Monday, 17 December 2012

Favourite Cover Art of 2012

Pretty cover art for albums and EPs. Some are so good they're great, and some are so bad they're amazing. They are in no particular order, except for the first one which is my favourite.

Crippled Black Phoenix - No Sadness or Farewell

Laurel Halo - Quarantine

Flying Lotus - Until the Quiet Comes

Torche - Harmonicraft

Children of Nova - Impossible Landscape

八十八ヶ所巡礼 - ○△□

of Montreal - Paralytic Stalks

Galneryus - Angel of Salvation

Saltillo - Monocyte

Sigur Rós - Valtari

Baroness - Yellow & Green

Thursday, 13 December 2012

.​.​.and darkness came - Various Artists

87 track compilation of ambient music, all proceed will go to those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Some artists include Helios, Pleq, Hammock, Anoice, Lawrence English, Nils Frahm, Ólafur Arnalds, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Dustin O'Halloran, Max Richter and many more.

Friday, 23 November 2012

So I haven't posted anything in a while...

As you can see, this blog has been kind of dead as of the last few months. I'm sorry. I really have no excuse. I have this weird thing where I lose interest in something and then focus on something else. I'm sure one day my interest in writing reviews will come back, but the time isn't really now.

I will have a year end list of my top 100 albums of 2012 as well as a few other fun lists. Other than that, unless I really feel compelled to write a review (that's why I wrote that last one haha), you won't be seeing anything else this year.

I'm sorry.

I love you.

Have a song I like.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Atsuko Chiba - Animalia: Several States of Being

I can pretty much garantee you that you haven't heard of this band. They are a local 5-man experimental post-rock outfit from Montreal and this is their first EP. They opened for The American Dollar a couple of days ago, and announced that they released this EP, and I liked their performance, so I decided to check it out. I don't normally write reviews for local stuff. I usually stick to some of my favorite albums, but I have the sudden urge to talk about them now. Why? Well, I think they're really good. Like, really good. This is pretty damn impressive for a first EP. I didn't notice this until my second listen, but this EP has a really strong Godspeed You! Black Emperor feel to it (in case you don't know, they're my all-time favorite band). They have those ambient and drone moments as well as samples, sorta like those scattered throughout Godspeed's Lift your Skinny Fists. Like, at some points, it's eerily similar, though they're definitely not a copy-cat band. They have their own psychedelic touch to their music. They have their own sound.

Let's look at this track by track. The first track, Carpets Through the Fog, starts out with an excellent ambient drone and then quickly cuts to a quick psychedelic part and then goes back to drone. It's a nice intro. It segues into the second track, Silento Del Dezerto, which is by far my favorite form the EP. The bass in this is so fun to listen to. It has this fluttering synth that reminds me a lot of the fluttering guitar in Godspeed's Sleep (during the Monheim mouvement). Near the end, both electric guitars kinda play off each other with the bass in the background. That fades out and segues into La Mezquita, the third track. This is probably the closest these guys are to a Godspeed sound. The drums in this track really steals the show. It has this really dramatic quality to it. It builds up for 6 minutes with the guitars to a cacophonous climax which quickly fades out and then segues into the last song, Sunset Shirley (La Dee Da). This is a short outro, that has a melancholic feeling. It's a happy end to a journey.

This is certainly an impressive EP and I love what I hear, but I guess I do have some qualms. I know this is an EP, but I felt like some build up could have been a little longer. Some transitions from post-rock to ambience and vice-versa felt a little quick, like in the first track. I also felt that the outro could have used a bit more variety and maybe be a little longer. But yeah, the middle two tracks are definitely great. I'm looking forward for the material these guys put out in the future. They're pretty cool. After the American Dollar set was over and I waited for the bus outside, they passed by with their ironing boards and actually thanked me for coming to the show. That was kind of neat.

7/10 peeps might dig this.

Atsuko Chiba - Animalia: Several States of Being from Anthony Sifoni on Vimeo.


Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Shit Worth Getting 2012 (Part 2)

Get this stuff. It's good.

