June 1st 3030 Dundas W., Toronto
Black Walls is singer/songwriter Ken Reaume. In the past Ken released three albums and a 7”, namely, Four Horses. Reaume’s music is a mixture of finger picked melodies (nylon and electric), ambient synths and delicate vocals. Black Walls has been described as a one man post-rock band, and drawing comparisons to Sun Kil Moon and early Six Organs of Admittance. Ken is also well known for his designs of his album art, even receiving a JUNO nomination. In the past he has toured and played extensively in North America with notables such as Iron and Wine, Bill Orcutt, Lambchop, Six Organs of Admittance, MV & EE, and Owen Pallett.
For Das Rad there are many roads to take to get to the final dark place where rock ‘n’ roll was buried. Proto-metal pounding, garage-punk strut, and space-rock experimentalism all converge on a heady heaven filled with souls of early Black Sabbath, The Cramps, Hawkwind, Dead Moon, The Fall, and the best ideas of Shoegaze. Like a psychotic carpenter, Das Rad takes tradition and passes it through walls of noise and drone, deforming it into something unrelentlessly heavy and intensely haunted.
Releases: Das Rad
Solo project of thee Andrew Zukerman picks up where his work in Gastric Female Reflex leaves off. Tongue-in-cheek tape collage delivered at Sam Kinison speeds. No sound is sacred, no sample is left unturned. New-classical pop-schizophrenia.
Releases: On Rusticated Slant
The four men of Gay (Neil Rankin, Paul Erlichman, Tom Avis, Cameron Michael Murray) came together in order to make art-rock in the same vein as Roxy Music, Brian Eno, and Orange Juice, have been a faithful staple of the Pleasence label since the beginning. What stated with the gritty jangle of their first 7", before moving into their 12" post-punk collaboration with Sexy Merlin, has now embraced a grander vision with a concert hall sized prog-pop LP.
Minimal "druidic psych" from Toronto's nocturnal trio of witchy women. HBF channel Nico's dark femme-pop by way of The Raincoats' brooding post-punk. Mystic chanting, tribal seance, bottled black magic.
A sort of all star Toronto freak-punk band, the mighty Induced Labour was made of Leslie Predy (Doom Tickler), Jon Shapiro (Disguises, Almost Blue Sunshine), Mark McLean (Sick Lipstick, Black Cat 13, The Magic Cheezies), and Tim Fagan (Rattail, Germans). They blazed a trail of blood and vomit from Toronto to Montreal and back again before prematurely self-destructing in 2011. Musically, they sounded like a group of shipwrecked survivors, with nothing to eat, but lots to smoke, crazed with hunger, stranded between Black Flag's bass-heavy toughness and Arab On Radar's psychotics. Lost but not forgotten.
Schizophrenic skate-punk for the circuit-bending generation. JMYSB calls forth all the fury and sarcasm of power violence (Charles Bronson, Spazz) with the experimental intensity of Melt Banana. Screeching vocals, blast-beat drums and ham-slapped guitars knock each other around basements of nihilist noise pulled from repurposed children’s toys.
Releases: John Milner You're So Boss 7"
Confounding experimental solo project from prolific multi-disciplinary artist and musician Kevin Hainey, previously a member of Disguises, The Pink Noise, Cave Dudes, Vorvis / Hainey, and Magic Cheezies. Sounds like grease traps getting clogged with your dreams. Sounds like international bankers worshipping evil and leading your children to sacrifice and enslavement. Sounds like the good guys losing. Sounds like what happens after death. Sounds like time taking time off. Sounds like tuning in, turning on and dropping out. Sounds like self-imposed commercial failure. Sounds like teen spirit. Releases: No Knot of Tubes (Superhexen)
Releases: No Knot Of Tubes (Superhexen)
"Only Toronto could provoke such a paramount of reductive funk bursting with subterrestrial bass and xenomorphic rhythm, paving the way for incumbent beings of radiant grind." - Weird Canada Since 2004 the one-man electro-funk machine that is Man Made Hill has been executing some of the spaciest grooves this side of Saturn. The roots of this music lay firmly in the sex-bop'78-'84: late disco, modern soul, and drum machine funk (Zapp, Midnight Star, Wicked Witch) but dusted with psilocybin by angles sent by Sun Ra.
Releases: Disco Prison/Work Stress split 12"
Jakob Rehilinger is a man of many faces. Proprietor of the Toronto based, experimental label Arachnidics Recordings; mastermind of the kaleidoscope like, modern-classical/post-rock project Babel; and the main brain behind the desert-psych/Krautrock of Moonwood.
Releases: Trans Martian Express
What started off as a whimsical fancy to create an homage to the sounds of youth, Odonis Odonis ended up converting a cramped den space into a veritable music studio. Dean Tzenos, the driving force behind Odonis Odonis, marries distorted daggers and porcelain vocals into a grimy, gum-splattered ménage of surf-gaze, punk and lo-fi. Alongside accomplices Jarod Gibson (Thighs, ex-Print) and Denholm Whale (Cartoons), Odonis Odonis’ shadowy impressionism has left the analogue era and into the not-so-distant present. From melodic and ethereal to brash and relentless, Odonis Odonis is the metaphysical equivalent of your favorite mixtape.
