Tag Archives: Review

Concert Review: Kaytranada @ L’Olympia

photo taken by Aaron Bentley

photo taken by Aaron Bentley

Final exams didn’t faze dedicated fans from attending a sold out show at L’Olympia from local electronic producer Kaytranada. Taking the stage at 11:20pm, the venue was packed to the brim with people eagerly anticipating the eccentric young artist to perform his latest mixes for everyone. Fellow local artists Planet Giza and Lou Phelps opened the show earlier on that night with their own sets to warm up the crowd. However, if you planned on catching just the main act then you would’ve had to bear waiting outside in line for over half an hour before stepping foot into the venue.

Once inside L’Olympia, security pushed their efforts in patting down every single person before letting anyone onto the dancefloor. The crowd was immense, nothing but a sea of bodies could be seen in every direction and by the time my friends and I made our way inside, Kaytranada had already took to the stage with performing his mixes.

We made our way up towards the front of the stage, the energy in the room was unparalleled to the show that Kaytranada performed back in May for the release of his debut LP 99.9%. By this time around people knew what to expect from the young producer, his debut album garnered widespread attention and has been making appearances on end of the year lists for the hottest albums of 2016.

He performed fan favorites from 99.9%. The tracks “Glowed Up” and “Lite Spots” had the audience going ballistic and vibing hard off of the hottest two singles on the album. During another point of the show “Cranes In The Sky” off of Solange’s latest record A Seat At The Table had people grooving hard to the funky remix that Kaytranada was able to provide on the track. The liveliness of the venue was constant, everyone in the building was able to lose themselves to Kaytranada’s crisp production that has become distinct to the artist’s production style.

After over an hour of material the show finally concluded around 12:35am, roars of excitement and cheer filled the venue of L’Olympia as Kaytranada thanked everyone for coming to the show. While it’s only been a couple of months since 99.9% dropped, the amount of playability that album holds is always refreshing when listening to his debut efforts. On a live stage all his songs translate exceptionally well to the dancefloor, which makes total sense. His music is meant to be danced to, meant to be played at parties, and most importantly is meant to showcase that Kaytranada is no one-trick pony when it comes to making music.

-review by Michael Eidelson

Album Review: Weyes Blood – Front Row Seat To Earth

 

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Natalie Mering, or better known by her stage name Weyes Blood, released her elegant new LP Front Row Seat To Earth a couple of weeks ago. The New York singer-songwriter’s second album released under Mexican Summer’s record label approaches the listener with tenderness and care through the whole tracklist. The realities of dealing with relationships and celebrating change in attitudes are central themes surrounding Mering’s latest project.

“Diary” is the first track off the LP that starts with a slow piano progression that feels heavenly to the effect of Mering’s beautiful vocals. The atmosphere feels intimate and sparks different notions of what Mering might be experiencing in her life. It’s almost as if she’s singing a personal passage from her own diary, informing the listening audience about how she feels. This sets the tone for the rest of the album which feels extremely personal from one track to the next.

The song “Be Free” is absolutely stunning, it pulls at your heart in the most comforting way possible. The guitar playing feels dreamy, Mering’s vocals towards the later half of the track resonate well against the brass instruments and finishes the song off exquisitely well. “Generation Why” was used as one of the singles for Weyes Blood’s latest record and discusses the idea of our current generation and dealing with change in everyday life. The gentle guitar plucking throughout the song is accompanied by violins that support Mering’s stellar harmonies on the track. At this point the consistency of the album feels satisfying and carries forth similar production within each song proceeding.

“Can’t Go Home” is the following track after “Generation Why” and utilizes a harmonizer for the background vocals, the effect feels like a beautiful outer worldly instrument. “Away Above” has cool synth work seeping its way through light guitar playing and pretty vocals that emulate a sense of sorrow that’s oddly uplifting at the same time. Mering addresses how confusing love can be, what it means to love someone, and how real that feeling can be to someone. It’s a harrowing track that is relatable for anyone facing the dilemma of what it means to have feelings of love resonating within one’s self.

Front Row Seat To Earth is a magnificent accomplishment for an album. Exceptionally touching and forward thinking, the latest LP from the New York songstress is one that should not be overlooked. Pick up this record and give yourself the pleasure of pulling up a front row seat to the experience. You’re going to want to be seated for the initial playthrough.

– Review by Michael Eidelson

Concert Review: Luc Ex Assemblée

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Luc Ex’s Assemblée is something of a super-group that pits together voices from all over the underground music community.  Hamid Drake serves as a powerful drummer with tendencies for heavy handed grooves, whereas Ingrid Laubrock and Ab Baars trade quirky, avant-garde saxophone melodies that encompass a wide array of extended techniques.  Lux Ex himself is a powerful bassist with stage presence and natural musicality to lead any group in the right direction.  The group’s Saturday night show at this year’s Suoni Per Il Popolo festival showcased a massive dynamic range making for surprising moments throughout each of the two sets. Continue reading

Album Review: She-Devils – Self Titled EP

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Having a distinct sound is possibly the most important aspect of any musical project.  Falling into the monotony of guitar-punk bands across the internet can be avoided through the addition of more modern, electronic elements, however, this too can bring about issues in authenticity. It would be counterproductive to classify any sound not made directly by a human playing an instrument as inauthentic or cheap, but at the same time some balance must be achieved between the futuristic synthesizer/turntable sounds and the in-the-moment, human quality of music.  Another important aspect of a band’s individuality is its influences.  Contemporary bands oftentimes fall into the trap of borrowing from each other too much, which can lead to an overabundance of bands with the same set-up and sound. Montreal’s own She-Devils seem to have fixed this problem by combining a relatively predictable modern set-up with an unusual pallet of influence.  By fusing the modern, sample-based DJ sound with a vintage songwriting approach, the She-Devils have created a fresh, new sound that pushes forward into the realm of electronic music while also hearkening back to the psychedelic feel of the 1960s.

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Album Review: Tim Berne – You’ve Been Watching Me

tim berneTim Berne has been a major component of the avant-garde jazz scene since the 1980s and his latest work certainly does not disappoint. You’ve Been Watching Me has been circling the CKUT charts for a good chunk of the summer and it really is the perfect level of unique, underground modern jazz that the station strives to broadcast.

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Album Review: PHI – Progression

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Montreal-based music producer PHI (Patrick Haggart Ippersiel) has crafted an electronic journey with his sophomore album Progression. Underneath the pretty piano in the opening track is a tension that remains until the last note of the record, swelling and receding but never quite going away. It’s this tension, combined with the slick production, that ties the album together as the songs flow effortlessly across the spectrum of electronic music. PHI draws from a diverse catalogue of styles without coming across as indecisive, resulting in an effortless, laid-back sound. The overall feel of the record is more like a contemplative night-time drive than a sweaty dance club, though Searching would not be out of place at 2am on a packed floor. Continue reading

Album Review: CMD – Ice Daggers EP

Ice Daggers

With Ice Daggers EP, I’d like you to take yourself back a few months to the death-freeze of February in Montreal. If you’re elsewhere, imagine it’s really cold.

But you’ve just gotten inside, maybe you’re at home, or maybe you’re at the function. Wherever you are, the most crucial thing is (I’m writing a review here!): CMD’s Ice Daggers EP is playing.  Continue reading