Xuan Ye + David Jones: [act 1, scene 2]

2017.09.21 with yIang yIang + ANAMAI at Baby G, Toronto / Recorded by Joe Strutt

Mechanical Forest Sound

Billed as "a night dedicated to simplicity and unravelling," this was a beautifully-executed show, moving the music down from the stage and tampering with the standard set/break/set/break/set pattern to give the whole thing some continuous flow.

That flow was facilitated by this joint enterprise, a more elaborately-conceived and executed effort than I've seen from this pair of occasional collaborators. They claimed a large square of the floor in front of the stage, delineated by speakers in the corners creating a home-spun quad system. Without announcing themselves, they eased into it, letting the room's attention slowly turn their way as they built up from a quiet start, each with their own set of tools: vox, percussive implements, guitar and spotlight on the one hand, pedals, manipulated vocals, trumpet (!) and sound-activated lights on the other. And it would turn out that the pair would be the connective tissue throughout the night, returning to play between the other sets, which segued from their evolving dronescapes.

Photo Credit: Kristel Jax