• SUNDAY, APRIL 3, 2022
    High Line Brewing: 1318 9 Ave SE, Unit #113
    (access via Minh Chau parking lot off 9th Ave SE)
    7-10pm, 18+, $5 cover

    Bug Incision at High Line Brewing is back.

    From Jan 2018 to March 2020, we had one of the best, most solid runs of Bug Incision bookings in BI history. We did lots of bookings of touring acts, local groups & projects, and we also did lots of ad hoc ensemble nights, where 7-10 musicians who don't necessarily know each other beforehand get grouped into duo, trios, quartets, etc over the course of the night. We returned for a lovely brief moment in December of last year before holding off again for another little bit in the wake of Omicron. And now we return again.

    We're getting back into the swing of things with a few more nights of ad hoc groupings, this one including:

    Eric Hamelin
    David Lavoie
    Jijia Li
    Rob Oxoby
    Keith Rodger
    Jairus Sharif
    Jack Sinclaire
    Jonathon Wilcke

    FB Event

  • SUNDAY, MAY 1, 2022
    High Line Brewing: 1318 9 Ave SE, Unit #113
    (access via Minh Chau parking lot off 9th Ave SE)
    7-10pm, 18+, $5 cover

    Ad hoc ensembles at High Line Brewing continue, featuring:

    Cam Buie
    Wayne Garrett
    Jennifer Crighton
    Liam Zanin
    Jesse Conradson
    Braxton Koshman
    Jason Wierzba

    plus special guest DJ Jeremy Curry

    FB event
  • MONDAY JUNE 6, 2022
    High Line Brewing: 1318 9 Ave SE, Unit #113
    (access via Minh Chau parking lot off 9th Ave SE)
    7-10pm, 18+, $10 cover

    JASON KAHN with Chris Dadge (2 solos and 1 duo)

    For our first show back featuring a touring artist, Bug Incision is beyond pleased to present JASON KAHN, an American artist, musician and writer who is currently based, and has been for some time, in Zurich, Switzerland. (read more below image)

Kahn is one of those musicians who is deliciously difficult to describe in a single sentence, or even a paragraph. His work exists largely in the context of improvised music, and encompasses his unique approaches to drums & percussion, analog synthesizers, voice, and more recently, the guitar.

He's known for collaborations with an astounding variety of musicians from the very top shelves of the avant-garde music worlds; he has long-running, ongoing collaborations with Nörbert Moslang (of legendary junk-improv duo Voicecrack) and early EAI pioneer Günther Müller; he released an excellent LP of duets by himself and Swiss percussionist Christian Wolfarth in 2020; he's worked on numerous occasions with US underground guitar hero Joe Baiza (Saccharine Trust, Mike Watt, and Minutemen acolyte); in 2012 he released a trio disc on Consumer Waste with Matt Earle and Adam Sussman, two members of Australia's fertile noise underground; and (rapid-fire style) he's also also played alongside Axel Dörner, Tim Olive, Tetuzi Akiyama, Toshimaru Nakamura, Christian Weber, Bryan Eubanks.... the list does indeed go on.

If one is truly interested in delving into the world of Jason Kahn, it might be advisable to explore his label, Editions, an outlet for his work with large ensembles, solo voice and percussion investigations, field recordings, text, and more. The masterfully produced LPs on this label feature beautifully simple artwork, usually pattern-based uses of paint against thick wrap-around cardboard sleeves, and often contain wonderful extras like thorough, thoughtful liner notes, and in the case of 2013's label highlight Open Space, stunning score for the wonderfully restrained and thought-provoking music contained within. Check out the label's offerings here.

Jason Kahn will be joined on this rare Monday night High Line Brewing performance by percussionist and Bug Incision founder Chris Dadge, who has not performed solo percussion for quite some time now. He is known for work in both the indie pop/rock world with artists such as Chad Van Gaalen, Alvvays, Lab Coast, and Samantha Savage Smith, and has also performed extensively in free improvising contexts with musicians like Tim Olive, Eric Chenaux, Peter Evans, John Oswald, and Eugene Chadbourne. View his website here.

Dadge will play solo, followed by Kahn, and then they will convene for a duo performance. For more information on Jason Kahn, it is highly recommend that you spend a few minutes poking around his website, and also checking out the video below, to get a taste of what this excellent evening has to offer:
Jason Kahn from Jason Kahn on Vimeo.

