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CONSTELLATION

Pat Jordache has been making elliptical sparkling waves in Montreal's vibrant noise-pop community for several years now. His band Sister Suvi with Merill Garbus made a fierce but short-lived impact, serving up dense, lo-fi, supercharged complexity and garnering accolades from Pitchfork among others for their "Now I Am Champion" album.

With the departure of Garbus for the American west coast and her focus on tUnE-yArDs, Pat drew inspiration from that friendship and from Garbus’ hermetic solo process, retreating to minimum wage employment while working up home recordings of solo material.

"Future Songs" is the bracing result of Pat's isolation; an album of brilliant off-kilter pop, anchored by woozy baritone vocals, angular guitar lines and a gloriously careening approach to rhythm and arrangement. Evoking sounds and sensibilities that encompass David-Baker-era Mercury Rev, Joy Division, Scott Walker and Can, to name just a few.

"Future Songs" was self-released on cassette and went up on Bandcamp in summer of 2010, circulating quickly through Montreal's DIY music community and Tumblr accounts across the continent. While entirely self-recorded, with almost all parts played by Jordache, the material cried out for full band treatment, for which there was no shortage of eager participants.

Early Pat Jordache shows were solo ventures, re-working the recorded music using a DD-3 pedal capable of looping only 1.4 seconds of sound. These droning minimalist arrangements soon came to be supported by the explosive percussion efforts of dueling drummers Phillip Chanel, Jeffrey Malecki and Thom Gillies. Rory Seydel (Shapes and Sizes) soon joined the group on guitar, allowing for a more faithful interpretation of the recorded songs.

With the original sessions lost in the theft of Jordache’s laptop from a Montreal roadside smoked meat shop, the initial self release of "Future Songs" was in lo-res, self-mastered 160 kbps mp3. In one of the many small miracles of our digital age, full resolution back-up .wav files of the sessions were dredged up from a forgotten Mediafire account, from which the songs were re-mastered for the Constellation release of the album.

Land Of Kush

Sand Enigma

    First album in 6 years from the acclaimed Arabic/Psychedelic avant-garde big band. Recorded/produced by Radwan Moumneh (Jerusalem In My Heart, Suuns, Matana Roberts) and with featured guest Nadah El Shazly. Renowned Montreal / Cairo composer Sam Shalabi returns with his exhilarating and utterly genre-bending big band Land Of Kush. The trenchantly-titled Sand Enigma bristles with defiant exuberance, restless creative energy, and electrifying cross-cultural expression - the band's most accomplished, acute and accessible album to date (though don't expect 'easy listening' from this boundary-pushing hydra-headed entity). Sand Enigma is a wildly diverse and hugely compelling tour de force of modern composition that pulses with emotion and experimentation, blending avant-garde, psychedelic, Middle Eastern, out-jazz, electronic, and improv/free music tropes to stunning effect.

    The 75-minute opus captures a band on fire, flowing through composed set-pieces, improvisational turns, harmolodic gestural and textural interplay, bursts of fervent groove, and fearless, feral experimentation. While the bounty of heavy-hitting instrumental players are too numerous to call out here, Sand Enigma notably features two new Land Of Kush collaborators, both of them leading lights of Cairo's burgeoning avant-electronic scene: Nadah El Shazly and Maurice Louca. As Alan Bishop of Sublime Frequencies raves: "Shalabi raises the bar for modern psychedelic music with Land Of Kush, weaving a seamless montage of styles in a transcendent way that is rarely, if ever, achieved." As with previous works, the music on Sand Enigma shifts between instrumentals and vocal-led pieces, with various singers taking the lead on different songs including long-standing Kush members Elizabeth Anka Vajagic, Katie Moore, Elizabeth Lima and the newly drafted Tokyo-toMontréal émigré Maya Kuroki. Sand Enigma notably features two new international collaborators and leading lights of Cairo’s burgeoning avant-electronic scene: Nadah El Shazly (vocals) and Maurice Louca (keys/synths). 

    Matana Roberts

    Coin Coin Chapter Four : Memphis

      Matana Roberts returns with the fourth chapter of her extraordinary Coin Coin series - a project that has deservedly garnered the highest praise and widespread critical acclaim for its fierce aesthetic originality and unflinching narrative power. The first three Coin Coin albums, issued from 2011-2015, charted diverse pathways of avant modern composition - Roberts calls it "panoramic sound quilting" - and ranged sequentially from large band to sextet to solo, unified by Roberts' archival and often deeply personal research into legacies of the American slave trade and ancestries of American identity/experience. Roberts also emphasizes non-male subjects and thematises these other-gendered stories with a range of vocal and verbal techniques: singspeak, submerged glossolalic recitation, guttural cathartic howl, operatic voice, gentle lullaby, group chant, and the recuperation of various American folk traditionals and spirituals, whether surfacing in fragmentary fashion or as unabridged set-pieces. The root of this vocality comes from her dedication to the legacy of her main chosen instrument, the alto saxophone.

      On Coin Coin Chapter Four: Memphis, Roberts convened a new band, with New Yorkers Hannah Marcus (guitars, fiddle, accordion) and percussionist Ryan Sawyer (Thurston Moore, Nate Wooley, Cass McCombs) joined by Montreal bassist Nicolas Caloia (Ratchet Orchestra) and Montreal-Cairo composer/improviser Sam Shalabi (Land Of Kush, Dwarfs Of East Agouza) on guitar and oud, along with prolific trombonist Steve Swell and vibraphonist Ryan White as special guests. Memphis unspools as a continuous work of 21st century liberation music, oscillating between meditative incantatory explorations, raucous melodic themes, and unbridled free-improv suites, quoting archly and ecstatically from various folk traditions along the way. Led by Roberts' conduction and unique graphic score practice, her consummate saxophone and clarinet playing, and punctuated by her singing and speaking various texts generated from her own historical research and diaristic writings, Coin Coin Chapter Four is a glorious and spellbinding new installment in this projected twelve-part Gesamtkunstwerk

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      LP Info: 180gram vinyl includes multiple art inserts + MP3.

      Fly Pan Am

      C’est Ça

        C'est ça marks the reunion of Montreal avant-rock quartet Fly Pan Am, who released an acclaimed series of albums in Constellation's early years, from 1999-2004. The band's heady collision of motorik repetition, shoegaze maximalism, punk skronk, tape- and electronic-based interventions and audio sabotage, garnered them a cult following among fans of audaciously deconstructed post-rock. Fly Pan Am quietly reunited in late 2017 for purely artistic reasons (needless to say), to explore making new music together after more than a decade spent in pursuit of separate sonic adventures. Within weeks, it was clear the band was firing on all cylinders again, brimming with electricity and eager to pick up where they’d left off with their last album N’écoutez pas back in 2004: pushing further into full-spectrum intersections of noise pop, post-punk, power electronics and musique concrète, while continuing to incorporate shrouded, textural vocals as alternately melodic and visceral components.

        C'est ça is a welcome return to form - an album of undeniably renewed vitality and experimentation where rock structures underpinned by J.S. Truchy's trademark rapid-fire bass and Felix Morel's disciplined, ascetic drumming are submerged beneath waves of processed guitar by Roger Tellier-Craig and Jonathan Parant, with fluorescent noise treatments and sonic vandalisms wrought by all four. Songs variously nod to key influences like MBV and Husker Du, the intrepid proto-Kosmiche of This Heat and Can, and later style-adjacent torchbearers like Boredoms, Flying Saucer Attack and Trans Am - all the while collapsing into/out of themselves in various ways. But Fly Pan Am have always and reliably been much more than the sum of their influences: C'est ca is terrific new collection of restless, conceptual, viscerally ethereal noise rock that could come from no other band, sparkling with the creative buzz of lifelong artistic intensity, dialogue and friendship

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: I've been listening to C’est Ça for a couple months now and can tell you it is without a doubt the most Fly Pan Am of all of the Fly Pan Am releases. Clashing, punky art-rock, huge cavernous lurches of percussion, distorted guitars and post-punk grooves breaking through when you least expect it. A legendary band, and a truly triumphant return after FIFTEEN YEARS!

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        LP Info: 180 gram vinyl, plus 12" x 19" poster.

        LP includes MP3 Download Code.

        Sandro Perri

        Soft Landing

          It took seven years for Sandro Perri to return with an album under his own name, releasing In Another Life ("his outsider pop masterpiece" - Exclaim) in the fall of 2018, as the much-anticipated follow-up to his acclaimed full-length Impossible Spaces (#38 album of 2011 at Pitchfork, among other accolades). But the Perri floodgates have now well and truly opened: the flow of sparkling, eddying music he's been meticulously doling out of late (including two recent volumes of collaborative avant-electronic work with his Off World project) charts another vital, rejuvenating tributary with Soft Landing. Rounding up songs he's been toying with for the better part of the last decade, Perri enters his third decade of music-making with this lovely, langourous collection of subtly detailed soft rock - his most guitar-based album since 2007's Tiny Mirrors.

          Rightly celebrated as "one of the most singular producers in contemporary music" (Boomkat) for his widely varied electronic work, Perri's foundations as a guitarist have always factored into his 'solo' albums in one form or another. On Soft Landing, Perri's guitar is at the calm and expressively rambling heart of these tunes - while his recording and mixing acumen as a (self) producer is, as always, on brilliant display. "God Blessed The Fool" is a splendid stroke of sultry slow-burn soul that finds Sandro busting out his sweet falsetto; "Wrong About The Rain" channels only the choicest tropes of syncopated 70s-era soft-rock, with Perri weaving ornate guitar licks around a succulent interplay of clavinet and trap kit, resulting in one of the most immediately satisfying tunes he's ever put to tape - high praise for someone with such a stellar catalogue to date, but we're confident fans will agree. And as with last year's In Another Life (which comprised two album-length sides "infinite song'), Soft Landing includes the 16-minute track "Time (You Got Me)", an enchanted mid-tempo excursion anchored by a gently sliding guitar riff and a serene vocal singing a wistfully acquiescent love letter to the fourth dimension. Paced by congas, shakers, claves, impressionistic piano and even the occasional wind chime, Perri wraps up his final vocal refrain by the song's fifth minute and then steers the instrumental theme down a long and winding road in his inimitable style - like a stroll along a country lane where every glint of dappled sunlight catches another rustling, animate micro-detail. 

