Said the Gramophone - image by Daria Tessler
by Sean
Eating fish

Lydia Képinski - "Premier juin". Sock yourself with this song, take it like a conker to the temple. A pipe-organ and a string section; a synth and a guitar. A song that tastes so ripe and raw that it's partly bloody iron, partly strawberry jam. A sprint down the alley, a flight through the woods. Churn and boil and run, run, run - hearstroke and klaxon and wolves' matted fur. Képinski's Montreal pop points right back to Arcade Fire's "Tunnels", Charles Burns' Black Hole, Frankie Barnet's An Indoor Kind of Girl. An idea of future, the singer's self coalescing. An idea of past, all these names crossed out. And finally here, now: present (present, sir!). Today at full gallop, bolting toward the new.


Mata Hari - "Easy". A song about living in a bull's-eye. Maybe he moved there six months ago, maybe it was last week. His whole adult life he lived in some other building, some shoebox apartment; then finally he hired a van and brought his boxes to the bull's-eye, signed a lease. His friends had warned him against it. He didn't know if it would work out. But: of course it did. It was a bull's-eye! Concentric circles, red and white stripe. A target. He had been there only days when the first dart came flying, direct from cupid's bow - pow. Maybe "pow"'s the wrong sound. Zing, snap, STRUM. The luckiest days feel like hitting a target; one step down are the days when you are the target, or feel like it, or feel like you live in a bungalow erected on a target. When it feels as if the whole world, or all the things you want, are convening on the place where you're at, the place you're now standing - right on the threshold, hunched, fiddling with your keys.


by Mitz

Maria Takeuchi - "Plastic Love" [Buy]

It's been a while! wow time flies!

Thank you for kind comments/emails! I just got really busy with my work.

Nothing really changed for me since last time I wrote here.

I watched a lot of World Cup. When France won, here in Montreal, people drove around with french flag and honking really loudly. I was annoyed. But then, when I was at the light, I saw one lonely guy, who looked like American Pie actor, driving around with a flag. He was alone in his car, with flag, just driving around by himself and honking.

I felt bad for him. So I gave a little thumbs up. Then he started honking really hard and loud!!!!!! What have I done!? Oh well.

Anyways, how do you not rip pita bread? I don't think I ever successfully opened pita without ripping in my life.

Here is nice summer track by Maria Takeuchi, from 1984. Sorry I could only find CD at Amazon US store:(

take care and see you around.


by Emma

Tierra Whack - "Hungry Hippo"
Tierra Whack - "Bugs Life"
Tierra Whack - "Black Nails"

I wanted to write about Drake. I keep trying to listen to Drake, I keep trying to think about Drake. But honestly? It's like 800 degrees outside. Even here in the air-conditioned indoors, the whole enterprise just feels smothering. 25 tracks! Are you kidding me? Like a wall of angry text messages that keeps coming and coming - even after you put your phone down, even after you tell him you're at work, even after you say please and fuck you and okay, okay, okay, I'm sorry, fine, can we please just talk about this later? And still there's 15 more to work through.

This, I guess, is the not the dark but the exhausting side of the gorgeous, goofy, Ginuwine-tinged thirst that Aubrey's persona throws off in its best single moments. The sheer volume of content on Scorpion - all this A-side/B-side shit, all this empty title talk of feelings-plural - is just this dude trying literally every trick he knows to get a grip on your attention so he can twist it back around towards him. Like a little kid mashing all the buttons in an elevator. Hey. Hi. Hey sexy. Hello? Why are you mad at me? What about all the bad stuff you did to me? This is stupid. Why don't you just come over? What are you doing right now? What are you wearing? Are you ignoring me? Can we please just talk? Hello? Hello? HELLO?????

Maybe that's just how I feel about this album right now, or maybe it's how I feel about Drake in 2018, or maybe it's how I feel about Drake in a heatwave: that the only good reason to enter into a relationship with someone like the person at the centre of his stories is that it's fun, and the second it starts to feel like work you have got to cut your losses and duck back out into the sunshine. Leave him to his darkened studio, his blue-black beats, his endlessly deepening mythology of him; let him tell all those same stories to someone who hasn't had time to get tired of them yet. Probably, though, I'll feel different about it in a few weeks - when I've cooled down a little, when my patience rebounds.

In the meantime, Tierra Whack provides an antidote so perfect it almost seems too perfect. It's not fair to compare her complex, freaky, singular project to some dude's eight-hour double-sided Song Of Himself, but if you happen to listen to Whack World for the first time the same way I did - right after you listen to Scorpion for the third or fourth - it's hard not to notice everything this album has that that one lacks. Each of its fifteen tracks is exactly one minute long, and like a good poem, each one is a completely self-contained galaxy of mood and style and voice and subject; a tiny space that feels infinitely vast both in spite and because of what constrains it.

