Quebec city's Gramofaune blends the electronic and acoustic in new album 'Fear Not'

Gramofaune is the project of Gabriel Gagné, a musician and producer based in Quebec City. Originally a classical guitarist, it wasn’t until Gabriel heard artists like Bonobo and Four Tet that he started experimenting with more electronic soundscapes. His compositions are characterized by their diverse sound design palette ; melding acoustic and electronic elements to form deeply moving emotive collages.

His new album ‘Fear Not’ is a smattering of finely tuned electronic environments to lose yourself in. 10 tracks of tastefully prepared landscapes rich in micro percussion, voltage charged melodies, and the occasional acoustic expression. The album is a definite start-to-finish listen that offers up a new sonic treasure around each twist and turn. Featuring a number of musical guests such as: Étienne Masson (drums on "Trails") Philippe Gagné (handpan on "Grande Faune") Pascal Ouellet (dulcimer on "For Pascal") and La Renarde (voice on "Entanglement") - these collaborations add another dimension to an already stellar album.

Support ‘Fear Not’ on Bandcamp or stream it on Spotify

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Astred Collective's Anthony Bailey drops blissed out beats in 'Maelstrom Of Thoughts'.

Being a writer for ADSR means there is going to be a certain amount of bias in this review because Anthony Bailey is also a part of a creative collective. ‘Astred’, based out of Montreal, are on a mission to “promote universality, accessibility, empowerment & leadership in youth culture through music and art” and while doing my research for this review, I found that getting that message out there took centre stage rather than Bailey pushing his work through his own release. It’s inspiring to see this kind of integrity and dedication to a higher cause and of course myself and everyone else at ADSR hope to share the same values through what we do. It’s always nice to come across artists who are pushing community through music and art. Values, which in my opinion, could very well be translated to all aspects of life. 

Bias aside, ‘Want To Feel You’ is simply an excellent piece of lush lo-fi escapism. It’s a warm, infectious well crafted instrumental that creates the slickest of grooves from the play between the laid-back vocal, stripped back drums, dreamy Rhodes and seductive sax/guitar stabs. This is a quality release from Bailey and the good news is there are six more tracks of the same standard on the ‘Maelstrom Of Thoughts” Ep from which ‘Want To Feel You’ hails. This is a perfect blissed out beat for any favourable playlist, from a producer who has loads of talent to share and continues to hone his craft daily.

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DIY HIFI brings the funk with 'Feels'

Vancouver musician and producer Ian Bevis, formerly of the band ‘Bear Mountain"‘, starts our 2019 off on the good foot with the laid back, funky swinger that is ‘Feels’. No stranger to big stage indie sounds, Bevis and Bear Mountain have toured as direct support to Bloc Party, Cut Copy, and Hot Chip playing festivals such as Lollapalooza, Osheaga and Austin City Limits.

Compared to the more indie pop sensibilities of ‘Bear Mountain’ DIY HIFI feels a bit more like a disco house party. A groovy bassline leads the track through a number of cleverly assembled verses and choruses. With rich bubbling synths accenting the groove, and even a very recognizable bit of sampling on the breakdown, ‘Feels’ is an infectious tune that makes it very hard to stand still. The track exquisitely captures the ‘Do It Yourself’ spirit while never sacrificing pitch-perfect musicality or high quality production.

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From Toronto to the Far North with Alaskan Tapes

What do the expanses of Alaska and Toronto ambient producer Brady Kendall have in common? Well aside from the obvious namesake (Alaskan Tapes) there is certain feeling of calmness one gets surrounded by nature out in the great wilderness. This same tranquility can be found in Kendall’s ambient pieces, often incorporating field recordings, piano, and elements of peacefulness.

Kendall describes the opening track from his most recent release.
”Untitled #1 is apart of my new 4 Track EP entitled "The Ocean No Longer Wants Us", it's a long drone track, that incorporates subtle melody through piano, and other instruments run through Granular synths.” 

Untitled #1 strikes a delicate balance between melody, texture and depth. Soft and gradual ambiance rises and falls, accented by floaty touches of piano, contrasting coarseness of field recordings, and a final touch of nostalgia.

Support ‘The Ocean No Longer Wants Us’ on Bandcamp

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A lofi house gem from Montreal's Moox

It could be the chill of December, or those hearty dishes of smoked meat poutine, but Montreal lofi house producer ‘Moox’ has that special sound to keep you warm all winter long.