Anathema - Weather Systems
Progressive Rock

Children of Nova - Impossible Landscape
Progressive Rock

Helios - Moiety

High on Fire - De Vermis Mysteriis
Stoner/Sludge Metal

Hilary Hahn & Hauschka - Silfra
Improvisational Modern Classical

Natural Snow Buildings - Beyond The Veil
Ambient Drone/Free Folk

Rebecca Brandt - Numbers & Shapes

The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation - Erop
Dark Ambient

Torche - Harmonicraft
Stoner Metal

Xiu Xiu - Always
Art Pop, Experimental Rock

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Midori - Aratame mashite, Hajime mashite, Midori desu

Midori is a 4-piece hardcore punk band from Japan. They're in a specific sub-genre of punk that's not too uncommon in japan known as Jazz-punk (well that's what I call it). They have the intensity of a punk band but play jazzy melodies with lots of swing notes. I've always been fascinated by this jazz-punk sub-genre, and I believe that this album may be one of the best of it's genre. The variety on this album really runs the gamut. The first song is a 44-second long acoustic, very lo-fi ballad with a cute pop-esque vocal delivery. It quickly segues into probably the most abrasive song on the album, vocally and instrumentation-wise. I absolutely love that kind of contrast. This album is full of contrast. Generally, when the vocals is more punk with screams and all, the instrumentation falls more under the jazz category, and when the vocals are pop-like, the instruments are abrasive and distorted. You'll also find a wide variety of moods, from happy up-eat sounding songs to more dark and rebellious tunes. Might as well mention some individual songs. My personal favorite is probably Himitsu no Futari, which is the jazziest of all the tracks, I find, and possibly even the most accessible. Chiharu no Koi is a very bass-driven song, starting out with a slow, 30-second plucked bass solo. The last song I wanna mention also happens to be the last song on the album, Muyoku no Muryoku. It's basically a free-form jazz song. It's by far the most experimental and ambitious of their tracks and it's almost all instrumental, so if you don't really fancy the vocalist, you might appreciate this.

9 out of 10 green-haired girls will like this.

Couldn't find any samples on Youtube, sorry. :(


Saturday, 12 May 2012

Cosmonauts Day - Paths of the Restless

Cosmonauts Day is a rather new Russian Post-Metal/Sludge band. I found them recently on bandcamp and they sounded interesting (and the cover art is gorgeous) so I downloaded it and I'm not disappointed. I got what I expected. They have a very atmospheric post-rock/metal side and they have sludgy qualities. The sludge is actually quite heavy at times, which I like. Some sections can even be pretty fast which caught me off guard at first, but it sounded great. The instrumentation is pretty standard, with the reverb-laden instrumentation. The album by no means treads on unusual or experimental ground. You do get what you ask for but that doesn't mean it's boring though. It has interesting ideas and textures. Certainly worth checking if you're interested in this kind of music.

7 out of 10 cosmonauts will like this.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Eleanor Friedberger @ Il Motore 05/05/12

Today I went to go see Hospitality, really. Eleanor was an added bonus. I think it's the first time I went to a show were the opening band was the one I really wanted to see. They really a simple but catchy album this year so I wanted to check them out. The first thing I noticed was just how empty the place was. It's a small venue, but still. When Hospitality started playing, there were maybe 5 people there. There were only about 30 by the end of the night. By far the smallest show I've been to.

Both bands played their sets backwards for some reason. Eleanor later explained that because it was a full moon or some shit like that. Whatev. Hospitality was a fun band. Their songs are just as catchy as they are on their studio album. Simple, fun songs. Some of the bass grooves really got my pussy wet. I like how both the guitarist and bassist had solos. Not much else to say. Nice set. I recommend their self-titled release.

