Constellation

Rebecca Foon “Waxing Moon” (Constellation)

2020-03-13T20:34:38+00:00February 20th, 2020|

Rebecca Foon, the composer and musician behind Saltland and Esmerine (and former longstanding member of Silver Mt. Zion) presents a new album entitled Waxing Moon. While best known as an incomparable cellist crafting textural soundscapes and instrumental chamber-rock in the aforementioned projects (and more recently recognized for her creative and organisational work as cofounder of Pathway To Paris), this new collection of songs finds Foon emphasizing piano and voice with striking intimacy and elegance, showcasing a captivating evolution in her always resplendent songwriting. The climate crisis has profoundly framed Foon’s political and artistic life for many years now, and Waxing Moon finds her writing and singing her most arrestingly direct yet poetic words, tapping universal and personal heartbreak in both despair and hope.

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Matana Roberts “COIN COIN Chapter Four: Memphis” (Constellation)

2019-10-11T03:15:03+00:00October 11th, 2019|

Matana Roberts returns from an extensive, celebrated live tour with the fourth volume of her deeply personal but resoundingly immersive ‘Coin Coin’ chapters.

The onetime member of Exploding Star Orchestra looks south to Memphis and the memory of her grandmother (that’s her on the cover) for a typically passionate investigation of her roots, using a patented combination of storytelling and ethnography brought to life with free-metered vocals and strong echoes of early blues, jazz and cajun music.

Make no mistake though, it doesn’t sound old, but raucously psychedelic, contemporary and avant-garde in a totally peerless fashion. Matana’s legion followers hardly need to be told this, but if you’re new to her sound and keen to dip in, expect a helluva journey. Seriously feels like we’ve drunk a gallon of moonshine after listening to this one.

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Fly Pan Am “C’est Ca” (Constellation)

2019-09-13T06:30:08+00:00September 13th, 2019|

C’est ça marks the reunion of Montréal avant-rock quartet Fly Pan Am, who released an acclaimed series of albums in Constellation’s early years, from 1999-2004. The band’s heady collision of motorik repetition, shoegaze maximalism, punk skronk, tape- and electronic-based interventions and audio sabotage, garnered them a cult following among fans of audaciously deconstructed post-rock. C’est ça is a welcome return to form – an album of undeniably renewed vitality and experimentation where rock structures underpinned by J.S. Truchy’s trademark rapid-fire bass and Félix Morel’s disciplined, ascetic drumming are submerged beneath waves of processed guitar by Roger Tellier-Craig and Jonathan Parant, with fluorescent noise treatments and sonic vandalisms wrought by all four. Songs variously nod to key influences like MBV and Husker Dü, the intrepid proto-Kosmiche of This Heat and Can, and later style-adjacent torchbearers like Boredoms, Flying Saucer Attack and Trans Am – all the while collapsing into/out of themselves in various ways. But Fly Pan Am have always and reliably been much more than the sum of their influences: C’est ca is terrific new collection of restless, conceptual, viscerally ethereal noise rock that could come from no other band, sparkling with the creative buzz of lifelong artistic intensity, dialogue and friendship.

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Sandro Perri “Soft Landing” (Constellation)

2019-08-30T02:42:06+00:00August 30th, 2019|

Deluxe 180gram vinyl pressed at Optimal (Germany) comes in a 20pt/400gsm uncoated jacket with audiophile polylined black paper inner dust sleeve and 12”x24” poster + 12”x12” insert both printed in full colour on uncoated archival 140M paper. Includes digital download. Artwork by Sandro Perri.

We’ve been accustomed to waiting years between Sandro Perri albums – a fine price to pay for the quality and understated brilliance of his records. But the Perri floodgates have opened; less than a year after the widely acclaimed In Another Life, he offers up a new and sublime collection, this time with guitar at the calmly rambling heart of these tunes: from the lushly languid 16-minute album opener “Time (You Got Me)” to the syncopated 70s-inflected soft rock of “Wrong About The Rain,” Soft Landing is a warm and hugely satisfying addition to Perri’s diverse and unparalleled discography.

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Lungbutter “Honey” (Constellation)

2019-06-07T02:59:14+00:00June 7th, 2019|

Montréal trio Lungbutter serves up an exhilarating and relentless barrage of astringent noise-punk driven by the ferociously wide-screen tri-amped guitar squall of Kaity Zozula, the brawny pummel of Joni Sadler’s drums, and the wry subliminal/phenomenological sing-speak of vocalist Ky Brooks.

