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CONSTELLATION

Automatisme & Stefan Paulus

Gap/Void

    The debut collaborative album by Automatisme (Canadian producer William Jourdain) and Swiss field recordist, visual artist, writer/academic and psychogeographer Stefan Paulus, who first met through shared projects with Mille Plateaux/Force Inc, including contributions to the Ultrablack Of Music anthology. Gap/Void is based on field recordings made by Paulus during mountain expeditions in the Swiss Alps, the Caucasus, and the Arctic Circle—documenting stormy weather, high alpine winds, avalanches, and sounds emanating from glaciers and from the insides of crevices and caves. Paulus folded these recordings into hundreds of layers of sound (like the geological strata of their geographic sources) and sent these ambient/noise pieces to Jourdain as raw material for his bespoke Automatisme techniques.

    Gap/Void leads with five rhythmic tracks (cut to 33rpm LP) featuring Automatisme's trademark interstitial digital synthesis and elastic/erratic signal processing, followed by five companion tracks of the original ambient/drone works by Paulus reprocessed by Automatisme. (All tracks on CD/DL and LP download card.) Chain Reaction was a stylistic touchstone for the duo and Gap/Void also intends to resubstantiate the ambling, adrenal trajectories of Paulus' original mountain climbs. A fine addition to Jourdain's prolific body of recent solo and duo works, in line with his shift from the variable tempo strategies of Transit (2018, Constellation) and Alter- (2020, Mille Plateaux) toward the resurgent minimal dub/techno pulse of his Viatorism project (2020, Mille Plateaux; 2021, Diffuse Reality) and his 2021 Zeitgeist album with Beyond Humans (2021, Force Inc).

    TRACK LISTING

    A1 Säntis
    A2 Marwees
    B1 Üble Schlucht
    B2 Blau Schnee
    B3 Stoos
    DL1 Wisswand
    DL2 Schwarzhorn
    DL3 Tothore
    DL4 Nob DL5 Wisshorn

    T. Gowdy

    Miracles

      T. Gowdy has kept up a productive albeit mostly virtual pace since the release of Therapy With Colour (his third full-length album and first for Constellation) which dropped just as things were locking down back in spring 2020: performances at numerous festivals including MUTEK Montréal, Node Festival and NEW NOW; audiovisual pieces exhibited at various European galleries and events; a track and video for Constellation’s Corona Borealis Longplay Singles Series; sound design for the documentary Atalaya by filmmaker Emma Roufs. Gowdy now returns with Miracles, his second full-length for Constellation, which draws on source materials originally performed in 2018 for an unreleased audio/visual project based around surveillance footage—a precursor to video[1]capped, monitor-based horizons that soon took on new meanings.

      Re-immersing himself in those recordings, Gowdy disassembles and deploys them as raw source material for new experiments with vactrols, noise gates and analog-to-digital triggering and aliasing, the original recordings juxtaposed anew amidst their successive textural and rhythmic treatments. Gowdy keeps this re-composition process stripped down, elemental and purposive, guided by an ascetic Aufhebung: synthesis as sublation—subjecting a temporal material/theme to analysis and transformation, reintegrating to form a whole that overcomes what it preserves without erasure, reshaping and intrinsically carrying its origins forward.

      Where Therapy With Colour was strictly and rigorously a set of stereo live performances, Miracles fuses iterative—though still spartan—layers of performance. “Therapy With Colour was about healing through self-hypnosis; Miracles is about forging a future with memory through subjection to trigger mechanisms” notes Gowdy. The result is a captivating collection of minimal IDM and oscillated electronics from the Montréal/Berlin producer, working primarily in a 120-140 BPM zone of tonal percussion and corrugated pulse. Gowdy’s sensibility and sound palette gets deeper and dirtier, summoning new pathways of alluvial flicker and abraded euphoria.

      As the album progresses, low-pass gate vactrols coalesce into a clear and vital theme, conveying immanence through woody timbres at times reminiscent of the Shinrin-yoku aesthetic (Japanese ‘forest bathing’), though always with a grainy transcendence rather than invoking any clean pure sheen. Gowdy consistently heats and heightens the presence of each component in the mix, balancing different elements in democratic compression/distortion, attaining an unornamental and earnest form of mantric-industrial majesty. Miracles is live, corporeal, activated electronic music of the highest caliber, deployed with monastic and meditative focus. 

      TRACK LISTING

      1 350J
      2 Miracles
      3 Déneigeuse
      4 Transcend I
      5 U4A 6 Vidisions
      7 Clipse
      8 Transcend 

      Joyfultalk

      Familiar Science

        JOYFULTALK returns with its third album for Constellation; another vibrantly divergent stylistic take on the analog materiality and sensibility of electronic composer-producer Jay Crocker, whose previous two records forged trance-inducing polyrhythmic intricacy. Familiar Science rallies contributions from a larger cast of musicians into a looser, cosmic recombinant combo still shot through with JOYFULTALK’s singular mixing desk kinetics, but this time deep-diving into gnarled and twisted, spliced and diced out-jazz. Crocker draws inspiration from 1980s M-Base music and Ornette Coleman’s harmolodic funk period, while his own prior history as an improv guitarist also resurfaces for the first time in many years.

        Familiar Science finds Crocker folding time (as lockdown will do), immersed in his present-day kaleidoscope of solitary art and music practices in rural Nova Scotia, while channeling his former life as a bustling jazz collaborator in Calgary, Alberta. Building outwards from roiling resampled acoustic drums, Crocker extracted additional sonic and rhythmic textures, then formed the head of each song using dusted-off archival recordings and his own bass, keys and midi sequencing. Albertan percussionists Eric Hamelin (Ghostkeeper, Chad Vangaalen) and Chris Dadge (Lab Coast, Alvvays) provided improvised drum tracks to be chopped and harvested; Nova Scotia-based Nicola Miller (Ryan Driver, Doug Tielli) laid down resplendent excursions on saxophone and flute; Crocker’s own dexterous guitar appears on several cuts. Familiar Science also poignantly features samples from live recordings by the late Calgary saxophonist iconoclast Dan Meichel, catalysing some of the album’s heaviest contortions.

        Crocker weaves all these raw materials into exuberant compositions that blur the line between sizzling corporeal combo and sampledelic futurist jamz, variously conjuring (leftfield) Flying Lotus, (later) Tortoise, BADBADNOTGOOD and Squarepusher’s Music Is Rotted One Note. The rubbery hyper-compression of boom-bap opener “Body Stone” initiates the séance, and the album offers a panoply of skittering grooves and soaring melodic pathways thereafter. Crocker’s own wordless stacked vocals are the giddy secret sauce on several cuts, and his lead guitar work (in kinship with the lean progressions of Mary Halvorson or Jeff Parker) features on “Take It To The Grave”, “Stop Freaking Out!” and the album’s title track. More honeyed passages on songs like “Blissed For A Minute” and “Ballad In 9” center around Miller’s bouyant alto sax and flute.