It was my first time to really listen to singer/songwriter Eleanor Friedberger. I suppose it was okay, it's just not my sort of thing. I didn't think her songs were all that catchy or memorable, aside one song that had an awesome guitar solo with really solid drumming. I thought the bass was really boring and uninvolved. Even the bassist himself was kind of boring to watch. I can't say they were terrible. It just wasn't for me.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

La Dispute @ La Sala Rossa 02/05/12

La Dispute has really caught my attention since their sophomore LP, Wildlife. This was a show I couldn't miss. Three bands were opening for them so let's get right to them. The first was an New York outfit called Sainthood Reps. They were alright to me. Simple songs played with some passion. Their music wasn't my perfect cup of tea. Many songs weren't very memorable and nothing really stood out, aside from the last track they played, which was definitely the loudest and funnest of their setlist. I remember the vocalist got a nasty knock on the head but he shrugged it off. Something also worth mentioning is the lead guitarists pedal board; he had like fifteen different pedals. What.

Next up was All Get Out. They were definitely the most "Indie Rock" of the four bands that shared the stage but they still have their hardcore moments. They started with a rather upbeat song with the vocalist singing in a type of southern accent, which kind of caught me off guard but then transitioned into hardcore. The stand out moment for their set (or hell, maybe even the whole night) was when the vocalist went solo playing softly on his guitar and singing and screaming with such intensity. He even left the mic and simply used his own power for his voice. The room was dead quiet. He let out a huge scream. That feel. At the end of their set, during the climax, he climbed up a few amps and jumped off of them. They were a really entertaining band and I'm really curious to hear their studio work. These guys were easily my second-favorite set of the night.

After them was Balance and Composure. All I can say is that I was pretty disappointed. After a band like All Get Out, these guys were really underwhelming. All of their material sounded the same to me. There were no standout moments, no change in intensity. And the intensity didn't even feel that high to begin with. They had three guitarists that pretty much just made these uninteresting textures that swallowed up everything. The drumming was the only thing that I can say that I liked. Maybe their studio work is better, I don't know. All I can say is that this performance didn't do anything for me and was easily my least favorite set of the night.

And then, the piece de resistance, La Dispute. My favorite part was just of fun the vocalist is, moving like he was having an epileptic episode throughout the show. He also interacted with fans a bunch as well which is something that I like. They mostly played new material from their latest album, but they did play two songs from way back. On one of them, the vocalist actually forgot the lyrics. He was pacing around trying to remember, and finally it came back to him with the accompaniment of the audience. The folk here were hardcore fans (no pun intended) who knew the lyrics to everything. I felt left out. Their live performance sounds a lot like their studio work. Not much difference to note at all. They played King Park for their encore. It was kind of amazing. Anyway, to wrap up, it was an incredibly fun show and I'd recommend anyone interested in Hardcore/Post-Hardcore to try to catch them on the remainder of their tour.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. @ Il Motore 27/04/12

Yesterday, I went to go see Acid Mothers Temple. Why? I'm not sure myself. I've never listened to any of their albums. Maybe because they're a experimental Japanese band, and some of my favourite music falls under that category. Or maybe because the band members have great hair. Well I'm glad I went because it was a real blast.

The opening band was a rather obscure Psychedelic Indie Rock outfit hailing from New York known as The Phantom Family Hero. I have literally not heard a single song from them until the show, but boy, did they put on a fun show. It started out with two members of the band going on stage with white tank tops with an upside down triangle on it and they had masks on. They faced away from the audience, got down on their knees and bowed down for a couple seconds. They then got up and went to their instruments as the other members (who are dressed normally) got on stage. There was no explanation for this. They have a great stage presence. The bassist wore Kanye glasses and a tacky Hawaiian shirt while dancing a little while he played. The lead guitarist has a huge afro and an LCD display banner with the band name on his guitar. They looked like they had a lot of fun playing, that's really important since it rubs off on the audience. The music was pretty nice. The second song they played was my favourite, which had a long noise jam section with an improvisational sax solo that just blew up with intensity. I had to buy their CD after the show to check their studio work. I might rip it and post it on this blog.

