be a doozy. Bring your dancing shoes. More info here.

(CC indicates canadian content, * indicates local content)

ckut top 30 – january 13, 2015
1. r u real – s/t – inyrdisk CC *
2. moss lime – july first – fixture CC *
3. last ex – s/t – constellation CC *
4. v/a – misery loves company complete discography vol. 2 – misery loves co. CC *
5. slight – spirit school b/w tasting – self-released CC * Continue reading

Farewell, Rock ‘n’ Roll Time Machine

Like so many good things in life, programs at CKUT come to an end. Last week we bid adieu to Monday night staple (and staff favourite) Rock ‘n’ Roll Time Machine, as host Belle Indifference left Montreal for the west coast. While we’ll miss our impeccably-compiled weekly rock history lesson, we’re real excited to welcome back the 27th Hour to CKUT’s airwaves. These dudes held it down solid with all sorts of punk, garage rock, and hardcore jams late on Wednesday nights for many a year and now we’re psyched to have them back in action.

Starting this week, you can stream the 27th Hour every Monday from 11pm – midnight, and don’t forget to grab archived Rock ‘n’ Roll Time Machine episodes while you can.

DJ Rhythm & Hues’ Best Albums of 2014

DJ Rhythm & Hues’ Best Albums of 2014

World Skip The Beat regular Parker Mah, aka DJ Rhythm & Hues, delivers his favourite albums of 2014. This year’s list features a mix of old veterans and new blood, and an expanded section dedicated to live concerts.

Presented in no particular order, albums were selected, as always, based on originality, production value, consistency, and overall booty-shakingness. Check out also the 2012 and 2013 lists and head over to the WSTB mixcloud page for the Best of 2014 podcast.


Han Han (Canada / Philippines) – Han Han – Independent (Bandcamp)

Toronto-based Filipina rapper Han Han dropped this bomb in 2014 out of left field, a boom-bap manifesto in Tagalog and Cebuano mixing heavy bass and traditional sounds like kulintang gongs.
Sample track: World Gong Crazy feat. DATU

Sawtuha: Nine women from Egypt, Tunisia, Libya – Jakarta Records

An ambitious project pairing female lyricists, musicians and MCs from Egypt, Tunisia and Libya with top-flight producers, among them OddiseeBrenk and Blundetto. Recorded in Tunis, the album aims to speak out against the repression of democratic rights and gender inequality in the region. Word.
Sample track: Youssra El Hawary – Ghareeb An El Medina (Brenk Remix)

Ibibio Sound Machine (UK / Nigeria) – Ibibio Sound Machine – Soundway Records

Fronted by London-born Nigerian singer Eno Williams, this debut album is a perfect union of Nigerian / Afro elements and refreshingly sparse and tasteful electronic production.
Sample track: Prodigal Sun (Ayen Ake Feheke)

Kafundó Vol. 1 – Digital Roots Music from Brazil – Dutty Artz

Curated by Wolfram Lange and Maga Bo, this compilation, inspired from a word meaning a faraway and isolated place in Brazilian Portuguese, is a hard-hitting selection of music from the neglected peripheries of the Brazilian music scene.
Sample track: Sombra – Chuva de Gente Estranha

Al Dobson Jr. (UK) – Sounds from the Village Vol. 1 – Izwid 

London-based producer Al Dobson Jr. releases his solid debut full-length on Kutmah‘s Izwid label, a varied collection of head-nodding, hand-clapping, percussion-jangled afro-beats.
Sample track: Maiysha

Intiche (Germany / Argentina ) – Nawell – Konn Recordings (Bandcamp)

The most mature and daring effort from Berlin-based Argentinian Intiché, continuing his pioneering experimentations in the genre he dubs Electronativo or Folcore, combining electronic production with indigenous South American samples and instruments.
Sample track: Lemu

Malombo Jazz Makers (South Africa) – Next Stop Soweto presents Spirit of Malombo – Malombo, Jabula, Jazz Afrika 1966-1984 – Strut Records

The forgotten oeuvre of Afro-jazz pioneer Julian Bahula, who first introduced indigenous Malombo drums alongside jazz flute and guitar in 1960s apartheid-era South Africa, is finally given the honour it deserves.
Sample track: Hleziphi

Tradisyon Ka (Guadeloupe) – Gwo Ka – Music of Guadeloupe, French West Indies – Soul Jazz Records

Gwo-ka, like Haitain vaudou or Cuban santeria, is a musical and cultural product of African ancestry, forcibly brought to the French West indies via the slave trade. Soul Jazz has served up this newly-recorded Gwo-ka album featuring some of its best living practitioners.
Sample track: Adam é Eve (feat. Patrick Tulippe) 

Francis Bebey (Cameroon) – Psychedelic Sanza 1982-1984 – Born Bad Records

A rhythm-driven and deeply spiritual collection of material from Cameroonian sonic sculptor Francis Bebey. Pygmy flutes, intoned lyrics and the titular Sanza create an atmosphere of wonder.
Sample track: Forest Nativity