        Familiar Science is a rousing feast of noise-tinged polychrome electronic avant-jazz: richly harmolodic compositions teeming with intersecting textures and turbulences; exploratory, exhilarated and indeed joyful.

        TRACK LISTING

        01 Body Stone
        02 Take It To The Grave
        03 Particle Riot
        04 Familiar Science
        05 Ballad In 9
        06 Blissed For A Minute
        07 Hagiography
        08 Stop Freaking Out!

        RIYL: Scott Walker, PJ Harvey, Coil, Matmos, Autechre & Pan Daijing.

        The Debut Full-Length By Montréal Producer Kee Avil, The Project Led By Avant/Improv Guitarist Vicky Mettler, Also Known As A Member Of Sam Shalabi’s Land Of Kush And As Co-Founder Of Concrete Sound Montréal. Advance Single “See, My Shadow” Premiered By Mary Ann Hobbs On BBC6 And Picked Up By Music & Riots, Backseat Mafia, Aural Aggravation, Etc In Dec 2021. Kee Avil, a project led by Montréal producer and guitarist Vicky Mettler: a singular expression of fractured dream logic concretized in chiselled postpunk guitar, sinuous low-end electronics, a panoply of organic and digital samples creating alternately twitchy and propulsive rhythm, and the anxious intimacy of her finely wrought lyricism and vocals. Bound by an outstanding production sensibility throughout, Crease unfolds one oblique earworm hook after another, with compositional innovation anchored to an inscrutable and compelling voice across 10 songs of tremendous and imaginative sonic detail.

        Kee Avil brings a contemporary electroacoustic sensibility to bear on traditions and conventions of pop, postpunk, electronic and sound-art songwriting, where touchstones range from Scott Walker and Coil to Fiona Apple, (early) PJ Harvey and (later) Juana Molina to Eartheater, Pan Daijing and Smerz; or Grouper produced by Autechre. Her unconventional alloys also conjure the guitar-inflected deconstructions of Gastr del Sol and the crystalline micro-worlds of Bjork, Matmos and Rashad Becker. Crease is one of those debut records that excites a wide range of peerless references precisely because it's so compelling in its own idiosyncratic authority, originality and execution. Each song on Crease is its own sculpture, meticulously assembled to resemble disassembly: “each of these worlds was built without consideration for the other; it felt impossible to me, once I would enter the atmosphere of a song, to try to start another until that idea was finished.”

        The album nonetheless unfolds in impressive holistic integration through a palette of textures and techniques deployed in recurring but continually refracted ways. Alongside her superb austere guitar work stitched into electro-industrial, dark-ambient and minimal-techno soundworlds, it’s her voice and lyrics confidential, hermetic, implacable that provide the galvanizing, always captivating through-line. Her more compositional, exacting, (de)constructed musical identity was first unveiled with the self-titled Kee Avil EP (Black Bough Records) and further honed by pre-pandemic tours sharing stages with Pere Ubu, Marc Ribot and Bill Orcut among others. Woodshedding since then, Crease presents a quantum leap in Kee Avil's exploration of studio-based experimentation, arrangement and production, signaling the arrival of a brilliantly genre-melding, refined and assiduous new voice in avant-garde songcraft. 

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: It's definitely an off-piste release for decidedly off-piste label Constellation here, but ends up being a surprisingly good fit. There are echoes of the modern classical roots of the label's forbears, but it's essentially a juxtaposition of MSP sound mangling and futuristic fractured electronica via avant synth drone. A heady, exhilarating journey.

        TRACK LISTING

        01 See, My Shadow
        02 Saf
        03 Drying
        04 Melting Slow
        05 And I
        06 Okra Ooze
        07 I Too, Bury
        08 Devil’s Sweet Tooth
        09 HHHH
        10 Gone Again 

        Eric Chenaux

        Say Laura

          RIYL: Betty Carter, Chet Baker, Jeanne Lee, Richard Youngs, David Grubbs, Derek Bailey, Smog, Goldfrapp.

          Featuring Guest Ryan Driver, Say Laura is the follow-up to Slowly Paradise (2018) which landed Chenaux on the cover of The Wire among other accolades. The new record by Eric Chenaux is his most immaculate and pristine. Say Laura perfectly incarnates the counter-intuitive interplay of instrument and voice that Chenaux has been revealing and revelling in throughout the past decade: his gently unhinged juxtaposition of resplendently smooth, seductively assured singing and puckish, frazzled, thoroughly destabilized guitar could come from no other musician. The five wandering, wondering ballads on Say Laura bring Chenaux's semi-improvised but keenly intentional songwriting to its fullest, clearest, warmest and coolest articulation; uncompromising and generous, hyper-specific and loose, spartan and luxurious, elemental and ornate. And Say Laura breathes like no other Chenaux album. Voice and guitar are inscribed with elemental clarity in a wondrously open, symbiotic sonic space. His pure tenor croon glides through a crisp, reverberant ether while his fried guitar careens dizzily and giddily, every gesture and timbre captured in unflinching detail.

          Opener “Hello, How? And Hey” immediately establishes these subtly heightened characteristics of elementalism, dualism and structure, with Chenaux’s vocal tracing gorgeous soaring melodies across a single beating chord, occupying all the space until guitar and Wurlitzer (courtesy of the album’s only guest, long-time collaborator Ryan Driver) enter in a cascade of twinkle and wah at the two-minute mark, eventually leaving the vocal behind as the song’s second half gives way to a woozy guitar and keyboard improv over the chordal pulse. Album closer “Hold The Line” follows a similar motif, the vocal playing more on folk and pop tropes, but wrapping up in time for a gloriously gnarled eight-minute instrumental ramble. “There They Were” is something closer to unprecedented in Chenaux’s twenty-year songbook: singing and soloing at the same time, he breathlessly repeats a joyous highlife-tinged vocal refrain without pause, cutting against his trademark languorous pace, propelling the song for miles.

          Title track and lead single “Say Laura” is the centerpiece distillation of the album’s stylistic, compositional and spatial mission: sparse but lush, controlled but wild, every note in its place and all over the place. Interviewed as The Wire magazine's cover star in 2017, Chenaux said "the details of our lives are often produced with improvisation and experimentation and in my music, improvisation is a way to hear those details." The details on Say Laura achieve new heights of lucid acuity. Eric Chenaux keeps getting better; Say Laura captures him at his best. 

