Published Dec 02, 2009TRACK OF THE DAY: EXCLUSIVE! One of the happier stories of the last decade of music (if on a small scale) is the explosion of vitality within Toronto's improvised music community. In 2000, Toronto's main center for experimental music, the Music Gallery was on life support. It had been forced out of its home only a year before, and was essentially squatting inside a church. There were only one or two other places to see experimentally minded musicians.
Fast forward to 2009 and there are at least five regular venues to hear and patronize Destination Out friendly music. The Music Gallery has transcended the limitations of its location to present a busy calendar of many types of progressive notions in jazz, contemporary classical, electronics, global musical tradtions and everything in between. Encouraged by organizations such as the Association for Improvising Musicians in Toronto (AIMToronto) and Wavelength Arts Projects, more people and players have come together than ever before to create a healthy scene.
Furthermore, two record labels – Rat Drifting and Barnyard – have chronicled this explosion in recorded form. Never before has Toronto's jazz and improvised music been so thoroughly documented, and this in turn has helped many careers.
This month, check Destination Out for a "Mark Of Excellence" review of Not The Wind Not The Flag's Tintinabulum. After arriving in Toronto a few years ago on the strength of their psych/jazz/electronic ensemble I Have Eaten The City, Colin Fisher and Brandon Valdivia are now among the city's busiest improvisers – and musicians in general. You may know multi-instrumentalist Fisher from… well, any one of the 25 bands he lists as going concerns on his Myspace page. Percussionist Valdivia is just about as busy. When they play together, though, it's absolute serenity – with a touch of Sabbath just to keep you on your toes.
Here's an Exclaim Exclusive of a track from an EP recorded late last year. It was done later than the Barnyard Records release and shows the two Flag-bearers in closer communion than ever. There are no titles, either for the songs or the release itself. Fisher had this to say: "We recorded it in my jam room at my house with James Anderson (Ghostlight, Muskox). My living space became a foreign entity with new cords and cable intestines strewn about the floor. It was a really comfy feeling with my best friend Brandon, and James was there capturing all the magic."
You might want to warm up with some late period Coltrane and a stick of Nag Champa before diving into this.
Download this untitled track by Not the Wind Not the Flag EXCLUSIVELY here.