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Showing posts from February, 2020

Preview: Huet//Fournier//Kuhl - Rarefied Air (Furniture Music Records / March 27, 2020)

Preview:
Huet//Fournier//Kuhl
Rarefied Air (Furniture Music Records / March 27, 2020)
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Alex Fournier is a double bassist and composer based in Toronto nowadays. He's teamed up with Edwin Huet (Electronics and Live Processing) and Mike Kuhl (Drums/Percussion) on this release of new music.
The album consists entirely of improvised material, and was recorded in one session in Baltimore, MD, in April 2018. Elements of melody and rhythmic patterns break out of a seamless flow of music, incorporating a range of sounds and propelled by a sense of experimentation. Alex's bass is a constant and insistent thread throughout the music.

The music is atmoshperic, and built up on layers of texture. In Xiode, he bows the bass against a splash of cymbals and other percussion. It's agitated and moody. Rarefied Air has a spacey sound, all electronics and jangly percussion against an uncertain bass line. It builds to a sense of disquiet. Conjuration is minimalis…

Teesri Duniya Theatre Montreal presents COUNTER OFFENCE March 11 to 29 2020

From a media release:

Teesri Duniya Theatre Montreal presents
COUNTER OFFENCE Written by Rahul Varma
Directed by Arianna Bardesono
March 11 to March 29, 2020
“I'm doing something ancestors could not do when they stepped on the soil of Canada—the Chinese head tax, residential schools, #metoo, spouses kept apart right after their marriage because of the so-called immigration backlog—history can't be rewritten but hopefully can guide us to a more just future.”—Moolchand

Get tickets

Montreal, February 2020- First produced at the Strathearn Intercultural Centre to critical acclaim and subsequently translated into French as L’Affaire Farhadi with similar success, the themes in Counter Offence are as current as ever. With this in mind, multi-award winning, published playwright and Teesri Duniya Theatre artistic director Rahul Varma has updated his play to further heighten the relevancy.

In counterpoint, domestic violence and racism blur, distorting the issues while officials satisfy thei…

Opera Meets Soul | Alicia Waller & The Excursion: Some Hidden Treasure

Alicia Waller & The Excursion: Some Hidden Treasure
Journey through the Female Soul
(Innova Recordings / Feb 14, 2020)
Buy the Digital CD
Listen on YouTube

Multi-talented Alicia Waller is a New York City based soprano and composer and songwriter, and her focus is the female voice. She's a trained opera singer who grew up listening to pop and RnB vocalists like Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway, and Anita Baker, and her work embodies all those influences


Some Hidden Treasure is her first release, including four original songs that explore various facets of American music with her operatic vocal instrument. She's worked with bassist and co-producer Marcos Varela along with the musicians that make up her band, The Excursion.

“When I went into this, I didn’t know exactly what was going to come out,” Waller states in a media release. “I just knew that I wanted it to sound ballsy and new. I wanted the voice to have a touch of classical and jazz, but the instrumentation to feel like s…

Lo-fi | Mother Yeti: My Best Please (Neurodisc/Global Heist Recordings January 21, 2020)

Lo-fi
Mother Yeti: My Best Please
(Neurodisc/Global Heist Recordings January 21, 2020)
Stream it on Spotify

Trippy, psychedelic, lo-fi...Mother Yeti takes sweet folky vocal harmonies, a dash of retro pop-rock, Americana, and other influences to come up with this enjoyable album.

Multi-instrumentalist Bill Tracy is the mastermind behind most of the album, (read: wrote & played most of the instruments). The title track is one of the exceptions, features Zachary Calkins on keyboards in a song with a swingy groove.

On Someone's Happy, growly guitars give way to pop vocal harmonies, all of it over a syncopated rhythm. As a songwriter, the band's sound layers acoustic guitar and keyboards over a solid rhythm section. It's reminiscent of 1990s bands like Blind Melon - or farther back to melodic pop groups like ELO.

In Grateful Space, the vocals are spacey, with a super 70s sound that runs through several changes in tone and rhythm. They use the pop format to explore a jazzy k…

Dream Vacation: Casa Angelina on Italy's Amalfi Coast

From a release:

Dream Vacation:
Casa Angelina
on Italy's Amalfi Coast
Check it out

Cut into the Amalfi coastline in charming Praiano sits Casa Angelina. With a clean, refreshing aesthetic and touches of refined Italian elegance, tranquillity is the theme at this cliff-side boutique hotel. While its design ethos and down-to-earth luxe vision push the boundaries of tradition, this romantic retreat remains firmly rooted in its surroundings.