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: Chenaux brings his unique production style and evocative songwriting to Constellation once again for this thoughtful and poised collection, reminiscent of spiritual jazz but with an inventive and unmistakeable avant-twist, all tempered with his distinctive and perfectly syrupy vox. A brilliantly dynamic and exciting return for Chenaux.

          TRACK LISTING

          01 Hello, How? And Hey
          02 Your New Rhythm
          03 Say Laura
          04 There They Were
          05 Hold The Line 

          Jessica Moss

          Phosphenes

            Jessica Moss Also Known For Her Tenure In Thee Silver Mt. Zion (2002-2015), Black Ox Orkestar (2002-2007), Recordings By Vic Chesnutt, Carla Bozulich, Arcade Fire, Basia Bulat, Roy Montgomery, Sarah Davachi, Big Brave & More. A phosphene is “the phenomenon of seeing light without light entering the eye.” The title of the heart-rending and resolute new album by composer/violinist Jessica Moss could not be better chosen. Moss is by now a seasoned practitioner of immersive isolation music; across three previously acclaimed solo records of minimal and maximal post-classicism, her acoustic, amplified, and electronically-shifted violin is the raw material for deeply expressive, palpably haunted, wholly committed compositions. But Phosphenes inscribes fleeting halos of refracted ghostly light out of a prevailing darkness with especially plangent determination and intensity. This is the most overtly searching, mournful and inexorable music Moss has made to date. The pieces on Phosphenes exquisitely navigate consonance and dissonance, building patiently from single notes to multiple voicings, harmonic stacks and clusters. These compositions channel themselves like slow-moving water in a dark cave, finding small eddies and catching glints of luminescence from within. Signal processing is kept to a minimum in the three-movement “Contemplation” suite on Side One, where Moss deploys amplification chiefly in the service of activating overtones and pitch-shifts, thickening and widening the sonics, carving out her unique timbral space. Based on a four-note sequence that sets whole tones against one another, “Contemplation” is a bona fide requiem that finds Moss at her most instrumentally naturalistic, measured, and modern. Side Two unfolds in a more foreboding vein: “Let Down” is marked by cavernous octave-dropped arco and pizzicato, providing a gothically-inflected substratum upon which hauntingly wordless vocal invocations and cumulative gyres of violin melody unfurl. “Distortion Harbour” grinds with noisier grit and a more harrowing complexion, highlighting Moss’s ambient-metal sensibility and her distinctive palette of industrial-inflected power electronics a reminder of why she’s also been a go-to player on albums by the likes of Big Brave, Oiseaux-Tempête and Zu in recent years. These two songs also feature upright bass from old friend and former bandmate Thierry Amar (Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Thee Silver Mt. Zion, Black Ox Orkestar). Album closer “Memorizing & Forgetting” is inarguably the most tender and beautiful song in Jessica’s oeuvre: a keening lullabye of sorts, on which she plays piano, violin and guitar, joined by her partner Julius Levy in a lustrous ambient vocal duet. Everyone has been trying to find a way through and out of pandemic, lockdown, social isolation and often darkened hope and for many musicians, the absence of touring, of live performance, live sound, live audiences, and a living. For Moss, it’s also been “like when you press your fists hard against your eyes and eventually there is fireworks.” The light gets in where it can, even or maybe especially as imaginative sensory simulacra (if/when we shut down our screens and are left to our own devices). Phosphenes is a stoic, acutely sensitive, superlative musical statement from Moss.

            TRACK LISTING

            01 Contemplation I
            02 Contemplation II
            03 Contemplation III
            04 Let Down
            05 Distortion Harbour
            06 Memorizing & Forgetting 

            Light Conductor

            Sequence Two

              Light Conductor returns with Sequence Two, the second album of prismatic slow-burn analog synth instrumentals by the duo of Jace Lasek (The Besnard Lakes) and Stephen Ramsay (Young Galaxy). Expanding on the hypnaogogic ambience of their warm and uncluttered 2019 debut, Lasek and Ramsay add subtle but scintillating structure and electricity to these four new longform tracks. The songs remain predominantly beatless, but burble and vibrate with more ornate, intentional pulses, arpeggiators and control voltages. Light Conductor's analog palette of gently fuzzed-out chordal drone, mesmeric ostinato, sweeping filters and drifting levitational melody continues to colour the glowing atmosphere of this enveloping space/trance music: like sunrise on another planet, with a profoundly satisfying dimension of heightened ceremony and design.

              Working from recordings helmed by Ramsay in late 2019 and early 2020, made just before and after Light Conductor tours with Spencer Krug and Godspeed You! Black Emperor, the duo then culled from hours of tape and worked up these soundscapes during isolation 2020-21 (in between Lasek's other recording and mixing sessions for Godspeed's latest AT STATE'S END, Bell Orchestre's House Music, and his own The Besnard Lakes Are The Last Of The Great Thunderstorm Warnings, among others). Light Conductor continues to convey an ineffable sense of meditative discovery and efflorescence on Sequence Two, as if the music was being played and unfolded for the first time: the genuine effect of these songs being sourced from marathon overnight sessions of live playing, marked by immersive, durational telepathy and semi-improvisation.

              The duo's psychogenic jams are then judiciously overlaid, usually with just one or two more elements, though for brief stretches becoming stacked and maximal - most notably towards the end of 14-minute album opener "Splitting Light" when an ever-refracted sequencer pattern inexorably develops towards throbbing cadence and multi-layered intertwining melodies, culminating in a final burst of guitar and vocal-driven operatic space-rock chug that invokes Yes, Spiritualized, and (choral) Bon Iver in equal measure (the only vocals on this otherwise instrumental album).

              Sequence Two indeed carries forth the prevailing energy of the duo's first album: "If the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey overshot the great apes and instead appeared before a mid-00s rock band" is not a bad way to put it (as Paul Blinov did in his Exclaim! review). The particular combination of restraint, luxuriation and repose that Light Conductor achieves is easier heard and absorbed than described - but it makes sense that this music is the dreamlike opalescent nebula of a duo whose respective psych/pop/electro/rock bands are known for more declaratively epic, chiselled, heavy sonic statements. The through line is an emotive devotional sensibility, seasoned by a naturalistic studio mastery, and love for the analog that enmeshes the electronic.