"Forget about drum ‘n’ bass, this is drum ‘n’ drum. Sexy Merlin is a one-man Liquid Liquid, jamming the urban gamelan like it’s his birthday and the sticks are made of glitter. This mad (wizard) hatter freaks the funky beat and leaves witches grinding in the coven. Bold moves from Pleasence and seven inches of high fidelity bamboo bangers. " - Weird Canada If you are hearing drums on Foxfire, Mausoleum, Moon King or White Suede, then you are hearing Sexy Merlin. Deeply percussive music from on on Toronto's busiest beat makers. His solo work shows his roots in NYC punk-funk/mutant-disco and Afrobeat.
Slim Twig has long been a staple of Toronto's progressive music scene. Over the years he's steered his work away from sample based warble-rock to sunny, yet sinister, '60s inspired psych-pop. Any good audiophile will recognize the troubled spirits of Love and the Zombies haunting this music. When not expanding the minds of audiences with his Slim Twig Band, he also fronts the guitar and drums duo Tropics and collaborates with U.S. Girls as Coca Cola. A true forerunner in Toronto's blossoming new-psych scene.
Little is known about the mysterious Suitcase Sam other than he is one of the hardest working singer/song writers in Canada, playing shows from the east to the west coast, southern USA, Los Angeles, and even Hatti. A musical vagabond with a deep connection to early 20th century styles (folk, country, Tin Pan Ally, and jazz), spreading the good words wherever the wind takes him.
Releases: Get It To Go
The brain child of Paul Lawton and James Leroy, these Lethbridge, Alberta space cases have graced labels such as HoZac, Southpaw, and Mammoth Cave with their cosmic garage-punk, and have now have found a home on Pleasence. Perhaps if Brian Wilson spent his lost years making spaced out power-pop and listening to the Bomp! Records catalogue it would have sounded like this.
Releases: All The Colours of Your Heart 7"
Sleaze-rock sent from the future by our robot pimp overlords. The prolific Mark Sauner continues his exploration of lo-fi synth/guitar/drum machine blues as seen from Montreal, where Chrome and Suicide meet to talk science fiction.
Releases: Gilded Flowers
"Everything that you love about completely over-driven garage punk is white hot on The Soupcans first release. . . For those who like their rock and roll served raw, lo fi and smothered in awesomesauce, put them Soupcans in your musical pantry" - The Big Takeover "Thank you, universe, for letting this band happen. Because this is the scummiest shittiest awesomest band that can get away with Frank Zappa vocals. Because while being totally repellent and atonal, I can still dance to it." - MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL The quintessential odd-punks, the Soupcans have pulled their rusted sound from the murk of weirder '80s punk (Deja Voodoo, Butthole Surfers, Dead Kennedys). Bloody show by bloody show they endear themselves to damaged ears.
Original garage band of Slim Twig and Simone Tisshaw-Baril (Ell V Gore, One Hundred Dollars touring band). This maximum R&B/no-wave duo have been terrorizing the stages of Toronto since they were teenagers. A marriage made in heaven of Slim's hard psych influences and Tisshaw-Baril's classic rock muscle.
Releases: Pale Trash
A collaboration between Toronto's Andrew Zukerman (Fleshtone Aura, Gastric Female Reflux) and Montreal base sound/visual artist Emilie Mouchous (GMACKRR). Answers the age old question of what happens when home-bended electronics meet tape effects in the Nasty Robot funk bar.
Releases: Saigna Bovin
What started as a sprawling, ever changing ensemble of soul rebels, informed by Motown and The Clash, became the principle outlet for singer-song writer Daniel Bebard. Now a striped down power trio (featuring Neil Rankin of Gay/Foxfire, and Sexy Merlin) with leanings towards glam and power pop. Think Big Star songs with T. Rex swagger.
Releases: Gay/White Suede split 7"
Young Governor (AKA Ben Cook) has been making music out of the east end of Toronto for a dogs age. What started as lo-fi fuzz-pink has grown into stadium sized power-pop with a little help from his live band, The Scuzz. Guv is also a prolific producer, working with several bands including Pleasence artists Gay, Sexy Merlin, Tropics and Huckleberry Friends. Oh yeah, he's also been in a ton of great bands such as Fucked Up, Marvelous Darlings, The Bitters, and No Warning.
Releases: Bedroom Eyes
Young Truck's angular guitar has been heard in the electro-soul of Pants and Tie and in the frantic throb of post-punkers Thighs. Solo, he fuses his two sides together to birth a minimal post-dance haze. A place that only exists at night, full of ghost vocals, and where the Gang of Four go to listen to old Detroit Techno records.
Releases: Disco Prison/Work Stress split 12"