Monday, April 30, 2018

Toronto-area drummer Robert Diack releases exciting and progressive debut album "Lost Villages"

The Lost Villages were a collection of nine communities and townships in Southern Ontario. The people therein were forcibly removed to make way for the St. Laurence Seaway, a 1950’s project which linked Southern Ontario to the Atlantic Ocean by a collection of waterways. The houses are submerged underwater, as the places where there once was human community there are now lakes. 

The album Lost Villages, which shares its name with the communities discussed above, was written with that inspiration of upheaval, however, the composition is grounded in and inspired by its own local geography; it is a product of the environment it was created in (largely composed in Southern Ontario, and Toronto). The writing of the album is extensively inspired by “post-rock” elements, and uses large scale repetitions and layering. These elements, when blended with those of jazz (and post-bop) synthesize into wholly new formulation of musical style. Citing influences from Godspeed You Black Emperor, Aaron Parks, and Philip Glass, the material is a fluid and flexible musical exploration.  

Using acoustic and electronic instruments, this recording pushes boundaries in the jazz anthology, building off tradition to create something new. This recording has embraced post-production editing, allowing for techniques and influences from different genres to proliferate into the contemporary jazz moment. Some tracks feature editing, creating sounds which are impossible otherwise, and some tracks feature no editing at all.  The thematic material that this recording draws on is that of loss and submersion, set in the capitalist machine of society, and mirrors the namesake event. 

Featuring Patrick O’Reilly on Guitars, Jacob Thompson on Piano, Brandon Davis on Bass, and Robert Diack on drums, this recording showcases the next wave of talent in Canada.  

Robert Diack is a drummer and composer from Toronto, Canada. He has studied music extensively in Toronto, with over fifteen years of learning in various institutions across the city. Robert studied jazz at the University of Toronto and is a student of Nick Fraser. Composing for many years, he draws his influence from jazz and post-bop, to folk and traditional, to post-rock and pop music. As a drummer Robert has recorded and played over Canada, especially in Toronto. Recordings include two indie pop albums with Reenieband, large-scale informal releases with the musical collective Luscar, and an upcoming folk-rock album by David Madras. 

Marty's review: this album takes elements from jazz, world music, progressive rock and combines them to create a themed "soundtrack" to a movie that plays in your own imagination. With superb musicianship and creative editing effects, this will take the listener to a place where the music is part of the scenery and tells a story in several chapters of music-scapes.

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