Destroyer

Destroyer

The cover of Destroyer's Kaputt finds Dan Bejar in front of the picturesque lookout point in Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Park. Walk a few steps away from that spot in the park, and you'll find another view with a charmingly meta bronze sculpture called "The Photo Session" in the middle of it. The 1984 piece is made up of four life-size people, one photographer and his three American-tourist subjects, and the idea is for actual sightseers to mingle with their metal counterparts, creating a peculiar mix of old and new, breathing and bronze. It turns the typical cheese-ball vacation photo into something weirder and self-reflexive.
That same uncanny effect goes gauzy all through Kaputt, which has Bejar soaking up some of his favorite high-fidelity records-- Roxy Music's Avalon, Steely Dan's Aja-- and filtering their reverbed, horn-spouting sounds through his own unique, free-associative consciousness. The languid music constantly flirts with bad taste stalwarts like lite jazz and soft rock and, in doing so, jumbles our own preconceptions. The result is disorienting-- and wholly pleasurable.
And it turns out these open-ended instrumentals are the perfect foil for Bejar, who abandons his characteristically stuffed and manic lyrical style for something more relaxed. Indeed, he recalled recording some of the album's vocals "while lying down on the couch." After 15 years, this is where Bejar stops worrying about being the cleverest indie rock writer around, which is OK because he's been doing this so long that the smarts simply flow out of his brain anyhow.
Kaputt is an album of mantras about uncomfortable truths made comforting by Bejar's impossibly casual delivery: He's been there, he's seen death and drugs and evaporated dreams, and he wouldn't trade in one spec. On what may be the record's most beatific-sounding hook, on "Song for America", he duets with guest singer Sibel Thrasher: "Winter, spring, summer, and fall/ Animals crawl toward death's embrace." It's a sing-along, Bejar-style. His understated humor is intact, but Kaputt is no joke. It would be far too easy for Bejar to simply poke fun at so many swishy synths, lounge-lizard inflections, and cruise-ship bass lines, but he does something much tougher here. He redeems them. --Ryan Dombal

Sandro Perri

Sandro Perri is a songwriter and producer of new music. Within the broad spectrum of his work are elements of pop, folk, electronic, dance, jazz, noise and rock. His latest LP, Impossible Spaces, experiments with new song and production beyond any of his previous efforts to date. Dusted Magazine suggested that "Perri spins anti-matter and intangibles into something undeniably real."

Since 1999, he has released more than a dozen solo and collaborative records under his given name as well as Polmo Polpo, Glissandro 70, Dot Wiggin and Continuous Dick. He founded a 12″ label (Audi Sensa) for his early releases but has since worked almost exclusively with Constellation (home of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, A Silver Mt. Zion, Colin Stetson and Do Make Say Think.)

His early music, as Polmo Polpo, explored dance music at it's fringes; slowed-down techno, crumbling rhythm and white noise provided a shifting bed of sound for lap steel guitar and cello. It was during this period that Perri developed an approach to creating musical hybrids through production and composition. Most of this music, originally only available on 12″, was compiled on CD in 2002 as The Science Of Breath. In 2003, he recorded a 28-minute cover of Arthur Russell's 1978 classic Kiss Me Again, forging a mellow but monstrous new blend of disco and drone. It was edited down and released in 2005, with blessings by Russell's original co-producer, legendary DJ Nicky Siano.

Also in 2003, Constellation released Like Hearts Swelling, Perri's full-length debut as Polmo Polpo. 5 long tracks of looped strings, guitar, percussion and heavy electronics combined to create an epic and meditative record of "perfectly structured, unstructured sound" (Pitchfork). Like Hearts Swelling was met with critical praise worldwide and an invitation to perform at London's ATP Festival in 2004.

In 2004, Perri stepped beyond loops and reshaped his music for live musicians. He started work on group arrangements and pursued songwriting (and singing) as a new challenge. He recorded an EP of vocal-based songs in 2006, Sandro Perri Plays Polmo Polpo. Proposed as a re-imagining of instrumentals from Like Hearts Swelling, it was referred to as "…like his earlier music coming apart at the seams." (Dusted)

He further refined this approach on 2007's Tiny Mirrors, an LP of liquid folk songs performed with some of Toronto's freest improvisers. Striking "a perfect balance of sophisticated writing and deceptively effortless performance," Tiny Mirrors signaled a significant breakthrough for Perri as a songwriter. It was met with critical acclaim; long-listed for Canada's Polaris Prize, nominated for SOCAN's Echo Songwriting award ("Double Suicide") and named the #1 record of 2007 by acclaimed music writer Carl Wilson.

Throughout this period, Perri continued to explore dance music (the one-off Continuous Dick 12" in 2005) and joined forces with guitarist Craig Dunsmuir to form Glissandro 70. Together they shaped Dunsmuir's solo guitar music into a s/t debut for Constellation in 2006. Threading looped guitars around odd-time rhythms and chants, they melded elements of early dance, math rock, juju and noisy electronics into a record of striking originality. Their infectious "Bolan Muppets" earned a spot on Prins Thomas' Cosmo Galactic Prism mix while music critic Philip Sherburne tweeted "I feel like Glissandro 70 invented 2011 in 2007."

Other past and present collaborators include Great Lake Swimmers, Eric Chenaux, Ryan Driver, Fond Of Tigers, Andre Ethier, Lorenz Peter, Mantler, Zongamin, Mickey Moonlight and Drew Brown. In 2010, Perri collaborated with John K Samson, Christine Fellows and filmmaker Daniel Cockburn for Canada's historic National Parks Project.

Increasingly active in studio and production work, he has also provided various levels of assistance as producer, tracking, mix, remix and mastering engineer to artists including Owen Pallett (w/Grizzly Bear), Stephen Malkmus, The Acorn, Deep Dark United, Woodpigeon, Devon Sproule and many more.

Touring internationally since 2003, Perri has appeared at numerous festivals including ATP, Domino, Nuit Blanche (playing Erik Satie's Vexations for solo piano), MUTEK, Wordless Music Series, MOMA PS/1 Warmup, Maxximalism, Suoni Per Il Popolo, Tanned Tin, Heartland, Send+Receive, X-Avant and Sappyfest.

He received composition and recording grants from the Toronto Arts Council and Ontario Arts Council in 2005, 2006 and 2010.

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