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.

Continue reading “Montreal Goth presents: Bal Infernal 3rd edition”

E.S.A - Themes of Carnal Empowerment Pt 3: Penance

Album Review: E.S.A – Themes of Carnal Empowerment Pt. 3 – Penance

Rhythmic noise is an eldritch gem of the dark electronic music universe. It’s lullabies for people (like yours truly) who keep Masonna in their day to day playlists.

To make rhythmic noise, you take one part harsh industrial and whisk in some dramatic orchestral drums. Then sprinkle in some pan flutes or whatever other new age-y bright accent instrument you have lying around, and distort and overdrive the hell out of all of it.

It’s so awesome.

Have you ever come up with one of those “songs to bring to a deserted island” lists?

All of mine are rhythmic noise. It’s my singularly favourite genre out of a few terabytes worth of music.

So yuh, you bet I’m pretty excited about a new Electronic Substance Abuse album!

Continue reading “Album Review: E.S.A – Themes of Carnal Empowerment Pt. 3 – Penance”

Aftermath dark electronic music festival 2015

Aftermath 2015: Toronto’s dark electronic music festival

If Terminus was Industrial Summer CampAftermath felt like an ultra distance triathlon …through a minefield!

It was so intense.

Over the course of three days, no less than twenty-four amazing acts took to the stage in Phoenix Concert Theatre.

Aftermath was a rapid-fire drill of illustrious acts, spanning many dark electronic music genres: industrial, EBM, futurepop, synthwave, noise, darkwave, aggrotech.

Aftermath Festival c. Darker Side of Light 2015
Aftermath Festival c. Darker Side of Light 2015

Aftermath is the only festival of its kind in Toronto and I’m extremely grateful to Darker Side of Light Promotions for bringing all this amazing talent to our doorstep. The 2015 edition was a mind-bending bombardment of incredible performances.

The afterparty of the festival also marked the end of a long-standing Toronto venue, Velvet Underground, and there was a lot of feeling packed into this farewell.

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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.

Continue reading “Terminus: Velocity – Calgary’s dark electronic music festival”

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:

 

 

Burning Chrome featuring live improv by Prospero & Bit Reduction

Burning Chrome returns on September 12th

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What is Live Improv?

The idea is for the musician to approach the show with no pre-conceived idea’s about re-producing tracks. Some elements including sounds, instruments and patterns may have been researched but no practiced and no sequenced. There is no plan about what to play or when. What happens at the show will be all created and programmed on the fly.

BIT REDUCTION

Power noise & gritty ambient project, a mesmerizing blend of distortion and harmony.

https://soundcloud.com/bit-reduction

&

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.

Prospero has done this type of show twice in the past. Once with Displacer in 2012 at a Darkrave and once solo at Live Event Sunday’s at the Savage Garden Night Club.

Follow Prospero and download his new album Paradise or Apocalypse

http://www.spreadingtheinfection.com/
https://www.facebook.com/spreadingtheinfection

 

DJ Skeletalkitten &  Synescape

Spinning noise, industrial, dark ambient and experimental music

 

Hosted by 2872 Dundas Street West, Doors at 10:30 PWYC

Keep your receptors filled

Join the Burning Chrome group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/355088194506557/