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Christopher Riggs Trio
Extinction Burst
bim-82, fall 2020

Guitarist Christopher Riggs was one of the earliest non-Calgarian facets of Bug Incision Records, and quickly became one of the more frequently-appearing names in the catalog over the years. About a decade ago, Riggs was based in Detroit, running the amazing Holy Cheever Church Records and churning out a seemingly endless spiral of excellent, head-scratching collaborations with the likes of Mike Khoury, Joe Morris, Ben Hall and Hans Buetow (in the excellent Traum(a) trio/duo), Tuba with Tony Gordon (aka Freebass), Andrew T. Royal, and more. After some communication between mutually-affiliated combos was established, he appeared in the first wave of non-Calgary artists released on the label, and went on to issue some choice duo & solo albums over the next few years. These albums documented Riggs’ rapidly-developing approach to a highly extended style of guitar improvising, as well as his fascination with creating challenging and unique ways in which to present them. (Please visit his Bandcamp page for a thorough overview of recent solo work.) After a move to Chicago and half-decade or so later, Riggs was back in touch with a crispy new trio recording, an installment of a series of pieces called “extinction bursts”. Abetted with drums (Emily Davis) and piano (George Romaine), Riggs runs down a strangely static - structurally speaking - yet thoroughly kinetic slab of what he calls a “maximalist harsh free jazz wall”, a description that does not disappoint. The activity between the players here has less to do with conversation and more to do with simultaneity; imagine if three of the pieces from Remko Scha’s classic Machine Guitars were transposed to this trio format and layered. A typically strange and welcome return from Riggs and his new cohorts. - Notes by Benoit Hughes

edition of 66, colour covers in plastic sleeves // listen & buy on Bandcamp

All Greased Up For Nothin'
bim-81, fall 2020

It is a strange and unlikely fact that it has taken this long for Eric Hamelin to appear on his own Bug Incision Records release. The drummer-percussionist-electronicist has been at the forefront of Calgary's experimental music world since before Bug Incision’s inception, in fact, laying down tracks in Calgary with Wooln’ipples, his punk-jazz duo with Chad Van Gaalen. And not long after this he played in the seminal Calgary free-improv big band the Whistleburn Ensemble, assembled by fellow percussionist Chris Dadge for a performance at the 2006 edition of Mutton Busting, a mini-festival tucked into the city’s long-running High Performance Rodeo festival. In the years that followed, he formed Nomoreshapes with guitarist/composer Jay Crocker and trombonist JC Jones and released Creesus Crisis on Drip Audio in 2010, but the group eventually wound down, in duo form, upon Crocker’s move to the east coast in 2011. And while Hamelin did appear with NMS on a few tracks of Best of Bug Radio on CJSW (bir-six), a compilation of live broadcast recordings of new, Bug Incision-related groups on 90.9 FM, his own vision has not been represented in full-length form to date. Which is precisely where All Greased Up For Nothin’ comes in. Hamelin and Bug Incision head proprietor Chris Dadge had been playing in duo formations for years, presenting various combinations of percussion, junk, acoustic guitars, and strings. While most of these outings were live and spontaneous in nature, Cryingsnice presents a more focused approach to the duo’s improvising, with overarching concepts in place, restrictions and allowances adhered to, and a desired end result in mind. A lot of these components of their music have to do with the gear chosen - this is Dadge’s first full outing on violin alone - but also the multitude of sessions that informed the sound and approach for this recording. This album, their first, presents two tracks recorded live off the floor in Dadge’s Child Stone Studios. - Notes by Benoit Hughes

edition of 63, colour covers in plastic sleeves // listen & buy on Bandcamp

Sam Shalabi/Norm Adams/Tim Crofts
bim-80, fall 2020

Something of an eastern-Canadian all-star trio, this group originally released this live recording on their spring 2018 Canadian tour. After their stop in Calgary, where they played a killer set for the Bug Incision Presents concert series at High Line Brewing, BI head honcho Chris Dadge offered to give a little more exposure to a recording that definitely deserves it. Montreal/Cairo-based oud & guitar player Sam Shalabi should be no stranger to anyone reading this, thanks to his work with Land of Kush, the Shalabi Effect, and The Dwarfs of East Agouza (to name a few). He covers a lot of ground overall, but his offering here is his instantly recognizable brand of guitar mangling: a precise, tightly coiled style typified by his use of de-tuned strings and an arid, unfussy tone. Norm Adams (cello) and Tim Crofts (piano) are major figures in the Halifax scene, and both prolific collaborators as well as holding down positions at a few key Nova Scotian institutions. Adams is the artistic director of suddenlyLISTEN, the centre of improvised and avant-garde music in Halifax, and has worked with many notable international improv heavyweights including Marilyn Crispell, Evan Parker, and Joëlle Léandre. Crofts not only co-directs suddenly LISTEN with Adams, but is also a faculty member at both Dalhousie University and the Halifax Jazz Festival's Creative Music Workshop. His previous playing partners include the likes of Fred Frith, Eddie Prevost, and Gerry Hemingway. Between the three of them they possess a seemingly endless flow of ideas and an extremely high level of musicianship, occasionally creating moments that seem composed, but are indeed the product of their fierce commitment to the act of free improvising. Recommended. - Notes by Jonathan Ronler

edition of 100, colour covers in plastic sleeves // listen & buy on Bandcamp

bim-79, fall 2020

If there was such a thing as a “perfect” Bug Incision album, it might be possible to argue that this is it. Libr’aerie, the second release from the short-lived Monicker trio, is a glorious, raw, kinetic, funny, and riotous pile of minutes, placed firmly within the historical trajectory of “free improv”, that multifarious genre with birth origins in Europe’s early 1970s. The music itself can attest to this claim, but to sweeten the pot, we have here the presence of legendary British percussionist Roger Turner, who, even on his earlier LP outings on Incus and Caw, presented a sort of percussionist’s platonic ideal for what it means to authentically engage with this approach to music making; his playing consistently displays the rare combination of technical prowess, vulnerability, and moment-to-moment discovery that can be achieved in this realm. Aiding and abetting this master are two Canadians that should be familiar to anyone with an ear cocked to our fertile scene. Scott Thomson, a returning Bug Incision Records artist, is one of the country’s preeminent trombonists and a true virtuoso whose broad range of abilities has allowed move easily between work with the likes of Lori Freedman, John Oswald (as Joust), Jean Derome, and the Ratchet Orchestra. Guitarist Arthur Bull has kept a lower profile over the years, but has been involved with the key players in the Canadian avant-garde since the early ‘70s, logging hours with the under-heralded Bill Smith Ensemble, Michael Snow and CCMC crew, Paul Dutton, and John Heward (whose art adorns this cover). This recording captures an intimate performance from the trio’s 2018 tour of eastern Canada, at a small bookshop in Quebec City. - Notes by Benoit Hughes

edition of 200 copies, colour covers in plastic sleeves // listen & buy on Bandcamp

Chris Dadge/Jonathon Wilcke
Three Live Pieces
bim-78, summer 2018

Chris Dadge and Jonathon Wilcke played together for the first time around 15 years ago, both summoned by saxophonist/presenter Darren Williams for a performance of Ornette Coleman’s Free Jazz. (Williams, now located in Kelowna, was living in Calgary at the time and presenting a seminal series called nach Hause.) That performance, rousing as it was, was predictably free of intimate moments of small-group interaction, so no great revelations were made for the two that evening. Fast forward a bit to the latter half of 2006, when the first six months of Bug Incision shows were taking place at the Soda. During the “trios” month, Wilcke joined Dadge and bassist Scott Munro (who was also present at the Free Jazz gig) for a set where things really clicked. But, by that time, Wilcke was living in Vancouver and deep into the 1067 scene there, playing with Williams, Dave Chokroun, and Shane Krause, among others.

Fast forward again to 2012: Wilcke has moved back to Calgary and he quickly dives into the city’s ever-bubbling Bug Incision scene, playing his first duo show with Dadge in early 2013. They quickly established a solid rapport, both sporting large, quick-moving vocabularies on their instruments, and a keenness to subvert their own trajectories within a given improvisation, ideally in the pursuit of avoiding glibness. It is this latter quality that accounts for the at-times very open & airy feel to some of these pieces, and the sometimes awkward-sounding moments of interaction between the two players.

This album is comprised of two different recorded performances, and the different locales provide alternative glimpses of the duo’s sonic spectrum. The first two pieces present a quite stark portrait, possibly attributable to the forgotten bass drum pedal, which serendipitously opened up the sound of the group for the their set during the one and only Bug Incision show at the now-defunct Parlour in Kensington. The mics were placed closer to the instruments than usual, happily picking up much of the smaller, quieter passages from these improvisations. The third piece on the album takes place at another shuttered venue, Local 510, and was recorded at Bug Incision’s 10th anniversary shows in 2016. This piece is perhaps more representative of a “regular” set from the two; the higher density and volume levels paired with the rather drastic shifts in mood and pacing point towards the duo’s basic unspoken modus operandi. - Notes by Jonathan Ronler

edition of 75 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves // listen

Joe Morris/Chris Dadge/Jonathon Wilcke
Rural Optimism
bim-77, summer 2018

Joe Morris: electric guitar // Chris Dadge: percussion // Jonathon Wilcke: tenor sax

In March of 2018, during guitarist Joe Morris’ stay in Calgary (see bim-75 notes for the full story), he joined the Chris Dadge/Jonathon Wilcke duo on two occasions. The first was a live performance at a tiny and packed room in the Theatre Junction GRAND building in the heart of downtown Calgary. After a stellar set from Laura Reid and Mark Limacher, Morris played a short solo set, Dadge and Wilcke played a short duo set, then the latter three played as a trio; it was their first time playing together. Later that month, the three reconvened in Dadge’s basement studio, fueled by Richard Youngs’ vegetable curry, for this sparkling burst of playing. A relative minority of Bug Incision releases are studio-based affairs, but the added clarity and sonic precision on display here greatly benefits this music, which is chock of full of dense, pointillistic playing. Wilcke’s sax work moves from fluffy free-bop melodicism to strangulated smears of sound, bringing out some inventive comping moves from Morris. Morris strikes an impressive balance between Wilcke’s saxophonic abstractions and the kinetic, tactile playing of Dadge, who is clearly relishing the opportunity to interact with such a spiky playing partner. Bug Incision could not be more pleased to present (along with bim-75) this second fine document of Morris’ Calgary saga. - Notes by Benoit Hughes

edition of 150 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves

Bent Spoon Trio
Nine Year Itch
bim-76, summer 2018

Chris Dadge, David Laing, and Scott Munro (along with Kevin Lee) formed the Bent Spoon Ensemble in 2002, and after a few years of activity in that formation, they shed a member and, in 2005, became the trio. At the same time, they inaugurated Bug Incision Records, and the label’s first release was the Bent Spoon Trio’s debut, March 3, 2005, praised by The Wire’s Brian Morton as “improv of a very high order”. The group played - in all permutations of duo and trio formations - around Canada and the UK, and put out a bunch of records on Bug Incision, Holy Cheever Church, Total Vermin, and Unit Structures Sound Recordings. Around 2008, Laing shifted his focus to songwriting, which led to the co-formation (with Dadge) of Lab Coast, a pop group who has since released four albums and toured all over Canada, the UK, and Europe. The duo of Dadge and Munro continued - albeit with some long gaps between performances - to record many interesting collaborations on Bug Incision Records, and also performed with Peter Evans, Chad VanGaalen, Eric Chenaux, Chris Riggs, Josh Zubot, Ellwood Epps, and Jack Wright. Munro also concurrently founded the band Preoccupations, whose synth-laden gothic post-punk has garnered acclaim across the globe.

