Bernardino Femminielli (b. 1985 // Montreal) is an artist. He works in media including music, performance, poetry and film under the guise of a hyper-sexual, genderless provocateur. His work and character are a synthesis of mysticism, danger and pleasure; a detached crooner, a dog of the night.
As a performer, Bernardino is interested in exploring the concept of Verdaderos: the real, the rawness, the unapologetic, the lawless. Bernardino experiments with an array of personas on stage, especially those which are powerful, audacious and oversentimental. Within a single performance, become the Diva and Anti-Diva, the cryptic juvenile and the exalted Megalomaniac; the cheerful entertainer and at the same time, the depressive, tragic night club performer. A mood of uneasiness is his aim, to create cabaret-style performances which are exuberant and highlight the vulgarity as the host. A feeling of Verdaderos, a happening, the total artwork.
Narrating in Spanish and French, from brutal italo-disco to heavy cosmic drone, to baroque glam and mutant industrial, his sonic ventures are chaotic and unpredictable. In addition to his main project, he has composed music under Femminielli Noir (with Jesse Osborne-Lanthier) and is a long time collaborator with Alex Zhang Hungtai (Dirty Beaches, Last Lizard). He has released a wide array of albums on tape (Hobo Cult, Los Discos Enfantasmes, Total Black) and vinyl (Mind, Desire, Clandestine) and has performed at events and festivals around the world. His new album ‘Plaisirs Américains’ will be released in May 2016 (MIND Records / Bethlehem XXX).
Montreal band Solids went to school with bands from the 90s, like Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr and Superchunk. Formed by Xavier Germain-Poitras (guitar) and Louis Guillemette (drums), the duo has understood that melody never shines as much as when it is forced to fight its way through many layers of distortion and feedback effects. A first EP released in 2010, Generic Dogs, already united fans of chaotic choruses under the banner of their intense rock. A 7” (Fog Friends b / w Blown Out) and a split 7” created with Toronto band Animal Faces have confirmed Solid’s reputation: a rare duo able to reconcile punks, rockers and metalheads. Blame Confusion, recorded by Adrian Popovich at Mountain City Studio (Priestess, Duchess Says, The Dears, etc.), is the band’s first full-length album and will be available on Feb 18th through Fat Possum Records.
Whether playing on stages of majors events such as South by Southwest, Osheaga, POP Montreal and The Fest (in Gainesville, Florida) or in some packed and humid decrepit basements, Xavier and Louis sweat blood because they don’t know any other way of making music. Solids is somehow a gift for all those who never feel as alive as when they’re submerged in decibels!
Freak Heat Waves second full length beams through like a soundtrack to a dark and greasy tale of a futuristic post punk band that follows their adventures through sleazy discos, underground punk venues and gleaming white art galleries. The album explores this strange world. The first single, “Design of Success” is a strange and sexy look into an alien nightclub. “Dig A Hole”, features Steven Lind’s sharp guitar riff and monotone vocals riding the skeleton of a bass line into an incendiary proto-punk guitar solo. Thomas Di Ninno’s robotic drums and retro-futuristic production make “A Civil Servant Awakening” sound like a great lost UK post punk single. The propulsive bass of James Twiddy on “Comfortable Conversation” brings to mind the endless drives of a DIY touring band. The record follows their self-released and out-of-print debut LP and extensive touring of North America on their own and with friends Viet Cong (Jagjaguwar/ Flemish Eye) and Each Other (Lefse). Freak Heat Waves calls Victoria BC home but the album was recorded and mixed over the course of a year on islands and cities and small towns across Canada.
Following the success of his debut LP, Alex Calder returns with a cassette release of home recordings and a handful of select tour dates along the east coast. Featuring the single, “Shaking My Years Away,” the 15 tracks on the release were recorded between 2013 – 2015, when Calder was in the midst of gaining huge momentum as a solo artist. BEND will be officially released on June 8, 2016. After playing in Makeout Videotape with Mac DeMarco, Alex Calder packed away his drums to perfect his songwriting. Moving back to his mother’s house, he was able to write and record his first solo efforts in 2013. The Time EP was Calder’s first release on Captured Tracks, which he followed up with Strange Dreams – his full-length debut – in 2015. It brought the focus and ambition of Alex’s songwriting to all aspects of his music, delivering an incredibly personal and intimate album that feels mature while maintaining the youthful humor that has become his trademark.