His regular uploads of laid back, head nodding house jams throughout 2018 have caught the attention of vibey youtube channel “Moskalus’ and San Francisco label ‘Routine Espresso Recordings'. Continually honing his hazy sound, this past year has seen a number of edits, free downloads, releases and collaborations hit the airwaves from the young Canadian producer.

His recent track ‘My House’ features a warm and welcoming bassline accented by some classic hi hats and percussion up top. Piano infused pads rise and fall to bring movement to the piece, while some cleverly placed vocal samples give a nice final touch.

Grab this little heater on a free download and stay toasty through the winter months.

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Pianist Alexandra Stréliski Explores Moments of Vulnerability with INSCAPE

“A piano, on its own, is a very vulnerable thing, and I want to share this moment with the listener.” 

This honest confession coming from Montreal-based pianist and composer Alexandra Stréliski, commenting on her latest release, and second full length album, INSCAPE. A work that is largely characterized by vulnerability, sincerity and honesty, not only in the medium but also in it’s inspiration and delivery.

The creative medium itself, a piano laid bare, carries with it a kind of intrinsic sincerity. Nothing to hide behind, no overbearing production, nothing competing for your attention. Simply and naturally, Stréliski and her piano.

The inspiration for the album as well carries with it a kind of honest vulnerability.
“To me,” says Stréliski, “Inscape was an existential crisis. A year where everything capsized and I had to go through various interior landscapes – hectic, beautiful and painful at the same time. I found myself in a space filled with grey areas that I didn’t know how to escape.”

The album is a collection of fleeting moments which are as much an internal dialogue as they are meant for a larger audience. Coming to terms with unanswered questions and loose ends, INSCAPE is one part melancholic masterpiece and one part triumphant metamorphosis. A delicate butterfly of rare authenticity within the contemporary music landscape.

Out now from Montreal label ‘Secret City Records’
Grab the release on their website

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Experimental electronica from Toronto's Fried Dough

Fried Dough is an electronic psych band that blends dark trip hop grooves and spacey ambient textures with elements of experimental music and IDM. While working on commercial music projects at an ad agency in Toronto, Canada, Andrew Cariboni and Aaron Gaistman became friends over a shared love for independent electronic producers and psych-tinged jam bands. The two formed 'Fried dough' as a vehicle for their creative output and friend Nolan Bouvier later joined the band in 2016. 

With a strong history of eclectic indie music, including Broken Social Scene, Caribou, Metric, and Death from Above 1979, Toronto is no stranger to bands that blur the lines between genres and styles. Fried Dough not only sees the groups various members playing a wide range of instruments, but also producing a full spectrum of tracks from pink floyd esque flowing psychedelia to texture-rich cutting edge electronic music. 

The latter best describes the groups most recent track 'Brume' which is a brief yet powerful two and a half minutes of brain twisting idm and swelling analog synths. Despite the apocalyptic overtones the track ultimately concludes with a sense of resolve and optimism. 

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Genre-defying idm from French producer- bplrxxiii

Claes Frowein, aka bplrxxiii, is a French musician currently residing and creating in Quebec, Canada. Inspired by the techno movement that swept France, Claes started producing electronic music around 2010. 

Upon moving to Canada, Frowein started experimenting with new sounds and styles. Incorporating elements of idm, broken beat and juke into his productions, the inquisitive artist blended up his own unique brand of electronic music. 

In 2015 he released his debut EP 'La Terre est Bleue' on Montreal's On the Stick Records. The release featured 4 tracks of experimental field recordings, jittery beats, and error inducing atmospheres. Following up that release with another EP and several singles on another Montreal imprint, Full Con Records, Claes was quickly fitting right into the experimental, eclectic landscape of French Canada. 

His recent track '11panda' features a plethora of unique samples nestled against a backdrop of detailed sound design. With an unpredictable, infectious beat stumbling the track forward, the entire piece leaves us wondering what sonic treat will be hurled next at the unsuspecting listener?

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New release from Vancouver's Datataste

Our friends 'datataste' have just released a new album, check it out over on their bandcamp!

"Sigil Tree" represents a sigilization of sound. The source material, largely found buried in an old hard drive and in project files, had been forgotten several times over before being assembled, deeply augmented, and performed for these recordings.