December of 2016 saw all three members in the same city at the same time, and the final Bug Incision concert at the old 11th avenue Emmedia location was scheduled for that month. It seemed fitting to bid farewell to a room that had meant so much to Bug Incision with the founding group who’d logged so many hours in that very space. Nine Year Itch is  comprised of the complete performance from that evening, as well as a number of tracks recorded during soundcheck earlier that day. All parties involved were surprised by how quickly their old sense of moment-to-moment timing, overall pacing, and multi-instrumental layering came rushing back. Their approach to improv retains its weirdly singular voice within the “Improvised Music” realm; theirs is most certainly a group sound, and is totally distinct from Dadge and Munro’s outings with any other third, saxophonic or otherwise. Bug Incision couldn’t be happier to present these recordings from these seminal roster artists. - Notes by Benoit Hughes

edition of 60 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves // listen

Joe Morris/Rob Oxoby
Dancing With Penguins
bim-75, summer 2018

Joe Morris: electric guitar
Rob Oxoby: double bass

Last spring semester, renowned improvising guitarist/bassist, writer, and educator Joe Morris spent four months in our midst during his spell as visiting scholar at the University of Calgary. He taught open classes which vividly brought to life the basic tenets of his wonderful book Perpetual Frontier: The Properties of Free Music, hosted weekly playing sessions with whoever was interested, and performed a few packed, memorable concerts. And behind this bounteous occasion for our community, double bassist (and U of C prof) Rob Oxoby was one of the people turning the cogs. Oxoby appeared in Calgary in the early 2000s after spending many years in San Francisco, where he played with the likes of John Tchicai and Eddie Gale, to name a few. In recent years he’s logged hours with Not Now, Hamelin (with Jonathon Wilcke and drummer Eric Hamelin) and Muerte Pan Alley, a strange and ferocious take on blues and country. Morris is widely regarded as one of the preeminent guitarists working in the field of free improvisation; his singular style, highly adept listening skills, and astonishing technique are bolstered by the strong conceptual frameworks from which he operates, and this combination has placed him alongside such contemporaries as Anthony Braxton, William Parker, Nate Wooley, Augusti Fernandez, Matthew Shipp, Ken Vandermark, and Evan Parker.

During those four months, Morris and Oxoby played frequently, often in the basement of an old Jugo Juice, and this resultant document clearly reflects that effort; the music they made together is of the parrying, sprinting variety, both men issuing forth impossibly dense reams of information-packed lines. Oxoby has never sounded better, his bass sound round, supple, and articulate; and Morris’ signature saxophone-like guitar playing, beautifully articulated and breathlessly paced, is heard here to great effect. A fine document of an important period of time for Calgary’s improvising community. - Notes by Jonathan Ronler

edition of 75 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves // SOLD OUT

You Can Do It
bim-74, spring 2016

You Can Do It was recorded during a week-long residency in Helsinki in May 2010 at the “mobile curatorial platform” known as Ptarmigan. Ali Robertson and Malcy Duff have been issuing records as Usurper for what must be at least a decade, often via their label Giant Tank, which has also issued zines, including the recent series of “Offline Zines”, available for acquisition via their Bandcamp page. This album presents a characteristically bizarre series of sound explorations, opening with what sounds like an audio recording of a person (mostly) silently working out, then traversing through all manner of molested detritus, small, gestural sounds, and absurd, wonderful, glossolalic vocals. The pacing of the music - which seems to follow a logic that is not immediately apparent - is what sets theirs apart from other junk-music; Robertson and Duff clearly share an affinity for upending conventions, even the already-liberal ones of freely improvised music, and over the years they’ve honed it to a damn fine place.

edition of 75 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves, with 1 of 8 different inserts // listen

Scott Thomson
Heures Indues
bim-73, spring 2016

Montreal-based trombonist Scott Thomson has been at the forefront of Canadian improvised music activities for decades. While based in Toronto, he ran the important Somewhere There performance and workshop space (hosting many great visiting artists like William Parker and Evan Parker over the years), and established himself as a trombonist par excellence via his work with The Rent (a Steve Lacy songbook band), partner Susanna Hood (with whom he more recently issued the excellent The Muted Note), clarinettist Lori Freedman (the two released the staggering Plumb on Barnyard Records in 2007), The Ratchet Orchestra, and guitarist Ken Aldcroft’s various ensembles. Now based in Montreal, this album presents some of the highlights from his series called Trombone Solos At Odd Hours, which perfectly describes what he did at the La Poêle studio & performance space during January and February of 2015. Sometimes an audience member or two was present, but it was mostly just Thomson committing himself to these performances on a regular basis, exploring his instrument at length. A generous offering from a virtuoso player, and a highlight of the Bug Incision catalogue.

sample via soundcloud

Cody Oliver
Rodent Landscapes
bim-72, spring 2016

First solo album in a long while from this staple of the Calgary creative music scene. Oliver’s allegiance to far-flung modes of music making extend back to the New Gallery’s Space For Space series, and he was involved in running the pre-Bug Incision nach Hause series (helmed largely by Darren Williams). Since then he’s operated zines & labels, played with many heavy hitters (Eugene Chadbourne, Dan Meichel, and Chad VanGaalen amongst others), and is currently a member of the Midnighties, alongside Chris Dadge. This album presents a positively rank collection of improvised pieces performed on Oliver’s old resonator guitar, and stands among his finest, most fully realized work. The album falls into the loose continuum of extreme guitar re-think solo albums on Bug Incision, with previous entries being made by the likes of Chris Riggs, David Payne (aka Fossils), Scott “Monty” Munro, and others.

sample via soundcloud

Angle of Repose
bim-71, spring 2016

The second installment of duos from Christian Munthe, this time paired with Patrick Farmer, the percussionist/sound investigator known for co-founding the “online curatorial platform” Compost and Height as well as releasing many recordings on the UK-based Another Timbre label (alongside artists such as Sarah Hughes, Dominic Lash, and Daniel Jones). Angle of Repose presents four improvisations pitting Munthe’s acoustic guitar against Farmer’s “acoustic turntable”, an instrument he has been investigating quite thoroughly over the last number of years. What that instrument credit means, exactly, is not entirely clear, for two reasons. One is that, while Munthe’s credit reads familiarly enough, what he does to his guitar often sounds nothing like the instrument’s usual voice. He mangles and ravages the body and strings, extracting tense, brittle textures and rustlings of pure sound. And the second reason is that whatever Farmer is doing to/on his “acoustic turntable” sounds equally like nothing that normally comes out of a turntable, even from the legions of so-called turntable experimentalists out there. What we are left with is a very tactile, texture-heavy dialogue between two highly competent improvisors, using invented languages to conjure up some truly personal music.

sample via soundcloud

Nilan Perera & Bent Spoon Duo
bim-70, fall 2014

There are two schools of thought when it comes to groups and improvisation. For some, the notion of a free improvising group with a fixed personnel is a direction contradiction to the idea that this type of playing should be fresh, untethered by group consensus and evolutionary tendencies. This approach is well-represented by the restless, ad hoc-oriented list of playing partners of someone like Derek Bailey or Jack Wright, the latter of whom liberally promotes the practice alongside his group activities. The other school posits that the more a group plays over a longer period of time, the deeper their ability to convincingly create music from “nothing” will become, and the sense of sympatico between them will be thusly reinforced. Such an approach can be found in groups like AMM (as dilated as it is) or the Parker/Guy/Lytton trio. In this particular instance, we find a group that achieves the comparatively rare feat of being, in fact, a first time grouping, but somehow managing to exit the starting gates with a streamlined vision of their own. Of course, in this case it doesn’t hurt that two thirds of the group are known as the Bent Spoon Duo, a Calgary-based unit comprised of Chris Dadge and Scott Munro who have amassed over a decade’s worth of genre-jumping work. Toronto guitarist Nilan Perera, who first made waves in that city’s early ‘80s take on the no wave/’punk-funk’ movement. While his latter day playing is often characterized by a deft use of preparations and electronics, this set finds him mostly au naturel as far as the electric guitar is concerned, and he meshes effortlessly with Dadge and Munro’s heap of strings, percussion, live lo-fi samples, and ratty amplification. The music finds its moments of unhinged weirdness tucked into moments that could be described by such words as ‘quite lovely’ or even ‘toe-tapping’, but never how one would expect them to be. Recorded live by Brad Hawkins at Weeds Cafe in Calgary.

edition of 120 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves // listen

Torso And Legs
bim-69, fall 2014

It is not to hard to view the playing of Christian Munthe through the post-Derek Bailey continuum-lens of acoustic guitar-based improvising. But, aside from a few superficial similarities, Munthe makes himself distinct, to these ears, at least, by focusing - quite intently, in fact - on some of the very things our acoustic guitar-wielding, ever-looming improv father-figure avoided almost entirely. For all Bailey's innovations in this field, it's notable that he approached the guitar as a finished, perfect piece of music-making equipment, to be taken at face value, technically speaking. Munthe has a carved out a wonderful place for himself by inhabiting some very non-traditional guitar approaches. He plays on detuned strings, freely uses the body of the instrument as a tactile sounding surface (he even has an excellent album called Backside Suite in which he only uses said side of the guitar), and possesses a very naturalistic, intuitive-sounding approach to his manglings. Arrias possesses a clarinet sound that sounds as if its folding in on itself, with smeared notes, overtones, and gnarled fingerings sneaking out from being kept under wraps. The duo’s sound in general is not the constant, steady stream of phrases and gestures associated with certain strands free improvising; rather theirs is a music fraught with tension and discomfort, but also a certain naturalism within this, quite off-the-cuff-sounding and unprecious.

For those not in the know, Munthe is a Gothenburg-based improvisor and philosophy professor, and has logged hours with Mats Gustafsson (in the very early Two Slices of Electric Car and latter Two Slices of Acoustic Car), Phil Minton, Roger Turner, Gunther Christmann, and Patrick Farmer. Arrias has been based in Stockholm since 2005, and plays a variety of reeds with such players as Tetuzi Akiyama, Angharad Davies, and Axel Dorner, as well as leading his own quartet. Very excited to present two new names to the Bug Incision roster, and the first in a two-part release of Munthe duos.

edition of 99 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves // listen // SOLD OUT

With Monty
bim-68, fall 2014

The duo of Cody Oliver and Chris Dadge has in some minds represented nicely a bridging of the current Bug Incision-centric improv activities in Calgary, and those of the clear-precedent-setting work by Oliver and his past co-conspirators. Dadge is the main force behind the current trajectory of Bug Incision, which includes a regular-as-possible release schedule from artists the world over, as well as a monthly concert series in Calgary, which functions as a steady outlet for Alberta's purveyors of marginal musical activities and also a reliable stop for those adventurous enough to tour through mid-western Canada. Oliver was heavily involved in Darren Williams' nach Hause concert series, which was making available this type of content back when Dadge and his peers were still in high school; Oliver was also the proprietor of House Leek Audio, a small-run, boutique label which documented much of his and his cohorts' music. A few years ago, Dadge and Oliver began playing as a duo, both finding great pools of potential in the amplification of their normally acoustic instruments, percussion and resonator guitar, respectively. Their self-titled debut was released on Bug Incision Records, and this, their follow-up offering, recorded live at Weeds Cafe in Calgary, Alberta, finds them joined by multi-instrumentalist Scott Munro. For more information on the illustrious path on which he has trodden thus far, see the description for his solo album Monty, also now available at this time. The Midnighties' music as a duo is a slashing, metallic affair, with their crude, overly-sensitive amplification systems bringing sonic provenance to even passing gestures and actual spatial rearrangements. Oliver in particular exhibits a impressively stoic non-technique on the amplified resonator, an ultimately useful and distinguishing trait that often taken for granted in light of his extreme sensitivity, or what can arguably be referred to as a wholly appropriate intuition for the music. Munro, as a member of the Bent Spoon Duo with Dadge, has over the years adopted a modus operandi that involves relegating a distinct instrumental voice within an ensemble to a more egalitarian tangle of shared languages, often difficult to discern from the whole. This approach is no simple feat of homophony or minimalism; rather it is an complimentary triumvirate of voices which contains a multitude of personal, yet somewhat interchangeable sentence fragments. Analogous to a conversation full of half-realized non-sequiters, with no one in particular concerned about who finishes whose.

edition of 87 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves // listen

Scott Munro
bim-67, fall 2014

Scott Munro is a well-known name in Calgary, and will be equally well-known to perusers of liner notes and album personnel listings worldwide. Munro is a founding member of the Bent Spoon Ensemble/Trio/Duo continuum, and the Trio version (along with Chris Dadge and David Laing) of that group was also responsible for the conception of and first few releases on Bug Incision Records. He has appeared on nearly every Bent Spoon-related release to date, with releases on House of Alchemy, Total Vermin, Middle James Co, and of course many on Bug Incision, including collaborations with Eric Chenaux, Allison Cameron, Eric Normand, and Darren Williams. He’s been a member of free metal trio Lord Something (with Dadge and Mark Fleischhaker), pan-improv group the Musk Cup, with the late Dan Meichel, and a touring member of songwriter Chad vanGaalen’s band. More recently, Monty (as he’s known to friends and admirers the world over) has been gaining notoriety for his new group Viet Cong, a Talking-Heads-by-way-of-This-Heat-and-the-Velvet-Underground post-punk combo whose ripper of a debut album is due out next year on Jagjaguwar Records.