Alaclair is a troupe of Post-rigodon from Bas Canada that zigzags between Quoibec City and Mourial. Formed by the graduates of Alaclair High, its aim is to dazzle the rabble. Alaclair Ensemble, is fo kidz.
Akena Lohamba Okoko aka KNLO is a producer from Sainte-Foy, member of Alaclair Ensemble. Apart from is instrumental color series intitled Craqnuques circulating through the web since 2007, KenLo as produced for many vocalists between Montréal and Québec (K6A, Karma Atchykah, Sarah Linhares) and published ten EPs, worked solo or in duo (VLooper, Caro Dupont). In a dj set, KenLo navigates the night with selections of joyful music (rare funk, afrobeat, reggae, hip hop and other traditional music) and exclusive home music, fruit of the Tout’Nou Laboratoires Incorporés.
Duchess Says was created in late 2003 by four influent members of the Church of Budgerigars who decided to collaborate together in a common musical project. Their goal was to insure a faithful representation of the message of the Duchess (or spiritual budgie) through a precise artistic dialog. Composed of A-Claude (vox, keytar, guitar), Ismael (keyboard,guitar), Phil (guitar, bass,feedbacks) and Simon Says (lo-fi beats, drums and doubtful noises). Duchess Says is serving us a repertory of “moog rock” songs strong in images and enormoustly intense live performances!Their musical influences range from no wave, new wave, punk, to cinema and visual arts. If you pay attention, you could see them perform in the most unusual places such as golf courses, shop windows, vacant building sites etc.. Duchess Says has the mandate to decontextualise the rock and to promote simultaneously their Church on the way.
Partner is the “mature” effort of small town lesbians Josée Caron and Lucy Niles (the brains behind beloved Sackville pop-punk outfit The Mouthbreathers). Borne of their bizarre and fortuitous friendship, Partner boldly goes where few have even desired to go, moving effortlessly from topics like sex objects and gross secrets to more serious themes like intimacy, friendship, and existential unease.
Partner marries feminism and stadium rock riffage to produce a sound as queer as they are, and their arrival on the scene couldn’t be more timely: “Partner’s music is like what early 00s pop punk would be like if it was mixed with a reverence for classic rock era guitar solos. But unlike that generation’s insistence of straight white dude figureheads that traded a sense of humour for self-righteousness, Partner’s songs are funny as hell.”
After a freakishly productive year of writing, Partner will be heading to the studio in February 2016 to record their hotly anticipated debut album titled In Search of Lost Time. Their enthusiastic and action-packed live set has led to them being named the “best new band in Canada” in the Globe and Mail, and although “Partner hasn’t even released an album yet, [watching] one of their sets, it’s clear right away that they’ve arrived fully formed.” Influenced by acts as varied as Ween, Weezer, Neil Young, and Sum 41, the record promises to make you question everything you thought you knew about rock ‘n’ roll.
We Are Wolves… Around since the tidal wave of electro/art/dance/punk broke at the beginning of the year 2000s, they’re the only ones left standing. The wolves are still on the prowl.
This is a band that have cut their teeth and have nothing left to prove. WRONG – the new album, soon to be released on fledgling Montreal label Fantôme Records – sees We Are Wolves wiping the slate clean, on the hunt for new musical prey. But between their raw beginnings reminiscent of Suicide and this, their more pop-oriented fifth album, there has been no lack of sweat, passion and aggression, lots of noise and, above all else, a whole load of fun.
