Live Show Review: Poil Ueda and John Zorn at the FIMAV

FIMAV, photo by Martin Morissette

It is well known that I seldom venture out of the comforts of my abode to seek the fellowship of likeminded individuals in a live music ritual. However, upon seeing the delightful programme that the FIMAV (the French acronym for Victoriaville’s International Contemporary Music Festival) had to offer this year, I was tempted—and later fulfilled these temptations—to journey beyond the borders of my realm and into the unknown. You have to hand it to the organizers of this festival for the awe-striking programme: Poil Ueda (opening the festivities), Ikue Mori, Zoh Amba, Fred Frith, Guy… Read more

Brian!, Trevor Dunn, Miriodor, and Oiseaux-Tempête

Brian! – Cataclysmic Engine (Nefarious Industries)

What if you replaced the bassist with a bassoonist? Well, Brian! answered this question in 2010 with their debut EP EEE. Twelve years on, the New York power trio has mastered its peculiar sound and grown more confident, more adventurous, and more certain. With the Cataclysmic Engine, you can hear the idiosyncratic sound of the bassoon, somewhere between electric bass and synthesizer during the riffs and a genuine woodwind instrument during solos. I love this instrument, and I’m really grateful that such a band exists! Be sure to check out this new… Read more

Vak – Budo

The Music

The Words

Sometimes, an album can put me under its charm even before playing me the first note of music. Of course, it helps that I already liked the band because of their 2014 album, Aedividea, but forget that for a second. Upon arriving on their Bandcamp page, I am greeted with three songs for a total of one hour of music; one thirty-minute song, one twenty-minute song, and one ten (if we round those numbers). Following this, I scroll a bit and see the “rock in opposition” and “zeuhl” tags. That’s it, I’m sold!

There’s more … Read more

Ryorchestra – DMK

The Music

The Words

It’s already quite a year for Zeuhl and other types of avant-prog, with the due comeback of Japanese act 高円寺百景 (Kōenji Hyakkei) and their album ドリンビスカ (Dhorimviskha), French supergroup Piniol and their stellar album Bran coucou. Of note, there are also Moteur!, Protoplasma, and Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere for good measure. This is quite a crowded year for such a niche genre, and Ryorchestra is yet another voice that tries to be heard. DMK is the Japanese band’s debut album, and it was released in June without any promotion whatsoever, and … Read more

P.O.N. – P.O.N. (1995)

The Words

P.O.N. was a Japanese jazz fusion band active in the ’90s, and whose only release is this obscure self-titled album. I wanted to talk about it, however, because it is still relevant in today’s world due to its high production value and contemporary sound. P.O.N. features forty-five minutes of blazing saxophone, guitar, and vibraphone on top of a Zappaesque backing band.

How so? Well, if the regular rhythmic modulations — frequently shifting from straight eighths to many different n-tuplets — didn’t tip you off, you might as well be deaf. However, it is, in my opinion, much more … Read more