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Various Artists – The Many Moods of Healing Power Records

Various Artists – The Many Moods of Healing Power Records
The old adage about something being in the water really rings true for the city of Toronto. There seems to be a plethora of psychonauts exploring the outer fringes of way-out music, in a cornucopia of genres and modes of expression. Wolf and VC over at Healing Power Records have been documenting the Toronto freak scene for ages now, dropping missive after glorious missive into the wild. Bile Sister, Man Made Hill, Hoover Party, Not the Wind Not the Flag… all have unleashed unruly artifacts... 

Week in Review #80

Week in Review #80
“It’s that time of year again where my old pal Chris Berry of the Soft Abuse and Fruits & Flowers labels makes his annual trek down to Mankato to join me on the podcast show. This is something we’ve been doing since the start of the podcast, for five consecutive years now (maybe more even), where I basically hand over the show to Chris to play a bunch of music from his personal collection, and we generally carve out a little bit of time to discuss what is happening with his now two... 

I Still Have No Idea What to Put Here: Dwight’s 2015

I Still Have No Idea What to Put Here: Dwight’s 2015
In a year filled with over-hyped rhetoric, it feels a little surreal to try and parcel up my take on the experience. Honestly though, I may have felt similarly last year, if the title of my year end posts signals anything. America’s long-winded election is in full-swing… a year+ long leer at the world, because we assume no one has anything better to do than watch us come to terms with ourselves… but it’s clear to me that foremost I have Decoder’s other contributors... 

Week in Review #93

Week in Review #93
If you run into our blogs editor Bobby Power, congratulate him on a new job and impending move to from Denver to North Carolina — a good deal closer to our little Appalachian circuit. Hopefully we’ll have him back in the review shortly. In slightly older news, I wanted to open this week’s review by pointing to a recently uploaded archive of live sets from Portland’s Noon Noise & Pancakes series (exactly what it sounds like), curated by Edward Sharp (Future Death Toll)... 

Week in Review #77

Week in Review #77
“Had to sweat it out a bit in the sauna-like studio to bring you this episode of the podcast. It felt sort of cleansing though to work through these conditions in order to share a large batch of amazing music that has been occupying every spare minute and every playback device I’ve had access to over the past three weeks. Of the new music in the bunch, I can’t say enough good things about the jangly guitar pop of Human Music, the micro-textural sound environments of crys cole, the zoned-out... 

Embracing Contingency: An Interview with Benoît Pioulard

Embracing Contingency: An Interview with Benoît Pioulard
It’s easy to introduce Thomas Meluch and his music as Benoît Pioulard by talking about dreams — for example, by mentioning how parts of his new album Sonnet (and even his moniker) came to him while he was asleep. But I really want to begin by emphasizing how beautiful Sonnet is. It’s beautiful to the point that its enchantingly imperfect drones and loops saturate daily life with an inexplicable kind of healing power. I’m not the only one who thinks this. Since Kranky released... 

Dwight’s 2014: Last Year, What Year? Just Say Hello

Dwight’s 2014: Last Year, What Year? Just Say Hello
As I wrote in the introduction to yesterday’s label feature, 2014 looked like a good year for labels — we admittedly see and try to treat with a large number, but isn’t that any aspiring capitalist’s ideal vision of shopping? A world of choice, with access to varied experiences. As long as there are small imprints and people to care about them, novelty endures, and 2014 was a year of novelties. My outlook is probably substantially different from 2013’s end though… then... 

Beyond the Celestial Din: A Conversation With Garek Jon Druss

Beyond the Celestial Din: A Conversation With Garek Jon Druss
Seattle’s Debacle Records has cast a mighty shadow over the city’s experimental music scene, from the noise, drone, and glorious weirdness that comprises the annual Debacle Fest, to the wild and bleary techno that comes out of the regular MOTOR nights. Many groups in the area claim affiliation with this label, though Garek Jon Druss has been with the label since nearly the beginning. A multimedia artist who’s comfortable playing in both art galleries and noise venues, Druss makes... 

Mas Aya – Kairos

Mas Aya – Kairos
The final review I wrote for the Foxy Digitalis site was for Brandon Valdivia’s solo debut as Mas Aya. Pockets found the Toronto-based multi-instrumentalist exploring vast musical territories – he fused seemingly disparate styles, crossing cultural and chronological divides nearly effortlessly. With Kairos (from the Ancient Greek, meaning the supreme moment, a time when conditions are optimal for the accomplishment of a crucial action), released on the Healing Power label, he treads further... 

2013: Beware of Crocodiles

2013: Beware of Crocodiles
In 2013, my favourite song had a simple, catchy melody and the following lyrics: Row, row, row your boat Gently down the stream; If you see a crocodile Don’t forget to SCREAM! This past year was my first full year of fatherhood, with all the associated glories and challenges, and by far the most rewarding experience each and every day was watching my infant daughter transform before my eyes into a wobbly near-toddler, who can now tell me whether or not she likes something and who marvels at... 

Petra Glynt – Of This Land

Petra Glynt – Of This Land
Toronto’s Healing Power imprint has been releasing fabulous music in gorgeous packages for awhile, including a slick LP by synth juggler Man Made Hill (co-released with Beniffer Editions) and another delicious slab of vinyl from psychedelic wizard Matthew “Doc” Dunn. Of This Land, the debut cassette from Toronto artist Alexandra Mackenzie‘s Petra Glynt project, takes the HP packaging aesthetic to never-before-seen levels of awesomeness. Let’s see: laser-etched and bedazzled... 

“Letter” from an Editor

“Letter” from an Editor
When I started writing about music several years ago, I was still wrestling with a complex against documenting things I enjoyed. That never seemed like enough reason. As a consequence, I may draw too close a line between frustration and motivation; frustration sometimes being a big part of what motivates a lot of what I do in public, whether it’s how I write or what I’m trying to do with my art. Not to say that anger is always my immediate “motivation” or that when I say “public”...