by Eric Hill @surgeryradio
Breaking free of the norm.
Hey faithful readers, sorry I missed a week, but it has been busy a busy time for many reasons. Not least of which, music festival season is upon us and four of my favourite experimental events fall within a month of each other.
One just went by this past weekend; the Festival Internationale de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville (or FIMAV) is on it’s 31st year. I’ve gone on and off since 1999 and have seen everything from John Zorn to Godspeed You! Black Emperor to Tim Hecker to Peter Brötzmann (more on him) to Wolf Eyes and on and on. Very very recommended.
Coming in a week and a bit is Montreal’s MUTEK, a festival of cutting edge electronic music and technology that features everything from stomach gurgling dubstep events to brain tingling minimalist stimulation. This year luminaries include Kiasmos and Mika Vainio.
Closer to home at the end of the month is Moncton’s Re:Flux festival. With representation in film, visual art, and of course music, they’ve played host to local luminaries like Paul Cram’s orchestra as well as far flung giants like Japanese noise godfather Merzbow. This year’s recommended shows are NYC’s Bing and Ruth, who just played a great show in Fredericton that you missed, and Montreal’s Sam Shalabi.
Finally this weekend Halifax is home to the eighth OBEY Convention. This compact and powerful festival brings together forward leaning metal and punk rock as well as jazz, electronic, and other less classifiable genres. Headliners this year include the above mentioned Peter Brötzmann, a German free jazz monster who shows no sign of slowing down into his 70s; Container is Ren Schofield, an artist who blurs the lines between edgy modern EDM and the outer limits of harder techno; Sarah Lipstate’s Noveller project has evolved from dreamy post-rock ambience to a harder edged almost cinematic approach to pedal-driven guitar improvisation; and Ukranian composer Lubomyr Melnyk brings his “continuous music,” modern classical piano to the NS Music Conservatory.
So if you’re feeling like breaking free of the norm this May you can see the options are neither few nor insubstantial. See you at the show(s)!!
Some recommended listening/viewing:
Kiasmos – Live on KEXP
Sam Shalabi – The Wherewithall
Peter Brötzmann / Hamid Drake Duo 2001
Container – MUTEK 13
Noveller – Purchase (RIP Kent)
Lubomyr Melnyk – Evertina Tour 2014 (Trailer)