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: Having written for me, one of the standout indie LP's of 2018, with 'In Another Life' and been a member of a number of standout acts and bands of the past 20 years (Polmo Polpo, Glissandro 70, Off-World), Sandro Perri is one of the few Constellation acts (though their roster is ever-changing and brilliantly fluid) to have achieved a crossover success into the indie rock mainstream. 'Soft landing is a perfect illustration why, clever and enthralling but without being too heavy on the ears. Top stuff.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          LP includes MP3 Download Code.

          Lungbutter

          Honey

            Montreal trio Lungbutter serves up an exhilarating and relentless barrage of astringent noise-punk, at times refracted variously through sludge rock and slowcore. Kaity Zozula's tri-amped guitar squall occupies a huge tonal space from low-end bass to paint-peeling treble, redolent of blown-out Melvins/Flipper fuzz and indebted to the frenetic dissonance of Keiji Haino or Merzbow. Song structures coalesce around guitar riffs of shifting tempos and the backbone of Joni Sadler's muscular, deliberate drums, while Ky Brooks' wry phenomenological sing-speak vocals - at once mantric and declarative - deconstruct one brilliant lyrical theme after another, dancing along the knife-edge of dispassionate acerbic examination and wide-eyed cathartic revelation.

            Brooks, Sadler and Zozula have all been mainstays of the vibrant experimental noise/rock milieu in the city for several years, having put in time as members of innumerable bands and community projects. Lungbutter has been their main jam for a while, playing frequently in Montreal and with sporadic excursions to DIY spaces around eastern North America. Honey is their first full-length album, following the self-released Extractor cassette EP from 2014, which Big Takeover described as ""hick neanderthal sludge, stream of consciousness yelps over lawnmower riffs, a dweeb-metal triumph" and Weird Canada praised as "confident, artful, intense". Lungbutter’s minimal guitar-drums-voice configuration is rooted in a visceral, ascetic punk idiom, refracted variously by free-noise, sludge rock and slowcore. Zozula marshals chaotic motifs of full-spectrum distorto-guitar, occupying a huge tonal space from low-end bass to paint-peeling treble,redolent of blown-out Melvins/Flipper fuzz and equallyindebted to the frenetic dissonance of Keiji Haino or Merzbow (as in the thrilling passages of warped noise on “Solar” or “Veneer”).

            Song structures coalesce around guitar riffs of shifting tempos and the backbone of Sadler’s muscular, deliberate drums, while Brooks’ voice – at once mantric and declarative – deconstructs one brilliant lyrical theme after another, dancing along the knife-edge of dispassionate acerbic examination and wide-eyed cathartic revelation. Honey is 33 minutes of satisfyingly searing, sharp-as-tacks, scum-tainted art-rock from one of Montréal’s most vital, exciting and uncompromising bands. The LP includes multiple artwork inserts sourced from an original cover painting by Australian-born Montréal-based artist and graphic novelist Tommi Parrish (Fantagraphics, etc). 

            Siskiyou

            Not Somewhere

              Siskiyou returns from a four-year hiatus with Not Somewhere, which finds band leader Colin Huebert (ex-Great Lake Swimmers) essentially in solo mode, writing and self-recording this new collection on his own, playing just about everything himself. Not Somewhere harkens back to Siskiyou's magical, understated 2010 debut in this and other ways: the album's production rekindles a homespun intimacy, where plain-spoken lyrics grapple with portraits of quiet quotidian despair, fragile existential horizon lines separating perseverance and defeatism, honest and unremarkable lives trapped in cultures of false consciousness, impossible desire, self-analysis and self-medication.

              Huebert was commissioned by NYC artist/designer Stefan Sagmeister to write the theme song for The Happy Film, a movie accompaniment to "The Happy Show" installation art project - ruminations on happiness that strongly echo Huebert's own tone and sensibility. Sagmeister wanted the unadorned aesthetic of early , leading Huebert to often write and record songs in the same day. The result is a beautifully restrained and direct song cycle of tunes anchored by acoustic guitar and brushed drumming, detailed with delicate textures, spartan melodic overdubs, and Huebert's distinctively forthright, whisperingly confidential vocal delivery.

              Not Somewhere is delicate, discreet, and wonderfully assured - a humble, wistfully observational and meditatively personal return for Siskiyou. Huebert self-recorded and played almost everything himself, with contributions from guest musicians including cellist and labelmate Rebecca Foon (Saltland, Esmerine) and Destroyer regulars Joseph Shabason and JP Carter on horns and woodwinds. The result is a beautifully restrained and unvarnished song cycle of tunes anchored by acoustic guitar and brushed drumming, detailed with delicate textures,spartan melodic overdubs, and Huebert’s distinctively forthright, whisperingly confidential vocal delivery. From the austere Velvets-chug of “What Ifs” to the Elephant 6-inspired looseness of “Her Aim IsTall” and “Stop Trying (jubilant reprise)” and the sparkling hush of atmospheric twilight folkinflected pieces like “Temporary Weakness” and “Silhouette”, Not Somewhere is delicate and discreet yet wonderfully assured – a profoundly humble, wistfully observational and meditatively personal return for Huebert’s Siskiyou project. 

              Efrim Manuel Menuck & Kevin Doria

              Are Sing Sinck, Sing

                Efrim Manuel Menuck, founding member of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Thee Silver Mt. Zion and Kevin Doria from Growing and Total Life, are now officially a duo. Menuck recruited Doria to help him translate his acclaimed 2018 album Pissing Stars from the studio to the stage, and the pair have been touring under the Efrim Manuel Menuck moniker for the pastyear (often with Doria’s latest solo project KGD opening the proceedings). They’ve also been co-writing piles of new material, diving deeper into whirling maximalist electronics,still shot through with Menuck’s incantatory singing awash in plaintive distortion and hope. Efrim Manuel Menuck & Kevin Doria are SING SINCK, SING presents the first volume of songs forged from this febrile and fertile merger: an antifa poetics of sound that unspools across five crushing, keening tracks driven by thick sweeping drones and ostinatos, battered by inscrutably searching, ricocheting vocals. Anguish,yearning, and desperate conviction combine in these saturated survivalist electro-hymns, for as long as the power stays on to overload the amplifiers

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                LP Info: 180gram vinyl pressed at Optimal (Germany) includes artworked inner sleeve + 4” colour sticker

                LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                Deadbeat & Camara

                Trinity Thirty

                  Trinity Thirty is a celebration and reinterpretation of the much beloved Cowboy Junkies classic The Trinity Session, on the occasion of the album’s 30th anniversary (originally released in late 1988). The idea was spawned when Berlin-based Canadian producer Scott Monteith — best known as DJ and dub-inflected minimal techno-electronica recording artist Deadbeat — heard the Junkies’ Trinity version of “Sweet Jane” playing in an airport a few years back. Viscerally reminded of how much he loved the album, and how surprisingly overground the record ended up becoming (in fact by mid-1989 The Trinity Session would be certified Platinum in both Canada & The USA truly another era), Monteith immediately reached out to the band to ask if they had anything planned for its 30th birthday (the Junkies had previously commemorated the album on the occasion of its 20th anniversary by re-recording it as Trinity Revisited).

                  Before Monteith even touched down back in Berlin, the band had replied that same day saying they had no such plans but would enthusiastically support whatever angle Monteith/Deadbeat might want to run with. Monteith then recalled conversations with musician/producer and fellow Canadian-in-Berlin Fatima Camara (whose acclaimed debut solo album Before We Sleep came out on Parachute Records in 2016) about their shared love of The Trinity Session, feeling she’d be the perfect partner to involve in a reinterpretation. Camara was thrilled by the idea, and the two began meeting to explore how to approach things conceptually and aesthetically. This would be their first collaboration – and their first time placing their own vocals at the forefront of a project (joined by guest vocalist Caoimhe McAlister to add harmonies on certain tracks). The Trinity Session is rightly celebrated for its naturalistic, profoundly languorous covers of classic tunes and traditional work songs (“Sweet Jane”, “Blue Moon”, “Mining For Gold”, et al) – and is also legendary for having been recorded with a single microphone in single takes at a church in Toronto, with no further mixing or overdubbing. While Deadbeat and Camara couldn’t entirely replicate this approach as a duo, for Trinity Thirty they similarly re-recorded everything with single mics in a big open space at Berlin’s Chez Cherie studio, relying heavily on natural room acoustics, committed to raw first takes, guided by an overriding strategy of slowing down all the tempos as far as they could while continuing to channel the warm asceticism of the original album.

                  Initially imagining they would run a fair amount of electronic treatments during the mix, Deadbeat and Camara instead found themselves absorbed by the spaces and silences, guided by a spirit of preservation and restraint, in homage to the original. The result is “a less electronic album than we imagined making”: a gorgeous somnambulant collection of ‘covers of covers’, where the reference point is always the Cowboy Junkies original approach, stretched to new and beguiling limits of deceleration and narcotized spaciousness – a sensibility further reinforced by the mastering treatment of minimalist dub-techno legend Stefan Betke (~scape, Pole). Trinity Thirty is a wonderfully languid, subtly avant-garde, conceptually reverent acoustic-meets-electronic interpretation of this classic album. 