AMT was up next. Their performance pretty much made me speechless. It was a unique kind of show that I never experienced before. They played with such intensity, especially the guitarist. I'll just post the video of the entire show, save for the encore. I suggest that you watch at least the ending, at 1 hour 15 minutes in. I ended buying their Live as Troubadour LP.
Some people took the opportunity to do some drugs. I remember the faint aroma of marijuana when AMT got on stage. On guy was clearly out of his mind, diving off a crate onto the small crowd. It was sorta funny.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Elsiane @ Club Soda 18/04/12

Elsiane is a local Trip-hop duo playing a show dedicated to the launch of their latest album, Mechanics of Emotion. It's their first album in over 5 years, and the fans have waited patiently. This was certainly not the show to miss. Because I went to this show on a whim, I didn't have a ticket beforehand. When I saw the line outside, filled with people waiting to get in, I was kind of surprised by how many people show up. I was worried that I wouldn't have a ticket, but after a little patience, I got myself a ticket and headed straight for the front. I got myself an excellent spot, right at the front, dead-center. Right in front of Elsieanne, the vocalist. The venue is a two-floor building, a ground floor and balcony. The house was full. You couldn't have fit another soul in that building. I was lucky to get a good spot. Onto the show.

Like I stated earlier, Elsiane is a duo which consists of singer-songwriter Elsieanne Caplette & drummer Stephane Sotto. They weren't alone though. With them was multi-instrumentalist Annick Beauvais who played Bass, Oboe and Keyboard and Cellist Sheila Hannigan. Every one performed very well, but the drumming stole the show. Very energetic drumming through out the night. Annick had some great Oboe solos as well. Sadly, I found that Elsieanne's vocals were a little underwhelming, depending on the song. She has a very soft voice, so whenever a strong climax, a lot of the time, didn't hit the spot for me. They weren't bad at all though, just to soft at certain times. They impressed the fans so much that they didn't just come out for one encore, but two! For the second encore, Elsieanne came out alone and sang an acapella version of one of her songs. My personal highlight of the evening was when the cellist came out. Nothing but Elsieanne on vocals, a cello and Stephane banging on a wooden box instead of drums. Syncopated rhythms on a wooden box. It sounded amazing.

Also bought myself their first album.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Igorrr - Nostril

Just by looking at the album art, you know you'll be getting into something weird. Igorrr, real name Gautier Serre, is a French breakcore artist. I actually prefer to call his music "Baroquecore", since that's what his music sounds like. He's not solely influenced by baroque music either, though. He's also heavily influenced by death metal, funny enough. He has an even weirder Grindcore side project called Whourkr that I recommend checking out. Anyway, let's talk about this album. He likes to use samples. A lot of them. Copious amounts of operatic samples can be heard throughout, as well as death metal growls mixed in with them. The operatic vocals are usually messed with making them sound darker than normal. It's a really interesting contrast to hear, and it somehow works. The drums on this run really fast and are really chopped and fucked with, keeping them always varied. The baroque instrumentation is usually untouched, making another interesting contrast that somehow works. If you're looking for fucked up classical music or just want to see it in a very different light, check this sick Frenchman out.

8 out of 10 people will like this.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Japancakes - If I Could See Dallas

Japancakes is an American Post-Rock outfit that have quite a unique sound. They constantly use a steel slide guitar, which gives it an incredibly mellow feel to it. One of the mellowest Post-Rock albums I've ever heard. It should have been called "If I Could See Hawaii", because every song on here sounds like your on a Hawaiian beach, relaxing on a lounge chair and watching the sunset. Eternal bliss. Each song usually sticks to one idea and builds upon. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. It's really worth checking it out.

7 out of 10 people will like this.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Cloud Nothings @ Casa Del Popolo 24/3/12

Last night I went to go see Cloud Nothings. They've released a pretty good album this year and I heard their live shows are pretty good so I definitely wanted to attend. I went alone because I have no friends. I had to wait a good half hour in line because I didn't buy a ticket before the show. I was worried that I wouldn't have been able to get in, but I did so yeah.

The opening band was an Italian 5-piece outfit called A Classic Education. The mainly play indie rock. The set was alright I suppose. They played with a lot of energy but the crowd didn't seem all that into it, aside from one song (more on that soon). After their opening song, they seemed to have some technical difficulties but soon fixed it and moved on. Their next song was called "I Lost Time", which the vocalist replied "That's fitting." During the rest of the set, some mysterious feedback kept making some unwanted appearances. It wasn't too bothersome, so whatever. Onto the actual songs. The crowd mostly came to see Cloud Nothings, and A Classic Education's music is lighter and less aggressive, so maybe that's why the crowd wasn't as into it. Their song structures were all pretty formulaic, leaving me a little bored. The best song and the crowd's favorite was a cover and not an original piece. From what the vocalist said, the concept of their latest album is basically that the songs were inspired by pictures from an Italian photo book about an outlaw biker gang. It's certainly an interesting concept but the final product fails to deliver something as interesting.

