Festival: Wavelength Day 1 - Into the Black
Venue: The Garrison

We became fans of Wavelength through their pop-up shop on College during last year’s festival. Music was bought with the advice from MFS (cheers Joe) and an itch was born that needed scratching.

The word eclectic may mean different things to different people, but the true meaning of the word ‘deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources’, would certainly apply to the music put on by Wavelength for their 2016 festival, held at the Garrison.

The opening night and indeed the opening act, Organ Mood set the scene by asking a member of the audience to provide their heartbeat and the baseline for their first song. The duo from Montréal Christophe Lamarche and Mathieu Jacques played from the floor of the venue rather than the stage, using five overhead projectors to create a visual and musical performance at the same time. As each song was played, almost cathedral like sound was committed using wave upon wave of sound while the acetates were changed. Audience participation continued with the third song, where a member of the audience “played” as a soloist while the synthesizer provided context to the underlying sound with crashing waves of sound building and subsiding, but accentuated by a tremendous pulse beat throughout. To close, the audience were given instruments to create a collective concerto cacophony which ended with a very rousing show of appreciation.

 Syn Brit Rating: 3/5


Organ Mood
Twitter: @organmood
You Tube: Interceptions

Next up with a late addition to the bill was Blunt Chunks, a Toronto based solo artist Caitlin Woelfe-O’Brien, replacing Programm, the previously booked act who were no longer able to play. Variously described as electronic/experimental/dreamy/folk, Blunt Chunks demonstrated a great vocal range right from the start. The combination of guitar and delay/reverb effects machine with the overlayed vocals was extremely powerful. The highlight for us was ‘The Waist of The Sea’ from the ‘Lean 2 U’ album, which demonstrated some really fine folk guitar with multi layered vocals to the mix resulting in a truly hypnotic delivery. The set finished with another demonstration of the ethereal vocals sung throughout, but also added some slowed down vocals to the feedback/distortion, which provided a menacing and almost out of control element to a very good set.
Syn Brit Rating: 4/5


Website: Blunt Chunks
You Tube: Woman

It was clear right from the start that a significant number of people in the audience had come to see Mississauga-based Keita Juma perform. Drawing from a cross section of material, but with some tracks from his latest release ‘Nights In Space A Short Film’, the set included the upbeat “Come Over”, “Ancient Body Language”, “Grills”, ‘Freely’ and ‘Holy’. Throughout the set Juma worked the stage and the audience to maximum effect. Rapping to a spasmodic electronic backing track with two microphones both the crystal-clear vocals and engaging positive attitude transferred itself to an increasingly supportive audience. One point that would have been too easy to miss is the sheer danceability of both the backing track, which was funk based and the rhythmic vocals. All too soon a very good performance was over with the crowd baying from more.

SynBrit Rating: 4/5


Website: Keita Juma
Twitter: @kjforshort
You Tube: Come Over
Shows: Keita Juma shows

In stark contrast to what had come before, performing songs from his latest album ‘Super Future’, Calvin Love delivered a set full of higher range vocals and guitar riffs reminiscent of a 1960s spy movie soundtrack. Highlights included the impressive new single ‘I Wanna Know’, some excellent lead guitar, quirky funk driven basslines and versatility from the band members as they changed instruments throughout. If we had one complaint, it was that the overall sound was too loud at times, but other than that, the performance was very good and an act we’d like to see again.

SynBrit Rating: 3/5


Site: Calvin Love
Twitter: @calvinlovemusic
You Tube:
I Wanna Know

Wow! Closing the opening night was another Montréal-based band Foxtrott, whose set up of Keys/PC, Drums and French Horn formed the base of an amazing set full of tremendous vocals, electro beats and hypnotic French Horn, yes really a French Horn. Drawing from their debut album ‘A Taller Us’, which incidentally we bought on the strength of the performance, stand out tracks were ‘Patience’ and ‘Shaky Hands’ (video link below). The combination of some incredible vocals matched with the hypnotic sound of the French Horn combined with some superb drumming provided an amazing performance. Seriously, there is some massive bottom line bass in these songs, something we haven’t heard since the heady 1980’s and Foxtrott could turn many of these songs into dance halls tunes. ‘Patience’ is a one such example, opening with quirky intro and strong vocal it morphs into something much stronger and then finally drops into a rising key/synth hand clap riff that frees the feet and the soul. Please, don’t take our word for it, go and see this band, soon.

SynBrit Rating: 5/5


Site: Foxtrott
Twitter: @iamfoxtrott
You Tube: Shaky Hands

Until next time......The Moose 

Organ Mood - Wavelength Day 1

Organ Mood

Blunt Chunks - Wavelength Day 1

Blunt Chunks

Keita Juma - Wavelength Day 1

Keita Juma

Calvin Love - Wavelength Day 1

Calvin Love

Foxtrott - Wavelength Day 1