All rooms have sea views over Positano and Capri
Private driveway and complimentary valet parking for easy access
An eclectic collection of modern art

From the Etro cotton sheets to the pristine white interiors of your room, a stay at Casa Angelina is a faultless experience. By day sip the hotel’s own champagne beside the pool. Or zip down to La Gavitella beach, where you’ll find a dedicated area for Casa Angelina guests. Enjoy the lively atmosphere, or explore secluded coves aboard the hotel’s private boat. As afternoon turns to evening, feed your so…

Taktus Duo - Mirrored Glass (Parma Recordings / January 24, 2020)

With material from a media release:

Taktus Duo - Mirrored Glass
(Parma Recordings / January 24, 2020)Greg Harrison, Jonny Smith marimbas
Stream it on Spotify

On Mirrored Glass, Toronto's Taktus Duo, percussionists Greg Harrison and Jonny Smith, interpret the work of composers Ann Southam and Philip Glass through the bright sound of the marimba.

Similarities and differences - the underlying theme of Mirrored Glass (Parma Recordings). The two sides of the album were recorded in different studios with different recording engineers, providing a contrasting sonic experience.

On the first side of the album, Taktus performs arrangements of Southam’s Glass Houses and Rivers 1. The duo uses electronic processing on their instruments to create an effect similar to the sustain pedal on piano. The dissonances have an interesting effect with the marimba's tone - one that isn't heard in traditional uses of the instrument.

The second side features arrangements of Glass’s Etudes and Music…

Polished Pop: Amanda Easton - Polaroids & Postcards (Independent / 10 December 2019)

Polished Pop:
Amanda Easton - Polaroids & Postcards
(Independent / 10 December 2019)
Stream on Bandcamp.
Stream on Soundcloud.

"I was packing up my Mum's house when I discovered a box of old letters and photos of mine and it brought back lots of memories! These songs are all from personal experiences - some joy and love, some heartbreak."

That's how singer-songwriter Amanda Easton describes her latest release, Polaroids & Postcards. It's a quirky EP of electronic pop characterized by her clear and expressive soprano. She has a theatrical sense of songwriting and vocalism that adds layered dimensions to the tracks.

The Man Who Fell To Earth is, obvs, inspired by Bowie, coming out in an esoteric stream of consciousness. Her voice has a shimmery edge, perfect for the moody and astmospheric Eye to Eye.

If I have one quibble about the EP, it's that her voice deserves a fuller sound to back it up, at least on some tracks. Sometimes minimalism is...minimal.…

Pop Single: Marva Holiday - Reflections (Independent / 31 December 2019)

Pop Single:
Marva Holiday - Reflections
(Independent / 31 December 2019)
Stream "Reflections" on Spotify.

Marva Holiday's soulful vocals are centre stage in the new single by the music industry veteran. Reflections builds on Marva's 2016 release of To Love Somebody, a remake of the classic Bee Gees hit as a duet with Joe Chambers.

Marva wrote the lyrics for the song, about relationships - and her relationship to relationships, if I can describe it like that. As an older woman, she sings about strength, resilience, and independence, themes that also applies to her career in music.

"It's difficult for female performers who are middle-aged and older to return to the music business once it's decided that they're 'too old,'" she notes in a media release. "I was pushed out of the industry by ageism, but I'm not letting that stop me from coming right back, right now!"

Former staff writer with Motown Records publishing arm, with a …

Russian Rock: Apache Rose - Tiny Love (Independent / 8 October 2019)

Russian Rock:
Apache Rose - Tiny Love
(Independent / 8 October 2019)
Stream on Spotify.
Stream on Youtube.

From Russia with Love...and ROCK... Tiny Love is billed as a feel-good song about failure and perseverance by Russian rockers Apache Rose.

Apache Rose is the brain child of Ilya Novokhatskiy along with a fluctuating cast of musicians. He fell in love with American and British rock after spending time in the US as a child.

In interview with Gig Radar, Ilya talks about the song, their debut release. "We always write the music first and then the lyrics. That way the music provides the emotional fuel for lyric-writing. And often words just come out of my mouth being driven by the song. The first lines of Tiny Love are "My tiny love is not loud enough" is actually a reference to Soundgarden's song Loud Love and the Stone Temple Pilots album 'Tiny Music'. That's the 90-s channeling through me."

The rhythmic heavy rock sound also has its roots in Sea…