Brooks, Sadler and Zozula have all been mainstays of the vibrant experimental noise/rock community in the city for several years, having put in time as members of numerous bands including Femmaggots, Harsh Reality, Caymans, Nennen, Wreckage With Stick and Nag – as well as the Misery Loves Company tape label, La Plante collective, and the campus/community radio station CKUT. Lungbutter has been their main jam for a while, playing frequently in Montréal and with sporadic excursions to DIY spaces around eastern North America. Honey is their first full-length album, following the self-released Extractor cassette EP from 2014, which Big Takeover described as “thick neanderthal sludge, stream of consciousness yelps over lawnmower riffs, a dweeb-metal triumph” and Weird Canada praised as “confident, artful, intense”.

Lungbutter’s minimal guitar-drums-voice configuration is rooted in a visceral, ascetic punk idiom, refracted variously by free-noise, sludge rock and slowcore. Zozula marshals chaotic motifs of full-spectrum distorto-guitar, occupying a huge tonal space from low-end bass to paint-peeling treble, redolent of blown-out Melvins/Flipper fuzz and equally indebted to the frenetic dissonance of Keiji Haino or Merzbow (as in the thrilling passages of warped noise on “Solar” or “Veneer”). Song structures coalesce around guitar riffs of shifting tempos and the backbone of Sadler’s muscular, deliberate drums, while Brooks’ voice – at once mantric and declarative – deconstructs one brilliant lyrical theme after another, dancing along the knife-edge of dispassionate acerbic examination and wide-eyed cathartic revelation.

Honey is 33 minutes of satisfyingly searing, sharp-as-tacks, scum-tainted art-rock from one of the city’s finest and most uncompromising bands.

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Efrim Manuel Menuck & Kevin Doria “are SING SINCK, SING” (Constellation)

2019-05-24T20:04:28+00:00May 24th, 2019|

“Efrim Manuel Menuck — founding member of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Thee Silver Mt. Zion — and Kevin Doria from Growing and Total Life, are now officially a duo. Menuck recruited Doria to help him translate his acclaimed 2018 album Pissing Stars from the studio to the stage, and the pair have been touring under the Efrim Manuel Menuck moniker for the pasty ear (often with Doria’s latest solo project KGD opening the proceedings). They’ve also been co-writing piles of new material, diving deeper into whirling maximalist electronics, still shot through with Menuck’s incantatory singing awash in plaintive distortion and hope.

Efrim Manuel Menuck & Kevin Doria are SING SINCK, SING presents the first volume of songs forged from this febrile and fertile merger: an antifa poetics of sound that unspools across five crushing, keening tracks driven by thick sweeping drones and ostinatos, battered by inscrutably searching, ricocheting vocals. Anguish, yearning, and desperate conviction combine in these saturated survivalist electro-hymns, for as long as the power stays on to overload the amplifiers.”

Deadbeat & Camara “Trinity Thirty” (Constellation)

2020-03-07T06:13:08+00:00May 2nd, 2019|

“Trinity Thirty is a celebration and reinterpretation of the much beloved Cowboy Junkies classic The Trinity Session, on the occasion of the album’s 30th anniversary (originally released in late 1988). The idea was spawned when Berlin-based Canadian producer Scott Monteith — best known as DJ and dub-inflected minimal techno-electronica recording artist Deadbeat — heard the Junkies’ Trinity version of “Sweet Jane” playing in an airport a few years back. Viscerally reminded of how much he loved the album, and how surprisingly overground the record ended up becoming (by mid-1989 The Trinity Session would be certified Platinum in both Canada and The United States – truly another era!), Monteith immediately reached out to the band to ask if they had anything planned to mark its 30th birthday. Before Monteith even touched down back in Berlin, the band had replied saying they had no such plans but would enthusiastically support whatever angle Monteith/Deadbeat might want to run with.”

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Automatisme “Transit” (Constellation)

2018-08-24T17:44:29+00:00August 24th, 2018|

Reclusive glitch artist and electronic music producer William Jourdain has been keeping busy since the release of his acclaimed 2016 debut Momentform Accumulations for Constellation under the moniker Automatisme. From his home studio in the Quebec town of Saint-Hyacinthe, alongside his day job at Fréquences (one of the country’s leading indie record stores), Jourdain has continued churning out quality tracks, adding to his excellent and formidable Bandcamp discography. The Post-Landscape collaboration with Erinome came out on Neologist in spring 2018 (alongside their re-release of the pre-Momentform album Automatisme 2) and the self-released E.T.I. Space, Transit Et Individu (Reshape & Restoration) from December 2017 demonstrated various evolutions in the post-Momentform trajectory. Rare Automatisme performances have included Inductive Prism VI (documented in a live recording) and MUTEK 2017 (documented in a live video premiered by MUTEK and Resident Advisor).