FB event

  • TUESDAY, JUNE 28, 2022
    Vern's: 622 8 Ave SW
    7-10pm, 18+, $10

    i.o w/ Not Now, Hamelin + Pubes + The Furnace

    We are pleased to welcome back Victoria's i.o - the solo vehicle for Maxwell Patterson's visions of musical excess. Those who remember his last appearance in Calgary in 2019 will recall his absolutely bonkers drumming set to similarly dense, gnarled backings of guitar and noise. His drumming is simply astonishing, and quite unique even within the realm of this sort of maximal, athletic performance. It's bloody-minded music that lives in the same sonic neighbourhood as acts such as Orthrelm and Lightning Bolt. His discography, which was already bulging in 2019, has become absolutely fiendish, with a mind-boggling selection of work available through his Bandcamp page. His stop in Calgary is part of a mammoth North American tour, so you can bet he'll be tour tight and ready to flay minds.

    no guardians for rusted remains_034 by i.o

    Not Now, Hamelin is Calgary's very own free jazz repertory group, comprising the supple skills of the titular Eric Hamelin (Ghostkeeper, Nomoreshapes) on drumset, Rob Oxoby (Bobby Kork Orchestra, Muerte Pan Alley) on double bass, and Jonathon Wilcke on saxophones. Their allegiance to tradition lies solely in their choice of tunes (featuring choice pieces by Steve Lacy, Sun Ra, Albert Ayler, et al) as they use them to quickly jump off into their own idiosyncratic style of group improvisation. It's been a minute since these people have graced a Calgary stage with their presence - not to be missed.

    Pube is the new working moniker for the restless creative minds found in Jack Sinclaire and Kale Van Reekum. These players nearly always difficult to describe, using repurposed bric-a-brac as their jumping off point for uncompromising textural interplay. In their own words: “From the fertile minds and feeble bodies of Jack Sinclaire and Kale Van Reekum comes the sound of the summer. PUBE.”

    And opening the evening will be a Bug Incision debut for local sound-slinger Kaiden Jackman, performing here as The Furnace. Jackman works on the decidedly harsh and in-your-face side of the spectrum, and "is an auditory wrecking ball, incorporating elements of hip-hop, punk and drone into a power noise onslaught. Foundation-rattling music at its most gnarly and vulnerable." Check out Jackman's work here.

    Order of acts for the night, first to last, will be: The Furnace / Pube / i.o / Not Now, Hamelin.

  • MONDAY JULY 18, 2022
    High Line Brewing: 1318 9 Ave SE, Unit #113
    (access via Minh Chau parking lot off 9th Ave SE)
    7-10pm, 18+, $10 cover

    Eugene Chadbourne:
    (solo and w/ Jesse Conradson & Chris Dadge)
    + Puppet Wipes

    We are beyond pleased to welcome back the good Doc himself, Eugene Chadbourne, for two sets of his completely unique amalgam of country, free improv, blues, jazz, and rock & roll. One set, solo, will likely feature Chadbourne weaving together selections from his (literally) bulging repertoire of tunes - those who caught him at Weeds in October of 2012 will remember this - and the other set will feature him in collaboration with Jesse Conradson (Turner Fries Jazz Ensemble, Calisthenics, Slut Prophet) on double bass, and Bug Incision impresario Chris Dadge on drums and percussion.

    Eugene Chadbourne should not be a stranger to anyone who fancies themselves a fan of unique and boundary pushing - or, make that demolishing - music, and it's been a decade since we've had a chance to present him here. Since the late 70s, when he was a resident of Calgary himself, working as a music writer for the Herald (and CJSW 90.9FM DJ), he's been pursuing a relentlessly singular vision, one that, perhaps paradoxically, draws so clearly from discrete areas of the music world. Beginning with a more abstracted and ascetic series of works for solo guitar (initially released on his own Parachute label, and recently reissued by the esteemed Feeding Tube Records imprint), he really got going in earnest upon his arrival in New York City in 1977. There, he began working with John Zorn, Bob Ostertag, Polly Bradfield, LaDonna Smith, Davey Williams, and soon began to develop partnerships with members of the European improvising community such as Tristan Honsinger, Steve Beresford, Toshinori Kondo, Andrea Centazzo, Han Bennink, and Paul Lovens, many of with whom he would continue long-standing groups.

