Artist: SEMEN PRIEST
Album: Pink Skyline
Label: Arachnidiscs Recordings
Format: C30 Cassette, real-time dubbed,
Styles: Dub, post-punk, electro, vaporwave, industrial vapopdub
RIYL: Adrian Sherwood / On-U Sound; PiL; Egyptian Lover as a reanimated mummy; Cabaret Voltaire; Bob from Twin Peaks’ 1985 rap album
Toronto’s electronic/post-punk outfit SEMEN PRIEST return with a reinvigorated sound on Pink Skyline thanks to production by KING PONG DUB SYSTEM. The Etobicoke producer cut the tempos of the tracks they’d be working on by half, creating a chilled-out environment for their menacing vocals a discordant guitars to take root.
Features the single ‘Police, Thieves & Private Armies’ — a mash-up cover of Junior Murvin’s ‘Police & Thieves’ and Vivien Goldman’s ‘Private Armies’.
Artist: BEARD CLOSET
Album: Deadly Force
Format: Cassette. C30, real-time dubbed, hand stamped shells.
Styles: Drone, noise, experimental guitar, noise-ambient
RIYL: Thurston Moore, Keiji Haino, Alan Licht, Sunn(((O))), Eno records run through a distortion pedal
We’re honored to issue Toronto experimental guitar and electronics artist, Beard Closet‘s wordless (but not silent) scream of rage and frustration at the continuing culture of murder and brutality in North America’s police forces.
$6.00 CAD (plus regional shipping).
The culmination of years of time spent in the studio, BABEL presents four complete albums released on two 2xCD sets. The four volumes of kosmische drones and noise-jazz improvisation explore similar themes but follow divergent psychedelic paths to adjacent destinations. The four-disc cycle forms a cohesive whole while each volume stands own as a thematically contained album.
Limited edition, numbered, individually hand-stamped discs, chipboard wallets. $9.99 (CAD) + regional shipping each. Click titles below to purchase.
Recorded 2014-2015. Kosmische drones, no-wave jazz, fake gamelan and psychedelic-folk improvisation.
Recorded 2015-2016. Synths pulse and drone under plaintive reeds, guitars and psychedelic bells.
C40, type II, real-time dubbed.
KING PONG DUB SYSTEM: Islington West
From the “Bored Nation” south side of Etobicoke (the north side gave us everyone’s favourite “crack mayor” Rob Ford and his Trump-esque “Ford Nation”), comes 40 minutes of head-and-booty stimulating electro-dub. An ode to Muhammad Ali, a Kim Deal-sampling homage to the mix-tape era, and a disco elegy to the Pulse nightclub mix with the bass sounds of life on the Lakeshore, best-side suburb of the 6ix.
Styles: Dub, house, acid, electro
RIYL: Adrian Sherwood, Black Uhura’s “The Dub Factor” album, Front Line Assembly’s spliffy moments, Material’s house-y side.
2XCD compilation in full colour card wallet. $10 CAD (+ regional shipping)
Genre/style: Retro-electronica, synthwave, ambient, drone
Sonic realm: Tangerine Dream, Craig Leon, Klaus Schulze, John Carpenter, Jodorowsky’s Dune OST, Beyond The Black Rainbow OST
BABEL‘s “Grid” series of albums and EPs—released digitally and on cassette at various points over 2015—are an homage to analogue synth music pioneers such as Craig Leon and Klaus Schulze as well as early-’80s synth-based sci-fi and horror film soundtracks. The sessions culminate in the epic 35-minute morphing space-drone of the previously unreleased “Apogee“. Mind Thief collects the recordings in their entirety on two compact discs.
Polar Vortex (dir. Philip Baljeau, Toronto)
Désespoir (dir. Jesse Russell Brooks, Los Angeles)
C40. High-bias, real time dub. Released May 16, 2016. First edition sold out before release, a second edition with spine colours reversed available. $6 CAD.
Genre/style: Free-jazz, free-improvisational, experimental electronic, harsh noise
Sonic realm: Don Cherry, Pharaoh Sanders backed by Neubauten, early Cluster / Faust,
Eschaton is a soulful noise duet comprising Aaron Hutchinson and Connor Bennett. Based in Hamilton, Ontario, their music is driven by spontaneity and a passion for improvisation. Thick textural noise contrasted with vulnerable horn expressions, Eschaton creates narrative soundscapes that breathe, bend, and distort. They have released cassettes and lathes on Hamilton labels HAVNrecords and PERDU. Eschaton is happiest when collaborating with friends. Recorded and mixed by Matt Tavares (or BabdBadNotGood) at STUDIO69 in Toronto, ON
On Extra Limited Run C40 cassette ($6 CAD). Released 2016-04-29.
In the realm of: House; acid house; organic organ-based house; improvised electronica
Sonic cousin to: Underworld’s mellower moments; Frankie Knuckles chillin’ the heck out; Booka Shade on an organ trip
CHOBO is Jessica Cho (all keyboards) and Benjamin Boles (drum machines, sequenced synths, and mixing). They have a unique intuitive connection that allows them to combine their love for the immediacy of improvised live performance with the machine pulse of dance music.
Setting aside their computers, they experiment with drum machines, hardware synths, effects, loopers, pianos, and guitars, to develop a method of performance that brings the rhythms and sounds of house, techno, and dub into a structure closer to the jazz concept of improvising around themes.
No two performances sound anything alike, and that in-the-moment aspect has also become central to their recording strategies. Rather than spending weeks editing together ideas, they simply hit record and start playing, putting the focus less on technical perfection, and more on capturing the feeling of that specific time and place.
That flexibility allows CHOBO to play a wide variety of events, from warehouse parties to jazz concerts to indie rock shows. Their song Tingkle Away was featured on the Nite Comfort Vol. 1: 2013-2014 cassette compilation, and they’ve also collaborated with Alixander III (of Toronto deep house band Azari & III) on the track Something ‘Bout You, released on Berlin’s Toy Tonics Records.
To create Trust No Brain—recorded live to stereo 2-track—they used the following are a set of parameters designed to provoke spontaneous creation. These limitations are a framework for improvisation, and to enforce that each performance will be unique to that space and audience.
- No laptop or desktop computer used in performance
- No master sequencer
- Pattern based sequencing allowed, but no automated pattern chaining
- Primarily use cheap/common equipment, but accept opportunities to play on any instruments
- No prior song arrangments, beyond basic rhythmic/melodic themes
- Avoid factory presets and/or user presets, with the exception of instruments that aren’t capable of real-time sound-shaping
- All processing and EQing are to be performed live, as musical elements
- No phrase sampling of other musician’s work permitted