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Joyfultalk “Plurality Trip” (Constellation)

2018-08-24T17:44:29+00:00August 24th, 2018|

The 2nd full-length (and Constellation debut) from JayCrocker’s acclaimed Kosmiche machine music project, following his 2015 release on Drip Audi. Joyfultalk offers up instrumental compositions that flow like wordless rivers and glitching fields of electricgrass, through a bric-a-brac vocabulary of handmade electronics. Their music channels a sonic regionalism influenced by the craggy treelines and babbling brooks of Lunenburg county, with gnarled jamscapes rendering natural spaces in a hazy parallel universe, navigating the astral plane by way of their rugged Maritime environs. Plurality Trip is an extension and refinement of the duo’s junkshop practices, drawing from contemporary dark trance and techno, while rooted in the outré swamps of krautrock and the refracted webs of noise and dub. Though heavier than its predecessor, the weight is never debilitating – Crocker and Dicey roam the shadows with rugged tones that reveal an expansive core. Pulled into a half-sped ghetto tech mirage, woozy on new-age overdose, the listener may be lulled into a key-run reminiscent of Mahmoud Ahmed before eddying into a whirlpool of industrial jank. Heady and skitteringly kinetic, Plurality Trip unfolds like a fever dream shot through with dappled forest light and darkening skies. The result is a superbly idiosyncratic and invigorating take on avant-trance music with few comparisons.

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Alanis Obomsawin “Bush Lady” (Constellation)

2018-06-22T18:03:41+00:00June 22nd, 2018|

A re-issue of the rare, legendary and long out-of-print album recorded by First Nations and Canadian cultural icon Alanis Obomsawin in the mid-1980s. Remastered from the original analog tapes, now on CD for the first time. Bush Lady is the only record ever made by Obomsawin, rising to cult status in recent years, while Obomsawin has meanwhile received Canada’s highest accolades for her 50-year career as an activist documentary fillmmaker, including the Order Of Canada. Before establishing herself as a filmmaker, Obomsawin began her artistic life as a singer-songwriter in the 1960s, as Indigenous artists from across North America were rallying in new assertions of cultural identity, consciousness and political rights, calling for reckonings with oppressive colonial history. She was invited by Folkways to perform at Town Hall in New York City in the early 1960s and spent most of that decade primarily identifying as a musician and social activist, channeling traditional First Nations songs hand-in-hand with modern composition and arrangements. Obomsawin kept her musical output percolating alongside her burgeoning documentary film career, with performances at the legendary Mariposa Folk Festival among others. In the mid-1980s Canada’s national broadcaster (CBC Radio) invited Obomsawin to record an album; unsatisfied with these recordings, she reclaimedt he master tapes, remixed the material, re-recorded the title track from scratch, and issued the ensuing Bush Lady album on her own private press in 1988 complete with her own artwork and liner notes. Lacking formal distribution –and with Obomsawin focused primarily on her documentary film career –only a portion of this pressing was sold at the time, the remainder occupying a closet in her Montréal home. The album has grown to become an increasingly legendary rarity ever since. Bush Lady is a unique and magical record by any definition. It’s an invaluable example of contemporary First Nations music that blends traditional folkways with avant-garde composition. For fans of Joni Mitchell, Meredith Monk, Tim Buckley, Laurie Anderson, Judy Collins, Nico and Buffy St Marie.

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Eric Chenaux “Slowly Paradise” (Constellation)

2018-03-16T00:41:41+00:00March 6th, 2018|

Eric Chenaux makes conceptual music that’s not meant to sound conceptual. He operates among various ‘traditions’ but perhaps most broadly, Chenaux’s records grapple with the relationship between improvisation and structure in very particular, unique, idiosyncratic ways – and quite without irony or cynicism, through love.

“Slowly Paradise” is Eric Chenaux’s new solo record – a lovely collection of mostly long songs guided by soothing, buttery singing and bent, fried fretwork. It is arguably Chenaux’s most assured and essential solo work, expanding upon the critical acclaim his previous releases Guitar & Voice and Skullsplitter have rightly garnered.