Monty presents two live sets, recorded at Weeds Cafe in Calgary, Alberta, performed on his six-string Fender Bass VI quasi-replica, before it was rudely stolen from his studio in Mount Pleasant. Munro’s solo sets don’t have any clear touchstones for reference, which is fitting, as even though he’s played countless hours of improvised music, occasionally in the company of some true stars of the form, he is by no means a “nerd” for the genre. The guitar/bass is at times heavily processed and bears little resemblance to its six-string essence, a disfigurement that is compounded by preparations and consumer-electronics enhancements. After many years of witnessing and documenting his supple collaborative abilities, Bug Incision is proud to present his debut solo album.

edition of 75 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves // listen

Darren Williams
bim-66, fall 2013

Bug Incision started as a record label in 2005, and began presenting concerts under the same name in 2006, as a response to a lack of sympathetic performance space possibilities. In Calgary, the predecessor to the Bug Incision concert series was nach Hause, which was run by Darren Williams. He curated a rich program of international, national, and local talent, bringing important, different voices to the city. And very much in line with the precedent that he set for the series, a trio with Williams, Cody Oliver, and Ron de Jong was one of the first sets of free improvisation I’d ever seen. Suffice it to say, it is with great pleasure that we issue Williams’ debut solo album on the label. (A previous Bug Incision release featured Williams with myself and Scott Munro on a 3” cdr.) Reed is a bit of a departure from the fire-breathing, paint-peeling Williams we’d gotten to know through his collaborations with Mats Gustafsson, Cody Oliver, Eugene Chadbourne, and Han Bennink. These are, for the most part, composed pieces, performed live, recorded beautifully, and vividly rendered using circular breathing and a very supple technique. There are passing technical similarities to other circular breathers like Evan Parker or Peter Evans, but Williams’ melodic and harmonic content is something of his own. The presence of free-r, Joe McPhee-like moments likewise add a unique dimension to the disc. Williams released this is disc while on a cross-country solo tour this past summer.

edition of 200 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves // sample + press

Six High Windows
bim-65, fall 2013

Simon Rose: alto saxophone
Simon H. Fell: double bass
Steve Noble: drums

Six High Windows is the new album from this stalwart British free improvising trio. All three players are familiar figures on the scene; previous recordings by this group have appeared on Emanem and Bruce's Fingers. Simon H. Fell is an acclaimed double bassist and composer, known for his work in the fiery Hession/Wilkinson/Fell trio, more exploratory outings with the trios VHF and IST, and he's also logged hours with Derek Bailey, Joe Morris, and Peter Brotzmann, among others. Steve Noble seems to be one of the busiest drummers in the London, largely thanks to his sympathetic and diverse playing. Recent highlights include duos with Peter Brotzmann and Ikue Mori, to pick but two from a very long list. Simon Rose is a saxophonist who, aside from leading this trio, maintains an earthy, boisterous duo with drummer Pascal Nichols (with a previous disc on Bug Incision) and an ongoing mass of solo work, which has culminated in two memorable solo discs. Six High Windows is a live recording, captured in a cavernous-sounding room, presented as one unbroken 45 minute set. The sound of the room inevitably factors into the trio's interactions with each other, allowing single gestures to carry more weight than usual, lending an at-times ominous tone the musc. Fell in particular takes advantage of the space, slicing bright arco lines across the pieces and evidently relishing the enhanced impact of his notes.

edition of 100 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves // sample + press // SOLD OUT

Joe Morris/Fausto Sierakowski/Nigel Taylor
Part and Parcel
bim-64, fall 2013

A barbarous, tangled offering from this acoustic wind/strings trio. This group shares ties in New England, specifically the Conservatory: Morris is a faculty member of the program that Taylor and Sierakowski recently graduated from. Joe Morris is a name that will not be unfamiliar to those who pay attention to goings on in the worlds of free jazz and improvisation. His work as both a guitarist and a bassist, with a veritable who’s who of the international improvising community, has been widely documented on recordings for labels such as Aum Fidelity, Clean Feed, and ESP Disk. Taylor is currently located in Montreal, and has offered some compelling recordings thus far with the Nigel Taylor/Nick Neuberg duo, playing amplified trumpet and percussion, respectively, and Joint Raker, another duo where Taylor’s trumpet is pitted against a wealth of guitar onslaughts. The music on Part and Parcel is of the breathlessly galloping, sprinting, and careening variety. Morris, Sierakowski, and Taylor share an inclination (here, at least) towards tight, knotty and sentence-finishing styles of playing. The intense forward motion they manifest on this record is the result of impressive levels of technique and virtuoso listening. This is a fine outing: another notch in a long & fine career of quality output, and a gushing introduction to two welcome new names.

edition of 123 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves // sample + press

Seeded Plain
Provincial Stammer
bim-63, fall 2013

Provincial Stammer is the new album from the duo of Bryan Day (Eloine, Shelf Life) and Jay Kreimer. The former came to the attention of Bug Incision sometime in the last year or so, along with his excellent labels Public Eyesore and Eh? Records, and this is one of the many excellent things we’ve heard coming out of his world. Kreimer is an instrument builder and sculptor whose work has been shown in galleries across the US and in China. The group describes themselves as “confrontational gamelan theatre”, which is as good a description as any, because trying to discern or describe what’s going can be a challenging proposition. Amplified metal/object-based improvisation might cover it, but that’s still pretty vague. But, it seems that this vagueness is welcomed - and exciting even - and the music is all the better for it.

edition of 75 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves // sample + press

Improvised Music and Tentacles
bim-62, winter 201

Charity Chan: piano, objects
Damon Smith: bass
Weasel Walter: drumset

This trio combines the formidable abilities of Montreal-based pianist Charity Chan (Bill Nace, Pauline Oliveros, and Jean Derome are counted among her past performing partners) with the Bay Area stalwarts Weasel Walter (Flying Luttenbachers, Behold...The Arctopus, XBXRX) and Damon Smith (who's logged time with John Tchicai, Jaap Blonk, Fred Frith, and Jim O'Rourke, to name a few). The playing contained on this 2007-recorded album is less aggressive than one might assume from the personnel. The music exists at a medium-high energy level, dispensing offerings and interchanges smartly, never dwelling on area given area of activity for extended periods. Ideas are unloaded, bounced about, and departed from at tangential angles. Very upfront, live, "real" recording sound, just like bein' there. Happy to have this group on the label.

edition of 114 copies, cdr, color covers in plastic sleeves // sample + press // SOLD OUT

Land of Marigold
bim-61, winter 2013

Ellwood Epps: trumpet
Joshua Zubot: violin, low octave violin

The debut recording from this Montreal-based duo is one of the most pleasurable listening experiences we've had in some time. Epps and Zubot have worked together in a huge variety of settings, both as musical collaborators/bandmates and as presenters of one of Montreal's longest-running weekly nights of improvisation, Mardi Spaghetti, which takes place in the back room of a place called Le Cagibi. This disc, which has been in the vault since being recorded a few years ago in Montreal, covers a staggering amount of musical territory, and does so with grace and panache. There is some very high-level mind-melding going on here; theirs is a type of freedom that is derived not so much from the fact that they're "free improvising", but from the vast array of choices available to players with such refined musicianship. Also a not-so-oft seen instrumentation, put to wonderful effect. Top-shelf stuff.

edition of 200, cdrs, color covers in plastic sleeves // sample + press

Dan Meichel & Chris Dadge
bim-60, winter 2013

Dan Meichel: tenor & soprano sax, bass clarinet
Chris Dadge: drumset, trumpet, violin, sk-1

The Calgary creative music scene hasn't been the same without Dan Meichel. My life, and that of many others, was richer in a way that only Danny could have made it and after his sudden passing in Japan in 2009, it took a few years before I could start going through these older recordings we'd made. But it's been a joy to revisit them, and this will be the first in a number of archival recordings featuring Dan. I lived for two years in a house in Mount Pleasant, in mid-north Calgary, which had an unbelievably great-sounding basement. While I lived there, Dan would often come by in the evening for playing, usually followed by hours of record listening, hilarious banter, and insane wordplay. This is one of those evenings' music from June of 2008. Dan was the sort of musician that had the ability to make whoever he was playing with sound better. He had great ideas, but was always willing to punctuate them with a very real sense of sponteneity, always willing to give himself fully to the moment at hand, and he had fantastic ears, picking up on the most passing of phrases and turning them into a dramatic moment. At the time of this session, I was in a period of developing limited, yet expressive vocabularies on a number of instruments besides the drums, and it wouldn't have been possible to get where I did without Dan's respect for what I was attempting and his uninhibited attitude towards simply playing. As much as we never planned or discussed it, I feel there was some sort of channeling of the Brotzmann/Bennink duos from the 70s (and their stuff with Mengelberg and Van Hove, too). The strange, episodic nature of some of the complete pieces, and the general combination of comfort with each other and irreverence toward what we were doing (in some ways, a kind of serious goofiness) make me think so. He was a full-on player, reading charts, drawing on time spent in r&b bands, and this polystylistic tendency allowed us to stray into many different zones, speaking tongues on our respective horns or approaching fairly straight jazz modes. I remember once I transferred this cassette to disc and gave it to Dan, he would drive around (delivering repaired horns to high school band programs) listening to it, relishing it entirely, repeatedly finding new favourite sections to point out to me at our next session or ride to a show. I think he'd be happy to know this was going out.
- Notes by Chris Dadge

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Bent Spoon Duo
With & Without Allison Cameron
bim-59, winter 2013

Chris Dadge: trumpet, violin, sk-1, sk-5, amplified percussion, dreadneck
Scott Munro: viola, sk-1, electronics, vocals, zither, Dr. Sample
Allison Cameron: banjo, kalimba, contact mic, fuzz factory, Korg mini ribbon synth

Allison Cameron first came to our attention via her killer Rat-Drifting album, The Allison Cameron Band, with Eric Chenaux and Stephen Parkinson. Its weird, warped string action was right up our alley. Next, she was booking a Canadian tour, and we were more than happy to present her music at the Bug Incision concert series. Chris Dadge and Scott Munro (aka the Bent Spoon Duo) played before her solo set, and they all played together after her solo set. Turns out her amplified & mangled banjo and kalimba meshed quite nicely with Dadge & Munro's table of stringed things, samplers, and assorted detritus. The basic Bent Spoon Duo methodology is two-fold: a) sound as confusing/disorienting/mysterious as possible, while b) overlapping freely into each others' timbral regions. Well, Cameron does a pretty good job of part a) on her own, so she jumped right in there. Comes out all sounding like nothing else in particular, except maybe a bit like they caught a whiff of the same breeze that's blown past the UK's Hunter Gracchus/Chora camp. Dense, strange, and rowdy. - Notes by Benoit Hughes

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The Unrepeatable Quartet
Calgary 2012
bim-58, winter 2013

Jack Wright: soprano & alto sax
Ellwood Epps: trumpet
Scott Munro: double bass, trombone, electronics
Chris Dadge: drumset, percussion

There's a great sense of coming-together in this group. Jack Wright, one of the United States' true titans of free improvising, was featured on a killer disc (Over The Transom, bim-08) in the first batch of non-hometeam releases the label ever produced. From then on, more classic BI titles sprung up from the activities of Wright, who, for those not in the know, has played with just about everybody, the world over, among them William Parker, Axel Dorner, Bhob Rainey, and Nate Wooley. Ellwood Epps has kindly hosted Chris Dadge and Scott Munro (aka the Bent Spoon Duo) at his spaces in Montreal, and has a release on the label (aside from the great new one, Land of Marigold) with Pink Saliva. Dadge and Munro founded the label in 2005, and are featured on many releases. Wright and Epps both found themsevles in Calgary last November, and the four of them recorded a bunch of material, this disc being from their main concert in Calgary. Although they'd never played as a quartet (Dadge and Munro had played trios with each), the sense of chemistry is immediately evident. Each individual's listening is done with close scrutiny, the reactions and proposals are unrolled in a tightly-coiled but unhurried manner, and everyone pays close attention to the music's need to breathe. Sister quartet album forthcoming this spring on Eh? Records.