    Around the turn of the 1980s, in another defining moment of Chadbourne's musical trajectory, he began working with a pure mixture of country & western music with his growing vocabulary as an improvising guitarist, at first under the moniker The Chadbournes, but eventually settling on Shockabilly (with David Licht and Kramer. The group - whose lifespan covers Doc Chadbourne's pioneering invention of the "electric rake" - wound down in the mid-80s, and he's continued, unabated, to perform with countless musicians and form projects too numerous to detail here (but some include working with Camper Van Beethoven to become Camper Van Chadbourne, the Sun City Girls, Derek Bailey's famed Company Weeks, and an album, Dim Sum Dodgers, with Edmonton's Vertrek Ensemble).

    His website, House of Chadula, is well worth a visit and covers everything up to the present. You can find out where to get and hear his music on this subsection of the site. Here is a more recent, beautifully recorded favourite from the Doc, alongside UK improv stalwarts Steve Beresford and Alex Ward:

    Arielle McQuaig (of Janitor Scum, Vacuum Rebuilders, Hairnet, to name just a recent few) has been the driving force behind a bewildering array of Calgary bands over the last ten or fifteen years, mostly covering the scuzzier end of the DIY/punk/post-punk spectrum. They've also been some of the most interesting, and also fleeting, with McQuaig releasing an LP (often on her own Pee Blood imprint) by one band one minute, and building up momentum with a new one the next. For Puppet Wipes, she is joined by another veteran of this corner of the music world, Kayla McNeill (Singing Lawn Chair, among others). It comes as no surprise, then, that all this activity finally caught the attention of none other than Siltbreeze records, the legendary US label whose first run in the 90s brought attention to acts such as The Dead C, the Shadow Ring, Guided By Voices, Strapping Fieldhands, etc, and when they returned around the dawn of the 2010s, they helped shepherd a new wave of scuzzy pop bands like Eat Skull, Tyvek, Times New Viking, The Mantles, and many more. The music itself shies away from might normally thought of as "punk" music, instead dealing in lurching, wayward instrumentation and speak-sung vocals, often quite disorienting. A perfect fit for the label, to say the least, and aligning more with their 90s output. Check it out:

    >>> Special thanks to Matt Purdue and Jesse Conradson for helping get this show together. <<<

  • SUNDAY, JULY 31, 2022
    High Line Brewing: 1318 9 Ave SE, Unit #113
    (access via Minh Chau parking lot off 9th Ave SE)
    7-10pm, 18+, $5 cover

    Ad Hoc Ensemble evening, featuring:

    Rebecca Bruton
    Eric Hamelin
    Jiajia Li
    Finn McConnell
    Lydia Pineau
    Laura Reid
    Isaac Szeto
    Nate Waters
    + DJ Jeremy Curry

  • THURSDAY, AUGUST 18, 2022
    High Line Brewing: 1318 9 Ave SE, Unit #113
    (access via Minh Chau parking lot off 9th Ave SE)
    7-10pm, 18+, Pay What You Can (suggested donation $10)

    30 Years of Noise:
    CJSW Live Broadcast Performance hosted by Paula Fayerman


    >> Chad Van Gaalen (solo tape loop set)
    >> Jiajia Li / Jonathon Wilcke / Chris Dadge trio
    >> Friesen/Waters Duo
    >> Peter Moller solo
    >> Dry Hen (Jesse Conradson, Cain Davis, Jack Sinclaire, Kale Van Reekum)
    >> Osmanthus (Kris Sujata/Laura Reid duo)

  • FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2022
    NVRLND: 1048 21 Ave SE

    a one-off performance from local improvisors Chris Dadge and Nate Waters, celebrating the opening of Heather Buchanan's "I Made These Paintings In The Bath" exhibition

  • SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2022
    High Line Brewing: 1318 9 Ave SE, Unit #113
    (access via Minh Chau parking lot off 9th Ave SE)
    7-10pm, 18+, $10 cover

    Jason Philip Wierzba's Yevgenia
    John Charles Tactic (Ron de Jong & Jason Lee Scott with Jonathon Wilcke)
    Jairus Sharif