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

                  Light Conductor

                  Sequence One

                    Light Conductor is the twilight slow-burn modular synthesis duo of Stephen Ramsay (Young Galaxy) and Jace Lasek (The Besnard Lakes). Sequence One is their first album: a warm shimmering sonic hug of enveloping drone and hypnotic arpeggiation flowing along buoyant filter-sweeping eddies and waves. Light Conductor make nighttime/sunrise music in widescreen high-fidelity at their vintage-equipped Breakglass Studios in Montréal. Lasek is among Canada’s most seasoned producer-engineers. With Light Conductor, Lasek brings this studio sensibility to bear on music of slow inexorability and simplicity, co-piloted by the spartan and sultry aesthetic that has guided Ramsay through six albums of acclaimed electro-pop by Young Galaxy over the past decade.

                    The two have been kicking out these Light Conductor slow jams for years, and fans of their respective bands should find profoundly dazed and satisfying respite alongside Lasek and Ramsay when taking the mesmeric plunge into Sequence One.

                    Come float in their cosmic soup, as Side A unspools around the twinkling ostinato melody of “A Bright Resemblance” like a satellite signal pulsing through celestial refractions, with various atmospheric pressures increasing and eventually blanketing all transmissions in a white-noise blizzard on “Chapel Of The Snows.” Side B starts out in deeper space, on the fittingly titled “Far From The Warming Sun”, where a residual glitch skips amidst oscillating dark matter drones and distant intercepted tones, before returning to earth in the flinty rhythmic interlude of “When The Robot Hits The Water.” Sequence One ends with full ignition and lift-off: the duo’s eponymous electro-psych-rock closer “Light Conductor” (featuring Young Galaxy compatriot Catherine McCandless on backing vocals) is a throbbing empyrean slab of methodically levitational fuzz. 

                    Jessica Moss

                    Entanglement

                      Jessica Moss has been blossoming as a solo artist since the release of her acclaimed debut album Pools Of Light in spring 2017. The violinist, composer and singer best known for her fifteen-year tenure in political post-punk band Thee Silver Mt. Zion is newly ascendant as a soloist, captivating audiences with gritty, warmly expressive electronic- and drone-inflected post-classical Minimalism (and sometimes Maximalism), accented by a distinctive melodic sensibility that channels Klezmer, Balkan and Middle Eastern tropes. Moss has played 80 shows in the past year, including appearances at Big Ears, WSO New Music, Le Guess Who?, Zemlika and Supersonic, participation in multiple editions of Basilica Hudson’s 24-Hour Drone Fest, and a mix of headlining dates and opening slots for the likes of Zu, BIG|BRAVE (on whose most recent album she also plays), and labelmates Godspeed You! Black Emperor.


                      On Entanglement, her new and second album, Moss channels quantum theory as a metaphor for creating energetic connections through esoteric processes. Using violin (and occasionally, voice) as sound source, her compositions are set in motion like entangled particles – spinning, ricocheting, warping and stretching in extra-dimensional space. “Particles”, the magnificent 22-minute opus on Side One, is a stunning transmission of cosmos-level wonder, mystery and dread. Conjuring up sound as if from dark energy, the piece gradually humanises the void as a circling string theme develops then retracts to a single note, stretches space-time through a slowly developing drone, and clears a haunted celestial expanse for Moss to introduce hushed, keening vocal lines that layer one upon the other. “Fractals” on Side Two is a work in four parts that unspools through various iterations of folk-inflected phrases, played on amplified violin, sampled in real-time, and redeployed in entwined pairings, echoes and cascades. Here, Moss wields the violin with a narrative intent perhaps more commonly associated with solo horn in the jazz tradition – the power of the single melodic line, the instrument as expressive analogue to human speech and voice. Profoundly informed by the experiences of travelling alone – playing in precarious spaces preserved by passionate subcultural communities, attempting fragile, intimate, abstract transmissions through sound and performance

                      Sandro Perri

                      In Another Life

                        The first solo album from Sandro Perri since 2011’s acclaimed Impossible Spaces (Best New Track, Top 50 Albums Of The Year – Pitchfork). Features Dan Bejar (Destroyer) and André Ethier (The Deadly Snakes) as guest lead vocalists on the three-part opus “Everybody’s Paris” Perri has been called “one of the most singular producers in contemporary music” (Boomkat) and his long affiliation with Constellation through various electronic and singersongwriter guises (Polmo Polpo, Glissandro 70, Off World) has produced a uniquely adventurous and iconoclastic discography.

                        In Another Life expands on this in peerless fashion. The new album is what Perri describes as “an experiment in ‘infinite’ songwriting.” The title track is a 24-minute pop mantra for sequenced synth, piano, guitar and voice, progressing sideways rather than forward. A relaxed three-chord vamp runs the length of the album’s Side One, peppered with Sandro’s languid, lilting vocal and adorned with continually developing musical details – massaging the listener with the joys of repetition while defying stasis and monotony. Like the longer-form work of fellow-travellers Bill Callahan, Destroyer or Arthur Russell, Perri extends the notion of the meditative minimalist pop song to its literal maximum, flouting ‘commercial’ concerns in our streamingly short-attention-span era – and perhaps implicitly calling for a politics of slow consumption? 

                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        LP Info: 180gram vinyl includes 12”x24” art print poster + 320kbps DL card

                        Automatisme

                        Transit

                          Reclusive glitch artist and electronic music producer William Jourdain has been keeping busy since the release of his acclaimed 2016 debut Momentform Accumulations for Constellation under the moniker Automatisme. From his home studio in the Quebec town of Saint-Hyacinthe, alongside his day job at Fréquences (one of the country’s leading indie record stores), Jourdain has continued churning out quality tracks, adding to his excellent and formidable Bandcamp discography. The Post-Landscape collaboration with Erinome came out on Neologist in spring 2018 (alongside Neologist’s re-release of the pre- Momentform album Automatisme 2) and the self-released E.T.I. Space, Transit Et Individu (Reshape & Restoration) from late 2017 demonstrated various evolutions in the post- Momentform trajectory.

                          Reclusive glitch artist and electronic music producer William Jourdain has been keeping busy since the release of his acclaimed 2016 debut Momentform Accumulations for Constellation under the moniker Automatisme. From his home studio in the Quebec town of Saint-Hyacinthe, alongside his day job at Fréquences (one of the country’s leading indie record stores), Jourdain has continued churning out quality tracks, adding to his excellent and formidable Bandcamp discography. The Post-Landscape collaboration with Erinome came out on Neologist in spring 2018 (alongside Neologist’s re-release of the pre- Momentform album Automatisme 2) and the self-released E.T.I. Space, Transit Et Individu (Reshape & Restoration) from late 2017 demonstrated various evolutions in the post- Momentform trajectory. Rare Automatisme performances have included Inductive Prism VI (documented in a live recording) and MUTEK 2017 (documented in a live video premiered by MUTEK and Resident Advisor). Building out his modular synthesis racks and amassing new field recordings, Jourdain has plunged Automatisme deeper into experimentation with Transit, his second full-length for Constellation. Once again the sonic material is all sourced from the field, with recordings captured in the forests and caves of rural Quebec, along with ex-urban “non-places” and various waiting rooms. 




                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          LP Info: includes 12”x24” art print poster

                          LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                          Alanis Obomsawin

                          Bush Lady

                            A re-issue of the rare, legendary and long out-of-print album recorded by First Nations and Canadian cultural icon Alanis Obomsawin in the mid-1980s. Remastered from the original analog tapes, now on CD for the first time. Bush Lady is the only record ever made by Obomsawin, rising to cult status in recent years, while Obomsawin has meanwhile received Canada’s highest accolades for her 50-year career as an activist documentary fillmmaker, including the Order Of Canada.

                            Alanis Obomsawin is a member of the Abenaki Nation and one of Canada’s foremost activist documentary filmmakers. Based in Montréal, she has directed 50 films with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) that explore the lives and concerns of Canada’s First Nations, receiving some of the country’s highest accolades, including The Order of Canada, the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Art, and most recently the 2017 Order of Montréal.

                            Before establishing herself as a filmmaker, Obomsawin began her artistic life as a singer-songwriter in the 1960s, as Indigenous artists from across North America were rallying in new assertions of cultural identity, consciousness and political rights, calling for reckonings with oppressive colonial history. She was invited by Folkways to perform at Town Hall in New York City in the early 1960s and spent most of that decade primarily identifying as a musician and social activist, channeling traditional First Nations songs hand-in-hand with modern composition and arrangements. Obomsawin kept her musical output percolating alongside her burgeoning documentary film career, with performances at the legendary Mariposa Folk Festival among others. In the mid-1980s Canada’s national broadcaster (CBC Radio) invited Obomsawin to record an album; unsatisfied with these recordings, she reclaimed the master tapes, remixed the material, re-recorded the title track from scratch, and issued the ensuing Bush Lady album on her own private press in 1988 complete with her own artwork and liner notes.

                            Lacking formal distribution – and with Obomsawin focused primarily on her documentary film career – only a portion of this pressing was sold at the time, the remainder occupying a closet in her Montréal home. The album has grown to become an increasingly legendary rarity ever since. Bush Lady is a unique and magical record by any definition. It’s an invaluable example of contemporary First Nations music that blends traditional folkways with avant-garde composition. 

                            Eric Chenaux

                            Slowly Paradise

                              Eric Chenaux makes conceptual music that’s not meant to sound conceptual. He operates among various ‘traditions’ but perhaps most broadly, Chenaux’s records grapple with the relationship between improvisation and structure in very particular, unique, idiosyncratic ways – and quite without irony or cynicism, through love. Because fundamentally, Chenaux writes love songs, which he sings in a voice honeyed and clear, while his guitar gently bends, frazzes, chortles, diverges and decomposes.

                              This juxtaposition of his mellow, dexterous crooning and his highly experimental (and equally dexterous) guitar explorations, explodes even unconventional notions of singing and accompaniment, of tonal and timbral interplay between guitar and voice. As a solo artist, Chenaux’s improvisation methods are in certain literal ways solipsistic: as a singer-songwriter, he plays his guitar around and against his voice, challenging easy notions of harmony/harmoniousness, improvising ‘with himself’ in pursuit of surprising himself (and his listeners) as he unfurls ribbons of voice and instrument often to the point of seeming independence, all the better to capture – and be captured by – unforeseen, intimate moments of interdependence: a definition of freedom, as a profoundly intentional state of openness, presence and play.