              TRACK LISTING

              01 Splitting Light
              02 The Rooms Are Turning Inside Out
              03 Pyramids In Slow Rotation
              04 Life Under A Double Sun 

              Jerusalem In My Heart

              Qalaq

                One of the most renowned and uncompromising entities working in 21st century avant-garde Arab-Levantine art and music, Jerusalem In My Heart presents a new album of vital and haunting electronics and electroacoustics, framed by founder and producer Radwan Ghazi Moumneh’s spoken and sung Arabic, buzuk-playing and sound design. Qalaq is the most distilled, variegated and finely wrought Jerusalem In My Heart album to date – featuring a different guest/collaborator on every track, yet as cohesive, emotionally resonant, sonically adventurous and narratively powerful as any release in JIMH’s celebrated discography. Guests across the album's 13 tracks include Moor Mother, Tim Hecker, Lucrecia Dalt, Greg Fox, Beirut, Alanis Obomsawin, Rabih Beaini and many more.

                “Qalaq” is an Arabic word with many shades of meaning but Moumneh particularly intends it as “deep worry” – on various obvious global levels, but also specifically with respect to Lebanon: its collapsing domestic politics, economy and infrastructure; the tragedy and aftermath of the 2020 Beirut port explosion; the intractable geography and geopolitics that continue to condemn the country to corruption, disruption, destabilization and violence. Moumneh writes: “The Side Two tracks are all named ‘Qalaq’ and then numbered, representing the degrees of layered and complex violence that Lebanon and the Levant have reached in the last couple of years, from the complete and utter failure of the Lebanese sectarian state that has driven the economy to a grinding halt, to its disastrous handling of the migrant influx from neighbouring failed states, to the endemic corruption that led to the August 2020 port explosion, to the latest chapter of Palestinian erasure and yet another brutally asymmetrical and disproportionate bombing campaign on Gaza.”

                Qalaq is shaped by a "dismantled orchestra" of musical collaborations, forged through long-distance file exchange during lockdown winter 2020-21 (and the inverted companion to JIMH's previous 2018 full-length Daqa'iq Tudaiq, which featured a 15-piece orchestra recorded live in Beirut). Moumneh initially through composed Qalaq in purposely stark and skeletal form, then gave each guest artist a section to decompose, edit, re-interpret and recompose as they desired, working their stems back into his own mixes for each piece/section and moulding newfound coherences in the overall work. The result is The album artwork with a front cover colour photograph by Myriam Boulous capturing a scene during the Beirut October Revolution of 2019, back cover calligraphy by Krystian Sarkis, and inner sleeve photography of the Beirut port explosion aftermath by Tony Elieh further contextualizes the specificity and lamentations of Qalaq; the deep worry at its heart.

                TRACK LISTING

                01 Abyad Barraq (w/ Greg Fox)
                02 Sa’at (w/ Alexei Perry Cox)
                03 Istashraqtaq (w/ Beirut)
                04 Tanto (w/ Lucrecia Dalt)
                05 ‘Ana Lisan Wahad (w/ Farida Amadou & Pierre-Guy Blanchard)
                06 Qalaq 1 (w/ Alanis Obomsawin & Diana Combo)
                07 Qalaq 2 (w/ Roger Tellier Craig)
                08 Qalaq 3 (w/ Moor Mother)
                09 Qalaq 4 (w/ Rabih Beaini)
                10 Qalaq 5 (w/ Oiseau-Tempête)
                11 Qalaq 6 (w/ VÍZ [Réka Csiszér])
                12 Qalaq 7 (w/ Tim Hecker)
                13 Qalaq 9 (w/ Mayss, Mazen Kerbaj, Sharif Sehnaoui & Raed Yassin) 

                Sofa

                Source Crossfire

                  Source Crossfire is a searing, brooding collection that documents the recorded output of Sofa one of Montreal's most shadowy, notorious, captivating underground art-rock ensembles of the mid-90s, and the first band to be released on Constellation charting the quartet’s febrile evolution through sonic palettes of North American post-hardcore and slowcore admixed with early UK post-punk, goth and dark lounge. In the words of one music writer of the era: "Like Slint and Big Black meeting for a Joy Division reunion."

                  Source Crossfire rounds up Sofa’s 1997 album Grey (the only full-length from Constellation’s early years yet to be given vinyl reissue treatment) along with selections from the band’s two prior self-released cassettes. What began as a straightforward Grey vinyl re-issue project soon evolved into an opportunity for something just a little more considered than “album plus-bonus-tracks”. Record #1 reimagines Grey with vinyl in mind, newly sequenced to create distinct loud/fast and soft/slow sides. Record #2 mirrors this, with four tracks of louder
                  (and mostly faster) pitch-black material on Side One and three signature examples of the band's sombre early balladry on Side Two all culled from the Town Unsafe and Record cassette material from 1995.

                  Anchored by the raw metronomics and pummelling syncopation of Keith Marchand (drums) and Scott Clarkson (bass), Sofa was one of the city's tightest and most kinetic bands, always seeking uncharted pathways in the cracks between established punk/rock sub-domains. The bi-amped SG Firebrand of guitarist Ian Ilavsky relied on 2 rudimentary pedals (distortion; overdrive), combining with the singspeak of vocalist/lyricist Brad Todd to paint a twitchy, frenetic sonic foreground of controlled chaos. The band was also known for its heterodox and unapologetic slow-tempo alter ego, with Marchand playing behind the beat in jazz tinged torchsong swingtime and Clarkson weaving deft melodious lead lines on bass, as Todd switched gears from rapid-fire glossolalia to gentle baritone croon.

                  Jace Lasek (The Besnard Lakes, Breakglass Studios) and Harris Newman (Greymarket Mastering) teamed up with Constellation co-founder (and Sofa guitarist) Ian Ilavsky to give all these cuts some thorough remastering attention. Sofa recorded everything live off the floor, and in the case of the cassette material, an entirely live mix direct to two-track with rudimentary effects dialed into the signal path and zero post-production. Grey was similarly tracked in a weekend, with minimal overdubs and effects, and using only analog tape compression. The remastering treatments work solely from the original stereo mixes but nonetheless bring this largely unsung band’s music to renewed life.

                  Source Crossfire aptly names the unique mix of genres and influences distilled in Sofa’s cauldron a special treat for fans from the era, for those who've discovered Sofa since, and for anyone interested in the fertile crosscurrents of UK + US post-punk, post-hardcore, slowcore, goth, indie and art rock that spawned such a diverse slate of unsung bands with distinct energies, personalities, and hybrid sonic identities across so many local scenes at the dawn of the 1990s.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  1. Ch2Chi
                  2. Stress
                  3. Comma
                  4. The Fence
                  5. Monotone
                  6. 80000
                  7. Current
                  8. Travel
                  9. Medicine Hat
                  10. Arclight
                  11. City Of Laughter
                  12. Just A Walk
                  13. Regret
                  14. Radio One
                  15. So Around
                  16. String Of Lights

                  Jason Sharp

                  The Turning Centre Of A Still World

                    Montréal saxophonist and electroacoustic composer Jason Sharp presents his third album on Constellation. The Turning Centre Of A Still World is Sharp’s first purely solo record and his most lucid, poignant, integral work to date. Following two acclaimed albums composed around particular collaborators and guest players, Sharp conceived his third as an interplay strictly bounded by his own body, his acoustic instrument, and his evolving bespoke electronic system. The Turning Centre... is a singular sonic exploration of human machine calibration, interaction, expression and biofeedback.

                    Using saxophones, foot-controlled bass pedals, and his own pulse – patched through a heart monitor routed to variegated signal paths that trigger modular synthesizers and samplers. Sharp paints with organic waves of glistening synthesis, pink noise and digitalia. Melodic strokes and harmonic shapes ripple and crest across ever-shifting seas, through an inclement cycle from dawn to dusk. The album’s six main movements navigate a world where placid surfaces are always roiled and disquieted by a deeper inexorable gyre: the gravitational pull and tidal perpetuity of our bodies made of water, buffeted by terrestrial atmospheric pressures, wrung out by emotions, coursing with blood, sustained by breath, inescapably yearning for and returning to ground again and again. Sharp’s heartbeat literally courses through these compositions – while only occasionally surfacing as a clearly audible pulse or rhythm, it physically feeds into a spectrum of generative synthetic processes that help constitute and conduct the music.
                    The immersive, intensive, widescreen electronic works on The Turning Centre… could sit comfortably as a masterful and stellar contribution to the space/sci-fi/synth soundtrack genre, owing to their overall sound palette and oceanic scope. But this is ultimately deeper, grittier, earthier stuff – pulsing with terrestrial granularity, charting subterranean geographies of the heart and soul.

                    Sharp chose an unsparing time to commit to a rigorously solo practice: pandemic lockdown occurred just as the first studio sessions with sound engineer Radwan Moumneh (Jerusalem In My Heart, Matana Roberts, Suuns) were scheduled to begin. While much of the central architecture and several themes had already been constructed, Sharp found his isolation music marinating in a socially-distanced anxiety soup beyond all imagining, yielding some profoundly deeper flavours and hues. As the album attests: he more than stuck with it. With sessions rescheduled under covid protocols in Fall 2020, Moumneh captured Sharp at a peak of technical, technological, and intangibly expressive power.

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Barry says: There are few releases on Constellation Records I don't like, so this was really either going to be something I liked or something I loved. Turns out it's the latter, and i'm pretty sure the thing that swung it was the modular synths. A huge all-encompassing wall of electronic drones and intricate, crystalline sound sculptures. It's towering but fragile, beautifully warm and overwhelming.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    1. Intro
                    2. Unwinding Surrender
                    3. Velocity Of Being
                    4. Blossoming Rest
                    5. Upwelling Hope
                    6. Humility Of Pain
                    7. Everything Is Waiting For You
                    8. Outro

                    T. Griffin

                    The Proposal

                      RIYL: Library Tapes, Deaf Center, The Books, Tied & Tickled Trio. The original score for the acclaimed feature-length artworld documentary by multi-disciplinary artist Jill Magid: an exploration of the contested legacy of the Mexican architect Luis Barragan and an art intervention in its own right. Griffin wrote, performed and recorded The Proposal soundtrack with an understated but wide-ranging electro-acoustic sensibility that organically compliments the film's enigmatic narrative and the discreet beauty of Barragan's architectural spaces. Various acoustic instruments combine with electronics, sampling and ambient treatments for an ever-shifting suite of musical vignettes across the album's thirteen tracks. Guest musicians include Matana Roberts, Reut Regev, Jim White (Xylouris White, The Dirty Three), Jason Ajemian (Helado Negro), and Sophie Trudeau and Timothy Herzog (Godspeed You! Black Emperor) – alongside Griffin's own contributions on multiple instruments, field recordings and production. Griffin weaves an iridescent musical tapestry, threading various genres with sublime thematic and atmospheric coherence, echoing Magid's contemplative, cerebral journey. The music also works enchantingly on its own as a subtly haunted, evocative and meditative album

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Barry says: The Proposal is yet another perfectly weighted soundtrack by T Griffin, coming on the ever-reliable constellation records. Rich, organic basses and dissonant strings work around each-other atop a thickly textured bed of found sounds, flickering banjo and swimming, soaring atmospherics. An absolute triumph in terms of musical direction, and a perfect standalone piece in it's own right.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      01 Dearest Frederica (Opening The Proposal)
                      02 Grass Horns For The Proposal Dinner
                      03 Manufacture
                      04 Copyright Implications
                      05 Void Room And Reliquary
                      06 St. Gallen
                      07 Word Guitar
                      08 The Jeweler
                      09 Poised
                      10 Architecture Of Noise
                      11 The Nun With A Chipped Tooth
                      12 As Ever
                      13 Grass Horns For The Proposal Credits

                      Fly Pan Am

                      Frontera

                        Soundtrack to the acclaimed multi-media dance work by Animals Of Distinction. Fly Pan Am have composed some of their most direct, visceral and immediately satisfying music for the acclaimed modern dance piece FRONTERA, by Montréal-based troupe Animals Of Distinction. Juxtaposing stern foreboding electronics and minimalist motoric avant-rock, the Frontera studio album superbly captures the bristling, sculpted, intensely evocative instrumental pieces the band developed in close conception and collaboration with the dancers. As the Frontera recordings demonstrate, this music also works powerfully and exceptionally well on its own: oscillating between tension and release; evoking open, anxious interzones and closed, claustrophobic spaces; conveying an overarching landscape of forbidden access, foreclosed movement, and the unfathomable multiplicities of trauma and resilience that occur under our dehumanising international apparatuses of inadmissibility and control. “Grid/Wall”, “Fences” and “Parkour” combine electronics and spartan four-piece avantrock that set bodies in alternately furtive and laboured motion.


                        The pulsing synthetics and noise textures of the more overtly technetronic “Scanner”, “Scaling”, “Body Pressure” and “Frontier” pin bodies down, whether hiding in corners, crawling for cover, or exposed to the searchlights. Field recordings contributed by David Bryant (Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Hiss Tracts, Set Fire To Flames) comprise some of the raw material here too. The Frontera album tracks faithfully to the narrative of the original work, where eight movements (featuring a company of 10 dancers) flow from controlled chaos and tensely choreographed kinetics to slow, wrenchingly austere set pieces.


                        This tremendous multimedia performance—framed by the stark and peerless lighting design of United Visual Artists—is a discerning and deeply affecting meditation on borders and surveillance, resistance and separation, solidarity and cooperation; bodies blocked and restrained, monitored and pursued, hiding and escaping, yearning and overcoming. After touring as the live band for the FRONTERA dance production into early 2020, the pandemic brought further performance dates to an abrupt halt (along with Fly Pan Am’s own scheduled UK/EU tours, in support of their terrific 2019 comeback album C’est ça). But during an easing of lockdown restrictions in late summer, the band was able to convene with Constellation’s go-to producer Radwan Moumneh at the storied Hotel2Tango in Montréal to put this soundtrack to tape. We’re thrilled to present the soundtrack recording for one of the most moving multi-media works we witnessed last year.

                        TRACK LISTING

                        01 Grid / Wall
                        02 Parkour
                        03 Scanner
                        04 Scaling
                        05 Parkour 2
                        06 Body Pressure
                        07 Fences
                        08 Frontier

                        Godspeed You! Black Emperor

                        G_d's Pee AT STATE'S END

                        All formats come with a free Piccadilly Records EOY Sampler CD whilst stocks last.

                        It's almost as if after naysaying for 25 years, GY!BE have proven that the car is indeed on fire, and resolutely driverless, resulting in one of their most unhurried and jubilant offerings yet. There are moments of spine-tingling beauty, coated in a lacquer of hazy field recordings and snappy militaristic percussion.

                        As with a lot of their releases (including my “favourite album in the world ever”, Lift Yr Skinny Fists….), the pieces here are crafted from a number of sections and listed in parts, leading to a cohesive and developmental audio narrative, lurching from shadowy glitched shortwave radio noise to crashing waves of orchestral chaos. There are very few moments where you aren't overcome with emotion, it's as bold and as beautiful as anything they've ever done, and has rare moments of true joy. An unendingly superb outing, and a brilliant return for one of the greatest bands around.


                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Barry says: There’s a lot to be stressed about isn’t there? The ongoing climate crisis, an unprecedented pandemic and a worrying spate of governmental and social trends all coalescing into a time of undeniable reflection. It seems like GYBE would fit right in then, with cars on fire (and the lack of drivers therein) and the suchlike being canonically, their bag.

                        It might come as a surprise then, that while the classic themes of corruption, capitalism and greed are sewn into the fabric of this Canadian dectet, the accompanying music in this case is (to these ears), wilfully jubilant.

                        You’ll have to bear with me on the track titles, because much like the actual titles of confirmed ‘Best Album In The World’ (Barry, 2000 - present), ‘Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven’, the tracks here are broken down into their constituent parts, and named individually, and sequentially.

                        We kick things off with the first side of the 12” for you vinyl folk or what I believe they call ‘Track One’ for the CD crowd. ‘A Military Alphabet…’ begins with the newly fired up shortwave radios (for any of you that don’t listen to Set Fire To Flames a lot / at all, a brilliantly immersive and perfectly transportive collage of found sound and radio hiss), and slowly morphs into a similarly textural swell of strings and slowly trembled guitar. It’s really very reminiscent of the growing militaristic stomp of ’09-15-00’, the introductory piece from their last LP before their long Hiatus, ‘Yanqui U.X.O’, and is an undeniably necessary dipping of the toes before the full-spectrum swell and spine-tingling weight of the rest of the piece kicks in. It’s on the final movement of this 20-minute opus that carries all of the weight of the previous, bringing with an almost unbelievable levity. It’s an ode to a lost world, and a mournful but resigned grasp at the vestiges of a crumbling society.

                        ‘Fire At Static Valley’ (the first piece from the 10”, or ‘Track 2’) is a shimmering, minor-key walk through the crumbling ruins, with tenderly strummed guitars and the ever-present strings both pulled and plucked, lending a sense of airy ambience and momentum to the rumbling bass boom, and culminating in a nigh-dissonant treble-heavy scree. It’s beautiful and mournful in equal measure, perfectly offsetting the uncharacteristic jubilance of the opener’s final movement before beginning our next selection of radio chatter and crackling hiss.

                        ‘Government Came’ begins once again with the whirring crackle and oscillating drone of shortwave radios before a towering bass boom rises from the riotous audio throng. This is soon joined by a noticeably majestic sounding distorted guitar and monolithic percussive swells, drenched in reverb and delay, and alternating between barely noticeable melody and barely noticeable anything else. It’s not long before this characteristic unease lifts into a cathartic and intoxicating melodic counterpoint, rising into what is possibly the thickest wall of sound I’ve ever heard from them (and I’ve heard a LOT), and ending in organic panned sweeps of breathy instrumentation (didgeridoo?), and meandering guitar.

                        We end with the stunning ‘Our Side Has To Win (For D.H)’, an undeniably atmospheric number, rich with incidental harmonics and a perfectly balanced suggestion of exultation and resignation. Slow chord changes gently growing over a background of flickering strings and shimmering pizzicato.

                        It’s an album that takes their rightful anger of the early years, their moments of latent melodicism and tentative unease and brings them into one entirely cohesive and triumphantly essential album. A stunning, devastating return for one of the greatest bands of all time.

                        TRACK LISTING

                        12a [20:22] A Military Alphabet (five Eyes All Blind) (4521.0kHz 6730.0kHz 4109.09kHz) / Job’s Lament / First Of The Last Glaciers / Where We Break How We Shine (ROCKETS FOR MARY)
                        12b [19:48] “GOVERNMENT CAME” (9980.0kHz 3617.1kHz 4521.0 KHz) / Cliffs Gaze / Cliffs’ Gaze At Empty Waters’ Rise / ASHES TO SEA Or NEARER TO THEE


                        10a [5:58] Fire At Static Valley
                        10b [6:30] OUR SIDE HAS TO WIN (for D.H.)

                        Rebecca Foon

                        Waxing Moon

                          Rebecca Foon, the composer and musician behind Saltland and Esmerine (and former longstanding member of Silver Mt. Zion) presents a new album entitled Waxing Moon. While best known as an incomparable cellist crafting textural soundscapes and instrumental chamber-rock in the aforementioned projects (and more recently recognized for her creative and organisational work as cofounder of Pathway To Paris), this new collection of songs finds Foon emphasizing piano and voice with striking intimacy and elegance, showcasing a captivating evolution in her always resplendent songwriting. The climate crisis has profoundly framed Foon's political and artistic life for many years now, and Waxing Moon finds her writing and singing her most arrestingly direct yet poetic words, tapping universal and personal heartbreak in both despair and hope.

                          With Waxing Moon, Rebecca sets side the Saltland moniker - her electronically-tinged string-centric project from the past five years - to release this more personal new work under her own name. The album's ten songs are predominantly minimal and delicate, immersive and hauntingly beautiful - with vocal-driven tracks booked-ended by piano-based instrumentals, along with one up-tempo guitar-driven number ("Wide Open Eyes") that closes out Side One. While piano figures most prominently on the record, Foon continues to play cello on several tracks, complemented by gentle touches from a close coterie of musical guests including Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire) and Mishka Stein (Patrick Watson) on acoustic and electric basses, Sophie Trudeau (Godspeed You Black Emperor) on violin, Jace Lasek (The Besnard Lakes) on electric guitar, and Patrick Watson as co-vocalist on the dreamlike "Vessels". Foon co-produced the album with Lasek at Montreal's Breakglass studio and it sounds glorious. Waxing Moon is Rebecca Foon's first eponymous release: a sublimely stunning, bracingly intimate, glimmeringly full-hearted new chapter in her celebrated musical catalog

                          TRACK LISTING

                          A1 New World
                          A2 Pour
                          A3 Another Realm
                          A4 Ocean Song
                          A5 Wide Open Eyes

                          B1 Waxing Moon
                          B2 Dreams To Be Born
                          B3 Vessels
                          B4 This Is Our Lives
                          B5 New World Reprise

                          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). 

                            TRACK LISTING

                            1. Aha
                            2. Domyat 1331
                            3. Safe Space
                            4. Broken Maqams
                            5. Sand Enigma
                            6. Ssssss
                            7. Recuerdo
                            8. Bone Mass I
                            9. Bone Mass II
                            10. Bone Mass III
                            11. Ana
                            12. Trema
                            13. Dol
                            14. Tensor

                            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.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              01 Time (You Got Me)
                              02 Floriana
                              03 God Blessed The Fool
                              04 Back On Love
                              05 Wrong About The Rain
                              06 Soft Landing

                              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

                                TRACK LISTING

                                A1. Do The Police Embrace?
                                A2. Fight The Good Fight
                                B1. A Humming Void An Emptied Place
                                B2. Joy Is On Her Mount And Death Is At Her Side
                                B3. We Will

                                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. 

                                  TRACK LISTING

                                  01 Mining For Gold
                                  02 Misguided Angel
                                  03 Blue Moon Revisited (Song For Elvis)
                                  04 I Don’t Get It After Midnight (Medley)
                                  05 I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry
                                  06 To Love Is To Bury
                                  07 Dreaming My Dreams With You
                                  08 200 Miles
                                  09 Working On A Building
                                  10 Postcard Blues
                                  11 Sweet Jane

                                  Joni Void

                                  Mise En Abyme

                                    Mise En Abyme is the second full-length by Joni Void, the avant-electronica project of France/Canada producer Jean Cousin, following his acutely accomplished and acclaimed 2017 debut album Selfless (#8 Experimental Album of 2017 at Pitchfork). Consistent with Selfless, the primary materials for the sample-based cut-up songcraft on Mise En Abyme are Cousin's recordings of the voices of various friends. His self-professed body/voice dysmorphia, social disphoria, and search for the disembodied-yet-emotional transcendent subject, continues to compel the use of other (predominantly non-verbal) voices in the construction of these sublimely affecting electronic-minimalist compositions.

                                    Mise En Abyme is markedly more introspective and meditative than its predecessor, explicitly in search of intimacy and recuperative beauty. Grappling with a cascade of heartbreaks and discontinuities over the past year, Cousin also calls the new album a "time-travel experiment", as he culls sounds from devices and sources spanning childhood to the to retrieve and reframe subjective memories, histories and "regressions through former selves" via immersion in the evocative potential of the mostly wordless voices of others. The resulting song cycle is a remarkable blend of conceptual abstraction and highly emotive warmth, interiority, humanity and specificity.




                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    01 Paradox
                                    02 Dysfunctional Helper
                                    03 Lov-ender
                                    04 Abusers
                                    05 Non-dit
                                    06 No Reply
                                    07 Safe House
                                    08 Cinetrauma
                                    09 Voix Sans Issue
                                    10 Deep Impression
                                    11 Persistence
                                    12 Resolve 

                                    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. 




                                      TRACK LISTING

                                      01 Bureau 0
                                      02 Bureau 1
                                      03 Bureau 2
                                      04 Bureau 3
                                      05 Resigtrariat
                                      06 Bateau 1
                                      07 Bateau 2 

                                      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. 

                                        TRACK LISTING

                                        01 Bird & Moon
                                        02 Slowly Paradise
                                        03 An Abandoned Rose
                                        04 Slowly Paradise (Lush)
                                        05 There's Our Love
                                        06 Wild Moon

                                        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

                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          01 Stand Above The Streams Pt. 1
                                          02 Stand Above The Streams Pt. 2
                                          03 Stand Above The Streams Pt. 3
                                          04 Stand Above The Streams Pt. 4

                                          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.

                                            TRACK LISTING

                                            1 The Space In Between
                                            2 La Lucha Es Una Sola
                                            3 La Pénombre
                                            4 La Plume Des Armes
                                            5 Que Se Vayan Todos!
                                            6 Mechanics Of Dominion
                                            7 Northeast Kingdom
                                            8 Piscibus Maris

                                            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.



                                            TRACK LISTING

                                            1 Undoing A Luciferian Towera
                                            2 Bosses Hang
                                            3 Fam/Famine
                                            4 Anthem For No State

                                            Do Make Say Think

                                            Stubborn Persistent Illusions

                                            Constellation Records are an important label, they have a host of massively important artists on their roster spawned from another massively important band, and a whole host that weren't. It's an epic and fascinating story which could easily be stretched into a dissertation. Maybe you'd do it better than I did.

                                            Point being, if you haven't heard the bands, you should. If you have, you won't want to hear any of this again, so i'll focus on the music. This is Do Make Say Think's first album since 2009's 'Other Truths', and seventh outing to date. DMST (as they shall hereafter be known to spare another 12k words) create tapestries of sound encompassing aspects of modern-classical, post-rock, jazz, drone and anything else you could name. Their compositions are the exponentially blooming result of boolean logic, exploding one way or the other, with infinite cycles of possibilites, and infinite fields of influence. Take opener 'War On Torpor', for example. Brimming with mystery from the opening dusty tape-saturated guitar and hi-passed rolling percusision, it quickly but succinctly develops into crescentic rock territory before switching out elements almost imperceptibly into a cascade of rhythm and heart-wrenching highs, developed with intent but doomed to stutter out once again. Follower, 'Horripilation' rises like a grooving, writhing phoenix from the ashes, fielding a tinny reverbed guitar and dusty ambience before rolling gracefully around the rhythmic guitar counterpoint and majestic anthemic highs of the mid-section and grooving mind-expanding psychedelic swoons of the latter third. It's a journey, and something you have to believe in. It might not be a standard verse/chorus affair but trust them, they know what they're doing.