    There aren’t many other folks who are as enthusiastically, ravingly supportive about Calgary experimental music scene than Jason Philip Wierzba. When not seen front row center at shows around the city, he can often be seen on stage, improvising with great gusto on a guitar, usually unraveling spools of biting, manic lines from his poor instrument. This new project, Yevgenia, sees Wirezba widen his scope to include vocals, both spoken and sung, studio manipulations, and contributions from a helping of the more adventurous players in the Calgary scene. It was recorded remotely during deep pandemic isolation periods, and if all goes according to plan, we will get to lay our hands upon the finished LP package that he’s been slaving over these past few months. He will be joined by "Matthew Springer, the disembodied voice of Arielle McQuiag, probably Jesse Conradson and Jack Sinclaire, and Lydia Pineau." More, in his own words:

    Jason will be presenting the Yevgenia Song Cycle Live Re-Cycle Experience. Special guests are rumoured, and can probably be relied upon, though how special, well, who's to say? Jason - “interested very much" in the "potential holistic-medicinal properties of honey roasted peanuts and jalapeño-stuffed olives" - has also been completing a novel and a micro-feature film of sixty-five minutes. While all this productivity and muddying of the larger point can no doubt be attributed to both the pandemic and what we might just call the "process of life," Jason is liable to loudly and quite rudely demand of us answer to these questions or riddles: which century's pandemic, exactly? and whose process? Is this somebody's sad and undernourished notion of some kind of F. Scott Fitzgerald crack-up? Or is it Tennessee Williams sitting on a fence, drunk on his namesake, having him a bit of a sulphurous & wistful laff.


    We are beyond pleased to finally have a Ron de Jong-based project grace the Bug Incision stages. Ron’s work in the Edmonton music scene predated any BI activities, and quite frankly helped inspire not only the BI label (his Arrival Records was a big touchstone, and also released albums by and with Derek Bailey and Eddie Prevost) but also to continue presenting live music after Nach Hause, a series de Jong was often affiliated with, ended. Indeed one of the first free improv shows BI head Chris Dadge ever saw was a raucous trio of de Jong, Cody Oliver, and Darren Williams peeling paint off the walls at the Art Gallery of Calgary in the early ‘00s. 

    His current project, John Charles Tactic, will be joined by another core Bug Incision player, Jonathon Wilcke:

    Edmonton based guitar and drums improvised music duo John Charles Tactic has been active since 2001. Creating a raucous, ridiculous, reticent, and often revenant music that has received accolades to complete obliviousness from its listeners. This performance should be no different. Come none, come one, come all! This evening’s concert will be the first collaboration with John Charles Tactic and the matchless Calgary based alto saxophone wunderkind, Jonathon Wilcke.

    Jason Lee Scott - Loud since birth. The guitarist has been plying his trade since the aughts in “Weirdo Rock” two-piece NATL, with multiple releases, off and on, over the past 20 years. Also, one half of improvised music duo John Charles Tactic, freaking out grandmothers from Vancouver to New York. Frequent collaborator with Avant vets Vertrek Ensemble and now a freshly minted addition and recording partner on the 2019 release ‘Palace of Darkened Windows’. Stay tuned for more from Vertrek Ensemble as 3io!

    Ron de Jong – The Edmonton, Alberta born, and based drummer has had the kismet of creating music through free improvisation, jazz, and music beyond for the better part of his fifty years. As the founder of the improvised music unit Vertrek Ensemble, he has had the personal delectation of making music alongside Vadim Budman since 1997. Collaborating with so many outstanding musicians, near and far, the group has created music with such resplendent originators as Jason Lee Scott, Darren Williams, Ian Birse, John Butcher, Phil Durrant, Luc Houtkamp, Eugene Chadbourne, and the late inimitable, virtuosic, and peerless, Derek Bailey.

    Independently, de Jong has created music on record and in concert with, among others, Jason Lee Scott (John Charles Tactic), Marilyn Crispell, Damo Suzuki, Chris Dadge, Darren Williams, Jonathon Wilcke, Cody Oliver, and the late Edmonton guitar maestro, Brian Schultz.

    Jonathon Wilcke (they/them) plays tenor and soprano saxophones, along with a selection of tubes, pipes, whistiles, and modified horns called "ludic instruments". Wilcke's music ranges through free improvisation and free jazz, jazzy-jazz, big band jazz, and noise. Their current musical situations include Eating Speed, a trio with Eric Hamelin (drums) and Rob Oxoby (bass), and Quailbait, a solo soprano saxophone and song project. They have appeared in groups including Robots on Fire, ffffffft!, Mechanics Who Can Drive, The Real Featuring the Unreal, and The West Winds Jazz Orchestra and have also appeared (at least once lol) with Peggy Lee, Han Bennink, Eugene Chadbourne and Mats Gustafsson. In Vancouver between 2004-2011, Wilcke appeared regularly with musicians including Dave Chokroun (bass), Olive Shakur (bass), Darren Williams (sax), Kevin Romain (drums) and Shane Krause (sax/clar.)  Their solo recordings include All Errors Included and Torn from the Akashic Record (UnCanadian Activities 2013). They also appear on Rural Optimism with Chris Dadge and Joe Morris (Bug Incision, 2018). 