                              Even within avant-garde currents of folk and jazz balladry, Eric Chenaux feels like an outlier. Yet his music remains wonderfully warm, generous and fundamentally accessible in spite of its irrefutable iconoclasm. Slowly Paradise is Eric Chenaux’s new solo record. It is a lovely collection of mostly long songs guided by soothing, buttery singing and bent, fried fretwork. It is arguably Chenaux’s most assured and essential solo work, building on the critical acclaim his previous releases Guitar & Voice and Skullsplitter have rightly garnered. 

                              Jason Sharp

                              Stand Above The Streams

                                Jason Sharp has emerged as one of Canada’s most fascinating new music composers in recent years. From his roots as a saxophonist in Montréal’s fertile jazz and improv scene, Sharp developed as a soloist with drone-based durational music, circular breathing, and an increasing exploration of the body and technology. His impressive 2016 debut A Boat Upon Its Blood is a roiling and musically diverse work of modern composition inspired by a Robert Creeley poem, distinguished by Sharp’s use of a heart monitor and amplified breath to trigger various rhythmic and textural electronic elements –alongside his own saxophone playing and contributions from guest players on violin and lap steel guitar.

                                Stand Above The Streams expands on this approach, with Sharp having further developed his custom Midi and synthesis apparatuses, and most notably collaborating on these compositions with Adam Basanta, whose renowned practice in sound art, sound installation and autonomous sound systems makes for impressively immersive, layered and complex new work.

                                All sound sources on Stand Above The Streams originate with Sharp (with the exception of violin from the album’s co-producer and mixing engineer Jesse Zubot on one song): bass and baritone saxophones, heartbeat, pulse, and breathing are played/processed in real time through Sharp’s own signal-bending synthesis rig and through Basanta’s bespoke ‘controlled feedback’ amplification system. The album’s rhythms are generated wholly from Sharp’s similarly controlled breathing and heart rate. The results are utterly gripping, with melodic and micro-tonal elements flowing amidst waves of atmospheric pink and brown noise, low-end modulation and calibrated distortion.

                                Through four parts each running in the 10-minute range, Stand Above The Streams conjures an evocative, abstracted survey of organic nature, perhaps from on high, like a satellite scanning and processing data across diverse and slowly changing landscapes. The album also sits very comfortably alongside the recent resurgence in synth-based soundtrack music (John Carpenter, Tangerine Dream et al) – though as alien as it can sometimes sound, there is an unmistakable human element and underlying warmth that courses through the tensile strength of this music, electrifying it with the viscera of the body

                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                LP Info: 180gram vinyl includes 12x24 art print poster +320kbps MP3 download

                                Esmerine

                                Mechanics Of Dominion

                                  "What distinguishes Esmerine from so many artists skirting the overlaps between new folk and chamber music-style arrangements is the attention to composition and content. Esmerine wrap mood around substance." The Wire // Following the Turkish collaboration of Dalmak (awarded the 2014 Juno for Instrumental Album Of The Year} and the more rock-inflected Lost Voices (2016 Juno nominee for Instrumental Album and winner for Album Package Of The Year}, Esmerine embarked on a soundtrack commission for the National Film Board documentary "Freelancer on the Front Line" (about independent journalism in the Middle East), which also led to a deep dive into archival and previously unreleased recordings.

                                  Sessions for the film soundtrack provided various seeds for a new album concept and composing/recording continued rolling into early 2017, informed by anxiety over the reactionary, regressive, seemingly irresolvable disharmony of human oppression/domination and the ever-accelerating degradation / denial of nature and social justice. Stylistically, Mechanics Of Dominion took shape with mallet instruments brought more to the fore (relative to Esmerine’s previous two outings): marimba, piano and amplified music box provide a more prominent through-line on this new album's otherwise quite diverse material. Multi-instrumentalist Brian Sanderson's contributions also continue to shape Esmerine's songwriting to an ever greater extent – his stately melodic lines on horns and acoustic strings are bracing, compelling elements in the ceremonious lyricism and keening vitality of this new song cycle. And the album revisits and further develops two previously recorded and heretofore unreleased pieces (the origins of the modernist piano, string and horn piece "Northeast Kingdom" date back to some of Esmerine’s earliest recordings in the mid-2000s; the sizzling free-improv of "¡Que Se Vayan Todos!" was captured during the Dalmak sessions.)

                                  Mechanics Of Dominion is perhaps Esmerine's most dynamic and narratively-driven work, tracing an arc through Neo/Post--Classical, Minimalism, Modern Contemporary, Folk, Jazz, Baroque and Rock idioms to paint a soundtrack of lamentation, meditation, resolve, resistance and hope. It is Esmerine’s humble requiem for our intractably suffering planet and a paean to the inscrutable, essential dignity of indigenous ethics and the natural world. Mechanics Of Dominion is also another superlative example of Esmerine's acclaimed and award-winning dedication to album artwork and packaging, this time featuring the work of Montreal artist Jean-Sebastien Denis in beautiful resonance with the album's balance of stylistic tensions and emotional colourations. Thanks for listening. 

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Barry says: A late contender for my album of the year chart here from the ever-reliable Constellation. Their last outing, Dalmak' was full of their usual simmering chamber-rock vibes, but infused with an eastern twist, whilst this is an altogether more sombre affair. More along the lines of Aurora, or 'If Only A Sweet Surrender..', Constellation are on one hell of a roll.

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  CD Info: CD comes in a custom thick mini-gatefold jacket.

                                  Once again, I heard the announcement, got excited and (not so patiently) waited. I guess I should be grateful that the time between announcement and release is exponentially smaller with most of Constellation's releases, this one even more so. Godspeed You! Black Emperor have returned for the first time since 2015's 'Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress' with the monolithic behemoth that is 'Luciferian Towers'. From the very first moments of 'Undoing A Luciferian Towers' we get the richly evocative post-apocalyptic tremolo they've become so well known for, which slowly and purposefully grows, turning and writhing into a twisted mass of spine-tingling euphoria and tentative glimmers of light. I'm not entirely sure how reasonably simple chord changes can become such overwhelming tectonic shifts, but the evidence is plain for all to see, all encompassing darkness takes it's hold before bursting out into a repeated melodic refrain, soaring above the unearthly drone.

                                   As we move into the spellbinding trio of 'Bosses Hang' (parts 1-3) we start with a shuddering violin double-stop, shortly joined by a powerfully distorted, soaring single-note guitar riff, rising into a cataclysmic chaos that only GYBE can achieve. It is both meditative and overwhelming, and a whole world of contrasting adjectives reserved for bands that deserve them. Part two once again takes this quiet-loud formula but swaps out the reasonably lucid quiet section for a more unwieldy bowed maelstrom, keeping the soaring crescendo constrained within the confines of atonal chaos. Once again, a testament to the balance required to keep up this sort of fine-tuning of musicality and disarray, whilst retaining the spine-tingling highs of which we've become so fond.

                                   Fam_Famine once again hints at the repeated phrase suggested throughout this whole collection, with swells of string pushing through the fragmented patchwork of simmering drone below, glimmering glimpses of hope in an otherwise damned existence, acting as a superb counterpoint to the resolutely melancholic and stunningly beautiful closer of 'Anthem For No State'. Soaring tremolo weighted by off-kilter melodic bursts remind me in no small way of the (admittedly less frequent) glimpses of sunshine in 'Sings Reign Rebuilder', brought to earth with the static hum of the stunning Hiss Tracts LP, 'Shortwave Nights'.

                                  Comparing GY!BE to anyone else is in essence, fruitless. This is where it came from, and this is a concise and spine-tingling distillation of everything Godspeed ever were, and have recently become. It's a breathtaking and transportative wonder, brimming with melody, but balanced with an unmistakeable experimentation that only GY!BE can pull off. Stunner.



                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  LP Info: Luciferian Towers comes in a gatefold jacket printed on uncoated paperboard with a printed inner dust sleeve and a 24"x24" pull-out poster that re-caps all four of the artwork panels created by Godspeed You! Black Emperor for the gatefold jacket.

                                  Joni Void

                                  Selfless

                                    A selftaught musician making tracks since he was 14 years old and living in Lille, France, Cousin moved to Montréal in 2012 to pursue Film Studies. He plunged into the city’s fertile DIY/loft scene and in a spirited transformation, evolved from cloistered bedroom/virtual persona to highly engaged organizer and performer. Cousin has selfreleased a cavalcade of original albums and remixes since 2011; Selfless is his debut release on a record label. Cousin’s earliest records, made as a teenager, combine piano and field recordings, inspired by the film soundtracks of Jon Brion, Philip Glass and Yann Tiersen and the sample worlds as Boards Of Canada, The Books, Four Tet and Burial.

                                    An increasing obsession with micro-sampling, aleatory composition, history of cinema and the techniques of foley and film sound editing – along with an increasingly active practice of remixing and beat-making – has seen Cousin’s music flourish in fascinating ways. Perhaps most importantly, Cousin now constructs his tracks entirely from found sources and aims not to ‘play’ anything at all. His personal hero Delia Derbyshire (White Noise; the early years of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop) cemented his commitment to making musique concrète avant-pop inspired by these analog tapebased
                                    pioneers.

