M for Montreal, Montreal QC, November 18

Photo: Nadia Davoli

BY Matt BobkinPublished Nov 19, 2017

Six weeks after releasing her Eternal Recurrence EP, former Dirty Projectors member Angel Deradoorian abandoned her recorded output entirely during her M for Montreal set. Instead of performing her avant-pop, she teamed up with Jessica Moss of Silver Mt. Zion for a half-hour of ambient soundscaping. While Deradoorian sat cross-legged on the stage floor surrounded by a large synth, a flute and a small assortment of pedals, Moss stood to her right, armed with a violin and two large cases of pedals.
While admirable that she's not beholden to expectations, the move confounded more than enthralled. Blending into a large mess of sound, there was little form or structure to the entirely improvised piece, though the unorthodox array of instruments provided interesting textures in tandem.
The set hit its peak near the end, with all cylinders firing at once: a beeping flute loop, cacophonous synth drone, long violin draws and Deradoorian's monastic chanting. Once the confusion wore off, the pair were able to set up a powerful climax, with all instruments operating at the peak of their powers. Through her solo material and work with Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks and Dirty Projectors, Deradoorian's desire to explore and experiment has led to some fascinating results, but ridding herself of the confines of pop structure felt more like a work in progress.

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