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Efrim Manuel Menuck “Pissing Stars” (Constellation Records)

2018-02-04T01:08:40+00:00February 4th, 2018|

PISSING STARS is inspired by the brief romance of american television presenter MARY HART and MOHAMMED KHASHOGGI, the son of a saudi arms dealer. i don’t know how long their union endured, but i remember reading about them when i was a desperate teenager – there was something about their pairing that got caught in my head. i was living in a flooded basement with two other lost kids and a litter of feral kittens. we were all unfed. this strange intersection – the televisual blonde and the rich saudi kid with the murderous father; it got stuck in me like a mystery, like an illumination- this vulgar pairing that was also love. these privileged scions of death and self-alienation, but also love. i’ve carried it in me for 3 decades now, this obscure memory, and i return to it often, tracing its edges like a worn talisman. this record is about the dissolution of their relationship, and the way that certain stubborn lights endure. this record was made in dark corners between 2016 and 2017. a very rough pair of years, shot thru with fatigue, depression, despair, and too many cigarettes and too much booze. but also = the giddiness of enervation, and the strange liberation of being emptied – borne aloft and carried by the drift. the world continues its eternal collapsing, fires everywhere and everything drained of meaning. this record was made in various states of unease, with a brittle heart and a clear intent. like running towards a cliff with 2 swinging knives, roaring with an idiot grin. overcome and overjoyed. this record is about the end of love and the beginning of love. this record is about the dissolution of the state, and all of us trapped beneath, and the way that certain stubborn lights endure. – ExMxMx

Godspeed You! Black Emperor “Luciferian Towers” (Constellation)

2017-09-30T23:40:00+00:00September 30th, 2017|

this, this long-playing record, a thing we made in the midst of communal mess, raising dogs and children. eyes up and filled with dreadful joy – we aimed for wrong notes that explode, a quiet muttering amplified heavenward. we recorded it all in a burning motorboat.

(context as follows:)

1. UNDOING A LUCIFERIAN TOWERS – look at that fucking skyline! big lazy money writ in dull marble obelisks! imagine all those buildings much later on, hollowed out and stripped bare of wires and glass, listen- the wind is whistling through all 3,000 of its burning window-holes!

2. BOSSES HANG – labor, alienated from the wealth it creates, so that holy cow, most of us live precariously! kicking at it, but barely hanging on! also – the proud illuminations of our shortened lives! also – more of us than them! also – what we need now is shovels, wells, and barricades!

3. FAM / FAMINE – how they kill us = absentee landlord, burning high-rise. the loud panics of child-policemen and their exploding trigger-hands. with the dull edge of an arbitrary meritocracy. neglect, cancer maps, drone strike, famine. the forest is burning and soon they’ll hunt us like wolves.

4. ANTHEM FOR NO STATE – kanada, emptied of its minerals and dirty oil. emptied of its trees and water. a crippled thing, drowning in a puddle, covered in ants. the ocean doesn’t give a shit because it knows it’s dying too.

finally and in conclusion;
the “luciferian towers” L.P. was informed by the following grand demands:
+ an end to foreign invasions
+ an end to borders
+ the total dismantling of the prison-industrial complex
+ healthcare, housing, food and water acknowledged as an inalienable human right
+ the expert fuckers who broke this world never get to speak again

much love to all the other lost and wondering ones,
xoxoxox god’s pee / montréal / 4 juillet, 2017

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Do Make Say Think “Stubborn Persistent Illusions” (Constellation)

2017-05-31T21:59:16+00:00May 31st, 2017|

After much anticipation, The newest work by the renowned Toronto artists Do Make Say Think. The eight year gap between recordings has seemingly only reinforced their dexterity with the raw materials of their brand of frank, impetuous composition.

Do Make Say Think has a well-earned reputation for imbuing their instrumental music with soulful and emotive narrative power in a class of its own. Among the band’s special strengths is an ineffable naturalism that avoids anything too woolly or proggy, abstract or academic, while remaining a fundamentally guitar-based group whose ornate four- and six-string interplay balances rockism, pastoralism and electronic-influenced post-production.

Stubborn Persistent Illusions is built from this distinctive toolkit, at once familiar and as fresh as anything DMST has committed to tape. A short Bhuddist poem about boundlessness and recurrence informs this profoundly imagistic listening experience, amplified by the beautiful original album art paintings commissioned from Marianne Collins.

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Colin Stetson/Sarah Neufeld “Never Were The Way She Was” (Constellation)

2015-06-13T00:58:52+00:00May 31st, 2015|

Two of Constellation’s acclaimed solo instrumental artists join forces on this tremendous new album of original compositions for horn and violin.

Colin Stetson has developed a unique and renowned voice as a performer and composer, chiefly on bass and tenor saxophones, where he rallies an array of technical strengths and innovations (circular breathing, contact micing of his own body and the body of his instrument, vocalizations through the reed) to make some of the most captivatingly organic, darkly soulful and otherworldly solo instrumental work of recent years. His brilliant trilogy of New History Warfare records (2007-2013) has been resoundingly celebrated by critics, fans and fellow musicians across many genres: avant/jazz, modern classical/minimalism, electronic/noise, industrial/dark ambient, black metal and indie rock.

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