                                    Selfless is an exploration of catharsis and the escape from entrapments of subjectivity and solipsism, guided by Cousin’s renunciation of any ‘original’ playing or recording of his own, while celebrating intimate community and inter-subjectivity through solicitation of private voice recordings from close friends: Natalie Reid recites her own poem on the hypnotic “Observer (Natalie’s Song)”; Ogun Afariogun (aka Tide Jewel) contributed a freestyle rap recorded and sent by phone on “Yung Wether (Ogun’s Song)”; Ayuko Goto (aka Noah) provided a sound file of whispers for “Empathy (Ayuko’s Song)”; “Dissociation (Kyla’s Song)” is entirely constructed of vocals by Kyla Brooks (aka Nag). The rest of the album’s 12 songs explore a gamut of strategies ranging from the textural, beatless, Satie-inflected opener “Song Siènne” to the pulsing ambientindustrial techno of “Cinema Without People” and “Abjection”, and the kinetic, deconstructed IDM-electronica of “Aesthetics Of Disappearance” and “Agnosia”. 

                                    Automatisme

                                    Momentform Accumulations

                                    Automatisme is the electronic music project of Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec-based producer William Jourdain, who has been self-releasing a brilliant series of albums and tracks under this moniker since 2013, exploring various intersections of drone, dub techno, electronica, ambient, electro-acoustic, and noise. Always taking site-specific field recordings as its starting point, and with nominal reliance on synthesizers, Automatisme samples, signal bends, and transforms his source material into deliberate and elemental soundscapes of white and pink noise, spatial drone and methodically additive beats. Momentform Accumulations compiles much of Jourdain's most recent and most rhythmically-driven work. We're very excited to be issuing this as Automatisme's first official full-length physical album release - and while Jourdain continues to pursue his studies in Art History, his practice as a painter and installation artist, and his work at Saint-Hyacinthe's excellent Fréquences record store, we also anticipate diverse and fascinating future recordings from Automatisme that will stake out a multi-faceted identity for this viscerally engaged young producer. 

                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                    Barry says: Industrial beats and shattered snare hits echo around the sound field, whirling high-passed synths swirl and glow under a haze of noise. Incessant rhythms morph into droning swells, while resonant synthetic basses grow into a cacophonous riot of noise and heart-syncing throbs. All the while, this feels like it could collapse under it's own gravitas, but manages to retain a depth of sound and a weight of mood throughout. Superb.

                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                    LP Info: 180g LP audiophile pressing includes pull-out art print poster + 320kbps mp3 DL

                                    CD Info: CD in 100% recycled gatefold paperboard jacket

                                    Off World, Automatisme, Jason Sharp

                                    Constellation Fall 2016 Bundle

                                      Three new releases vinyl albums bundled together at one very special price!!

                                      Off World - 1
                                      Automatisme - Momentform Accumulations
                                      Jason Sharp - A Boat Upon Its Blood

                                      Celebrated Toronto-based composer, producer and songwriter Sandro Perri is one of Constellation's most long-standing and artistically diverse music-makers, known both for the pulsing, longform instrumental work released in the early 2000s as Polmo Polpo and the tropicalia-, jazz- and prog-influenced vocal music brilliantly showcased on 2011's Impossible Spaces. Over the past couple of years Perri has been letting us in on a fascinating treasure chest of strange and enchanting collaborative recordings, which, now rounded up under the project name Off World, will begin to see release over the next few seasons. Chiefly a studio-based endeavour, the project traces its origins as far back as 2008 when Perri and fellow Torontonian Lorenz Peter began working together, now expanded to encompass collaborations with many other producers and musicians, including Drew Brown (Lower Dens, Blonde Redhead), Susumu Mukai (Zongamin), M J Silver (Mickey Moonlight), Craig Dunsmuir, Jesse Zubot and Eric Chenaux. 1 is alien electronics played humanly, with real-world accents throughout, rich in deconstructed melody, interplay between acoustic and electronic instrumentation, and pointillist and aleatory composition techniques. Off World resists easy categorization: not ambient "easy listening", not strictly "improvised", not "retro" - but eccentrically absorbing and soothingly mischievous as it charts its own sonic trails.

                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                      Barry says: A spooky and fascinating trek through jazz, modern-classical and experimental synth music in one engrossing package. 'Old Brain' is as minimal as it gets, placing emphasis on one central warped synth line, gradually ring-modulated into oblivion. 'Extraction' takes the violins found on other Constellation staples, and turns them into a slow-mo whirling drone, both meditative and industrious. 'New Brain' on the other-hand is a future-facing synthetic melody, imbued with an inherent fragility, and driven forward in seemingly incidental increments. A Beautiful journey, but one that demands your attention.

                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                      CD Info: CD in 100% recycled gatefold paperboard jacket

                                      Jason Sharp has been a fixture of Montréal's experimental/improv scene for many years, chiefly as a saxophonist exploring drone and durational music, while also collaborating in a wide variety of jazz, avant and contemporary music ensembles. His work as a composer, conductor and band leader in his own right is now featured on A Boat Upon Its Blood, the first album-length recording to be released under his own name: a bracingly meditative multi-movement instrumental work that charts a highly compelling arc of shifting energies and intensities. Using custom-built equipment to translate breath and heart rate into variegated sonic triggers, along with other modes of signal processing and in tandem with traditional instrumentation, the album features Sharp's own reed playing with contributions from a few guest musicians on pedal steel guitar, violin and various percussion. Recorded by Thierry Amar (Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Vic Chesnutt) at the Hotel2Tango in Montréal and mixed and mastered by Jesse Zubot (Tanya Tagaq, Drip Audio Records), A Boat Upon Its Blood is a genre-defying album with a highly immersive and satisfying sound palette that impels deep listening and demands to be taken in as a whole. Constellation is thrilled to present Jason Sharp as a unique and invigorating new voice in modern-contemporary music. 

                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                      Barry says: Terse repeated patterns, droning chamber-classical strings and metallic reverbs are thrust together with waveshaped synth lines, visceral evolving patterns and crackly field recordings. Electronic loops are woody and hollow, topped off with industrial hits and melancholic swirls. Absorbing, and demanding of your attention, this is one to get stuck into when no-one else is around. Disarmingly real, and alarmingly deep.

                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                      CD Info: CD in 100% recycled gatefold paperboard jacket.

                                      Radwan Ghazi Moumneh returns with a second full-length album from his acclaimed Jerusalem In My Heart (JIMH) project, conceived and recorded in his dual homes Montréal and Beirut. Known for his production and engineering work with artists as diverse as Matana Roberts (all 3 chapters of her Coin Coin recordings to date), Aids Wolf, Ought, Eric Chenaux and Suuns. Moumneh has been firing on all cylinders over the past few years.

                                      He has brought JIMH to mesmerized live audiences in Canada, Europe and the Middle East since the release of his first album in 2013, following many years during which the project was a strictly Montréal-based live/theatrical happening. While JIMH continues to expand to includealarger cast of players for select engagements and commissions, the group is currently animmersive and performative audio-visual duo at its core, with Moumneh responsible for all sound / composition and filmmaker Charles-André Coderre creating 16mm visuals and live projections/installations . Moumneh expands his compositional palette on If He Dies, If If If If If If, exploring new deconstructions and juxtapositions of both traditional and popular Arab musical currents, with an album that oscillates between powerfully emotive vocal tunes and instrumental works that primarily make use of Radwan's expressive acoustic playing on buzuk and zurna as a point of departure.

                                      “A daring act brimming with promise.” – Tinymixtapes. 
                                      “[JIMH] has a mature and unbridled energy that defies classification, and I cannot recommend it enough.” – A Closer Listen.
                                      "Compelling, confounding, deeply moving." – All Music Guide. 


                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                      CD Info: CD In 100% recycled gatefold paperboard jacket.

                                      Godspeed You! Black Emperor (GYBE) returns with its first single LP-length release since the group's earliest days in 1997-99. ‘Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress’ clocks in at a succinct 40 minutes and is arguably the most focused and best sounding recording of the band’s career.

                                      “If Godspeed around the turn of the millennium felt like a band of the moment, now, in a time of rapid cultural turnover and bite-sized music consumption, they feel out of step in a very necessary way.” – PITCHFORK. 

                                      “This Montreal collective still sound like nothing else…The Godspeed ethos of wordlessly eliciting universal truths remains as devastatingly effective as ever.” – THE GUARDIAN. 


                                      Working with sound engineer Greg Norman (Electrical Audio) at studios in North Carolina and Montréal, GYBE slowly and steadily put the new album together through late 2013 and 2014, emerging with a mighty slab of superlative sonics, shot through with all the band’s inimitable signposts and touchstones: huge unison riffage, savage noise/drone, oscillating overtones, guitar vs. string counterpoint, inexorable crescendos and scorchedearth transitions.

                                      Following Godspeed’s return from a long hiatus at the end of 2010 to begin playing live shows again, and with the hugely acclaimed ‘Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! release in 2012 marking their first new release in a decade, the group continued to perform regularly on their own headlining tours (and as headliners at many leading festivals), often including a new multi-movement piece in concert over the past couple of years.

                                      Known to fans and through live show recordings by the sobriquet “Behemoth”, GYBE has gradually distilled this new work down to a fastidious and uncompromising essence in the studio, with the swing-time swagger of the opening unison riff in “Peasantry or ‘Light! Inside of Light!’” giving way to increasing microtonal divergences and an exhilarating immersion in the harmonic power of massed amplified instruments, before collapsing into some of the most visceral and unalloyed noise/drone the band has yet committed to tape on “Lambs’ Breath” and “Asunder, Sweet”.

                                      The album closes with “Piss Crowns Are Trebled”, a 14-minute piece of vintage Godspeed, where ascending and descending guitar and violin melodies intertwine over gut-rattling distorted bass in 3/4 time, segueing into a pummeling four-on-the-floor series of sparkling, soaring crescendos. ‘Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress’ finds Godspeed in top form; a sterling celebration of the band’s awesome dialectic, where composition, emotion and ‘note-choice’ is inextricable from an exacting focus on tone, timbre, resonance and the sheer materiality of sound.

                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                      LP Info: 180 gram LP in gatefold jacket includes art print poster and download coupon.