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Gino Robair
Solo Drums with Ebow
bim-57, winter 2013

The sounds on this recording were produced by placing an Ebow over either a street-sweeper blade or a short length of a guitar string. The Ebow and metal were then placed on the head of a snare drum or floor tom. No effects (reverb, filtering, distortion) were added to the recordings. The sound you hear was captured by a single microphone placed a few inches above the sound source.

In these performances, the blade or string was positioned in such a way that they were unstable against the power of the Ebow. This results in rhythms and harmonic modulation that evolve over time and without human interaction. My only involvement ways to move the metal item into position and listen to the results.

The blades were found on the streets of Berlin, Stockholm, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, London, and Portland, Oregon.
- Notes by Gino Robair

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Simeon Abbott & Mike Gennaro
Meditations on First
bim-56, winter 2013

Simeon Abbott: piano
Mike Gennaro: drums

An excellently-wrought recording from this Toronto-based duo. The balance needed to maximize the enjoyment of an album as a solid, single listening experience is often overlooked in the recorded output of free-improvised music. Recorded in a couple different locations in Montreal and Toronto, this piano & drums disc emanates the kind of care and attention that reminds me of the best of the ol' FMP, Incus, and classic Emanem releases. And the music itself is equally raging. Gennaro first came to our attention years ago for his work with Wrist Error, and their album with Mats Gustafsson on Spool. After crossing paths a few more times over the years, it turned out that he was working with past Bug Incision star Simeon Abbott, after triumphantly returning from a hiatus from the music. Gennaro's playing falls into the rich drumkit-plus-bits-of-percussion tradition, recalling vintage Bennink, Lovens, and the early work of Ingar Zach. Abbott's pianism, kaleidoscopic in its harmonic complexity and rhythmic invention, suggests a strange cross-pollination of Schlippenbach and Bley. Needless to say, this is a deft, athletic outing, massively enjoyable and masterfully executed.

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Chris Dadge
Near and Distant Skies
bim-55, spring 2012

solo drumset & percussion, with amplification

In the fall of 2010, Chris Dadge traveled to the Canadian east. Joel Leblanc, a fellow promoter of unusual musical activity, was acquainted with Dadge through their mutual presence in the organization Circuit, a growing network of musician/bookers/space-runners around Canada. Leblanc was able to get his hands on some money to bring out a few players from the organization, Dadge included, and booked a small tour to accompany the main performance at Leblanc's space in Fredericton (the show in question is in part available digitally as Chris Dadge's Vocal Works). It also should be noted that this performance directly preceded the set that would become bim-51. This recording (which, while indexed, runs straight through the set in real-time, capturing a few moments of Re:flux's atmosphere along the way) captures a kind of overview of the various percussive stylings that Dadge has been pursuing over the last few years. There is the junk-oriented textural play seen previously in his work with Midnighties and Bent Spoon Duo, there is the more straightforward kit-based workouts played out on such releases I'd Drive Your Ass Across The World, If I Had To, Tangled Woof of Fact, and Silk Thousand, and also a dash of the more minimal semi-composed ideas which initially appeared on his cassettes for Holy Cheever Church and House of Alchemy. If this description sounds somewhat insular, devoid of the requisite namechecks and generous comparisons, it's because it's a real personal set, which, if you're familiar with the work of this artist, attempts to create its own context.
- Notes by Benoit Hughes

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bim-54, spring 2012

Håvard Skaset: guitar
Tony Dryer: double bass
Guro Skumsnes Moe: double bass
Jacob Felix Heule: percussion

Bug Incision is proud to be continuing our relationship with the San Francisco tag team of Jacob Heule (also known for his work with Ettrick and Barn Owl) and Tony Dryer. Earlier on in the Bug Incision game, we had the good fortune of releasing these two in conjunction with Jack Wright (bim-14), and also as part of a larger midwest-based ensemble called Storm of Corpses (bim-13). Heule and Dryer have also maintained their own duo called Basshaters, and have a disc on Creative Sources with their trio with Jacob Lindsay. Over the years, they've managed to get themselves over to Europe a couple times, which is presumably where they hooked up with Håvard and Guro, two musicians who seem to have quite successfully overhauled their instruments' basic sonic identities. It's kind of interesting how, for the most part, the melodic and harmonic activity in the pieces come from the basses (always a good instrument in plural, proven here), while the guitar seems to content to exist as a sounding unit for all manner of physical manglings. The six-stringed playing on this record is in fact quite winning, coming across as a mixture of Christian Munthe's guitar anti-heroics (if you don't know him, do yourself a favour and look him up) and what Roger Smith might've sounded like if he'd forsaken his beloved nylon-string for a steel counterpart. But back to the basses: while a lot of 'free-improvising' double bassists automatically reach for upper end of their instrument's register, these two both share a fairly uncommon inclination towards the lower region of things. The reason that this is remarkable in a group context is that it means that our guitar and percussion overseers are exercising a wonderous amount of control, sensitivity, and a finely honed dynamic understanding in order to make this work, not only in terms of a listener being able to hear everything, but also in their own abilities to communicate and react in the moment. Jacob's effectiveness as a purveyor of avant-leaning percussive stylings is often evidenced in the frequent moments when it is a) not clear that there is a percussionist present at all, and b) very often it becomes very difficult indeed to make out who's doing what. As far and wide as Bug Incision has happily moved within the realm of improvised music, this is the kind of stuff we started out with, and continue to dig, wholeheartedly.

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Burnt Monument
bim-53, winter 2012

Whitney Ota / guitar
Stew Elton / bass
Andrew Hume / drums

Burro is a veritable meeting of the minds of some of Calgary's finest wayward musicians. Whitney Ota first came to Bug Incision's attention at a performance some years back at the Discord series at Emmedia. He was playing sax and guitar (always a winning combination) in a duo called Wild & Majestic. One post-gig chat and a handful of cdr releases later, it was obvious that we'd be working together down the line. Ota also busies himself running Unit Structure Sound Recordings, a fine imprint which (as well as housing the sister release to this album) has also released some of his other projects: the kosmiche-y solo vehicle called Yankee Yankee and more texturally-inclined duo Dundas (with Mr. Elton). Stew Elton is and essential part of the Bug Incision universe, operating as the man who books the dates at Weeds Cafe, where so many BI performances take place. He also plays in the band No River, and has recorded a deviating solo EP called Bound, which is floating around out there somewhere. Andrew Hume (along with running buddy Britt Proulx) made his mark on Calgary's we rid music scene with his duo Seizure Salad. They played tons of shows, and released a nice handful of tapes, both mediums covering lotsa ground and seeming to have no problem doing so. An "experimental" band at its fullest potential.

Burnt Monument is an unexpectedly hi-fi document of this band at work. It turns out that Whitney Ota is also quite the recording engineer; he's delivered a wonderful-sounding album, which is a treat in a world that so often renders its performances in less-than-hi-fi. There is a good amount of detail in the playing, a honed attention to tone, and a very good, natural feeling to the proceedings. They play in time, they play freely & aleatorically, they riff and/or solo... I watched these guys perform a bunch of times over the course of an evening at an open-ended show at Frosst Books a few months back, and watching them, there's something about it that makes it seem obvious. When the right group of players come together, sometimes it's just like turning on a faucet.
- Notes by Jonathan Ronler

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Andrew Coltrane & Mike Khoury
Concrete Shoes
bim-52, winter 2012

A quick shot from this long-running duo of violinist Mike Khoury (no stranger to followers of this label - he appeared on some memorable albums with Ben Hall and Chris Riggs in past years, and dropped a lovely solo album in the meantime) and Andrew Coltrane, whose role is much more difficult to define. Electronics seems like an extremely broad term, but it gets you into the right ball park. Khoury's strings are surrounded by thick, fairly relentless churning noises and reverbed-out motor sounds, going in and out of focus all the while. There seems to be some simple effects applied to the violin here and there, but, as his work with Chris Riggs' and his similarly alien vocabulary has shown, Khoury is a master of finding ways to integrate himself into somewhat unlikely-seeming situations. Another slice of this duo's ongoing collaborations, following releases on Hermitage Tapes and Detroit Improvisation.

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Andre Bourgeois & Chris Dadge
Spaces Are The Place, Vol. 1
bim-51, spring 2012

Andre Bourgeois / tenor & soprano saxes
Chris Dadge / drumset & percussion

This disc accompanies bim-55, which also took place during Dadge's small tour of eastern Canada in fall of 2010. Following a bus ride, a fine meal at a local vegetarian restaurant, and a solo set of his own, Dadge had the good fortune of being paired with Moncton's Andre Bourgeois for two excellent sets of sax & drums. It's clear from the start of this recording that these two will have little difficulty finding common ground, not least because they seem to be operating along a similar plane of pacing and approach to density. There are a lot of notes played, but the ideas have fairly regular contours that move consistently throughout the shape of each piece. The majority of the playing falls into the free jazz territory, and while the odd extended technique surfaces here or these, the instruments themselves are mostly taken at face value, putting the emphasis on the playing itself. Reminds me a little of the stuff Eddie Prevost did with Alan Wilkinson a few years back. [A quick note on the final track - the recorder ran out just as the last track was ending, but what was there was deemed good enough to allow for the somewhat less than ideal presentation.]
- Notes by Benoit Hughes

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Kyle Brenders/Brandon Valdivia
bim-50, winter 2012

Kyle Brenders / tenor saxophone & Bb clarinet
Brandon Miguel Valdivia / drums & percussion

Multi-reedist Brenders is a fixture of Toronto's creative music scene. Known most prominently for his work as artistic director of the Association of Improvising Musicians in Toronto (or more manageably known as AIMToronto) Orchestra, he also keeps busy with his quartet (which also features his sparring partner on this disc) and The Rent, a co-led group exploring the music of Steve Lacy. And then, as a former student of Anthony Braxton while studying at Wesleyan University, it made sense to bring the saxophonist/composer to Toronto to work with the large AIMToronto group. This meeting resulted in a duo recording from the two horn-ists, as well as a document of orchestra's work with Braxton. One doesn't have to spend long leafing through band personnel listings to find Brandon Valdivia, either. His earlier work with the trio I Have Eaten The City (their praises sung loudly by Bug Incision labelmates Aaron Leaney and Simeon Abbott) was the first time Bug Incision became familiar with his work, and it didn't take long to find his name inside of Picastro album covers, or playing in the fantastic duo Not The Wind, Not The Flag, with Colin Fisher (all their releases are essential listening, definitely part of why things are so happening in Toronto these days). 