    Jairus Sharif appeared on the scene relatively recently, but came out of the gates positively burning, initially gaining attention for his series of self-released cassettes, which present his kaleidoscopic vision of musical expression. His work covers passionate saxophone investigations, weird loops, bric-a-brac percussion, and layers of vintage organs and synths, all put together with a deft hand that locates a bridge between some of the more outre areas of Sun Ra’s cosmic approach to free jazz, and parts of the more contemporarily influenced music coming out of the International Anthems label. These early cassette releases caught the attention of the great Toronto-based label Telephone Explosion, who’ll be releasing his debut LP Water & Tools on October 21. For this performance, Sharif will be playing a solo set with sampler & alto sax, based on themes from this debut record.
    Water & Tools by Jairus Sharif

  • SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2022
    High Line Brewing: 1318 9 Ave SE, Unit #113
    (access via Minh Chau parking lot off 9th Ave SE)
    7-10pm, 18+, $10 cover

    The Canceling Hunger Prophecy (Mark Fleischhaker and Eric Hamelin) +
    Andrew Lehman + Jesse Conradson duo +
    STIMULUS/RESPONSE (Erik Allen and Amy Nelson)
    >>> plus DJ Jeremy Curry

    One of the longest-running musical partnerships in either musician's lives, this duo has been exploring the nuances of the drumset & tenor saxophone combination since 2006. Their debut album, Duo, was issued as the fourth release on Bug Incision Records way back in October of 2006, and since then they issued a follow-up recording, Continuity, in 2011, and have played together as often as their living in Montreal (Leaney) and Calgary (Dadge) have allowed them. The music is an intuitive dialogue developed out of not only the history of their playing over the years, but also a shared interest and reverence towards the history of the sax & drums form itself. Aside from this show, be sure to catch them as 2/3s of the Aaron Leaney Three (along with Edmonton-based bassist Thom Golub) on October 19 at the Yardbird Suite in Edmonton and October 21 at the Asylum for Art in Calgary.

    A highly occasional meeting of two local heroes of freely improvised, this duo is comprised of vocalist and FX wrangler Mark Fleischhaker and drummer/percussionist Eric Hamelin. Mark is known for a few main things. His work at the drumset is some of the finest this city has ever seen, most recently displayed in the project Lord Something (with Chris Dadge and Scott "Monty" Munro) and more historically with acts such as Ole! and XL Birdsuit. In addition to his percussive work, he's also been known to terrorize various karaoke joints across the city, with a special approach to the medium that is equal parts shit-disturbing and tender paeans to his most cherished pop song classics. And then there's his more overtly abstract vocal work, which often sees him running his highly capable voice through an ever-shifting chains of effects pedals and sonic manipulators, and he's truly one of the keenest free improvisors the city has to offer. His work as Terrible Crayon is well worth seeking out for a little taste of what Fleischhaker has to offer. Hamelin is another player who has been around the since the dawn of Bug Incision, and is one of the city's preeminent drumset-based improvisors. He is a staple at all manner of Bug Incision events, either as a participant in the ad hoc ensembles evening, or appearing with various projects as the recently-rechristened Eating Speed (nee Not Now, Hamelin, with saxophonist Jonathon Wilcke and double bassist Rob Oxoby, who are currently recording new music) or Cryingsnice, with Chris Dadge on violin. He also holds the drum chair in local Metis rock experimentalists Ghostkeeper, and can frequently be seen playing different, highly unique drumsets comprised of weird, vintage drums and cymbals.

    Both no stranger to the Bug Incision stage - drummer Lehman has appeared at many ad hoc evenings and performed a drum duo with Slut Prophet's Audrey Niksic, while bassist Conradson backed up the legend Eugene Chadbourne alongside Chris Dadge this past summer - these two have most recently been seen holding down the rhythm section in acclaimed new post-punk outfit Stucco. This is a made to order duo, specially for this evening, so it's hard to say what their set will entail, but one could assume it'll be energetic and genuine, like most of what they do.