                                      Siskiyou returns with Nervous, a majestic album of carefully constructed art rock built around songwriter and lead singer Colin Huebert's stacked acoustic guitars and intimate, whispery vocals. Siskiyou’s sound has been previously dubbed a sort of ‘Northern Gothic’, conjuring cold winds and the life-saving warmth of temporary shelters and tiny hearth fires. With Nervous, the band continues to push beyond the crisp lo-fi intimacy of its early work, and has forged its most confident and finely-crafted recording to date, moving fully into auteur and chamber-pop territory with a song cycle that brings to mind the meticulousness of mood and sonics found in recent work by PJ Harvey, Nick Cave and Tindersticks. Inflected by an anxious, sussurant restraint, Huebert's voice is supported by the falsetto backing vocal counterpoint and economical instrumentation of bandmates Erik Arnesen, Peter Carruthers and Shaunn Watt. Fans of the understated and underrated 1990s group Swell may also hear a welcome evocation of that group's acoustic guitar-driven simplicity and austere deployment of adornments.

                                      Following Siskiyou's excellent sophomore release Keep Away The Dead in 2011, Huebert became afflicted with a serious inner ear condition that eluded conventional diagnosis. While honouring a previously scheduled songwriting residency in Dawson City, Yukon in winter 2012, Huebert found himself grappling with severe anxiety and an unwelcome interiority, engendered by hyperacusis and a house that felt utterly haunted. Intense chronic ear-ringing and panic attacks continued throughout the year, for which conventional medicine was unable to find any cause or effective treatment; Huebert began focusing on meditation, retreated to silence for a period, and then began rehearsing his new songs with the band at extremely low volumes. The songs on Nervous are shot through with the entirety of this experience: the literal feeling of being trapped in one's head and the physical-psychological feedback loop of debilitating anxiety; the lyrical themes and tense, whispered singing amidst tightly-wrought compositions and arrangements.

                                      Huebert found solace in new working methods within the controlled environment of studio-based production and composition, developing new sonic palettes and pursuing new avenues of instrumental arrangement and recording fidelity. Working with producer/engineer Leon Taheny (Owen Pallett/Final Fantasy, Dusted, Austra) on most of Nervous, Siskiyou has emerged with by far its most assured, ambitious and authoritative recordings, while preserving the economy of elements, deft structures, and assiduous melodic deliberation for which the band has been rightly celebrated over its two previous albums. In charting escape paths from his disquieting cranial confinement, Huebert has very much succeeded in setting his songs out on an expansive canvas, while preserving a palpable sense of nervous interiority and quiet desperation at their heart.

                                      Nervous includes contributions from guest musicians Colin Stetson, Owen Pallett, JP Carter, Ryan Driver and the St. James Music Academy Senior Choir, among others. The album features original artwork by Michael Drebert.

                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                      Barry says: This is on Constellation records. They have a lot of violins at Constellation towers, violas, violettes, violums etc. They released GY!BE (and GYBE!, strangely) , they excel at all forms of bombastic bleak chamber-classical. This is a different prospect altogether. Like a cross between the Arcade Fire and Nick Cave, these are brilliantly crafted alt-rock pieces, pained but hopeful vocals over trad-band (i.e not 14 people) setup. Textured but not jarring, acoustic in parts and constructed as a pop song would be. 'I am a wasted genius' he sings over swooning organs and morose acoustic guitar. Yes you are Colin, yes you are.

                                      New instrumental rock project of Simon Trottier and Olivier Fairfield from Timber Timbre long active in Quebec's experimental/punk scene. Also features Timber Timbre frontman Taylor Kirk; on tour with Timber Timbre in fall 2014. When Timber Timbre’s ambient music for a horror film went unused back in 2012, Trottier and Fairfield began revisiting the sound palette they had built up for the soundtrack at Trottier's studio in Hull, Quebec, expanding on their techniques and textures, adding drums, bass and various other instruments, and. The duo found that they had dug into some very fertile territory, writing additional songs throughout 2013 and bringing their obsessions with sound collage, tape-based music concrète and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop to bear on the cinematic lyricism of the initial widescreen guitar- and string-based material.

                                      Derived from the title of the abandoned film, Simon and Olivier dubbed their new project Last Ex. Constellation knew nothing of this back story when the label received the Last Ex demos in spring 2014; we just heard a compelling, compact, coherent, highly evocative instrumental album that kept worming its way into our ears. By the tenth time someone in the office said "Let's play that Last Ex stuff again" – and everyone enthusiastically agreed – it was time to contact the band. This music belonged in the Constellation catalogue: an instrumental rock album of superb compositional and melodic sensibility, balancing minimalism and restraint with atmosphere and tone, bound by a refreshingly original approach to production.

                                      Last Ex makes ample use of the electric guitar as both lead instrument and textural sound source, structuring most of the pieces around deliberate melodic and contrapuntal deployments of Spaghetti Western twang, while distressing, degrading and redeploying those sonics through Fairfield’s analog tape-based manipulations. Trottier takes on most of the guitar duties, with Timbre Timber's Taylor Kirk contributing on a couple of tunes as well. Tight bursts of trap set rhythms played by Fairfield, and usually captured with just a couple of microphones, along with consistently excellent basslines laid down by both Simon and Olivier, propel the album and make this anything but an ambient listen. Strings appear on several pieces, courtesy Mika Posen (also of Timber Timbre), in a wide range of textures and treatments.

                                      With its combination of assured lyricism, cinematic guitars, dusky analog atmospherics and taut percussion, this is a vivid, concise and expressive instrumental album that sits snugly between fellow label acts Do Make Say Think and Exhaust on the one hand, Hrsta, Tindersticks and Evangelista on the other. Fans of early Trans Am, early/mid Tortoise, Calexico and (obviously) Timbre Timber should appreciate this as a very satisfying grower of an album as well.

                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                      LP Info: 180g LP audiophile pressing includes art print poster and download.

                                      Debut album from one of Montreal’s most talked-about indie-rock bands. New studio recordings supplant the band’s 2012 Bandcamp release, one of Weird Canada’s “Albums we wished were released physically”, praised by HeroHill, Said The Gramophone; “Top 15 Emerging Bands” on ArtInfo. Ought has been burning with a strong and steady flame since flickering to life in Montreal just before the inspired months of the Quebec student general strike in 2012.

                                      The mass mobilization against neo-liberal austerity measures indelibly shaped the emerging sound, vision and social mandate of Ought. Then band’s earnest, stately and exuberant post-punk is dextrous, deliberate, unfussy and fluid, with debts to Cap’n Jazz, The Feelies, Lungfish, Gang Of Four and early Talking Heads, among many others. They shift from sharp angles and stuttering counterpoint to softer edges and chiming flow, with an economy of elements and fidelity to their basic 4-piece constitution. The instrumental interplay is consistently whipsmart, supple and deceptively simple.

                                      Vocalist Tim Beeler's speak-singing can give way to melancholic melodic croons and ragged, desperate yelps, always driven by sincerity of feeling and connection to his subject matter, whether that's the conundrum of our fractured interiority or communion with others in our fractured social space (or, for the most part, both). Ought are a righteous and humble young band, fiercely dedicated to grassroots organizing and artmaking, taking as self-evident the inseparability of politics and aesthetics; Constellation are proud and excited to be releasing their debut full-length.

                                      Marks the 15th anniversary of the band, founded and led by Efrim Menuck of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. First new SMZ full length since GYBE's return to action in 2011. Recorded in Quebec by Greg Norman (Electrical Audio). Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra (SMZ) has traced a barbed-wire arc of genre-defying protest music since its inception in 1999. Formed by Efrim Menuck, with Thierry Amar and Sophie Trudeau, the initial iteration of the band was a predominantly instrumental trio that forged a more intimate and ragged chamber-punk than Godspeed You! Black Emperor, in which group all three founding SMZ members also played (and continue to play).

                                      Through seven albums from 2000-2010, SMZ expanded its line-up and shifted towards an increasing use of lead and group vocals, with Menuck penning politically-charged lyrics to anchor long-form multi-movement compositions that juxtaposed electrified guitars against a 4-piece string section of violins, cello and contrabass. Most recently, SMZ has pared back to five players, with Menuck's massive spectrum spanning electric guitar sound emerging as the spine around which two violins, bass (now more often electric than acoustic) and drums are deployed. SMZ have managed a handful of short tours in the past couple of years (in the gaps between GYBE commitments) and as anyone who has seen the band in its recent incarnation can attest, their current sound is more honed, laser-guided and bone-rattling than ever, melding hardcore, blues, garage and dark metal influences that have nothing to do with anything so quaint as “post-rock” (a tag the group has always and rightly rejected).

                                      Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything is the first definitive document of the band's newfound sound and style as a quintet. It’s also their first single LP-length work since the band’s debut record as a trio almost 15 years ago, and features roadtested pummeling rock-outs “Fuck Off Get Free (For The Island Of Montréal)”, “Take Away These Early Grave Blues” and “What We Loved Was Not Enough” alongside the previously unheard lullabyes/minuets “Little Ones Run” and “Rains Thru The Roof At Thee Grande Ballroom (For Capital Steeze)” and the album centerpiece “Austerity Blues” with its closing lyric “Lord let my son live long enough to see that mountain torn down” sung in varying incarnations throughout the second half of this 14-minute epic. This lyric in many ways encapsulates Menuck's unflinching take on a world replete with shabbiness, greed and injustice, seen through the lens of parenthood, mortality, endurance and defiance. There are few other musicians who deliver social critique with the courage and honesty of lines like “All our cities gonna burn / All our bridges gonna snap / All our pennies gonna rot / Lightning roll across our tracks / All our children gonna die”. Feel-good music this is not; but neither can it reductively be tagged apocalyptic or world-weary. Fuck Off Get Free rages with scorn and with hope, utterly passionate but pointedly unromantic. Thee Silver Mt. Zion once again demonstrates, like few other bands working today, that there is much to fight for and against, and plenty more fight songs to sing.

                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                      LP Info: 180 gram audiophile pressing includes art poster.