Anyway, these two are no strangers to one another, and this disc is proof of that. There is an easy exchange between the two, never allowing any statement or reply to seem too overzealous or contrived. Valdivia seems to favour a variety of alternatives to drumsticks for the majority of the recording, opting for mallets, bundlesticks and the like. A new spectrum of tone and attack choices is presented when one moves away from the pinpoint clarity of the drumstick, and he covers it nobly, coaxing much more throaty, hand-drum-like voices from his tubs. This fact, combined with his inclination to leave his snares mostly in the "off" position, makes for a real drumset-as-whole-instrument feel, very Andrew Cyrille. But just as often as you're treated this whole-drumset conception, he is perfectly okay with breaking away for a second to foreground a wonderfully-executed, crescendo'd drum roll or the resonant qualities of a particular piece of metal. This all works well with Brenders, whose invitingly dry, warm sound falls somewhere between the fluffy jocularity of Tobias Delius, his old mentor Braxton's gnarled extended techniques, and the tangled tenor sax stylings of Evan Parker. In fact, the latter's duo album with Eddie Prevost, Imponderable Evidence, makes for a useful analog. Un-fussy, -hurried, and -forced. Glad to have another slice of Toronto's current crop out there. 

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Simon Rose & Pascal Nichols
Sombrero Galaxy
bim-49, spring 2012

Simon Rose / saxophones
Pascal Nichols / drums

Bit of a Bug Incision shared history with both of these two, in different ways. Back in 2004, the Bent Spoon Duo (at the time being comprised of David Laing & Chris Dadge) toured the UK and had the pleasure of sharing a bill with Simon Rose, who played a ferocious solo set, both us sharing the bill a trio of Neil Davidson, Raymond MacDonald, Tatsuya Nakatani. We at the Bug Incision camp had already been introduced to Rose's work as a member of Badland, with Steve Noble and Simon Fell. Nichols has been featured on the label from what might've been the quickest selling disc we've done, Memoirs of a Secret Metal Cave, from Part Wild Horses Mane on Both Sides. We'd been on the Part Wild... trip for a while leading up that release, as well, and the previous album from this duo, on Nichols' Krayon Recordings imprint made a good number of spins in the CD deck. On Sombrero Galaxy, Nichols' playing is wonderfully unhinged. That is to say, he's speaking in a language, a well-worn one of the drums & sax mostly-Euro-improv variety, but underneath this layer is a thrust to the playing that suggests a very pure and honest desire/need to be doing this stuff. He sounds utterly unable to contain himself, and this is a real nice counterpoint to all the 'improv' records that simply reinforce the criticisms often leveled at this form of playing. His work in Part Will Horses..., Le Drapeau Noir, and with other Manchester acolytes places him within a fairly specific, and at this point, more firmly-established context, but to hear him with someone outside of that circle is a nice breath of fresh air, and italicizes his work very nicely indeed. Rose is in fine form, as ever, with his plethora of worthy musical propositions, along with his understated way of exhibiting his very own sense of mastery and control.

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bim-48, winter 2011

A long-time-in-the-pipeline release from the quasi-trio of Bruno Duplant, Philo Lenglet, and Rachael Wadham. Duplant, a multi-instrumentalist who appears here on percussion, and Lenglet, on the guitar, are from France. They play together regularly and Duplant appears to be a prolific collaborator, working often with the likes of Lee Noyes, Phil Hargreaves, and Paulo Chagas. Pianist and junk manipulator Rachael Wadham (who's also played with Jandek, Deep Dark United, Attn: Diamond Shoppers, etc) is a name that old-school Bug Incision fans will remember from her duo disc with Chris Dadge, 100 Silk Buttons From The Room Upstairs. One of Vancouver's most interesting and excellent musicians. Duplant and Lenglet recorded some duos in France, sent them to Wadham, and she played over top of them, in the time-honoured tradition of mail-improv.

edition of 70, cdr, color covers in plastic sleeves // sample + press

bim-47, winter 2011

Philippe Battikha / trumpet & pedals
Matthew Waddell / laptop & electronics
Sam Vipond / drums & electronics
Etienne Lebel / trombone & sax

First time I witnessed any of these players in action, they were inside a large box, in a loft space in Montreal, playing at a welcome-our-new-neighbours concert. It was a great trumpet and trombone duo, and it was in a box. That night I chatted up said trumpeter, who gave me a very-handsomely-packaged 3" cdr, which contained some fine improvised playing. Months down the road, I'm back in Calgary, answering an email from someone named Matt Waddell, about booking a show, and by the time he'd come & played, we had a chance to hang at Weeds, it became clear that this guy was also on that 3" cdr, as a member of Corse. When visiting Montreal again last year, Matt laid on me a copy of their new full-length, which is now making its way out to the world via Bug Incision. The music resembles some aspects of more (post-)rock-informed modes of improvising such as Supersilent or Death Ambient, but it is more unhinged and less single-minded. The majority of the members of Corse have augmented their instrumental leanings with various types of processing, blurring the lines of who's-doing-what and allowing for a quite wide palette of textures.

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bim-46, winter 2011

Ben Bennett / drumheads
Ryan Jewell / snare drum
Wilson Shook / alto saxophone
with guest Mara Sedlins / viola

There are those listeners who like to follow a recording by clearly tracing the path each musician is taking on a given set. Others prefer to allow the music to wash over them, disregarding individual intentions in favour of the whole. To the former group, Bug Incision presents to you a challenge. To paraphrase Derek Bailey (and a bunch of others, admittedly), the music gets really interesting when it becomes difficult to tell who is doing what. By that measure, this is supremely interesting music. Bennett and Jewell are largely indistinguishable without an intimate acquaintance with either player's work and, while it is suspected that bows play a role in these sounds, it's really tough to tell, and all the more fun for it. The way their sounds intersect with Shook's sax playing is a revelation, someone picking up where another's phrase dwindles, and sound mimicry of the first order. While some bemoan the latter aspect of improvising as pedestrian, once one considers the instrumentation at hand, it becomes a really rich and inventive listening experience. Also, this group is not so much about those classic modes of improvisation; their approach entails presenting sounds to one another and patiently figuring out how they can co-exist. Shook's playing recalls echoes of Evan Parker, but only in the most fragmented sense, and also the master of sax rudeness, Jack Wright, in his glossolalic soundings, and his ability to make the saxophone sound quite a bit like a trumpet. The lesser-known, but apparently quite wonderful Mara Sedlins adds an extra layer of quiet confusion to the second piece. A really fine piece of contemporary American improvising.

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David Payne
Nirvana Unplugged
bim-45, winter 2011

There's an album called Futuro, a trio date which features Tetuzi Akiyama on what sounds like an amplified acoustic or resonator guitar. The music is extremely taut, with long silences and subtle gestures. A short blow of breath is released through a trumpet, a drumhead is rubbed, that kind of thing. Akiyama's playing is the most deliciously tense of the trio, sounding like he's moving a slide underneath the strings every couple minutes; very controlled, very focused work. David Payne's (Hamilton, Ontario's main man behind Fossils, Slut Mouth, and the mighty Middle James Co.) latest solo slab offers a rowdy, wasted take on this approach, minus the silences and the playing partners. His acoustic guitar is mangled and scraped, rubbed, fingered, and bent, and is subjected to a variety of preparations. The results are unlike his work in Fossils, whose lightly abrasive approach is much more inscrutable. It's possibly more akin to an unplugged and halved version of Slut Mouth, or if you've ever heard some of his solo tapes, you might be on the right track. But, as with all of Payne's work, there's an air of unpretentious seriousness to the proceedings, no fat, all business. Recorded late 2010 in Hamilton.

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, fall 2010

This is the debut recordings, and first recorded document of the duo of Cody Oliver and Chris Dadge. Oliver's involvement in Calgary's creative music scene dates back to the 90s, and his involvement with Nach Hause, Space For Space, and his labels Noise Miniatures and House Leek Audio. He worked extensively with Darren Williams, Dan Meichel, and Thom Golub, and more recently shared a ferocious trio with Lyle Pisio and Peter Moller. The duo with Dadge finally convened in 2009, and produced a number of recordings, mostly live. This crisply-recorded set documents the duo at CJSW studios in Calgary, performing what was a live broadcast. Olivers plays a resonator guitar, with contact mics, into a small amp; he uses a variety of objects on the guitar. Dadge plays a half-drumset, with pedal-controlled amplification. Both players share an affinity for the more propulsive, hyperactive end of playing, and the amplification adds an odd, extended touch, allowing for effective use of space, longer tones. Thanks to Paula, Mike, Myke.

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  Eric Hamelin
Bum Trash (Calgary Jaz Fest)

Aaron Leaney & Chris Dadge
bim-42, winter 2011

The Leaney-Dadge duo has been operating intermittently since 2006, when they began working together as a two-some, and their recordings first appeared on a CJSW compilation. Their first album, Duo, was an early release on this label, a compilation of two live recordings from their early performances. Since, then, Leaney finished his degree in Toronto, enjoying the wealth of serious players in that town, and has come back to Calgary, where he currently resides, operating the Aaron Leaney Three, and a handful of duos and one-off projects. This recording, made in a wonderful-sounding Calgary basement during the summer of 2008, presents a clear extension of the heads-down, ultra-focused playing on the first record, adding numerous extra instruments (trumpet, percussion, zither, recorder, piano), and a looser, more exploratory approach to the improvisations. There are still moments of serious sax & drums action, but the duo's sound benefits from the widened scope, becoming, to put it simply, a little weirder. The session was culled from a series of weekly sessions the two were carrying out in Mount Pleasant that summer, and was hotly recorded by Dadge to a cassette tape. The raw recording was lovingly mastered by Leaney during the course of 2010.

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Eric Normand & Bent Spoon Duo
bim-41, fall 2010

This trio came together for one brief evening, in the hours between Normand's arrival to and swift departure from Calgary, on his recent cross-Canada tour. Normand, a fixture in Quebec's fertile creative music scene (he lives in Rimouski, where he runs a space/series, and also spends good chunks of time in Montreal rubbing elbows with the Ambiance Magnetique scene). The choice of electric bass in an 'improv' context can be a strange one, but Normand does an admirable job of rendering his instrument mostly unrecognizable. Multiple outputs, contact mics, and a bank of homemade effects assist in this. The Bent Spoon Duo, as usual represented by Chris Dadge and Scott Munro, cover a variety of sonic locales. Munro plays strings, electronics, trombone, SK-1, and voice. Dadge plays percussion, strings, amplified objects, and SK-1. For the most part, this is ragged electro-acoustic improvising, but more than once the set becomes heavily reminiscent of Philip Jeck and his gritty, swirling textures. Though not a usual reference point for Bug Incision music, we're happy to see the similarities.

edition of 60, cdr, color covers in plastic sleeves // sample + press // SOLD OUT

Christopher Riggs
Cash Recycling Machine
bim-40, fall 2010

The new album from Chris Riggs (on the heels of a killer LP with Liz Allbee and an 8-part series of very formalist cassettes) is part of a series that began with the Gold Danny (on Holy Cheever Church) and Achievement Is Its Own Reward (on Brokenresearch) CDRs from the last couple years. If one takes a look at the Holy Cheever Church website, around the -40s, Riggs starts in with some heavy conceptual shoelaces in his solo pieces, and, to this end, he writes: "Third installment in my series of cdr releases made up of tracks of equal length with a different track length for each cdr (gold danny = 3 minutes, achievement is its own reward = 5). This recording is pieced together from the tracks that make up HCC - 051. I assigned each of the 14 1-hour long tracks a number and used a random number generator to produce the "score". Different distributions were used for the five different tracks that effected the incorporation of silence, how many sounds were used within the 6 minute limit, and how often those sounds changed. The distribution of the 14 tracks always remained the same (i.e. i never "weighted" one sound more than another on any track. Each one always has an equal chance of coming up). I also used a random number generator to determine where along the time line of each 1-hour long sound I would use for a chunk of sound in the "score". For example: the score for number 1 says that sound number 9 (also known as track 9) needs to be played from 1:10 - 2:24 on the right channel and it needs to come from 17:21." Got it? Conversely, this is more top-notch guitar-disguising, care of Riggs' home-built guitars and quadrophonic amp setup. The sounds are right up front, and resemble, among other things: close-mic'd dogs breathing heavily, the back of a refrigerator, cars idling, and motorcycles revving.