Flashback: Non Stop Je te Plie en Deux, a kind of savage letter of introduction that knocked listeners off their feet, seduced hordes of punk fans addicted to the dustbin blues of Fat Possum. It was back in 2005 that WAW’s first album appeared on this most legendary of American record labels. The trio, made up of bassist and vocalist Alexander Ortiz, keyboardist Vincent Levesque – both visual arts students at the time – and percussionist Antonin Marquis, then went on to take North America and Europe by storm. The wolfpack toured non-stop, terrorizing small venues and artist lofts as well as huge international festivals such as Osheaga (Montreal), the Virgin Festival (Toronto), SXSW (Austin), the L.A. Weekly Detour Festival (L.A.), CMJ (New York), The Great Escape (UK), Dour Fest (Belgium), Eurockéennes and Le rock dans tous ses états (France). Sharing the stage with acts such as And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, The (International) Noise Conspiracy, The Gossip, Gorillaz, Muse, Indochine and Bloc Party, the band grabbed the attention of the rock press, from Rolling Stone to Pitchfork via Spin and pretty much all the cool media publications. The wolves’ mixture of electro-punk left no one indifferent.
Then it was back to the studio. After the hit single Fight and Kiss, We Are Wolves were at it again in 2007 with Total Magique, having switched to Montreal label Dare To Care, which also put out the follow-up Invisible Violence in 2009. Same story as before, WAW were lauded by the local and international press and their albums garnered a number of awards and widespread acclaim, confirming the trio’s notoriety on the international music scene. Once again they toured Canada, the USA and Europe.
In 2012 the pack of wolves divided: Antonin Marquis being replaced by ex-Polipe member Pierre-Luc Bégin. With touring over, the band headed back to the studio to record La Mort Pop Club, which was released in February 2013, also on Dare To Care. More tortured and disturbing than its predecessors – dark, shadowy post-punk mixed with an almost brutal minimalism, their fourth release yet again got the attention of the press both here and abroad and saw the band hit the road for another series of concerts.
A rumour began to spread that La Mort Pop Club would be the final We Are Wolves album. WRONG, which is due for release in the fall of 2016 on the enigmatic Montreal label Fantôme Records, proves those rumours to be exactly that… wrong.
WRONG. One word: short, sharp and cuts right to the chase – that even arouses a certain perplexed curiosity. With this, their first album to have an English title, the band unashamedly shows off its pop side, that until now we’ve had little more than a whiff of. Rock solid thanks to a flawless career spanning fifteen years, the band are more confident than ever and have been rewarded by a success that mocks their critics. WRONG is a fundamentally positive album that sees the Wolves explore new hunting grounds, revealing a more mature band very much at the height of its powers.
Chocolat was. Chocolat is.
First came a band bursting with unpredictable rock and roll violence, Chocolat released a straightforward and erotic self-titled EP in 2007, followed by Piano Élégant in 2008, a suavely romantic debut opus infused with rock and yéyé influences. More fierce and fiery than ever, they released Tss Tss in 2014, an album whose expansive psychedelic sound and kraut-inspired repetitions earned the band international recognition and many tours abroad. Chocolat is now well into its second incarnation. On Rencontrez Looloo, the group has parted with its sprawling explorations and moved towards a more modal hard-franco-prog with punk and folk accents.
Awakened minds already know it: Rencontrer Looloo is like seeing the future in the bottom of a bottle of Cherry Coke, or accessing the infinite through the twists of a pretzel.
Organ mood is a sound and visual artist collective from Montreal, composed of Christophe Lamarche and Mathieu Jacques. Since 2008 we try to change what the notion of what audience means by favoring a more involving relationship with our public. Our tools are analog synthesizers, overhead projectors and custom made instruments we share with our spectators, interconnected through software.
We have toured Quebec as an opening act for pop artists. We played in several festivals in Montreal such as mutek, meg montreal and escales improbables. We turned the atrium of the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art into a psychedelic venue. We played in a church in Saint-Jean-Port-Joli. We transformed the backyard of the artist-run center l’Écart in Rouyn-Noranda into an impromptu DIY rave. We performed at the totally rococo teatro Fru-fru in mexico city as part of mutek mx.
We try to make our performances a ritual, where the public can join and discover the inner stregths they have to pursue large scale projects.