                                      LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                      CD Info: CD in gatefold paperboard jacket.

                                      Following several visits to the city over the years, Osama (Sam) Shalabi moved to Cairo in 2011, arriving at an apartment one block from Tahrir Square, in the midst of Egypt's 'Arab Spring'. Shalabi describes The Big Mango, his new and phenomenal work for his Land Of Kush big-band, as "a love letter to Cairo" framed by "the beautiful, surreal madness of the city…as joyous, horrific, historical events were unfolding". The opening six minutes, a slowly brewing stew of free-improvised instrumentation, electronics, wordless vocalizations and oblique sexuality/sensuality, are an inimitable destabilizing strategy of Shalabi's that serves to introduce most of the instrumental voices and the montage of genres that will form the rest of the work, while also invoking the album's deeper conceptual preoccupations: gender, sexuality and the status of women as a culture unleashes seismic/revolutionary energies with the real possibility of attendant shifts in civil society and political structure. In combination with the peaking intensity and electricity of Shalabi's compositional vision, The Big Mango coheres, sparkles and soars: a distillation of the sonic trajectory Land Of Kush has been charting for the past five years.

                                      Musique Fragile

                                      Musique Fragile 01

                                        'The first edition of the Musique Fragile series presents three self-produced records by three local/regional artists we've been following for a while. Taken together, to our ears (and hearts) these albums trace overlapping circles of Hermetic music in the literal definition of the term: works that were conceived/executed in different forms of isolation (physical, artistic) and also each in its own way invoking a sense of esoteric mysticism (Hermeticism in its more 'spiritual' connotation).

                                        Khôra's "Silent Your Body Is Endless" and Nick Kuepfer's "Avestruz" are both entirely instrumental records, each performed and recorded by a single person, and each sourced primarily from guitar, though in radically different ways; Les Momies De Palerme's "Brûlez Ce Coeur", while using vocals extensively alongside other instruments, deploys voices largely in 'instrumental' fashion, with minimal lyrics and long reverb-drenched intonations.

                                        Khôra is the work of Toronto resident Matthew Ramolo. He created Silent Your Body Is Endless in complete isolation and self-released it in a tiny private-press CD edition in 2009, then re-sequenced, re-mixed and re-mastered the record in collaboration with Constellation for its inclusion in the Musique Fragile series. Ramolo's Khôra project is based chiefly on acoustic/electric guitar and field recordings, with extensive signal processing and digital interventions pulling from these sources to create an immersive soundworld of drones, chimes, rings and other pointillistic sonics. His longform compositions generally contain lovely stretches of relatively unprocessed and fully recognisable guitar which evolve or devolve into more electronic/DSP soundscapes (and sometimes back again). The results are highly organic and meditative while retaining plenty of icy shards, bubbling distortions and passages of controlled monumentalism, making this anything but an ambient listen.

                                        Matthew's initial CD copies of Silent Your Body Is Endless trickled through a few hands here in Montreal last year and immediately struck us as a perfect first piece in the Musique Fragile puzzle. The album went to the top of CKUT's music charts within a week of being aired, and garnered some deserved praise from the smatterings of Canadian music press that managed to stumble across it: "A complete revelation...an album that will haunt your dreams long after you've left this shattered orb" (Hour Magazine); "delves into spaces familiar to fans of Brian Eno, Iannis Xenakis or Pan Sonic, creating dense soundscapes subtle enough that you almost forget it's on, until a bristle of noise jolts you back into reality" (!earshot)

                                        Nick Kuepfer has been a fixture of Montreal's avant/folk/improv underground since moving to the city a few years back. Alongside running the Daygristle screenprinting studio and hosting wonderfully claustrophobic shows at his Rap Machines space, Kuepfer has done service in a pile of music groups past and present, including L'Embuscade, Echoes Still Singing Limbs (ESSL), Aids Wolf and One Candle Power; he also recently joined Hrsta. Kuepfer initially circulated some CD-Rs of this record around town, screenprinted with the ESSL name, but the Echoes project soon evolved into a larger band and a very different beast; Nick agreed that Avestruz should carry a different moniker, ultimately and bashfully accepting to put his actual name on it!

                                        Avestruz is a charming and humble sketchbook of sorts, a volume of mostly short pieces that usually start with acoustic guitar riffs that loop and layer, sometimes with the addition of hand-percussion (pots, pans and kettles), the occasional bowed string, and various field recordings. Self-recorded on a variety of lo-fi sources (mostly 4-track cassette and mini-disc) and primarily "in the field" while Nick was traveling through Argentina in 2007-2008, the album has a beguiling vagabond spirit and palpably conveys the sense of a solitary wandering through unfamiliar land, documenting its musical impressions. There is a sense of real immediacy and site specificity (cultural and geographic) on this collection of recordings, even as most of the pieces have been worked up with multi-tracked and/or looped patterns and polyrhythms. We also hear a paean to mystical nature, channeled by the calm but wide-eyed euphoria and attention that so often accompanies rough unsanitised travel. Avestruz is like a sonic slideshow of Kuepfer's journey, with the musical snapshots taken at various 'magic hours' where the light makes everything hum and glow from within.

                                        Les Momies De Palerme are also based in Montreal and consist of Marie Davidson and Xarah Dion, who both relocated here from Quebec City several years ago. We first heard from Xarah as a mail-order customer and then received the occasional long hand-written letter from her soon after she arrived in Montreal, introducing herself more fully and ruminating on her sense of displacement and re-orientation. She remained unknown to us except in name, until a couple of years later when we were struck by an otherworldly performance by Les Momies De Palerme and realised Xarah was one half of the duo. Marie and Xarah both have gone on to make many musical connections in the city, including membership in Sam Shalabi's Land Of Kush orchestra. They are also among the founders of La Brique, an artist-run center that hosts regular loft shows of all sorts.

                                        Brûlez ce coeur follows the group's debut self-released L'amour sincère CD-R (2007), from which the lead track "Solis" has been re-recorded. Of the three Musique Fragile albums, this is the only one that was recorded in a studio and the only one to feature guest players; the band convened at The Pines with David Bryant (Bliss, Set Fire To Flames) last year to take advantage of his excellent space acoustics and his fine collection of spring and plate reverbs. Les Momies create an uncategorisable sound built up from a core of keyboards, processed violin and voices: slow-paced without being ponderous; synthetic without being retro; methodically restrained and strangely devotional without being easily tagged as ethereal or gothic. Brûlez ce coeur is often like an ersatz sacred music: canticles on acid (we imagine Marie and Xarah back in the Quebec City of their youth, tripping in Catholic church, as the genesis of Les Momies) full of strange quirks and avant sounds while remaining soothing, meditative and incantatory'. - Constellation.

                                        These are ultra-deluxe, ultra-limited sets released in a package of 3 x CD or 3 x LP, both complete with 3 screen printed posters and 3 sets of art cards.


                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                        3xLtd LP Info: ***LAST COPY EVER***

                                        Siskiyou

                                        Keep Away The Dead

                                          2nd album by the group led by Colin Huebert and Erik Arnesen, former and current members of Great Lake Swimmers respectively. 

                                          Even as Siskiyou's first record was delivered to Constellation in early 2010 and getting prepped for release that fall, Colin Huebert remained holed up in Mara, BC (pop. 350) through the winter, writing more songs and eventually being joined by his Siskiyou co-conspirator Erik Arnesen for a few weeks of intensive recording. Unlike the material on their eponymous debut, which was largely recorded in nomadic fashion while Colin and Erik toured as members of Great Lake Swimmers, the Mara, BC sessions found the pair settled, rooted and with keys in hand to the century-old Mara Community Hall. Most of the tunes on 'Keep Away The Dead' were born at Mara Hall, where bed tracks were laid down in the crisp air during depth of winter. The arctic atmosphere of that empty, cavernous, hardwood structure was the perfect complement to Huebert's sensibility: a tense and acute restraint; a shivering, biting, sometimes bitter rending of barebones, folk-inflected rock music. (Neil Young remains a clear touchstone – overtly so with the album's cover of "Revolution Blues" – as do the pointed, starkly controlled arrangements and textures of contemporaries like Angels Of Light.)

                                          Huebert left Mara in spring 2010 and moved to Vancouver, where Siskiyou began to take shape as a full band with the addition of Shaunn Watt and Peter Carruthers. Coming off a season of extensive touring in Euope and Canada in fall 2010, Siskiyou had coalesced into an incisivie quartet and hit Vancouver's JC/DC Studio in early 2011 with engineer David Carswell (Destroyer, New Pornographers), adding to the previous year's Mara sessions and cutting two more tunes for which Carswell ran the mix: "Twigs And Stones" and "Revolution Blues”. Huebert recorded and mixed the remainder of Keep Away The Dead (as he did on the previous record). Where Siskiyou's debut was a stunning little scrapbook of short, sharp tunes, 'Keep Away The Dead' ramps things up with subtle care and clarity, yielding something closer to a rural gothic novella in spirit and scope. The album is a strikingly cold-eyed, tender-hearted song cycle, marked by quiet defiance and desperation. Huebert's acoustic guitar and gently acetic voice, Arnesen's gorgeous banjo and treated guitar lines, and the judicious rhythm section of Watt and Carruthers deliver a superbly compelling album on the knife's edge of darkness, where each tune feels like another precious log thrown on a lone campfire burning in the cold night.


                                          Led by art/punk legend Carla Bozulich, who previously fronted The Geraldine Fibbers and Ethyl Meatplow. Fourth full-length album from Evangelista, which is Bozulich’s primary and most personal current musical project following the critically acclaimed Prince Of Truth (2009) that cemented Carla Bozulich’s reputation for aesthetic quality, intensity and iconoclasm as she entered a third decade of tireless artistic and musical activity. [Prince Of Truth is] a fascinating interplay of conventional song forms and more experimental tendencies...there’s a barely restrained brutality to this music, which seems always on the edge of something, either a descent into the abyss or elevation to some majestic heights... POPMATTERS.