edition of 57, cdr, color covers in plastic sleeves // sample + press // SOLD OUT

Chris Dadge
Silk Thousand
bim-39, fall 2010

The third solo drumset album from Bug Incision operator Chris Dadge. This album is all business - sharply focused workouts, usually vacillating between a handful of densities, operating in simple, clear structures. The recording was made on an old cassette tape, hence some of the fluffier moments, but the sound of the drums is right up front. Following in the same lineage as his earlier solo albums I'd Drive Your Ass Across The World, If I Had To and Tangled Woof of Fact, the album acts as a time-senstive document to someone's playing at a specific point in time. Six tracks in 31 minutes, recorded at 308 in Calgary, summer 2010.

edition of 60, cdr, color covers in plastic sleeves // sample + press // SOLD OUT

Mike Khoury & Christopher Riggs
Abandon Rate
bim-38, summer 2010

The Khoury-Riggs duo tape that appeared on Holy Cheever Church sometime last year was a favourite around Bug Incision headquarters, so it was a no-brainer when it came to scooping these recordings and getting them out there. The two are closely aligned with Detroit's fertile scene of creative improvisors, and are often involved with Ben Hall and Hans Buetow, two other Bug Incision-released artists, and their excellent label Brokenresearch. Both players have previously released material on this label (Khoury on Battlefield Medicine and Airwaves, Riggs on Tanto Impresos Como Sistemas and I Feel So Strong. I Feel I Could Punch A Hole In A Fucking Wall.) and have also filled their own and a good many others' release schedules with quality product. The strength of this duo is that they manage to succeed in finding some middle ground between Riggs, who's taken it upon himself to overhaul the guitar quite thoroughly, often rendering it unrecognizable, and Khoury, who has taken the violin at face value and studiously honed a unique sound and approach. There is a wonderfully controlled and varied bank of sounds from which Riggs draws, and Khoury keeps up with deft manipulations in tone, tremolo, bow pressure, etc. Look for a sister release on the House of Alchemy label.

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Eric Chenaux & Bent Spoon Duo
Live In Calgary
bim-37, summer 2010

Eric Chenaux is a long-standing fixture of Toronto's creative music scene. He runs Rat-Drifting, a beautiful label that deals in the finest of the city's more creative musical thinkers. He also plays with Drumheller, a quintet that gives jazz a good name, and he also has a string of wonderfully cracked, song-based solo albums on Montreal's Constellation records. The Bent Spoon Duo, Chris Dadge and Scott Munro, is one of Calgary's longer-running improvising units, and have played with a variety of people including Peter Evans, Chad van Gaalen (in the new group Blanket), Gordon Allen, Darren Williams, Simeon Abbott, and the late Dan Meichel (the Musk Cup). The first performance by this trio took place in Toronto in 2008, on the same tour that produced the two BSD tapes (on Holy Cheever and Middle James Co.) and the recently-released collaborations with Abbott. Their follow-up to that initial meeting took place at the jazz fest in Calgary during the summer of 2009. The music they played that evening had two distinct qualities. There is a forward-moving, yet rambling aspect to the music that reminds one of Derek Bailey's notions of 'playing', treating the word in its most natural, unaffected sense. There is also a type of folksy intuitiveness to the proceedings that glazes the harmony and complimentary rhythm in a rather spectral fashion. Chenaux's playing conjures a sort of amalgam of Roger Smith's ultra-introverted scrabblings and John Russell's patient unraveling of patterns and inversions, but anyone who's spent time with his music knows he sounds mainly like himself. Munro is the wildcard here, playing viola, sampling keyboard, vocals, and trombone. He skirts around Chenaux, and Dadge's mixture of dry drumset playing and violin work, filling in odd, but excellent areas of the music.

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Slut Mouth
Amateur Hour
bim-36, summer 2010

New recordings from this Fossils-related duo from Hamilton, Ontario, following some recent releases on Middle James Co. and Fag Tapes. 30 minutes of deconstructed free rock jams on guitar and partial drumset, edited down from an epic 60 minute session. Some extremely crude and loose playing styles, backgrounded by the sound of dying amps and buzzing patch cables. Skeletal grooves and patterns occasionally emerge from the wreckage, and are usually abandoned just as quickly. Closest thing that comes to mind in this ballpark would be those Vampire Belt CDRs from a few years ago, but way slower and scrappier.

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bim-35, summer 2010

The people comprising this lineup have been orbiting one another for some time. Dadge & Munro play together in the Bent Spoon Duo, as well as a number of other projects (Blanket, Lab Coast, Phil Withers, Jay Crocker), and Munro & Fleischhaker have had an intermittently active vocals/electronics improvising duo (German Witchcraft, their first disc, which Dadge recorded and produced, was issued on Bug Incision as bim-10 a few years ago) for the last few years. This set was initially intended to be a simple addition of Dadge on drumset to the dual vocal/electronics setup the other two had been previously exploring . However, Munro added the electric bass, his primary instrument, and his vocal contributions were lessened, giving the trio a somewhat more conventional instrumental lineup. That nod towards the rock canon can be heard clearly in this live recording; the trio shares a certain headspace that allows them to operate in a fairly tight, un-flabby framework, producing pieces that end up sounding like small compositions. The recording is a straight document of the set, including a count-in, applause, and between-piece mumbling.

edition of 30, cdr, color covers in plastic sleeves // download + press // SOLD OUT

Chris Dadge
A Moth That Smiles As It Burns Is Better Than You
bim-34, summer 2010

This is a live recording of a solo performance at Weeds Cafe in Calgary, in March 2010. The set was thrown together at the last minute, having arrived home from a trip a few days prior to the performance. Features percussion, violin, and acoustic guitar. Recorded and assisted by Brad Hawkins.

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Simeon Abbott + Chris Dadge
A Menu Isn't A Meal
bim-33, spring 2010

Longtime collaborators Abbott (prepared electric guitar + electronics) and Dadge (percussion + electronics) release their first album together. There's a lot of movement in these two tracks, but there's a similarity in their approaches that streamlines the proceedings. The duo tosses a dizzying array of ideas and sounds at one another, and they are caught, tossed back, and(/or) sidestepped entirely, as only a duo can do. Abbott's playing occasionally recalls a handful of his predecessors (Frith, Kaiser, Rowe, Chadbourne, et al) in the guitar mangling tradition, but we are mostly exposed to his own rapidly developing voice on the instrument, further evidenced on his recent solo album, Zebra Wood, and the wonderful Lamp Chops album (bim-24). Dadge (fresh of a year of playing with the likes of Mats Gustafsson, Eugene Chadbourne, and Eric Chenaux) is in full kaleidoscopic mode, adding bags of junk and amplification to his drums & cymbals. Recorded by Brad Hawkins at the monthly Bug Incision concert series in the summer of 2009.

color covers in plastic sleeves, edition of 65 // sample + press // SOLD OUT

Simeon Abbott with Bent Spoon Duo
Saigon, You Crazy Diamond
bim-32, spring 2010

In October of 2008, nomoreshapes and Bent Spoon Duo took a trip to the eastern side of Canada to hock their wares and mingle with their displaced neighbours, one of which included ex-Calgarian Simeon Abbott. The days were just packed on this trip. After completing this session at Aaron Leaney's old apartment on Bloor Street, the duo carried their gear to Somewhere There, where they recorded what would become Fossils of Slumber (on Holy Cheever Church), their most focused release to date. After languishing in the vaults for a stretch, this recording is finally being made available. Two dense, 20-minute tracks of very physical, visceral playing. This is the era in which the duo began playing on the floor, each others' gear in close proximity, allowing them to make rapid and odd instrument switches, further confusing their sound. Their heady mix of small keyboards, percussion, objects, strings, tapes, and vocals, in concert with Abbott's prepared guitar extrapolations suggest a louder, more aggressive Three/Four Pullovers. Extra material from this session appears on this trio's self-titled 3" disc (bimm-05), also on Bug Incision.

color covers in plastic sleeves, edition of 70 // sample + press // SOLD OUT

Mike Khoury
bim-31, spring 2010

Five new tracks of solo violin improvisations by our friend Mike Khoury, a familiar face to the Detroit-area improvisation scene (his duos with Ben Hall and Chris Riggs are well worth seeking out). These tracks were all recorded live at various radio stations, legit and not-so-legit, around the US. Khoury on his own emits carefully wrought ribbons of lyrical, stream-of-consciousness violin playing, alternately leaving tons of space, letting his notes really hang, then obsessing over small, scratchy sounds or dissonant harmonies. It's worth mentioning his huge, full-bodied sound on the violin, reminding one of the his beautiful duet with Ben Hall (bim-09), one of the high points in Bug Incision's catalogue. A lovely, unified addition to his ever-expanding body of work.

color covers in plastic sleeves, edition of 63 // sample + press // SOLD OUT

coming soon


bim-29, winter 2009

Birgit Ulher: trumpet, radio, mutes, speaker
Tim Perkis: electronics
Gino Robair: energized surfaces, voltage made audible

The excellent Robair-Ulher tag-team (previous releases on Creative Sources and Rastacan are killers) is here bolstered by the presence of Tim Perkis, frequent Robair collaborator and Bay Area fixture (he's also put in time as a member of the recently-archived League of Automatic Music Composers). The Robair-Ulher discs are sparse and taut, all tension and no release, but Pogiff features a slightly more expansive sound palette, largely due to the nature of Perkis' laptop + electronics contributions. Processed field recordings, subtle electronic grit, and swoops of sound intermingle with Ulher's tight, ultra-controlled, lip-smacking trumpet playing (with radio!) and Robair's trademark approach to analog synth and percussion (his 'voltage made audible' often sounds like, alternately, a computer trying to sound like a field recording of crickets in the night or a dentist's spit-sucking machine). This is a record that demands your attention, constantly bubbling under the surface, trading bluster for little gestures.

color covers in plastic sleeves, edition of 100 // sample + press // SOLD OUT

Super Deluxe Gas Jockey
Some Sappy Title Dan Would've Hated
bim-28, winter 2009

janet turner, words, vocals and oddities
lyle pisio, sax and oddities
mark dicey, percussion and oddities

It would be difficult to imagine Bug Incision and the current Calgary scene of players without the foundation set by this trio, along with the late Dan Meichel, the recipient of this album's dedication and an integral figure in the development of improvised music in the city. Dicey, Turner, and Pisio (along with Meichel and a handful of others) formed a constellation of bands throughout the 80s to the present day, including Scum de Terre, tokyosexwhale, Book Lily Dead Posie, tomato tomato, and Street of Crocodiles. This show, recorded live at Weeds (the home of the current Bug Incision concert series) by Brad Hawkins, presents a fantastic set from what would have been Scum de Terre, minus Meichel. The music includes the trademark elements of each player's approach, but also sees them moving in new directions. Dicey's extremely visceral approach to junk/object-based percussion is in full flight, but his kit playing has taken on a new fluidity and more overt sense of group interaction. Turner's vocals, as always, seem to find  new ways to integrate themselves, and a (first-time?) dose of toy keyboards keeps things suitably off-kilter. Pisio's restless alto playing is beautifully dispersed with typical elegance and economy. A valuable addition to the Bug Incision catalogue.

edition of 50 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves // sample + press // SOLD OUT

Pink Saliva
Hardcore: La Brique
bim-27, winter 2009

gordon allen, trumpet
michel f. côté, drums + feedback
alexandre st-onge, electric bass + laptop

