Watch Wilderness of Manitoba cover John Martyn’s “Head and Heart”. More vids from this session here - http://www.southensouls.ca/the-wilderness-of-manitoba-part3
Watch Animal Parts perform “Home To You” and “Lake Travis” off their new EP Other Rooms out August 2013.
Watch Kyle Stephens perform “Father Bury Me Blues” and “Grandma”
Review by Andrew Patterson
Often, when discussing the merits of lo-fi recording, there is an emphasis on how the sound is made beautiful by restriction. Either there is a sense of immediacy (time restriction) or a sense of triumph despite limitations (the underdog effect). The music can often feel trapped in a moment or a format, and cherished all the more for it’s shortcomings.
In the case of Broken Deer’s Polaraura, a decidedly lo-fi affair, the effect of using cheap technology has resulted in something altogether different. Instead of feeling trapped, Lindsay Dobbin’s work here feels incredibly expansive and all-considering. Recorded while living in a cabin outside of Whitehorse, Polaraura contains compositions for piano, guitar and voice, as well as a smattering of field recordings. It’s an awe-inspiring piece that gives the effect of a small prism refracting a large plateau.
Though split into five tracks, the entire 35 minutes is a fluid, heavily immersive, cohesive experience. The sound of howling wolves and wind meld seamlessly with analogue tape scrubbing. Dobbin’s haunting folk songs wander in and out of the soundscape much the way a figure appears briefly in a white-out snowstorm; not lost but journeying. Her voice is hard to place, it may be that of a curious young girl or a wizened, elderly woman. And, as any seasoned explorer will tell you, both wisdom and curiosity are essential to a successful journey.
Polaraura is a rewarding, trance-inducing listen for the willing, to be approached with an open and patient mind. There is a great sense of surety throughout the album’s meanderings that Dobbin has made available through limited means, loving care and consideration. It is a deep record with no bottom in sight, ripe for plunging into.
Watch Odd Years perform “Said And Done” at AJ’s place in Guelph with his canine pals.
Review by Chris Hampton
When I first heard Airick Woodhead as Doldrums, he was fastened knees-down to a plywood stage, labouring over a bank of pedals and other processing gadgets. Behind him, two towers of mismatched heads and amps — belonging to headliners Black Dice — loomed high overhead, and swayed precariously to the back and forth of the room’s dance. Every small quake threatened to topple the towers and crush poor Woodhead. Some guy in snake-print pants just ahead of me moved so feverishly that I thought his work alone might do Doldrums in. But Woodhead hadn’t noticed, because, in a relative way, the whole room was moving pretty viciously. I took away two ideas from my first encounter with the Toronto-to-Montreal transplant: a) despite the club electro semblance, his roots lie very much in the DIY noise show scene, but b) let’s not kid anyone, he really knows how to make people dance.
Doldrums debut full-length Lesser Evil underscores both — he approaches electronic music with the playfulness and experimentation of a noise artist. That Montreal/ Arbutus sound is undeniable; it isn’t a stretch to shelf Doldrums beside labelmates Grimes or Blue Hawaii or part-Montrealers Purity Ring. But for all of the painstakingly layered synth work and those gossamer vocals, Doldrums displays a real reverence for the club beat. The backbone. I’m not talking about high-gloss Timbaland-era Britney, more a commitment to tap into that primal rhythm no matter what gear he’s driving in. “Anomaly” is a lounge-trim version of MBV’s “I Only Said.” But then “She is the Wave” is a manic assault — a laser show caught in a hall of mirrors. That seismic kickdrum bleeds through from two rooms over. And after, “Sunrise” with its warm, splashy organs sounds downright tropical. Woodhead covers a lot of ground, but he does it with a studied grace — each song a room unto itself, and every room a decent little party.