April 12, 2017 at the Fox Cabaret
By Elliot Langford
On Wednesday April 12, a small crowd at the Fox was treated to an “Evening Of Non-Ordinary Music,” featuring performances by a variety of stunningly talented local musicians.
Prophecy Sun started the evening with a short set of droney looped vocals, creating an eerie otherworldly effect with pitch-shifting and reverb effects. Sun is a master of her tools, and sitting on the floor moving slowly and calmly, her seamlessly looped harmonies transported listeners as she repeated the words “down, down, down.”
Another solo act, Simple Machines, was up next, impressively multitasking between guitar, bass, electric violin and an array of midi controllers hooked up to his laptop. Some parts early in the set sounded like if U2’s The Edge collaborated with The Weeknd. His talent was undeniable, and the hip hop beats and warped samples got attendees starting to groove. If Simple Machines isn’t already booked at festivals across BC this summer, they are missing out, as his music would fit perfectly.
Gentle Party followed, an art-rock quartet of cello, violin, vocals and full-size orchestral harp, an instrument you don’t see often unless you are already a fan of Elisa Thorn’s various projects. The band would add ghostly textures to their acoustic sounds, manipulating their acoustic instruments through electronics, creating a unique and modern sound. They had a calm, quiet and dreamy vibe, with a subtle alto vocals, which only at one point got a bit raspy, leaving this reviewer curious what the band would sound like if they explored some louder dynamics.
The night finished with Dañse featuring Ridley Bishop. Drummer Daniel Ruiz announced that tonight was the first time synth wizard Sean Bayntun and saxophonist Bishop had met, though no one would have guessed otherwise. The trio jammed, skillfully blending big electronic dance beats with trippy jazz improv, at one point sounding like Herbie Hancock playing G-Funk. All three musicians dazzled with their virtuosity, and now that Bayntun and Bishop have met, hopefully Bishop will be a regular guest with the trio. We can also hope that the “Evening Of Non-Ordinary Music” will become a regular series.Danse, Fox Cabaret, Gentle Party, prOphecy sun, Ridly Bishop, Simple Machines