Hardcore: La Brique is a live recording of a bizarrely rude trio of Montreal-based musicians. For the most part, St-Onge and Côté neatly sidestep any conventional bass & drum roles. Their playing is split between casting dark swaths of sound, which provide churning, dirty backdrops for Allen's trumpet, and occasionally allowing skeletal rhythmic and melodic fragments to spill forth, here betraying a more rock-informed approach to their instruments. Allen's masterful, unadorned playing constitutes a similar refuting of his instrument's known voice, often rendering the trumpet indistinguishable from the laptop & feedback noise. This is some strange, excellent, head-scratching group playing.

edition of 100 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves // sample + press

Part Wild Horses Mane on Both Sides
Memoirs of a Secret Metal Cave
bim-26, fall 2009

The duo of Pascal Nichols and Kelly Jones delivers another new slab of zoned duo improv. The latest chapter of their ongoing series of reconciliations of the flute/drums/electronics relationship comes out sounding like an beautifully mangled soundtrack to a Ducks Unlimited commercial or an garbled old videocassette of an '80s educational nature film. As has been noted in previous reviews of this duo, they make stunning use of a relatively basic setup, and it's a long ways away from those bizarre Jarrett/Dejohnette jams on Ruta & Daitya.

edition of 64 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves // sample + press // SOLD OUT

Jack Wright/Ben Wright/Mike Pride/Nate Wooley
bim-25, fall 2009

This is a 2006 recording of a quartet featuring Jack Wright (saxes), Ben Wright (upright bass), Mike Pride (percussion), and Nate Wooley (trumpet). The music is tightly coiled, coming across as an unsettled focusing and unfocusing of a variety of intersecting sounds and extended playing techniques. The players all possess masterful control of their instruments, and exhibit a fine sense of balance and pacing. Nobody overplays and the role(s) of background/foreground is constantly shifting, creating an uncluttered, thoughtful unfolding of events. Another fine slice of Wright and his ever-shifting company.

edition of 100 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves // sample + press // SOLD OUT

Lamp Chops
The Localization of Noise and Its Endowment With Form
bim-24, summer 2009

Four tracks of string-saturated improvisation from Toronto's Colin Fisher and Simeon Abbott. Both players are serious multi-instrumentalists, but this set features them exclusively on ghuzeng and prepared guitar, respectively. Sounds like what might've happened if Strange Strings had been more fully fleshed-out and stripped down. Recorded to cassette four-track by Aaron Leaney at Somewhere There in Toronto, late 2008.

edition of 50 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves // sample + press // SOLD OUT

A Common Confusion
bim-23, summer 2009

Another slab of basement strangeness from this Hamilton, Ontario-based trio/duo. The consistent element is David Payne, and he's joined by a mixture of Steve Smith and Daniel Farr. The sound quality here is out of step with the majority of Fossils' boombox-recorded catalogue, but the relatively crisp, bright recording yields a new attention to detail and smaller sounds. The enhanced fidelity doesn't, however, make it any easier to tell what the fuck is happening. Another basement baffler. Recorded in early 2009, at mjc HQ.

edition of 50 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves // sample + press // SOLD OUT

Chris Dadge
The Tangled Woof of Fact
bim-22, summer 2009

Recorded to two tracks of a Tascam 246, fall 2008. Follow-up to 2006's I'd Drive Your Ass Across The World, If I Had To. Shorter tracks, much less contained than that album, though similar in its simplicity and intent. Second solo drums album from Dadge, who's played with Bent Spoon Duo, Raw Kites, Musk Cup, Eric Chenaux, Mats Gustafsson & Christian Munthe, Peter Evans, and others.

edition of 50 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves // sample + press // SOLD OUT

Eye Day Rabbit
bim-21, summer 2009

Surreal slabs of processed sound float by each other in brilliant high fidelity, from the man behind much of the documentation of Bug Incision's live activities (hear his recording prowess on the forthcoming Bent Spoon Trio +3 album). First solo recording.

edition of 50 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves // sample + press // SOLD OUT

Christopher Riggs
I Feel So Strong. I Feel I Could Punch A Hole In A Fucking Wall.
bim-20, spring 2009

This new slab from Chris Riggs (Traum/Trauma, Holy Cheever Church, etc) features assemblages of highly abstracted guitar improvisations and silence. The most challenging Bug Incision release yet.

limited edition of 50 // sample + press // SOLD OUT

Jay Crocker
Joachim On Eggshells
bim-19, spring 2009

Crocker discards his usual array of guitars, homemade pedals, and keyboards, in favour of six years' worth of home recordings of himself. Mostly recorded on single track cassette tape, and patched through a larger system, these sketches and mini-improvs are woven together on one 'take', an acceptable one of which we have here. Moments here recall the denser sides of Richard Youngs or NWW. A strange one, for sure.

1st edition: tour-only edition of 30 // 2nd edition: limited edition of 50, color covers, clear plastic sleeves // sample + press // SOLD OUT

Musk Cup Duo
Live At Soda
bim-18, spring 2009

Chris Dadge, Dan Meichel

This recording captures a Musk Cup gig to which Scott Munro could not make it. The duo moves cleanly through a gamut of approaches and instrumentation, epitomizing the MC method. Post-set ambience provides a taste of the Soda crowd.

japan-only tour edition of 30 // download + press // SOLD OUT

Raw Kites
I Can See The Light, I Just Can't Feel It
bim-17, winter 2009

Chris Dadge / percussion, violin, amplified objects
Shane Krause / baritone saxophone, clarinet

Dadge and Krause met in 2006 and began playing together the following year in a trio called Hidden Fortress, with Thom Golub. In August of 2007, they toured with trumpet-whiz Peter Evans for his first Canadian jaunt and recorded these sides while they were at it. This collection features the choicest chunks of what went on in a living room and in a dance studio in Edmonton. Released in Vancouver (Krause's home) in February 2009.

limited edition of 75, with 2 color photos // sample + press // SOLD OUT

coming soon

Musk Cup
A Smart Fire

The new studio recording from the Musk Cup, comprised of Chris Dadge, Dan Meichel, and Scott Munro. This is their second full-length studio album, recorded on four-track cassette in the basement. Instrumentation was in flux mode during this session, and with odd mic placements and a constantly shifting stereo spectrum, the album comes off more in the tradition of the People Band's sole LP or some of the more far-out Sun Ra sides than anything else.

Bayal with Arnaud Riviere
First Contact
bim-15, spring 2009

John Boyle and Aya Onishi (of Nihilist Spasm Band) play an arsenal of drums, modified thumb pianos & kazoos, with guest Arnaud Riviere (of Textile Orchestra, among other things) on destroyed turntables. The music was recorded live in France, documenting their set at Sonic Protest from a few years back. It consists of a half hour of unrelenting primal improvisation, underpinned by some early-man-style drumming and skittering cascades of feedback and heavily amplified, tactile interplay.

limited edition of 100, with b&w photo // sample + press

Deburring Tool
bim-14, spring 2009

Tony Dryer / double bass
Jacob Felix Heule / drum set & radio
Jack Wright / alto & soprano saxophones

Another standout, cracking trio session with Wright on this label. Jack Wright is known for his extensive exploration of the ad hoc musical meeting, having logged many hours with artists such as Andrea Neumann, Axel Dorner, Reuben Radding, and Tatsuya Nakatani. He's joined by the extremely active duo of Jacob Felix Heule and Tony Dryer. The two have been playing extensively as a duo (as Dryer/Heule and Basshaters), and in groups such as Dryer/Heule/Lindsay, Storm of Corpses, and Heule/Dryer/Korber. The sounds this time are raw and jagged. A fantastically tactile-sounding recording. March 2008.

limited edition of 100, with insert // sample + press // SOLD OUT

Storm of Corpses
Bite Your Tongue
bim-13, winter 2009

Tony Dryer / electric double bass
Jacob Felix Heule / drum set & electronics
Ryan Jewell / drum set
Jay Korber / drum set
Jon Lorenz / tenor sax
John Rich / clarinet
C. Spencer Yeh / violin

An excellent large group recording from April 2008 at the Art Damage Lodge in Cincinnati, Ohio. Features C. Spencer Yeh (Burning Star Core, Wiese/Yeh duo, etc), Ryan Jewell (plays with Nate Wooley, Mike Khoury, Psychedelic Horseshit), Jacob Felix Heule (of Ettrick, Basshaters, Soft Teeth (with Ava Mendoza), etc) , and Jay Korber (Ettrick, Heule/Dryer/Korber) ), Tony Dryer (Basshaters, Michel Doneda, Jack Wright), and Jon Lorenz and John Rich of Wasteland Jazz Unit. Recorded beautifully by JFH during '08 spring tour.

limited edition of 100, with poster repro & insert // sample + press // SOLD OUT

Bent Spoon Trio
More Experienced Filthier

The definitive document of 2008's midnight tunnel shows. Features the trio in a mode with is more easily aligned with the recent Dadge/Munro BSD music. Laing's sax playing is extremely spacious and restrained. Dadge and Munro play violin, viola, trumpet, cuatro, trombone, and sparse percussion.

limited edition of 50, with insert // download + press // SOLD OUT

Bent Spoon Trio +
Dead Salems Danced In Their Ashtrays

Two prime BST tracks, complete with string+sax sections, vocals, and some fine straight-up trio moments. Third track adds Thom Golub on the double bass. The final cut is a quintet, adding Jay Crocker on guitar and pink dolphin, and Dan Meichel on tenor sax. Recorded by Brad Hawkins, culled from the monthly series at Theatre Junction.

limited edition of 50, with insert // download + press // SOLD OUT

German Witchcraft
bim-10, fall 2008

Mark Fleischhaker & Scott Munro: vocals and electronics

The debut studio recordings from Calgary's Mark Fleischhaker and Scott Munro, both vocalists with a loose sense of the word. This is 9 tracks of their work, completely undiluted.

limited edition of 75 // sample + press


Khoury + Hall
Battlefield Medicine
bim-09, fall 2008

Mike Khoury / violin
Ben Hall / drums and percussion

In what appears to be the first entry in this duo's discography, Detroit's Mike Khoury and Ben Hall create very sparse music that somehow occupies a formidable density. Impossibly long tones from strings, drums that sound like you're inside of them, enhanced percussion, bell tones that hang. This is a huge-sounding album. It will fill the room.

limited edition of 150 // sample + press // SOLD OUT


Jack Wright with Hell & Bunny
Over The Transom
bim-08, fall 2008

Jack Wright / saxophones
Hans Buetow / cello
Ben Hall / percussion

The well-traveled saxophonist Jack Wright in an excellently balanced trio with cellist Hans Buetow and percussionist Ben Hall. This set was recorded in Easton, PA in 2007. Features impressive playing from all, but noteworthy for its inclination towards mind-meld. A united effort throughout.

limited edition of 150 // sample + press // SOLD OUT

Tanto Impresos Como Sistemas
bim-07, fall 2008

Chris Riggs / guitar
Hans Buetow / cello
Ben Hall / percussion

The latest installment of this Detroit-based trio finds them continuing the post-Davis mode they've occupied since guitarist Chris Riggs' arrival earlier this year. This version of the band, along with Hans Buetow and Ben Hall (Graveyards, Melee) is much fleeter; lighter punches, more of them. Sounds, at times, like a sped-up AMM.

limited edition of 150 // sample // SOLD OUT


Bent Spoon Duo
Harvesting The Wave
bim-06, May 2008

Chris Dadge / violin, sk-1, vocals
Scott Munro / trombone, electronics, vocals

A totally left-field move from the Dadge/Munro faction of the BSD. This 30 minute disc features Monty's recent BSD stylings on voice, electronics, and trombone, and a drum-less Dadge holding it down with violin, sk-1, vocals, and crackle box. Recorded the same week as bim-05, this time live at the CJSR studios at UBC.

volume 2 of 2. limited edition of 50 // download + press // SOLD OUT


Bent Spoon Duo
Out There In The Sea
bim-05, February 2008

Chris Dadge / drumset, violin, sk-1, etc
Scott Munro / upright bass, trombone, electronics, vocals

This faction of the Bent Spoon triangle visited Vancouver in February of 2008. Everything was recorded and is now starting to see the light of day. This is a live recording of the duo at 1067 Granville, recorded on cassette tape. Extended drumset, sk-1, and violin, upright bass, electronics, trombone, and vocals.

volume 1 of 2. limited edition of 100 // sample + press // SOLD OUT


Bent Spoon Trio (w/ Danny Meichel)
Lost In A Chinese Attic
bim-04, January 2008

Chris Dadge / violin, percussion, amplification, etc
David Laing / alto sax, laingdon, percussion
Danny Meichel / tenor & soprano sax, bass clarinet
Scott Munro / trombone, viola, electronics, vocals

Every summer David Laing and Chris Dadge host sporadic shows in an underground tunnel in Calgary. The concerts are announced the day before, usually, and take place at midnight. The Bent Spoon Trio is a consistent presence in these shows, and on this particular july night they added Danny Meichel to the ranks.

unnumbered edition // download + press // SOLD OUT


Chris Dadge
I'd Drive Your Ass Across The World, If I Had To
bim-03, October 2007

solo drumset & percussion

Debut solo recording from Calgary drummer/percussionist. Two medium-length tracks culled from Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday morning recording sessions. Solo drumset improvisations with subtle and occasional amplification.

unnumbered edition // download + press // SOLD OUT

re-issued on Brokenresearch Editions (sold out)


The Musk Cup
Tinned Mind, Tinned Breath
bim-02, September 2007

Chris Dadge, Dan Meichel, Scott Munro

The first-ever session from this long-in-the-pipeline Calgary improv supergroup. Recorded on cassette using drums, saxes, clarinets, flutes, trombones, basses, voices, noise, objects, and a bunch of other stuff.

