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Wavelength 14 Toronto music festival day 3 review

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Wavelength 14 Toronto music festival day 3 review

Wavelength Festival Day 3 was presented and centered on Weird Canada and the launch of their Wyrd Dystro. A non-for profit distribution service for independent artists around Canada, Wyrd Dystro is hoping to connect these artists with open ears across the country. With launches across all major Canadian cities, the one in Toronto took place at June Records. With a neat analogue-drone performance by Carl Didur, the celebration was truly in Weird Canada fashion.

The venue for the night was the Polish Combatants Hall. An all ages venue, a part of DIY culture stressed by Weird Canada, this cool little hall was converted into a total weirdo-psychedelic garage of mesmerizing colours, lights, and projections. Although slightly delayed due to a bit of disorganization, the night went smoothly and without too many hiccups. A few words from one of the head representatives of Wavelength got the whole night underway in the best of moods and clearly everyone was excited to be there and support a truly independent scene.


Gambletron

Wavelength 14 Gambletron

Messing around with antennae frequencies, and a cacophonous mess of equipment, Gambletron went to work like a mad scientist, crafting experimental sounds that covered the whole spectrum of pleasantly melodic to completely destructive.  It was very interesting and never really got stale. Always mixing it up and with the added visual that accompanied here set, the whole scene was something between unsettlingly disturbing yet totally awesome.

Gambetron really set the tone for the night and with such innovative and unique techniques being put into her music, it’s no wonder she had the whole crowd under a trance. Combining harsh noise, trance, and some really hardcore tears and screeching, Gambletron showed just what it possible with a few dials, some knobs, and a ton of creativity and originality.

 

Petra Glynt

wavelength 14 Petra Glynt

Petra Glynt continued a night of inspiringly original acts with her solo performance which was utterly powerful to say the least. With a single drum, a few sequencers and pedals, and an amazing light show, Glynt kept upping the ante. Her electronic infused tribal drumming seemed to touch a primal sense of celebration and dance in the audience and her intense vocals made her small figure seem a thousand times larger.

Great things come in small packages and her hypnotic chants and distorted fuzz meshed with the perfectly timed percussive rhythms had everyone bobbing their heads. Experimenting with her own sound and trying out some new setups did not seem to faze her at all. As if she herself was hypnotized and caught in a trance through performance, her glowing wide eyes had everyone’s attention.

 

Biblical

wavelength 14 Biblical

Biblical brought the rock and roll of the night. Their tearing, 70’s inspired stoner-garage rock was a surprisingly refreshing standout of the night. Their guitar shredding, fast paced ruckus of a drummer, and raw vocals were nice to hear after a couple hours of mostly electronic based acts. They weren’t boundary pushing but instead were just plain fun and easy to absorb.

As well, they were extremely loud and shook everyone up like a rude awakening from the trance-inducing acts beforehand. Loud, abrasive, full of energy and ready to tear the whole place down, Biblical did rock and roll right and sure would have made their forefathers proud.

 

U.S Girls
wavelength 14 US Girls

U.S Girls are a very interesting band with a unique sound. Working within a 60’s pop context but adding many contemporary elements, they have crafted a sound that it really hard to define. Something that fits both an early Sunday morning and even a late evening, U.S Girls were very pleasant to listen to and calm down to after the rambunctious doings of Biblical.

With wonderful harmonies and easy to follow choruses and melodies, U.S Girls were definitely the most “traditionally structured” group of the night but no less captivating.  Breezy guitar, light percussion, and lovely nostalgic vocals, U.S Girls are sure to allow you to escape the harsh winter and bring you to a Californian paradise.

 

Colin Stetson

wavelength 14 colin stetson

Endless sax loops paired with psychedelic projections sent a shock wave through the crowd.  The Arcade Fire sideman/multi-instrumentalist didn’t waste anytime warming up the crowd with his Alto.  Stetson opened with a looping and technical prowess that impressed but was nothing compared to what came next.  Perhaps it’s the $10,000 price tag or the fact that the damn things can weigh upwards of 40lbs, but you rarely see a Bass Sax in a live setting.  The groupie hipsters and guests of friends, who were mumbling near the back started to pay attention the moment those low frequencies hit the air.  This beast of an instrument can go as low as 55hertz!  For you non geeks out there that is a sound you “feel” more than you hear.    In fact while there was some sound coming from the less than adequate sound system they rented, there was enough low end coming off the stage to hit your gut from the back of the room.

A man of few words, Stetson stopped to address the crowd a couple of times: “It’s awesome to be back up here and awesome to be in this town.   Thank you to everyone for having me here and for listening.”

Although there was no clarinet, french horn or flute tonight there was enough going on with the loops and improvisation from the two horns he did use to keep most of the room engaged.   A few people seemed to get a little lost half way through as the room slowly thinned, this music is not for everyone.   Being the last performance of the night and being this heavy (in Miles Davis terminology – this guy is a heavy Motherfu*ker!) meant many tired ears.    However the more than half that stuck it out until the end got an aural massage of a lifetime.

What makes Wavelength so great is the diversity they bring to the table. None of these artists really sounded the same or were at all redundant and did not exactly play to any particular taste. Cool visuals and even more awesome and captivating music, Night 3 was a success on many accounts despite the slight delay. A little more the sonically adventurous, Wavelength did not disappoint for those looking for something different and willing to discover.

Wavelength 14 wraps up tonight at the Garrison

Review By: Joe Modzelewski
Photos By: Tiana Feng

THE SCENE

The Scene