conduct :: all the rest is irrelevant


by Sheldon Birnie

“Where the germ of the idea comes from, to me, isn’t very remarkable,” explains Nick Liang, of Conduct, one afternoon at Little Sister Coffee Maker. Liang, along with bandmates Rob Gardiner (drums) and Stephen Kesselman (guitar), are here to discuss their upcoming LP Fear & Desire, as well as their new split 7” with their pals and tour partners Tunic. “What I think is interesting is what we bring to the songs or ideas, which is completely collaborative.” Continue reading “conduct :: all the rest is irrelevant”

Tunic :: A fucking cruise missile to stardom


by Sheldon Birnie

Loud, abrasive outsider music has always had a home in Winnipeg. From the 80s punk rock explosion, to 90s noise rock, the out-there electronic experiments of Venetian Snares and beyond, a twisted frequency lies at the dark Heart of the Continent. One of the current crop of young, hungry bands picking at the carcasses of their fore bearers is Tunic. Continue reading “Tunic :: A fucking cruise missile to stardom”

Alpha Couple – WHNZ:27:NJNYC

After their departure from Winnipeg, Alpha Couple conceived this album on the road. Driving/touring/vacationing/living/playing somewhat directionless, Jax and Wohlgemuth eventually ended up in Toronto, where they have both called home together before—when they created their Alpha Couple concept. Coincidentally, I didn’t listen to this album until I was on a road trip myself, entering the California border around witching hour. Gone are Stalingrad’s pop sensibilities, and (through oddly emphatic associations) it seems like there is no destination to these songs either—samples and vocals drift or wave or fly by, anchored around some loop, acoustic guitar, or piano riff. And in the exchange, AC have honed in on the haunting beauty that has been the driving force behind them all along. Most powerful is the behemoth-length album opener “A Walk Through Central Park” at nearly 15 minutes. Consisting of reverbed vocals, only three acoustic chords (if that), and samples from the radio and answering machines, the song is a testament to their self-prescribed label “tweenoise.” Two songs of reconstructed Stalingrad tracks marks Wohlgemuth and Jax (who, for full disclosure, is a Stylus writer) heading headfirst into noise/ambient territory. All in all, this is an eerier, darker release than their full-length—and up for grabs through the Free Music Archive. Worth the download for anyone wanting to get out of their comfort zone and experience some freshly charted areas of music. (We Have No Zen, Taylor Burgess

White Dog – Noise Below the Wall

Photo by Cole Peters
By Taylor Burgess

For Cole Peters and Chris Jacques two years ago, it all began as an outlet to release their music but since Prairie Fire Tapes’ inception, Jacques has made seven albums under the name White Dog—some really cool and psychedelic, but most others approach horrifying parts of your brain. Since he’s going to be a performer at this year’s send + receive festival, both of his tape labels are releasing killer stuff, and his own music is taking wild turns, Jacques welcomed me up to his “East Berlin” office space which he shares with No List Records so we could discuss shit.
Mostly, I just wanted to know why his music is usually such a head-trip.
“It’s not meant to be creepy or dark or anything,” he said. It’s because of being a high school guidance councilor that he internalizes a lot of the darker side of the human nature. “I deal with people every day in their psychological needs and hear lots of crazy shit from kids and then their parents about what’s going on in their lives. My teaching has always dealt with people who are marginalized, or downtrodden, abused, and all that kinds of crazy shit. I’m a history student, so a lot of that stuff—things about rebellions and resistance come through as themes in my stuff a lot of time.”
Continue reading “White Dog – Noise Below the Wall”