Cloud Nothings came up next. Right away, the technical difficulties came back, this time, it was something about the drums. I'm really glad they fixed it because the drummer is mental. To be fair, all the band members are pretty psychotic. The rhythm guitarist looked like he was having an epileptic episode through out the show. The energy that the band radiates is intense. So intense that a mosh pit started after about 2 songs. I was in the middle when it started. It was unavoidable so I joined in the fun. Not only do these guys exhibit excellent showmanship, but top quality musicianship as well. There performance was highly entertaining, leaving me liking their music more than when I first heard their album. The highlight of the night for me was when a technical difficulty left the rhythm guitarist without any sound for the last song, so he joined the crowd in the mosh pit. It was pretty funny and awesome. One of the funnest shows I've been to. I ended up buying their LP without even owning a record player. That's how much I loved their performance.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Shit Worth Getting 2012 (Part 1)

I haven't posted anything in quite a while, so I'll start this new segment. #Lazy

For those who don't really know me that well, I like listening to new music. I crave it. My goal for this year is to listen to 365 2012 albums. One for each day of the year. I've come across quite a few good releases this year so far, so here are 10 recommendations in no particular order. And no, I won't be uploading any of these because my upload speed is a nightmare.

A Silver Mt. Zion - "The West Will Rise Again"

Alvin Band - Rainbow Road

Psychedelic Pop

Bondage Fairies - Bondage Fairies
Nintendo-Death-Punk, Garage 8bit

Burial - Kindred
Dubstep, Ambient

Dirty Three - Toward the Low Sun
Post-Rock, Contemporary Folk

Earth - Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II
Post-Rock, Psychedelic Rock

First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar
Folk Pop

Gangrene - Vodka & Ayahuasca

John Talabot - ƒin
Balearic Beat, Microhouse

Swans - We Rose From Your Bed With the Sun in Our Head
Noise Rock, Experimental Rock

Enjoy, I guess.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Orange Tulip Conspiracy - Orange Tulip Conspiracy

Orange Tulip Conspiracy is an experimental Jazz Fusion band from US of A and this is their only release to date, back from 2008. The first you will notice about this band is that their sound varies a lot through out the album. It can go anywhere from metal to a ragtime swing; it really runs the gamut, but at it's core, it's Jazz Fusion with a Middle-Eastern flavour. Every song has an odd time signature or weird progression, keeping it interesting. The instrumentation is fantastic. The saxophone is probably my favorite part about this album, but every instrument does shine. They've just reunited from a 2-year-long hiatus with a new lineup and are making new material. Hopefully, they're planning on releasing a new record some time in the near future. For now, we have this underrated gem to listen to.

8 out of 10 conspiracists will like this.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

TotW - Ametsub - The Solo To Untamed Place

Ametsub is a Japanese IDM glitch artist. His works have a strong Autechre vibe to them. This song is very pretty. It has a smooth flute lurking in the background through most of the song, while glitchy sounds take the center stage. Very good stuff. The album is pretty great as well. I'd recommend it.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The Flashbulb - Opus at the End of Everything

