MX1: Men of the Machine

Toronto is lucky to have seen a resurgence in live performances and concerts this past year, all through the diligent work of people like Dentata Music & Batty von Bats. This artist collective strives to bring new and exciting acts to our stages, connecting performers, promoters and local venues.

I had the pleasure of attended their most recent event, MX1: Men of The Machine at the legendary Cherry Cola’s Concert Venue. Coupled with the prior MX1: Women of The Synth, it featured solo performances by international dark electronic artists.

MOTM brought our city the fledgling futurepop project Distorted Retrospect and industry icon Steven Archer aka Stoneburner, performing along side three homegrown talents in the guise of Eye Steal, the ever-entertaining Peter Turns Pirate and a unique solo from Undulation.

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Stoneburner live at MX1: Men of the Machine

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Montreal Goth presents: Bal Infernal 3rd edition

This past weekend I was invited to the beautiful city of Montreal to be part of the illustrious Bal Infernal.

The third incarnation of the event featured performances by Psygore and End to End plus local DJ and Montreal Goth aficionado JC Tremblay.

What a phenomenal experience!

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Clad in their black finery, Montrealites came out in droves and were welcomed before the show outside the gates of Coop Katacombes.

The Montreal alternative community is very different from any I’ve encountered before. There is an unprecedented level of familiarity among the lovely patrons and their organizers. I felt like I was admitted into a big freaky family and had the pleasure to meet so many unique characters.

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DOS Game Mini Canvas Collection 2.0

Looks like the nostalgia force is strong in the DOS gaming generation – the last batch of DOS Game tiny canvases sold out in the first half of the day at the last Bazaar of the Bizarre.

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The Spring edition of the Bazaar of the Bizarre: Circus Sideshow 2017 takes place on
Sunday, April 16 in its established home at the Pia Bouman School of Ballet and I’m back with a whole new set of itty-bitty-pixely-screens, featuring beloved characters like DopeFish, Stan S. Stanman and Purple Tentacle.


Check out a preview of the new collection here:

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MS DOS Gamer Nostalgia Series

Some of the greatest adventures of my childhood started with the C drive prompt impatiently blinking for input.

The 90s were the golden age of graphic adventures for LucasArts, Westwood Studios, Sierra and many more. These were games written by playful geeks for geeks – entertainment for the emergent technocracy that was daring, quirky and intelligent.

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To commemorate early PC gaming heroes and heroines, I’ve created this series of tiny paintings of some of my favourite DOS games.

All these will be available at the upcoming Plastik Wrap Frost Bite: Bazaar of the Bizarre on December 14th at the Pia Bouman School of Ballet and Creative Movement – 6 Noble Street, Toronto.

Preview the collection here!

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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!

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Terminus: Velocity, Calgary dark electronic music festival

Terminus: Velocity – Calgary’s dark electronic music festival

We dubbed it Industrial Summer Camp, and it was glorious.

Terminus : Velocity was the third incarnation of Calgary’s exclusive dark electronic music festival. With no less than twenty-four amazing acts, it was a superb opportunity to delight in long time favourites and discover new ones.

I use “dark electronic music” as a hypernym for a whole slew of synthesizer accompanied genres: from the retro stylings of synthwave bands, to stomping noise vibes, Terminus encompassed the full gamut of epic.

I don’t use that word thoughtlessly: Terminus was indeed EPIC!

Here’s the lineup for 2015:

Digital Winter, Animal Bodies, Everything Goes Cold, High-Functioning Flesh, Iris, Ivardensphere, Velvet Acid Christ, Dive, Hello Moth, Glass Apple Bonzai, Statiqbloom, The Body, Perturbator, Ayria, Cocksure, This Morn Omina, Apollyon's Visage, Volt 9000, Seeming, Azar Swan, Decree, V>LH>LL, Aesthetic Perfection, Grendel
Terminus 2015 Lineup

This was my first time attending and I had the pleasure to travel with Glass Apple Bonzai. Amongst the dozens of bands, we also met local artists Spawn of the Dead & Twizted Eye Candy. The good folk of Storming the Base were in attendance with enough wicked pressed tunes to bankrupt me into the next year.

Here is the tale of the three days of Terminus that will leave you saying: What the dickens?

What the Dickens?

Dickens Pub in Calgary has been the gracious host of Terminus for three years running. A huge thank you to Chris, Ambor and all the other staff for their tremendous hospitality, from booking hotels and transport to keeping the whole show on point for the weekend.

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Modular Synthesizer by Bit Reduction

Burning Chrome featuring Bit Reduction & Prospero electronic improv sessions

On September 12th, Bit Reduction and Prospero took to the stage at Burning Chrome.

Bit Reduction

For this performance he patched a modular synthesizer system from scratch, building the sound up cable by cable, using very little external gear. The only preconceived notion was to exploit feedback paths. As such, the result was unpredictable, harsh, and largely unpleasant – in the best of ways.

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The result was an eclectic and memorable experience that left everyone calling for more. Follow Craig Renaud’s project on his soundcloud page and stay tuned for future performances.

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Prospero

Born as a solo project in August 2001 under musician and DJ Wade Anderson, Prospero’s music fuses traditional industrial electronics with a variety of acoustic percussion and exotic instruments. In their fifth album “Paradise or Apocalypse” Prospero continues to explore new themes galvanized by the addition of tribal and folk elements as well as vocals from Sandford and Veela.

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Check out clips from the performance here: