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For the good part of the past decade, Japanese composer-musician Masahiro Takahashi has been crafting gently spellbinding pieces that simultaneously embrace electronic abstraction and a palpable, even brittle, humanity. His delicate and evocative landscapes always seem to be illuminated in vibrant magic hour tones as golden synth lines emanate from between soft flickers of acoustic instrumentation.

Since moving to Toronto in 2020, Takahashi has swiftly become a local fixture, enough so that his elegant Not Not Fun tape, “Flowering Tree, Distant Moon” saw an LP reissue with prominent local imprint Telephone Explosion (home to Joseph Shabason, Mas Aya, Steve Roach, Badge Epoque, Eucalyptus and others).

The forthcoming follow-up, also on Telephone Explosion, is entitled “Humid Sun” and proudly exhibits connections that he has cultivated in both his new and former homes. Recorded between January and August 2022, the record lives up to its title and sunset-hued cover, unfolding a kaleidoscopic, vaguely tropical calm over ten luxuriant tracks. All but one of the pieces features contributions from guest artists. On one hand he has invited several artists from back home namely Tokyo-based electronic producers H. Takahashi, Takao, and Yamaan, on the other he has brought aboard members of Toronto's rich experimental music community, including his labelmates Joseph Shabason and Brodie West (leader of Eucalyptus), as well as Ryan Driver, Bram Gielen, and Michael Davidson. He also enlisted Sandro Perri of Constellation Records infamy to provide the final mix.

Though bearing Takahashi's personal atmospheric signatures, “Humid Sun”'s warm, saturated colour palette and sunny repose audibly also take cues from the imaginary utopias of vintage lounge and exotica. These tropes offer an unexpected avenue through which Toronto's local influence creeps in again. Takahashi explains that he envisions the record as an auditory tool to cope with the city's harsh winters—and the references are designed to provide a sort of sonic vacation. Indeed he succeeds in achieving this objective; the album's nuanced colours and contours engender a sense of equatorial tranquility, though completely devoid of the kitsch associated with his inspiration.

While it might be easy to imagine Masahiro Takahashi's unique brand of introversion as the product of hermetic solitude, anyone that knows him from the Toronto scene will tell you that Humid Sun vividly captures his true temperament—curious, attentive, and quietly gregarious.


Silky Lake
Cloud Boat
East Chinatown Stroller
Sea Fireflies
Okinawa Sunset
Sweltering Drive
Fantasy In Soy Sauce
Trees Sleep At Night
Back To The West

The mesmerizing debut LP by Nova Scotia’s Quilting on October 7, 2022. The album is a quietly stunning collection of pastoral ambience dotted with moments of tension that reflects the maritime environment in which it was created, inadvertently paying homage to the light and darkness of rural life.

Co-founded by Holy Fuck’s Brian Borcherdt, the quartet is comprised of a diverse and accomplished collection of musicians who came together when he moved back to his home province in 2019 after a lengthy stay in Toronto.

The shock of settling into a town of 600 people was softened almost immediately by a care package left on Borcherdt’s front porch. It included the curious juxtaposition of homemade preserves and a circuit-bent keyboard. His interest was piqued. As luck would have it, his new neighbour happened to be renowned folk guitarist Kim Barlow.

“Kim was in the process of organizing an improvisation series featuring over a dozen Nova Scotia-based musicians. The series struggled under lockdown restrictions, and on the second attempt only the four of us showed up.” Borcherdt recalls. “We didn't really know each other that well, were a bit shy and played very quietly. However, we really enjoyed how spacious our jam was.”

One week after their initial jam, Borcherdt was invited to perform a solo set at a Halifax-based experimental festival called Open Waters. He instead volunteered the same lineup: himself, Barlow, distinguished Isle Of Skye harpist (and Berklee professor) Mairi Chaimbeul, and Sahara Nasr, a noted songwriter and player of the rare Indian Sarangi. It wasn’t long before they began recording and soon realized a name was necessary to make the project official.

“When we get together to play music, it's our 'poker night'. That led us to think of other community or 'grown-up' gatherings, similar or antiquated... like barnraising bees, quilting bees.” Explains Borcherdt. “We were sort of quilting: four corners of fabric, texture, sewing threads, telling a story, all making one complete piece while drinking a few beers. We could've also called it ‘Therapy’.”

While providing a necessary distraction from early-COVID life, Quilting also offered a chance to improvise within a uniquely ambient soundspace. This was a welcome change for some of the members, including Borcherdt, who was used to creating music with decidedly more volume.

“Space is welcome. Writing in Quilting is a spontaneous and thoughtful process, very synesthetic and, of course, collaborative. I've only really gotten to explore space and silence with solo music.” He reflects. “With my other bands, even when spontaneous and improvised, the result is dense and cathartic, expressive through pulse and rhythm and volume. With Quilting we get to drift, no beats, no safety net. Every note counts. Yet rather than being stressed or scrutinized under a microscope we all have fun and daydream a bit.”

Sonics aside, Quilting has also given all four members the chance to experiment with the boundaries created by headquartering in a remote area not commonly associated with the avant-garde music community.

“Nova Scotia, unlike other provinces, has basically one city, one place where musicians congregate, play shows and hang out. Anything happening outside of Halifax can be considered an experiment, a test to see anything can get off the ground.” Borcherdt explains. “ In Toronto there's already an infrastructure, whether you play the same venues or build your own new thing- there's an audience, there are friends and like-minded individuals. It's healthier. Here we have to take what we get. But the good news is that it's kind of a blank slate.”

The LP, which features hand-calligraphed cover art from Upstate New York-based artist and musician Sarah Le Puerta, features five songs all recorded live off-the-floor in a single live performance. Moods range from reflective to unsettled, and even at its loudest parts a sense of intimacy persists.

“This album feels like a complete picture, a snapshot of one fun night.” He states. “That seems to me to be a perfect introduction. The listener gets to “attend” the concert, which is an amazing way to discover new music.”


Matt says: I’m obsessed with Nova Scotia. I think I’ll move there one day. And knowing there’s a growing community of isolated musicians making maritime ambience like this only entices me further. I guess it’s like the Highlands without the whiskey… oh wait. :P


Maisie Macleod
Crescent Moon
April 10 First

‘Sensational - that’s Frank Hatchett!’ These words can be found on many of the 16 albums credited to the legendary NYC jazz dancer, choreographer, and teacher to the stars - Madonna, Brooke Shields, Olivia Newton-John, and Naomi Cambell.

In the highlights compiled on this expansive double LP set, the sounds of Hatchett’s albums run the gamut from disco and funk in the 1970s to electro and proto-techno as they glide through the ’80s. Most tracks clock in at a brisk 2:30 – the ideal length for Hatchett’s classes or his students’ recital performances. Fans of library music will find a similar focus on immaculate performances, while the tightly coiled drum breaks, Afro-Cuban rhythms, and thumping 808s will send rare groove collectors into a state of head nodding bliss.

Hatchett’s name and photos may appear on the sleeves of his records like Dance Crazy, Jazz Power, or Vop Style, but he is nowhere to be found in the music contained within. Instead, these albums dating back to 1974 were recorded by studio players under the guidance of musical director Don Tipton or arranger Zane Mark. Performers include: keyboardist Fred McFarlane (Madonna, Keith Sweat, Evelyn “Champagne” King), drummer Bernard Davis (Steve Winwood, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Kool & The Gang).


6 8
Which Way Is Up
For The Lover In You
Dance Crazy
Just Dance
Break Out
Wishing On A Star
Sams Tune
Malibu Nites
Music Is The Answer
Message From Kenya
The Men
We Supply
Flashy Super Groove

Charles Ditto

In Human Terms

    In the mid-80’s, an original form of music was discovered on the midi-capable little planet of Austin, Texas. At the age of 32, Charles Ditto released his first solo album applying cutting edge computers and synthesizers of the era (Roland DX7, Roland MKS-20, Roland MKS-80, Sequential Circuits Profit 2000 along with a Macintosh SE) to create a unique and detailed world that was inspired by Cluster, Eno & The Residents. "In Human Terms" bridges the gap between contemporary classical and minimal pop. Rhythmic but melodically abstract. Microtonal and organic.
    Often described as experimental electronics, tone poems or Cyber-delic-psychotropic-avante-garde, "In Human Terms" remains very emotional, deep and different. Ditto’s music imparts a new listening experience that is still somewhat indescribable today, but remains approachable and relatable. “What makes Ditto’s music so strikingly different is his overt use of emotion, very descriptive melodies and deep atmosphere” Audio Magazine - August 1988 // “If Erik Satie had midi gear” Keyboard Magazine - April 1988 // “Brian Eno meets Seastones, but with more melody” Relix Magazine - August, 1988 // “Ditto’s choice of Synthesizer tones are at once both organic and unique” Electronic Musician - June 1988


    Side A:

    1. Pop - 3:15
    2. Bush - 4:50
    3. Urban - 3:50
    4. Eastern - 2:14
    5. Rock

    Side B:

    6. World Anthem - 3:43
    7. Slave Waltz - 4:03
    8. Western - 4:26
    9. Christmas Before The War - 6:31
    10. Basso Continuo - 9:20

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