    Drummer and percussionist Erik Allen has made a handful of appearances at Bug Incision over the years, but he is largely known for his work around Calgary in the roots, blues, and country circles. He plays in a group with longtime bluesman John Rutherford, and his most visible gig these days may be as part of Amy Nelson's backing band, who is also his partner in this group. It came as a (very nice!) suprise to the Bug Incision booking staff that Nelson, who is garnering much acclaim and attention for her excellent, traditionally-rooted but highly original and compelling country songwriting and singing, will be appearing in a more experimental setting, and we're very excited to see what these two have cooking. Reports of sonic experimentation using "traditional old time strings and percussion and incorporating electronic effects and loops. Banjo, guitar, looping with musical saw, washboard and Maschine. Campfire sounds." Sounds good!

    AND >>> the evening will feature between-set music from the wonderful DJ Jeremy Curry.

  • MONDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2022
    High Line Brewing: 1318 9 Ave SE, Unit #113
    (access via Minh Chau parking lot off 9th Ave SE)
    7-10pm, 18+, TICKET INFO HERE

    OREN AMBARCHI and crys cole (solo sets)


    Whenever the writing crew here at Bug Incision starts to have a hard time summing up an artist, or finding economical ways to describe their music, it’s a good sign that we’re in for a treat. We’ve found that the most interesting, and often most enduring artists working within the realm of “experimental” music are delightfully difficult to pigeonhole, and this double bill is a perfect example of this very favourable dilemma. New Works Calgary and Bug Incision are beyond pleased to present the killer double bill of crys cole and Oren Ambarchi, at High Line Brewing, on Monday, October 24.

    Describing the sonic world of sound artist crys cole might be about as tough as it gets in this regard. Her work deals with the reappropriation of small, simple, everyday sounds and sonic environments, recombined and refocused to present them in a new and distinct light. At times seeming like a sort of auditory sleight of hand, the listener could find themselves wholly engaged in a combination of sounds containing elements that seem experientially familiar - that is, registering a sound they may have heard before, but not necessarily in a musical context - and slowly, effortlessly, it becomes something wholly other. cole’s first solo album Beside Myself was described by Freeform Freakout as “a sort of hazy dream logic with vaguely recognizable sound sources derived from live performances, studio sessions, and field recordings breezing by and in-and-out of focus.” 

    cole, who originally hails from Manitoba, has worked with Annea Lockwood, Keith Rowe, Graham Lambkin, David Behrman, Tim Olive, and will appear on the upcoming Autumn Fair LP on Sean McCann’s Recital label. Anyone familiar with those names, as disparate as they are, may glean a further little glimpse as to what cole’s music offers. Aside from her continually expanding body of solo work her most prolific guise is that of Ora Clementi, a duo with Australian composer-performer James Rushford, and her ongoing duo project with Ambarchi. Ora Clementi has issued LPs on great labels such as Ambarchi’s Black Truffle, Penultimate Press, and London venue Cafe Oto’s OTORoku imprint. The Hub blog called her duo with Ambarchi “a continuing exploration of their musical and romantic relationship, marked by the subtlety of investigation which has defined both of their careers,” and those albums make up a significant part of her discography as well. Her website, which also documents her extensive works in the realm of site-specific installations, is well worth a good perusal.

    1 1

    Multi-instrumentalist, producer, improvisor, composer, label runner, and prolific in all of these areas, Oren Ambarchi is one of the foremost individuals working in the realm of “experimental” music these days, and he’s been doing it for the last 25+ years. Hailing from Australia, and still frequently based there, he got his start early in his home country, playing music (originally as a drummer) and organizing gigs, festivals (see What Is Music), and generally making great efforts to heat up his surrounding community while beginning to assert his own musical priorities through a variety of early projects. A trip to New York allowed him to witness the thriving “downtown” scene of the late 80s/early 90s, and a fortuitous meeting with avant-lynchpin John Zorn led to some early releases and exposure for his nascent projects.

