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21 September 2012
By Abby Paige in Montreal Review of Books #39 (Québec), September 21, 2012

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“There is a certain voyeuristic pleasure in these poems; they fittingly feel like reading someone’s diary, and part of the drive to keep reading is the promise of discovery.”

[…] While most of us are accustomed to reading short bits of text these days (140 characters, anyone?), many are nonetheless unaccustomed to the pace and attention required by the short bits of text that make up most poetry. Consequently, some poets are finding innovative methods to trip up the reader and demand a more considered interaction with the text. Fortner Anderson’s Solitary Pleasures is as much an art book as a poetry book, and haphazard typeface is the approach it uses to slow down the reader. Designer Fabrizio Gilardino has stamped each page by hand, letter by letter, using different font sizes and letter cases. He then altered the text digitally to create or preserve the appearance of errors and edits. The resulting text is impossible to scan like conventional printing. It must be studied and is, in fact, a bit hard on the eyes. Its unevenness mimics handwriting, making the words more like images, forcing us, almost like new readers, to proceed slowly and meticulously.

The poems themselves, taken from Anderson’s 2004 daybook, chronicle the mundanity of daily life, punctuated by moments of clarity, awe, or lament. “I did seventy five crunche / nude / before breakfast,” begins the entry from July 19th. Later the same day, the speaker and a friend discuss how one can never know the mind “and must remain / content / with an evershifting vantage / as we look into from the shadows / which we longingly call / ourselves.” There is a certain voyeuristic pleasure in these poems; they fittingly feel like reading someone’s diary, and part of the drive to keep reading is the promise of discovery. That promise doesn’t always pay off, but here that unevenness feels immediate and true. (…)

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19 September 2012

We suggest you check out Musique actuelle by Sophie Stévance, the latest addition to our shop.

15 September 2012
By Barry Kilpatrick in American Record Guide (USA), September 15, 2012

Press Clipping

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15 September 2012
By Jason Bivins in Signal to Noise #64 (USA), September 15, 2012

Press Clipping

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11 September 2012
By Kurt Gottschalk in The Squid’s Ear (USA), September 11, 2012

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“It’s probably too offbeat to appeal to many of Sade’s fans, but it’s too good in its own regard to be overlooked simply for its subject.”

Smooth jazz was never an easy proposition, and the pop wing of it even less so. It was — it seemed, at least — the grown-up pap of the era of Reagan and Thatcher (and Brian Mulroney, for that matter). In the wake of torn clothes as high fashion and TV sitcoms set in the ghetto, it (apparently) was time we all lived a luxurious and stylized life. Fred Sanford the junk man gave way to Cliff Huxtable the obstetrician. Paul Weller disbanded his punk mod group the Jam for the round-edged soul of the Style Council. And then there was Sade. The Nigerian born singer seemed the epitome of all that popular music had lost. She was suave, demurely beautiful. She sang in an appealingly smooth unfettered by vibrato or melisma. She was what George Michael had started pretending to be. Her ambiguously jazzy pop music may have been the frosting on the end of class warfare, but she nevertheless was undeniably good at it.

It’s hard to say to whom Ontario’s Reveries hope to appeal with their tribute to Sade, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an appealing record. Indeed it’s one of that rare breed that wears its heart on its sleeve and its tongue in its cheek. Matchmakers Volume 2: The Music of Sade (following a disc of Willie Nelson songs) is not a parody. It’s a ludicrously loving tribute.

The band’s sound is, well, full of sounds. The instrumental credits include mouth-speaker, street-sweeper bass, thumb-reeds and nose flute, the combination of which results in an incredulously persistent buzzing, thumping and vibrating throughout the nine-song set. Underneath that quiet cacophony, the band plays the songs quite faithfully, even without the signature saxophones of Sade’s band.

The vocals are no less mysteriously impassioned. Sung in a throaty falsetto primarily by one or another of the three players credited with “mouth-microphone,” the soft warbling evokes its patron fantastically well. There’s a bit of a goof being had in a drag-show way, but still it’s not played for laughs. (In that respect it’s perhaps a bit like John Kelly’s remarkable Joni Mitchell stageshow, but just barely.)

The album opens with Sade’s biggest hit, No Ordinary Love, closes with the 1992 single Kiss of Life and includes the reggae-leaning title track off her 2000 album Lover’s Rock. But it ignores Soldier of Love, released a full decade later after Lover’s Rock and still her most recent release. Their dedication to their subject shines through nevertheless. It’s probably too offbeat to appeal to many of Sade’s fans, but it’s too good in its own regard to be overlooked simply for its subject.

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7 September 2012
By Massimo Ricci in The Squid’s Ear (USA), September 7, 2012

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“A distinct sense of compactness ultimately emerges from the energized discharges to warrant an affirmative verdict.”

Shalabi’s electric guitar, St-Onge’s bass with electronics and Côté’s amplified drums swear to us that the improvisational momentousness defining other brave and more renowned trios is not lost yet. In the 35 minutes of Jane and The Magic Bananas they don’t seem to care too much about aesthetical laws: the interplay is often caustically cluttered and essentially introverted, although not completely deprived of elements of direct communication with the audience. The dynamic pendulum oscillates between elementary patterns as the basis of magnetic mutability (Jogging Along The Path Of El ’Gabar) and moments of arrhythmic emancipation, frequently scented with harmolodic essences (Young Men Share Excitement In Far Deep Tchoukotka and, especially, Mesa Verde’s Alien Sunset). Do not think that there’s no room for calmer types of investigation: In Which Jack’s Cruise Is Ended walks slowly, gradually, until the mounting tension produces an untidy heap of jarring intervals corroborated by soul-plaguing threats in deceivingly clumsy mechanisms.

It takes a while to realize that the initial perplexity elicited by the performers’ choices is in reality the reaction to a type of acoustic fractal geometry which needs to be taken as it is, in a warts-and-all kind of aural decontamination. No actual “beauty” to contemplate, no easy paths or tactful approaches. The instruments are played without surplus of fine-tuning — the quality of the respective timbres is, so to speak, brilliantly grubby — thus allowing the collective interaction to keep an uncomfortable edge perceptible throughout. This notwithstanding, the overall result is comparable to a short, solid fighter who — not endowed with huge technical and physical advantages — prefers a steady assault to the opponent’s body instead of an ineffective use of the jab. A distinct sense of compactness ultimately emerges from the energized discharges to warrant an affirmative verdict.

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