Whack's voice doesn't sound the same on any song as any other, and yet this whole thing sounds like her. She never repeats herself, and she's certainly not trying to prove anything to you except that whatever she has to say deserves your attention. This is not just an album - it's a collection, the kind that gives off a double glow: first each object on its own, and then the thing they do when you string them together. A handful of crystals, cartoon-coloured, charged and ready to change you. Something really and truly unreal.

Watch all of Whack World here.

by Mitz
(photo source)

Dura - "Grace Church Road" [Buy]

Finally getting warmer here, it is above 0 degrees Celsius. We had a really harsh winter. like -20 degrees for a whole week or something during winter break.

It felt like working for exposure for a whole week or unpaid intern.

anyways, it was icy on the sidewalks. I did slip once late at night coming home from my studio. I managed to save myself from landing on my back like a triple axel of a figure skater in my head but probably i looked like a teenager in a mosh-pit, swinging arms frantically and wishing for people understand me better.

I walked home in a night listening to this song after that.

by Sean
Glasses floating

Duet for Theremin and Lap Steel - "Absinthium".
Duet for Theremin and Lap Steel - "Serpentariae".

Atlanta's Duet for Theremin and Lap Steel are a duet, a duo. Their principal instruments are theremin and lap steel. They are evidently well-named. But at the same time that name, for me, suggests an emphasis on virtuosity, musicianship, the unacommpanied gifts of its individual players. In fact, the music of Duet for Theremin and Lap Steel feels more to me about dissolving the individual, forgetting the maker. Scott Burland and Frank Schultz make weather. Both of their instruments are suited to this approach. Anybody who has seen a lap steel being played has probably experienced that sense of mystification: where is the sound coming from? where is it going? It's as if the lap steel player is using his instrument to conjure music from the room, out of bare air. A theremin can give a similar impression. The machine seems secondary to the sound, just accompanying paraphernalia. The term "ambient music" is most often deployed to describe music that's restful, drifting, slowly unfolding. Most of Duet for Theremin and Lap Steel's improvisations are this - but they're also ambient in a more literal sense. These recordings seem intimately linked to the spaces they were made in (or from) and, if the listener plays them at home - loud, on speakers - they get tied up in those spaces too, knitting into the paint on the walls.

Duet for Theremin and Lap Steel is also a cheat of a name because Burland and Schultz use other instruments, or use their instruments in ways that conceal their identities. "Serpentariae" is suffused with gongs, bells, reverberations. "Absinthium" is filled with the clarinet and saxophone of collaborator Jeff Crompton. Around him, Duet for Theremin and Lap Steel dream up clouds, aurora, sunspots, storm-fronts. They make weather overhead. Listening to compositions like these - music these musicians made up, in studio, somewhere far away - I am struck by what a gift they have. Not just that they can make weather, summon it from nothing, but that they can bottle it - like springwater, or earth. Sending spring or summer up from Georgia, to where we shiver in the cold.

[buy / Duet appear next month at Knoxville, TN's spectacular Big Ears Festival]


Max Cilla - "La Flûte des Mornes".

Meanwhile, there are other weathers. Purple ones, warm sun on frozen days, melting snow on mountaintops.


by Emma

Tyler, The Creator - "911/Mr. Lonely"
Tyler, The Creator - "See You Again"

Spend enough time alone, this is how your inner landscape starts to sound. Lush, technicolour, cartoon-rounded at the edges, larger than life and then larger again. All this space for you to echo, double back and sing together, in a chorus, in a round. Spend enough time alone and you won't ever sound like anyone else - which a curse, or a blessing, or something else entirely. That's why the best way to listen to these songs is by yourself: in headphones, loud, walking solo through the city, cutting through crowds. Half-buoyed by something bright and imaginary, half weighed down by a mountain of tiny details, the kind that add up. Spend enough time alone, you get to know what romance really means.

[Buy Flower Boy]

by Mitz

Naoto Kawate - "Lakeside Song" [Bandcamp]

Happy new year to everyone!

I had a relaxing time in country side with my girlfriend's family.

on the way back, at the Toronto bus terminal. She was sitting far away from me and I stood up to go to the bathroom soshe did some hand gestures of "where you going?" since the bus was probably departing soon.

So I had to do the handgesture of "Im going to poo." but it was really hard. Slightly bending over and making something coming out from my ass gesture while try not to embarrass myself while she is laughing faraway from me but somehow I succeed it because that is what I did before I learned to speak(im really good at charade)

victory shit right there.
happy new year!