    It wasn’t until the late 90s, however, that things really got rolling, and he started to develop his identity as a guitarist. But, in a typically idiosyncratic stroke, it was through his complete re-imagining of how that instrument could speak that made him so unique. Ambarchi’s use of the Leslie rotating speaker (usually found paired with a Hammond B-3 organ) in conjunction with his guitar lends the six-string instrument a wholly new sonic aspect, and combined with his excellent sense of pacing and balance, this has been one of the cornerstones of his sound. He presents a cool, placid environment for his guitar work and subtle arrangements that is as beautiful as it is utterly beguiling. 

    He worked frequently around this time with artists involved in the so-called “lowercase” scene (Sachiko M, Toshimaru Nakamura, Christian Fennesz, Tetuzi Akiyama) and also established working relationships with masters like tabletop guitar innovator Keith Rowe (AMM) and electro-acoustic pioneer Günter Müller. Ambarchi also has a long, rich working relationship with Jim O’Rourke, and while the two have released a handful of excellent duo recordings, his trio with O’Rourke and legendary Japanese musician Keiji Haino is one of the juiciest areas of his discography. Across a spate of near-yearly releases, the trio explore different instrumental combinations on every record, ranging anywhere from free rock explosions to quasi-New Age meditations to sections much more difficult to describe, and all the more worth hearing for that very reason.

    Finally, one would be remiss to exclude his solo (that is, under his name only) recordings that have also been steadily slipping out over the years on a variety of labels like Editions Mego, Touch, and more recently Drag City. While these albums are solo in name, they’re often rounded out with contributions from a huge range of guest players (including crys cole on many occasions), are focused on slowly evolving rhythmic ideas, and really foreground Ambarchi’s skills as a producer, editor, and curator of disparate voices expertly woven into highly listenable instrumental music.

    Pertinent links:


  • SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2022
    High Line Brewing: 1318 9 Ave SE, Unit #113
    (access via Minh Chau parking lot off 9th Ave SE)
    7-10pm, 18+, $5 cover

    Ad hoc ensembles, featuring:

    Holly DeCaigny
    C Anaïs
    Gus Rendell
    Michael Yun
    Scott White
    JJ Mayo
    Ben Longman
    Kevin Sullivan

    + DJ Jeremy Curry

  • SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2022
    High Line Brewing: 1318 9 Ave SE, Unit #113
    (access via Minh Chau parking lot off 9th Ave SE)
    8-10pm, 18+, $10 cover

    >>>>> LAST BUG INCISION SHOW OF 2022! <<<<<

    UPDATE as of noon on DEC 18 >>>>>>>
    SLIGHT TIMING CHANGE: The show will now run from 8-10PM with the two acts listed below

    It's been a fine year back in action after so few shows in 2020-21, and we're pleased to see that attendance and new faces are more prominent than ever at the High Line Brewing shows. Highlights of 2022 include Eugene Chadbourne's triumphant return to Calgary after one his longer absences, Jason Kahn's stop here on his epic North American tour, and of course Oren Ambarchi and crys cole in October. That is not to mention, of course, all the amazing local groups and first time meetings from Calgary players. Thanks to all who played and listened.

    A few years back, main Bug Incision operator Chris Dadge was asked to assemble a group for New Works Calgary festival performance at Festival Hall. The group was meant to represent Bug Incision as a whole in some way, so he opted to choose some of the longest-running and/or vibrant players the community had to offer. The group that eventually came together - Jiajia Li on flutes, Lydia Pineau on percussion and electronics, Jonathon Wilcke on reeds, and Nate Waters on reeds and electronics - played an improv-heavy composition by Dadge, but it was the totally free improvising that happened while they were warming up that may have been the most exciting fruits of this group. So, the reunion of this particular lineup will do just that.

    chrisdadge.com // jiajiamusic.com // natewaters.ca // artsncrafts.bandcamp.com

    A made-to-order new group from the minds of Cain Davis and his crew of co-conspirators, in this case Jesse Conradson, Matt Purdue, and Kale Van Reekum. Davis is a key member of a fertile sub-scene within the Bug Incision community which includes these other fine humans and few others. This crew is one of the more active and committed hubs of energy within Calgary's creative music scene, showing a wild disregard for conventional instrumentation and musicianship, but lacking no degree of seriousness or authenticity. The label and concert series that floats around them - Vocational Sound Company - has also provided another valuable outlet for the city's more adventurous minds. This set will see the quartet playing an electric guitar-only set, and is as usual destined to be a riveting and raucous ride.

    ++ between-set music provided by DJ Jeremy Curry

    FB event
2023 >>>