2010.11.19 - DJ /rupture @ The Music Gallery


21 nov. 2010, 4h47m

Fri 19 Nov – Transforming The Network: Symposium 7PM + Concert 9PM

A half-day at work, a pretty darned good burrito for lunch, a screening of The Third Man in the afternoon, a bin of rubber ducks at Active Surplus, and a damned good concert with a couple of friends in the evening. Do days come any better than this? (Without arranging to have Nicola Walker massage my shoulders and occasionally purr in my ear during the movie, I mean?)

I'm happy to report that they're finally getting their shit together at the Lightbox: video screens have gone up above the cash desk to provide schedules, and they've put similar information (including the current time, full marks to the detail people there) up outside each theater, too. The cashier even told me where to go — no, not like that — when she handed over my ticket. And the movie... well, The Third Man has pretty much always ruled, but seeing it projected, with those amazing tilted shots and crazy shadows larger than life... yeah, life is good.

The show at the Music Gallery was preceded by ninety minutes of panel discussion which... well, if you weren't sort of interested in the business end of presenting concerts and releasing music, was probably pretty dry stuff. Thankfully, the guy who books much of the Harbourfront Center's calendar mentioned at one point that traditionally huge "world music" acts were finding it more affordable to tour if they could pare down their numbers a little and bring a laptop in the place of a half-dozen percussionists, which led to some around-the-room musing about how long acoustic instruments have to live in the touring world. Instead of bemoaning the change, though, why not try to pressgang some of the city's pennywhistle-and-kalimba contingent into providing local support (and unique flavour) for those touring ensembles? Turntable/laptop acts sometimes benefit tremendously from having a good improviser on stage with them: one of my favourite memories of a show in Toronto involves Professor Fingers (whose presence in the crowd last night was specifically brought up for I'm not sure what reason) and Colin Fisher tossing ideas back and forth. Hell... Ground-Zero...? It's not a new idea, specialty bloggers.

Once the talking was done, we had a few minutes to stretch and drink tea before the music started. Percussion guy Santosh Naida (evidently one of k-os' go-to drummers) and Nilan Perera (guitar/bass/slide/whatever) wrenched out some pretty tasty grooves for about forty minutes, particularly the unlikely combination of dustbowl steel strings and tablas that brought their set to a close. The bass was a bit soupy at times, but they generally sounded phenomenal together and I'd love to see them again.

Similarly, it was nice to be reminded of how amazing a good freeform DJ can sound. DJ /rupture threw some of the expected dubstep woob-woob-woob at us, but also snatches of voices that were quickly looped and ring-modulated into rhythmic confetti, horns and strings plucked from all over the world, and an unexpected (and hilarious) story about a bull humping a brick wall and frightening children. Oh, and a scream that wasn't just piercing; it wrenched the icepick around inside your head to make sure that everything behind the point of entry was well and truly shredded, and I can still feel it in my right ear. More soon, please.

UPDATE: After hearing some of /rupture's enthusiasm for this "tribal guarachero" stuff, I poked around on his blog for a bit and found a couple of examples. Sounds like happy hardcore, only slowed down and crossbred with children's records from the early 1970s. A bit less grating than happy hardcore, then, but no less ridiculous.
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