                                            The brittle duo of 'Bound' and 'And Boundless' are at once a statement of beauty and a stunning cascade of doubt, bringing together affirming spine-tingling instrumental heft and majestic constructions (Bound) together with skittering pointilism and gothic ambient interludes, minor-key wandering progression and foggy echoed fields. All this before pulling out the undeniable optimism of 'Her Eyes On The Horizon', based around guitar and bass, and minimal percussives. A complete antithesis of everything that has come before it, and only suggested at in everything that comes after.

                                            Every piece on here is more than worthy of mention, and no less important to the story than the one preceding it, but in the interests of brevity i'll refrain from listing all of their nuances. It is safe to say however, that Do Make Say Think continue to be as important to music as they ever were, and their continuing innovation and experimentation. It is jazz that doesn't wander, it is instrumental music that speaks, it is delicate but bold experimental rock, it sounds like every band they've ever been compared to, and every band they haven't. A dichotomic juxtaposition in every sense and a brittle, beautiful, towering mountain. 


                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Barry says: Soaring instrumentals, jagged breakdowns, stunning ambience and grooving psychedelic twists. Bright and beautiful but unendingly complex rhythms, forged through melodies played a thousand times but executed like nothing you've ever heard. From the chamber-rock clanging of “War On Torpor”, to the euphoric post-rock classicism of “Return, Return Again”, this is perfection.

                                            TRACK LISTING

                                            01 War On Torpor
                                            02 Horripilation
                                            03 Murder Of Thoughts
                                            04 Bound
                                            05 And Boundless
                                            06 Her Eyes On The Horizon
                                            07 D=3.57√h (As Far As The Eye Can See)
                                            08 Shlomo's Son
                                            09 Return, Return Again

                                            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”. 

                                              TRACK LISTING

                                              01 Song Siènne
                                              02 Observer (Natalie's Song)
                                              03 Doppler
                                              04 Empathy (Ayuko's Song)
                                              05 Aesthetics Of Disappearance
                                              06 Désolé (Pardon The Interruption)
                                              07 Cinema Without People
                                              08 Yung Werther (Ogun's Song)
                                              09 Abjection
                                              10 Disassociation (Kyla's Song)
                                              11 Agnosia
                                              12 Deaf (No More Songs)

                                              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.

                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                01. Primitive Streak
                                                02. Old Brain
                                                03. No Host
                                                04. Extraction
                                                05. Choral Hatch
                                                06. New Brain
                                                07. Wonder Farm

                                                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.

                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                01 A Boat Upon Its Blood Pt. 1
                                                02 A Boat Upon Its Blood Pt. 2
                                                03 A Boat Upon Its Blood Pt. 3
                                                04 In The Construction Of The Chest, There Is A Heart
                                                05 A Blast At Best
                                                06 Still I Sit, With You Inside Me Pt. 1
                                                07 Still I Sit, With You Inside Me Pt. 2 

                                                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. 


                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                01 Al Affaq, Lau Mat, Lau Lau Lau Lau Lau Lau (The Hypocrite, If He Dies, If If If If If If)
                                                02 A Granular Buzuk
                                                03 7ebr El 3oyoun (Ink Of The Eyes)
                                                04 Qala Li Kafa Kafa Kafa Kafa Kafa Kafa (To Me He Said Enough Enough Enough...)
                                                05 Lau Ridyou Bil Hijaz? (What If The Hijaz Were Enough?)
                                                06 Ah Ya Mal El Sham (Oh The Money Of Syria)
                                                07 2asmar Sa7ar (The Brown One Cast A Spell)
                                                08 Ta3mani; Ta3meitu (He Fed Me; I Fed Him)

                                                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.

                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                1. Peasantry Or ‘Light! Inside Of Light!’
                                                2. Lambs' Breath
                                                3. Asunder, Sweet
                                                4. Piss Crowns Are Trebled

                                                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.

                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                1. Deserter
                                                2. Bank Accounts And Dollar Bills (Give Peace A Chance)
                                                3. Wasted Genius
                                                4. Violent Motion Pictures
                                                5. Jesus In The 70's
                                                6. Oval Window
                                                7. Nervous
                                                8. Imbecile Thoughts
                                                9. Babylonian Proclivities
                                                10. Falling Down The Stairs

                                                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.

                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                1. Fuck Off Get Free (For The Island Of Montreal) (10:22)
                                                2. Austerity Blues (14:18)
                                                3. Take Away These Early Grave Blues (6:47)
                                                4. Little Ones Run (2:30)
                                                5. What We Loved Was Not Enough (11:23)
                                                6. Rains Thru The Roof At The Grande Ballroom (3:58)

                                                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.

                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                1. Faint Praise (3:24)
                                                2. Second Skin (5:42)
                                                3. The Pit (Part 1) (7:30)
                                                4. The Pit (Part 2) (2:15)
                                                5. Sharm El Bango (4:22)
                                                6. Mobil Nil (5:47)
                                                7. St Stefano (4:34)
                                                8. Drift Beguine (6:41)
                                                9. The Big Mango (6:48)

                                                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.


                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                  1. Keep Away The Dead
                                                  2. Where Does That Leave Me
                                                  3. Twigs And Stones
                                                  4. So Cold
                                                  5. Revolution Blues
                                                  6. Dear Old Friend
                                                  7. Not The Kind
                                                  8. Fiery Death
                                                  9. Sing Me To Sleep
                                                  10. Dead Right Now

                                                  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.


                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                  1. Artificial Lamb
                                                  2. In Animal Tongue
                                                  3. Black Jesus
                                                  4. Bells Ring Fire
                                                  5. Hands Of Leather
                                                  6. Tunnel To The Stars
                                                  7. Die Alone
                                                  8. Enter The Prince
                                                  9. Hatching

                                                  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.

                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                    1. And So We Say
                                                    2. Since We're Smokey
                                                    3. Warm Charleston
                                                    4. Lavalliere #2
                                                    5. New Boon Harp
                                                    6. Mynah Bird
                                                    7. Ronnie-Mary
                                                    8. Cool Down
                                                    9. Warm Weather
                                                    10. Cold Dream

                                                    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.

                                                      Sandro Perri

                                                      Sandro Perri Plays Polmo Polpo

                                                        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.

                                                            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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