                                          Evangelista’s new album continues to broaden the sonic canvas against which Bozulich deploys her distinctive voice and lyricism. In Animal Tongue reflects Bozulich’s escape from her Los Angeles home base and an increasingly nomadic existence in the last couple of years, devoted in equal parts to collaboration and improvisation with a wide range of players in diverse contexts, the conception and execution of site-specific sound/art events and residencies, rocking the circuit with Evangelista (equally at home in bright museums and dingy clubs) and retreats to the American desert. In Animal Tongue was chiefly written and recorded by Bozulich, in a variety of locations, driven (in Carla’s words) “by the forces of rocks, evolution, geology, drugs, boxing, everything-ology and dead stuff that makes the dirt and cement and the tress grow. Plus real versus fake!!!” We’re pretty sure this doesn’t mean she was actually taking drugs, but without doubt the album steams and bubbles like a surreal simmering cauldron, with carefully metered elements stirred and coagulating around a core of low-end provided by Tara Barnes on bass, seasoned with piano, organ and cut-and-paste arrangements by Dominic Cramp. This core trio is augmented by Sam Mickens (The Dead Science), Shahzad Ismaily (Laurie Anderson, Secret Chiefs, Sam Amidon) and John Eichenseer (jhno), who contribute to several tracks. Through it all, Bozulich’s powerfully adventurous voice weaves vital, semi-improvisatory melodies of gasping, restrained intensity (“Artificial Lamb”, “Bells Ring Fire”), brooding incantation (“In Animal Tongue”, “Hands Of Leather”, “Die Alone”) and a rich half-whispered alto (“Black Jesus”, “Enter The Prince”). In Animal Tongue is a superb addition to Bozulich’s canon and as original a voice as can be found at the current nexus of punk, poetry, and experimental music.


                                          Elfin Saddle

                                          Wurld

                                            Elfin Saddle began working with Constellation in late 2008. At the same time, the band's co-founders, Emi Honda and Jordan McKenzie, were also completing a year-long art project involving sculpture, stop-motion animation and time-lapse video. Using the backyard of their Montreal apartment as an installation site, Emi and Jordan evolved and devolved an entire miniature world, conjuring an historical arc of civilization from early settlement and relative harmony with nature to gradual industrialisation, mechanisation and the inevitable discontents of over-production, waste and decline.

                                            The resulting work is a wondrous, unpretentious, gently mystical 23-minute video piece entitled "Wurld", for which they also composed the soundtrack. "Wurld" premiered at the Vienna International Film Festival in November 2009 and received a Canadian premiere at the Musee d'art contemporain de Montreal (MACM) in May 2010.

                                            Elfin Saddle's "Wurld" is available in two formats, each using 100% recycled papers and boards:
                                            Custom DVD package is a screen-printed 25 pt. chipboard gatefold jacket with front cover die-cut window, containing a series of four full-colour 5"x7" postcards featuring stills from the "Wurld" film (each of which can be positioned to shine through the window cut) and a 7"x14" duotone art print. Limited to 1000 for the world.
                                            10" vinyl package is similarly screen-printed and die-cut on the same thick board, with a 10"x10" full colour insert card, the 5"x7" postcard set, and a larger 10"x20" duotone art print poster. The 10" package includes the DVD in a printed sleeve, inserted in the vinyl jacket. Limited to 500 for the world.

                                            "Wurld" represents a new convergence in the art and music practice of Emi and Jordan, who also produced beautiful new drawings and collages for the package design and insert poster. Constellation is very proud to be presenting a truly multi-media work by these unique and talented artists.

                                            Eric Chenaux

                                            Warm Weather With Ryan Driver

                                            Eric Chenaux is one of Toronto's most prolific and respected musical iconoclasts, an experimental guitar virtuoso with over two decades of dedicated and diverse service to an artistic community that encompasses post-punk, lo-fi, folk, multimedia composition and performance (chiefly in collaboration with modern dance) and free and improvised music.

                                            "Warm Weather" With Ryan Driver is Eric's third album for Constellation, which has been the conduit for his primary song-oriented solo work since 2006. Building on his fruitful collaboration with piano/synth/melodica player Ryan Driver - whose key role on the new album is signalled by his inclusion in its very title - the new record is without doubt Chenaux's most accomplished and focused work of forward-looking, contemporary balladry.

                                            The album is available on CD and 180g LP in 100% recycled paperboard jackets.

                                            Godspeed You! Black Emperor

                                            Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada EP

                                              Constellation's second vinyl-only release from Godspeed contains two long songs, and sets the bar for the sprawling compositions that would characterize the group in the years to follow. Side one is cut at 45rpm and features "Moya", a broiling cascade of upward scales that repeatedly explodes beyond its own threshold. "BBF3" on Side two clocks in at 18 minutes, and is the band's most lyrical, multi-movement music to date -- more elaborated melodic figures wind around an angry spoken-word field recording (infamously culminating in the recital of the speaker's poem -- verses lifted straight from Iron Maiden). Both songs were recorded with Dale Morningstar at the old Gas Station studio in Toronto.

                                              Feu Therese caught spark from the embers of Fly Pan Am's break-up in 2005, when FPA guitarist Jonathan Parant joined forces with longtime collaborators Alex St-Onge (bass, electronics) and Stephen de Oliveira (synths, voice) to form the new group. Painter turned drummer Luc Paradis completed the new line-up. Their debut self-titled album, released on Constellation in spring 2006, expanded on FPA's sonic agenda, while relying more on instrumental juxtapositions - rather than electronic interventions or intentional sabotage at the mixing desk - to hijack the music. "Ca Va Cogner" sticks to these conceptual guns, as Feu Thérèse aims to recuperate and re-cast a 'synthetic' music that intentionally eschews the codified elements of 21st-century electro nostalgia: the 'cool' analogue keys, the heavy bass & drum mix, the overwrought faux-primitivism. Feu Therese embrace unfashionable synth stabs and arpeggiators, riding them high in the mix, along with the vocals, delivered with unapologetically forward, spoken-sung deliberateness by de Oliveira (in a clear nod to the poetics and production values of 1970s/80s French chansonniers).

                                              The broad cast of players - all seven members of Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band, along with Guy Picciotto (Fugazi), Bruce Cawdron (Godspeed You! Black Emperor) plus members of Hanged Up and Frankie Sparo amongst others - offered influences and approaches to Vic's music that yielded a record unlike any other in his substantial discography. Recorded over the winter of 2006-2007, at one of the last sessions to take place at the original Hotel2Tango location in Montreal (the studio moved in spring 2007), "North Star Deserter" is maybe, the very best album Vic Chesnutt has yet made. The songs on "North Star Deserter" are some of the most bracing and intense we've ever heard from him: macabre and fearless, playful and funny, at times deeply personal and at others, incongruously hopeful. Stripped-down songs like "Warm", "Rustic City Fathers", "Over" and "Marathon" are juxtaposed with explosive rockers like "Everything I Say" and "Debriefing", while "Glossolalia" and "You Are Never Alone" feature wonderful arrangements and group singing.

                                              Sandro Perri is perhaps better known as the singer songwriter behind Polmo Polpo and Glissandro 70. This album mixes beatific instrumental moments of ripping improv with wrought, empassioned songwriting to glorious affect, a truly heartrending collection of moving songs.

                                              Hangedup

                                              Clatter For Control

                                              This is the third full length by the viola and drums duo of Montreal's Hangedup, who've been mesmerising audiences, while pushing the boundaries of what a bow and a pair of drumsticks can conjure since 1999. "Clatter For Control" finds the band utterly on fire, swooping and slamming around with varying degrees of controlled chaos. Both noisier and more melodic than anything they've yet put to tape, they raise their compostional and improvisational bars on this album.

                                              The Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band With Choir

                                              This Is Our Punk Rock

                                              This third album from Silver Mt. Zion, is by far the most melodic album released by any Godspeed You Black Emperor project. On this release, they expand on their core six piece line-up, to include guests on drums and a couple of dozen folk on choral duty! Dense layers of strings collide, blend and differentiate against a backdrop of ragged repeating guitar figures and noise treatments. Their long instrumental passages are there as ever, but there's a much stronger vocal presence than before.

                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                              2xLP Info: Double vinyl in Constellations trademark beautiful packaging and including a screen printed poster.

                                              CD Info: Nicely packaged CD as you'd expect from Constellation.

                                              Godspeed You! Black Emperor

                                              Yanqui UXO

                                                "Yanqui UXO" finds Godspeed at their most political. UXO = unexploded ordnance, landmines, cluster bombs. Yanqui = post-colonial imperialism, international police state, multinational corporate oligarchy. As for the music, well it speaks for itself, prime apocalyptic post rock at its best!!

                                                A Silver Mt Zion

                                                Born Into Trouble As The Sparks Fly Upward

                                                Second album that finds the band expanded to a six member core. The addition of cello, second violin and second guitar has allowed them to develop a much broader sound with more vocals and guitar. Think of a sound somewhere between Godspeed.., Spiritualized and Rachels. Fantastic stuff!!!!!

                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                Barry says: Post-Godspeed, A Silver Mt. Zion rise from the ashes, more overtly (and lyrically) political, filled with zeal and drive. Their debut was tear-jerkingly morose, but equally stunning. This is a slightly more hopeful affair, filled with long string bursts and reverb-drenched piano. One of the most startling and moving albums to have come out of Canada since GYBE themselves.

                                                Re:mnant

                                                Remnant

                                                An album of sound collage grooves, densely layered songs, overlapping loops and filter treatments. On Constellation, home of Godspeed, A Silver Mount Zion, Do Make Say Think.

                                                Frankie Sparo

                                                My Red Scare

                                                Mysterious debut album by Frankie Sparo, helped out by various members of the Constellation circle. Angular guitars, skittish electronics and throaty vocals create an album which is vaguely sinister and paranoid at times, smoky and languid at others.


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