1st edition: first pressing of 50 copies // 2nd edition: numbered, unlimited second pressing // download + press // SOLD OUT


Bent Spoon Trio
Ever, When You Were There
bim-01, June 2007

David Laing / alto sax, laingdon
Chris Dadge / drums, percussion, violin
Scott Munro / upright bass, trombone, vocals

The first micro-edition, a tour-only edition made for and sold on the Bent Spoon Duo 2007 UK tour. It's a live recording of the BST in Victoria from 2006. Long gone.

edition of 30 // download + press // SOLD OUT

Chris Dadge
Gel On A Crack
bit-01, may 2015

Bug Incision operator Chris Dadge releases a short set of solo drumset improvisations. Recorded in December of 2014 in an empty Emmedia screening room (the venue for many Bug Incision concerts since 2008), this tape captures some setting-up and fine-tuning tests before a show with the Midnighties Quartet later that night. The playing is loose-limbed and exploratory, making the most out of a six-piece kit with some dramatic tuning intervals.

edition of 25, download code included, C10, color cover // SOLD OUT





a band

A new set of studio recordings from the latter day version of the A Band. As noted in previous musings (check out David Keenan's article on The Wire site) on this collective, the A Band follows in the tradition of the People Band, Scratch Orchestra, and Portsmouth Sinfonia (and oddly enough, Calgary's own Street of Crocodiles), ditching traditional notions of instrumentation and ability for a more disparate and unique flow of ideas and sounds. Standard instruments (piano, clarinet, electric guitar) sit alongside makeshift/found percussion, weird electronics, and vocal utterances, the elements shifting in and out of focus, often seeming as if players are walking in and out of the studio at their leisure, adding something then moving along. The first track is largely acoustic, featuring a swirling marriage of its rag-tag odd and ends, while the second main track (actually the third) features a much different feel and heavier usage of electric sounds. Totally bizarre, singular, and unlike anything else on Bug Incision.

treated white card sleeves with color & b&w stick-on art, edition of 119


Chris Dadge
Bin 15

In the summer of 2011, artist Mark Lowe erected a replica of a Saskatchewan-prairies-style grain silo in the unlikely location of the Calgary Folk Festival (a comparatively mainstream, family-friendly event), and invited musicians to perform in it. This recording, by Brad Hawkins, captures two drone pieces, featuring amplified cymbals, violin, and snare drum. This is another area of Dadge's activities that have been ongoing in certain situations for a number of years, but have yet to be associated with the Bug Incision label. Thanks to Mark and Brad for making this set possible.

3" cdr, decorated plastic sleeves, insert, edition of 22 // SOLD OUT

Benoit Hughes
Crescent Road

The name Benoit Hughes will be familiar to only the most astute followers of Bug Incision. To those not living in Calgary he is an occasional writer of catalog descriptions; to Calgarians he is known as a frequent attendee of local concerts and an avid fan of "free improvisation", its history, and its myriad diversity of strains and players. What is probably not apparent to any of these people, however, is Hughes' existence as a player. He has amassed a terrific backlog of solo improvisations, recorded at home, in private, on a wide variety of formats, and mainly on nylon-string guitar. However, in typically perverse Hughes fashion, he has decided to issue for his first publicly available recording a suite of piano and half-clarinet improvisations. These two instruments, occasionally played simultaneously, were recorded to a mini-disc recorder set on auto-volume record level, in a mansion overlooking the city on Calgary's swanky Crescent Road. While Hughes does not possess conventional technique on either of these instruments, the recording does contain a certain charm. This is due to the odd sound quality created by the recorder's settings, as well as Hughes' very real commitment to "the moment", which results in a wild, gonzo style of improvising, fully uninhibited and at times somewhat psychotic-sounding. Not for for the faint of heart or fans of rulebook-adherence. With Hughes finally opening up his vault of recordings, this is the first installment of what will be a slow unveiling of one improv fanatic's highly personal archives. Stay tuned.

3" cdr, decorated plastic sleeves, insert, edition of 22 // SOLD OUT

Chris Dadge

While much of Dadge's solo recordings on the Bug Incision have been focused on his drumset and percussion work, this release is a first glimpse at an area of activity that actively exists in live performances and other label releases (predominantly on the House of Alchemy imprint), but thus far has not been represented in the Bug Incision catalog. This release was recorded live at Pith Gallery in Calgary, in January of 2012. Pith is the debut of a particular mode of live performance which Dadge developed in the wake of his experiences composing and performing music for Theatre Junction, one of the more forward-thinking performance ensembles in Calgary. The loosely-defined piece, built around field recordings and amplified objects, has been honed over successive performances, but this initial incarnation contains some intriguing characteristics that are unique to it.

3" cdr, decorated plastic sleeves, insert, edition of 22 // SOLD OUT

Simeon Abbott with Bent Spoon Duo

The remaining chunk of music from this trio's collaboration in Aaron Leaney's old apartment on Bloor street. See bim-32 for more info.

b&w photocopy covers in plastic sleeves, 3" cdr, edition of 34 // SOLD OUT

Darren Williams with Bent Spoon Duo

Darren Williams is an important piece of the Bug Incision puzzle. Previous to the BI activities, which began in 2005, Calgary's hook-up for far-out sounds was largely Nach Hause, Williams' concert production series, which brought in heavies from around the world, and blew a number of young minds in the process. When Darren left for Vancouver in 2004, there was a clear and admirable model for what needed to appear in its wake. As a musician, Williams plays the tenor sax, and his blasted approach is firmly located in the fire-breathing tradition of Brotzmann, Charles Gayle, Paul Flaherty, and the like. Calgary's Bent Spoon Duo (this time: Dadge on straight drumkit, Munro on upright bass & DS) found themselves in Vancouver as a part of a larger touring unit, and the trip ended with an evening of ad hoc groupings at the venerable 1067, the long-running hub of city's creative music community. This super rough, 20-odd-minute mono recording is fairly unrelenting, more akin to the music BSD made as their early days as a trio, but way more violent. Good to finally get this trio out there.

b&w photocopy covers in plastic sleeves, 3" cdr, edition of 30 // SOLD OUT

Lab Coast

Chris Dadge & David Laing

Before becoming the song-based pop group that it is today, Lab Coast was, first, a rethink of a handful of old Scottish folk tunes David used to sing as a lad, and second, or possibly first and then also second, it was a one-off cassette recording of a very odd jam in Dadge's old basement. This is a recording of that second incarnation, in edits. Perversely, this also serves as the debut release under the name Lab Coast.

3" cdr w/ plastic sleeve, 2 cover variations, edition of 33 // SOLD OUT

Bent Spoon Duo
Cover Prince

Chris Dadge, violin & acoustic guitar; Scott Munro, viola & partial trombone

Live in Edmonton, November 2009

Monty & Dadge once again hit the road with Crocker & Hamelin from nomoreshapes to play some shows outside of town. Jim Vaughan set up a show for the dual bill along with a Dadge/Vaughan set. They played to some strangers and an old friend of Dadge's, and her friends. They paid for their food and decided to play through Crocker's guitar amp. This is the show from BSD with the most stripped down instrumentation thus far. More recordings of string duo to come.

3" cdr w/ plastic sleeve, 2 cover variations, edition of 30 // SOLD OUT

Jazz Snob Eat Shit

Dan Meichel, reeds & moog prodigy

Live at Emmedia, August 29, 2008

Sole live recording of the wonderful, late Dan Meichel, who passed away in April of 2009. Recorded at the Bug Incision End of August Festival in Calgary, in 2008.

3" cdr w/ plastic sleeve, edition of 30 // SOLD OUT



Various Artists
Best of Bug Radio On CJSW
bir-six, October 2007

The Musk Cup, Fleischhaker-Munro, Nomoreshapes, Malleagle

In 2007, following the previous year's monthly improv nights, four on-air performances/recording sessions took place on CJSW 90.9, in Calgary. This disc culls the best of those shows. Comes with extensive liner notes.

edition of 150, card sleeves with unique paste-on artwork, in print



Chris Dadge & Rachael Wadham
100 Silk Buttons From The Room Upstairs
bir-five, April 2007

Chris Dadge / percussion, violin
Rachael Wadham / piano, junk, percussion

A series of sparkling duet improvisations for percussion, piano, junk, and violin. Recorded in 1067, in Vancouver, on a Monday afternoon.

edition of 150, card sleeves with unique paste-on artwork // SOLD OUT

"Discerning scrutiny of percussive colors without a hint of exaggeration – everything strictly in check, not an ounce of noodling to be found – and a few instants of anecdotal portrayals. A pictorial representation of egomaniacal modesty, 42 highly enjoyable minutes of never-exasperating questions designed to remain unanswered. Great stuff." Massimo Ricci, Temporary Fault



Aaron Leaney & Chris Dadge
bir-four, October 2006

Aaron Leaney / tenor sax, clarinet
Chris Dadge / drumset, percussion

A duo at the height of their powers. Three tracks recorded live in Calgary during 2006. Liner notes by Leaney and Dadge.

edition 150, card sleeves with unique paste-on artwork // SOLD OUT

"These are clearly two players who understand that free improvising is not all hue and cry but that subtle shading makes for a richer, more multifaceted and effective music. And if I ever find myself in Calgary, at least now I know there may be some live music to seek out." Robert Iannapollo, Cadence



Bent Spoon Trio
St. Paul Electric
bir-three, October 2006

David Laing, Chris Dadge, Scott Munro

Second BST disc, this time dealing with shorter track lengths and various recording techniques. Recorded in the smoking stairwell at ACAD in Calgary.

edition of 155, card sleeves with unique paste-on artwork // SOLD OUT

free download



Jay Crocker & Chris Dadge
Humming & Crackling
bir-two, July 2006

Jay Crocker / banjo, percussion
Chris Dadge / percussion

"Why can't a banjo sound like a tree full of Honeycreepers in the Peruvian lower amazon? Why can't Dadge and Crocker combine to sound like the future looking back on the ancient now?" - B. Buckingham, liner notes.

edition of 150, card sleeves with unique paste-on artwork // SOLD OUT

free download



Bent Spoon Trio
March 3, 2005
bir-one, June 2005

David Laing, Chris Dadge, Scott Munro

The first release from the then-recently birthed Bent Spoon Trio. One 35 minute improvisation, recorded on said date, in living room. Printed discs.

edition of 100, card sleeves with unique paste-on artwork // SOLD OUT

free download