Album Review: Dismantled – The Hero EP

Dismantled holds a very special place in my music library. His early work contains three of my favourite tracks of all time by virtue of being my gateway into noise music.

I’ve loved many more artists since those early years, but Dismantled is the one who opened my mind towards this obscure niche of electronica and it changed my life forever.

No two Dismantled albums have been the same.

His self-titled album in 2002 had a grimy, white-label rhythmic noise vibe that was unforgettable. The distorted and compressed vocals, abrasive mechanical grinding samples, and erratic beats in “On Your Knees” made this track the epitome of dystopian music, a ballad commemorating the globally historical moment of agony and fear. The subsequent Post-Nuclear and Standard Issue albums were a clear evolutionary path for Dismantled – Zon’s vocals got cleaner, the song structure more defined, clear patterns so familiar to EBM listeners emerging from the chaos. By 2007, When I Am Dead took a danceable approach, focusing on lyrics and choral effects, while the last full album released in 2011, The War Inside Me, took a detour into fist-pumping rage-spewing Aggrotech territory akin to FGFC820 and prodigious mentors Suicide Commando.

And here we are, after a four year break, with a fresh new sound that is more polished than ever and shows how much Gary has learned in his career.

Read my full review on Spill Magazine.

And stay tuned for The Hero full release!





Album review: Rational Youth – Future Past Tense 

If you’re part of the Alternative Electronic music community in Canada today, know well that you owe your scene’s existence to pioneers like Tracy Howe and Bill Vorn.
Rational Youth were proudly baffling stage managers with their 808 and MS-20 setup in the early ‘80s, and telling the world to dance atop the infamous wall three years before Bowie started inciting riots in East Berlin. Howe’s relentless ambition to reclaim the synthesizer out of the hands of boring scholars and put it at the forefront of the concert stage produced a novel and visionary experience for listeners around the globe.
Read my full review on The Spill Magazine 

The Live Wire series by Synescape Cyberpunk art

Bazaar of the Bizarre: Circus Sideshow

This is hardly the first and certainly not the last you will find me pontificating about the Bazaar of the Bizarre.

Plastic Wrap presents the The Bazaar of the Bizarre: Circus Sideshow Spring Edition

Among all the events in Toronto’s goth community, it is by far my most highly anticipated, a heartening occasion to reconnect with all the talented and crafty freaks in this city.

Hosted by Plastik Wrap at The Pia Bouman School of Ballet at 6 Noble St., the Circus Sideshow spring edition of the Bazaar is coming up on March 27th from 11AM to 6 PM and I am delighted to be vending next to the brilliant comic book artist Becca T-R!


Continue reading “Bazaar of the Bizarre: Circus Sideshow”

Hair adventures continued: micro-ring extensions

After years of DIY yarn dreads, LED augmented wigs, 26 different hair colours and every kind of batty hair extensions you can imagine, it occurred to me the only thing I haven’t tried is something that approximates normalcy.

What can I tell ya: I’m just not wired for vanilla.

So I decided to start last year looking like the Little Mermaid.

That seems reasonable, right?

I ended up getting wefts attached with micro rings; they were flawless after four months of wear and I had a really great experience with the Toronto pros who helped out.

If you’re contemplating getting your first hair extensions, take a look at this guide to the common materials used in the process.

For Toronto folk, I’ve also included some awesome local resources (read shameless plugs). Continue reading “Hair adventures continued: micro-ring extensions”


Album Review: Skilled Mechanics featuring Tricky, DJ Milo & Luke Harris

Under the new handle Skilled Mechanics, Tricky once again brings us cutting-edge talent from the most unlikely corners of the music world. Tricky’s mercurial tastes birthed some of the most dubious yet genial style fusions of the past couple decades; he’s dabbled in everything from punk to blues to …whatever Bjork is.

In this this new album, he reunited long time friends DJ Milo from The Wild Bunch incubator and Francesca Belmonte, the muse of his recent few albums, and interspersed them with non sequitur performances like Luke Harris doing a vocal cover of a nu metal ballad, and 2013 Chinese Idol star Ivy (艾菲) dropping bilingual raps.

[ … ]

Read the full review of Spill Magazine


Download Tricky’s new album Skilled Mechanics

Conjure One Holoscenic

Album Review: Conjure One – Holoscenic

Conjure One‘s new release came across my feed as an unexpected yet pleasant surprise. Having seen him live just this past summer at Aftermath Festival, I was very excited for the new sound.

No lie, this album almost reduced me to tears.

Miscreant is one of the most wonderfully tragic tracks I have heard in a long time.

Rhys Fulber’s sound is complex and profound, which is to be expected from the Canadian alternative electronic music hero. Holoscenic came out on Armin Van Buuren’s record label and as such it is one of the most accessible works by the Front Line Assembly and Delerium veteran.

With guest vocals from Aruna, Leigh Nash and Christian Burns (anybody remember BBMak? HA!) Holoscenic connects the darkest fringes of esoterica to seminal progressive house vibes, serving as a gateway between the alternative and mainstream electronic music scenes.

Read the full review on The Spill page.

And download Holoscenic from Armada Music:



Bazaar of the Bizarre

The Small Arts and Crafts Market Roundup – Winter 2015

‘Tis the season of bestowal, and here is a reminder to support small local artisans and businesses, while sourcing some of the most unique and impactful gifts for your friends and family.

The One of a Kind Crafts Show starts today at the Exhibition Place and runs until December 6th (thanks for the FOURTEEN email notifications, guys).  If you’ve never attended before, check it out – it’s like a real life instantiation of Etsy, with dozens and vendors and special exhibits.

OKS may be a Toronto tradition, as is the Distillery District Christmas Market but these events are hardly exclusive; December is the month for all sorts of pop-up shops, local crafts markets and art shows.

I rounded up a couple of the events I’m really excited about in the upcoming weeks – but this is an open invitation to collaborate and promote!

If you know of another small crafts show or vendor event, please share!

Continue reading “The Small Arts and Crafts Market Roundup – Winter 2015”