Chancha via Circuito (Argentina) – Amansara – Wonderwheel Recordings

Argentinian outfit Chancha via Circuito, alias Pedro Canale, returns with his most inspired assemblage of bleeps, bangs and beats yet, propelled by the lead-off single featuring Toronto’s own Lido Pimienta.
Sample track: Coplita feat. Miriam García

Alsarah & the Nubatones (Sudan / US) – Silt & Silt Remixed –Wonderwheel Recordings

Fresh off her 2013 collaboration with Débruit, Sudanese-born vocalist Alsarah returns to her roots with her stellar Nubatones debut, Silt. Raw and ready.
Also noteworthy is the remix album, featuring contributions fromNickodemusBoddhi SatvaCaptain Planet and others.
Sample track: Habibi Taal

Karima (Liberia / Italy) – 2G – Soupu Music

Also known as one half of the indie afrohouse duo Pepesoup, Liberian-Italian vocalist Karima Gehnyei pulls no punches with her audacious brand of social and political commentary over hard beats.
Sample track: Jambo Bwana

Rocky Marsiano (Portugal) – Meu Kamba – Akwaaba Music

Lisbon-based producer D-Mars, aka Rocky Marsiano, dived deep into the collection of vinyl aficionado Rui Miguel Abreu and emerged with this sparkling roundup of tracks based on classic ditties from Cape Verde, Angola, Mozambique and Sao Tomé.
Sample track: Esse Mambo

Mestre Cupijó e Seu Ritmo (Brazil) – Siriá – Analog Africa

An invigorating compilation documenting the little-known musical legacy of Mestre Cupijó, the progenitor of the little-known genre of Siria, a fusion between the music of the quilombos, and the indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest.
Sample track: Tubarao Branco

Sacassaia (Brazil) – Boca de Terra – Independent (Website)

Two years in the making, and with Renato Matos as their newest member, Brasilia-based Sacassaia release their electric second album, one heavy on afro-brazilian influences.
Sample track: Dizeres Desertos


Borchi (Mexico) – Ihcrob – Self-released
Ibeyi (Cuba/France) – Oya – XL Recordings
Okmalumkoolkat (South Africa) – Holy Oxygen I – Affine Records
Narcy (Canada / Iraq) – Nargisee – Self-released
Clap! Clap! (Italy) – Tambacounda – Black Acre


Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 @ The Phoenix, July 2014, Toronto.
The groove in afrobeat music hangs on that delicious tension between all of the various rhythmic elements. Seun‘s band locked together right from the downbeat. Props to openers the Asiko Afrobeat Ensemble and to Egypt 80’s superlative shekere player.
Highlight of the show: I.M.F.

Fredy Massamba @ The Blueprint Lounge, May 2014, Montreal.
Full disclosure: I was also DJing this afro-soul themed night, which turned out to be a fine semi-acoustic showcase featuring local artists VeebyCarineand Ekinoxx collaborating on stage with a fired-up Fredy Massamba, in town promoting his second album, Makasi.
Highlight of the night: Nkembo, and also when he did his empty whisky bottle blowing routine, giving Marie Daulne a run for her money

Malika Tirolien @ Lion d’or, September 2014, Montreal
The long-awaited solo debut from the high priestess of the Kalmunity Collective was a family affair, featuring guest spots from EmricalRawniaX-Wam and a stacked band of KVC regulars. It also thrust Malika’s brilliant keyboard and compositional skills into the spotlight.
Highlight of the show: Sew

Tabou Combo @ Nuits d’Afrique, July 2014, Montreal
The excitement was palpable as I elbowed my way into the crowd at the Parterre des Spectacles for the closing concert of the Nuits d’Afrique festival. None of the 10000+ in attendance went unsatisfied, chanting most of the lyrics en masse. Timeless.
Highlight of the show: Lakay

Noura Mint Seymali @ Joe’s Pub, July 2014, New York
The daughet and musical protégé of one of my personal musical heroes, Dimi Mint Abba, did not disappoint with a tight, tour-polished set in the intimate confines of Joe’s Pub in Manhattan.
Highlight of the show: Hebebeb Zrag, and the stoic bass player

Oy @ Montreal Jazz Festival, June 2014, Montreal
Swiss-Ghanaian vocalist and producer Joy Frempong, surrounded by an array of electronic talismans, and backed by mysterious drummer Lleluja-Ha, delivered a witty, eclectic set that won over the crowd of thousands at the outdoor stage of this year’s FIJM.
Highlight of the show: Hallelujah! Hair!

Mo Kolours’ Drum Stalking Mix
DJ Gioumanne’s Afro Cosmic Club Volume 2
Future Sound of Mzansi mixtape series curated by Fantasma and Spoek Mathambo
DJ Lynnee Denise presents Afro-Digital Migration: House Music in Post-Apartheid South Africa Volume 2
DJ Rhythm & Hues’ Disco Duniya All-Vinyl Bollywood Mix