Monday, October 18, 2010

Canada's Best Alt-Format Releases

Cool Article from Calgary, giving props to the Radiator Comp Volume 2 A 90 Min VHS tape of music videos for its Alt-format weirdness

Reposted from FFWDweekly

Montreal’s Fixture Records earns the best packaging of the month with a lovingly assembled double cassette for recent signee Telephone Callers. Housed in cardboard books made from cereal boxes, Volumes I & II collects 36 songs of shambling squawk ’n’ roll with Jerry Lee Lewis pianos from the Ann Arbor, Michigan group. The genre? “Bro-fi.”

Second place goes to a four-way split tape tucked in a brightly coloured psychedelic baggie from Montreal’s Hobo Cubes, Russia’s Mpala Garoo, Italy’s Architeuthis Rex and Finland’s Banana Pill. Trippy sounds abound, but Architeuthis takes the cake with a 13-minute piece, smearing whispers over clanging percussion and cosmic drones. Hit up Jozik Records to order it.

Hobo Cult, the label run by Hobo Cubes main-man Frank Oullette, also continues its insanely prolific output. Newish releases include JLK, Pradada, Zack Kouns, the awesomely named McDeaf McDeath McDead, and way too many more. And it’s hard to escape once you peer inside the rabbit hole.

Bug Incision, Calgary’s answer to Hobo Cult, has been equally restless as of late. On top of summer 2010 CD-Rs from Mike Khoury and Christopher Riggs, Eric Chenaux and Bent Spoon Duo and Hamilton’s Slut Mouth, along with an upcoming split LP for Two Slices of Acoustic Car and Raw Kites (featuring famed Swedish sax madman Mats Gustafsson), a recent highlight from this camp is the Mama Safari cassette. Featuring label godhead Chris Dadge and roommate-bandmate Scott Munro making self-described “fake soundtrack music,” these 12 instrumentals range from twangy rambles to synthy hospital-drama interludes to slow-paced groovers.

Dadge and Munro also appear as half of Lab Coast on a Saved by Vinyl split 7-inch with sad-pop troupe Extra Happy Ghost. For his part, Dadge also skips out solo for a cassette on Michigan’s Holy Cheever Church in his ongoing exploration of ritualistic minimalism.

On a non-packaged note, Halifax’s Divorce Records has added three new titles to its Freewave series of exclusive, gratis MP3 downloads. Ryan Kirk’s Microtonal Freewaves and Chuck Blazevik’s This is our Chicago ’94 are both burners, but it’s ex-Shearing Pinx guitarist Erin Ward — in her Les Beyond alter ego — that really gives me shivers. You Speak in Circles + Shortened Nights starts with the glistening lattices of dream-guitar that have become her trademark, but ends with a new sound of wispy wordless vocals, bringing to mind Ward’s previous tour-mate, Grouper.

Divorce also dropped a monster of an LP this month with 1313, the solo drum debut from jazz vet Jerry Granelli. A previous stick-man for the likes of Ornette Coleman and Sly Stone — not to mention laying down the swing beat for the Peanuts theme “Linus and Lucy” with the Vince Guaraldi Trio — the now 70-year-old Haligonian bangs out rhythmic workouts that range from abstract to positively toe-tappin’.

Halifax noise-rock two-piece and Pop Montreal standout The Ether has also been spewing radness on a swath of labels. First is the beautifully die-cut Folly CD on Patente, which is a blast of Lightning Bolt-lite, with overdriven amps, squealing sax and even blues riffs. This continues on the Die Rococo! Die! cassette from Campaign For Infinity, mixing in rap samples to crank the weirdo factor even further.

In more Maritime news, Radiator Records offers a buffet with The Radiator Family Compilation 2, a 29-song 90-minute mixed tape. Highlights include the abrasive Fuck Montreal, The Radiator Family covering Charles Manson, and party-starter d’Eon putting his own spin on The Urinals’ “Surfin’ With the Shah.”

Finally, following a killer self-titled LP, Montreal’s Play Guitar squeezed out the cassingle Rated PG on Scotch Tapes. Four more songs of hooky, jangly goodness, so get it while the gettin’s good.

No comments:

Post a Comment