Toronto native Daniel Benjamin and collaborator/co-conspirator Maddy Wilde have been making music together for most of their lives. As Moon King, they weave dreamlike harmonies over buzz-saw guitars and electronic percussion, with their live performances capturing a raw-nerve intensity that verges on ecstatic. Many of their songs appeal to our darker subconscious desires, reveling in the embrace of fear and ego as a means of escape. Moon King’s first EPs, Obsession I and II, were released on Fucked Up guitarist Mike Haliechuk’s label One Big Silence. They have since signed to indie powerhouse Last Gang for their debut LP ‘Secret Life’, and their extensive international touring history includes tours with Doldrums (Daniel’s brother Airick), Austra, Majical Cloudz, and (Mr) Twin Sister, among others.
Wild Moth have played with Merchandise, Perfect Pussy, Speedy Ortiz, Naomi Punk and many others and toured with several other bands including Self Defense Family and Creative Adult. SF Weekly called the band “one of the Bay Area’s most promising young post-punk bands” and described their sound as departing “from punk’s insistent rhythms and concise fury: It’s more nuanced, structurally intricate, and melodic.” Collective Zine called the band’s debut “one of the years absolute best records … a storming album of driving post punk infused with post hardcore” and Impose Magazine called their recent split “an even more interesting shift…a slowed down power trudge, perpetually layering sounds on top of one another, and building in sonic momentum.”
“Inhibitor” was recorded at Atomic Gardens with Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Whirr) and with Max Senna (Miserable, King Woman) at Secret Bathroom Studios. Mixing and mastering by Jack Shirley.”
The Sound of Heat is the sound of confusion. Tuneful but tone-deaf; beat-down and blown out of porportion. It’s a neat scotch and a mess of a life. You can find it scrawled on bathroom walls, hastily jotted down on cocktail napkins, deleted from your browsing history, lacing your designer drugs. It’s a couple bedroom demos turned into a Montreal 5-piece rock band, Now here’s the sixty-four thousand dollar question: “Do you remember rock n roll radio?”
Let’s go behind door number two, Monty; last place with a Bulleit.
Heat is a young band from Montreal drawing influences from classic rock bands like Velvet Underground, Jesus and the Mary Chain and the Strokes.
It’s through an eponymous album released in October 2010 on Grosse Boîte that the general public got better acquainted with Jimmy Hunt as a solo artist. Critical acclaim followed as the singer-songwriter was awarded numerous accolades in Quebec, and was selected as one of the Révélations Radio-Canada in 2011-2012, a program that highlights the excellence of upcoming francophone artists.
Seasons passed and Jimmy Hunt returns in October 2013 with Maladie d’amour, a new album with a sound reminiscent of the graceful folk of his debut. But of course, Jimmy was not going to stop there – Maladie d’amour also blends dense electro with minimalist lyrics. We wouldn’t want to go overboard, but here goes: there’s definitely some Gainsbourg in the innovation and the unusual texture of this album. Plus… have you seen that cover?
These sonic explorations also owe their unique directions to two of Jimmy’s close collaborators, who have previously joined him for shows. Keyboardist and sound programmer Christophe Lamarche-Ledoux (Organ Mood) handled recording and arrangements on selected tracks, and multi-instrumentalist Emmanuel Éthier (Passwords) directed the sessions. Both also play on the album.
Prepare yourselves for a superdope psych-punk thrashing from the lunatic minds behind Montreal’s CPC Gangbangs, Red Mass and Duchess Says. This new amalgamated group is called PYPY (π π), and this debut LP “Pagan Day” is a mind searing concoction of sinister wah-wah freakouts littered with fuzz, distortion and the necromantic scree of co-lead singer Annie-Claude Deschênes. Super disco-breaks reminiscent of the dance punk of NYC’s legendary 99 Records (ESG / Liquid Liquid) slither in on “Daffodils,” and the blistering pop of “She’s Gone” rivals Thee Oh Sees most burning tracks. Add all of this to one of the finest recording sessions we’ve ever heard here at Black Gladiator / Slovenly HQ, and you got yourself a prime moving platter for your heaviest rock’n’roll club soirees and claw-your-eyes-out solo home listening sessions.