The Flashbulb is the main pseudonym for Benn Jordan's IDM project. He's no newcomer to the music game, with this release being his 12th album. Over the course of these many years, his sound has evolved. He's currently getting more and more atmosphere; it will soon reach open-field nirvana. This album has a whopping 25 tracks, though most of them aren't very long. Because of their short length, most of these tracks hang on to one idea. Each track also segues into the next, so it's not like they end abruptly. That's why it's better to look at this albums as a whole rather than song by song. Like I mentioned earlier, this is a very atmospheric IDM album, with atmospheric pads and some reverb. It also features guest performances on the violin, viola and cello. I like how Benn has lots of ideas and sounds, but sometimes I'd like to see it evolving over time. It's always sad to hear something you really like quickly segueing into something different. I guess it's just the way he does things. The actual music itself is really good though. The guitar throughout the album is fantastic. It sort of has a post-rock vibe. The atmospheric pads/drums is great and cool glitches on certain tracks. The strings are also, like the rest, great. I don't really have any complaints on the instrumentation. My main issue is just that I don't feel like these songs are very memorable, which is another problem I have with short songs/many tracks albums. This is still a very nice sounding album. If you like his music and want him to make more, you should probably buy his album. Although I do post download links, I highly encourage you to buy music and support the artists that you like. Here's his bandcamp.

7 out of 10 people will like open fields.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra @ La Tulipe 19/02/12

To me, Efrim Manuel Menuck is a genius. His music is some of the most influential stuff I've ever heard. His work with Godspeed You! Black Emperor shaped what is my taste in music today. He made me appreciate things I've never cared about before. So when I heard he was touring with A Silver Mt. Zion, I just had to go and, boy, what a night.

The opening artist was Steve Bates. Never heard of him? Don't worry, most people haven't (hipster victory). Hell, I couldn't even find anything about him on Google. Absolutely nothing. I only knew about him after searching for him on, which had one of his albums. He plays some ambient drone, kind of similar to Tim Hecker I guess, but maybe a little more experimental. Long build ups, pretty textures, loud sounds. One moment, the feedback was a little too loud, that I kinda hurt my ears, but it was an overall solid performance. He didn't really seem to care that the audience was there, though. He never acknowledged us, or even say a single word. Oh well.

Up next was the main dish, A Silver Mt. Zion. And boy did they come out and play masterfully. I enjoyed their live performance more than their studio recordings. The sound is bigger and better. With his whiny voice, Efrim sang his heart out. They played some of their biggest hits, including "13 Blues for Thirteen Moons" (got it on video, I'll upload it when I get the chance), "Black Waters Blowed", "Blind Blind Blind" and "Horses in the Sky" for the encore. They also played "What We Loved Was Not Enough" and "Psalms 99" from their latest EP. Sophie Trudeau and Jessica Moss are brilliant violin players with beautiful performances. I never noticed it until tonight, but the drumming by David Payant is incredible. We can't forget about Thierry Amar on bass/double bass who also pulls off a great performance.

All these pictures were taken by Paul-Emile Hebert. You can find more stuff here:
Download the entire set here.

Might as well mention this. Efrim is quite the comedian. In between songs, he took questions from the audience. I'm mostly paraphrasing, but here's 2 particular things asked.
"What shampoo do you use?"
Efrim: "Your mom's shampoo. If I get closer, I smell like your mom."

"What's with the Stephen Harper picture?" (If you look at the pics, you can see Harper in a picture frame)
Efrim: "We don't believe in Voodoo or magic, but we keep it upside down in the hopes that he dies." He then received a standing ovation from everyone in the room.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Sleep Party People - Sleep Party People

Sleep Party People is the shoegazy dream pop bedroom project of Danish musician Brian Batz. I know that I say this a lot and that I'm starting to sound like a broken record player, but this isn't your ordinary dream pop. He manages to take a normally upbeat and happy genre and turns it into something dark, creepy and sinister. It doesn't help that he wears a bunny mask during his performances and that he names his songs stuff like "I'm Not Human At All" and "Everything Has An End", but whatever. It's an interesting change to the genre. The thing is is that it doesn't always sound dark. The beginning has a pretty upbeat sound. It starts sounding noticeably creepier at around the fifth tracks and just descends from there. It's an interesting evolution to hear. The songs also get longer as the album progresses. I guess I should also mention the weird vocals. Aside from the obligatory reverb, there's some really weird effect as well which makes it sound less human and more, um, rabbit-like, I guess? It's the only was I can describe it. I guess this Brian guy has a fetish for rabbits. Lola from Space Jam must be his wet dream or something. Whatever, I'm not judging the guy, but his music. And his music is good. He has an album coming out in April, so look out for that.

7 out of 10 rabbits will like this. Warning: This video is creepy.