NOTE: This concert review is part of a special review series that is spread across various online Canadian music blogs: Irregular Dreams, Ride The Tempo, and Splendid Industries.
Greetings music lovers! Welcome to my special Kazoo! Fest 2019 concert review series. Kazoo! Fest is a delightful positive accessible music and arts festival that takes place in Guelph, Ontario, in early spring, dedicated to highlighting the best and up-and-coming independent ventures of artists from Guelph, across Canada and beyond. Kazoo! Fest 2019 took place from April 10th to April 14th, in which I was able to attend and volunteer at. I attended at least one of many musical extravaganzas each day, taking sweet shots under my photography alias, Scope Overseer Photogenics. My concert reviews are posted according to day and across various online music blogs that I write for. Links to each day can be found below. Thank you for following along this journey with me!
Day 1 – Wednesday April 10th: David Alexander’s Magic Dungeon Land – JOYFULTALK @ Kazoo! HQ
The opening event of Kazoo! Fest 2019 was a grand spectacle at Kazoo! HQ, coursing with electronic pulses and multi-media integrations! Surrounded by unique indie arcade video games presented by Hand Eye Society and the mighty dispensary unit Trinketron Turbo 2000 presented by UniCorp Industries, the space was literally packed to witness and explore David Alexander’s Magic Dungeon Land, a project of animated 3D video environments with a live synth performance that made their live premiere as part of the annual Look Here micro-grant presented by Ed Video Media Arts Centre and Kazoo! Fest.
David Alexander is the electronic music persona of David Stein. He performed the musical component of the Magic Dungeon Land, with works threaded together from his 2015 album Crossbow, conducting sonic spells across his hardware analog synths to create perpetually wanderlust sequences and exploratory keyboard playing. David was a confident master over his apparatuses throughout the performance, including a large modular synth rig, sparking the skillful allusion of prog keyboardist Keith Emerson (of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer / The Nice).
David’s mesmerizing and captivating playing was skyrocketed and submerged through the visual component of the Magic Dungeon Land, administered and coordinated by his project partner, Alex Ricci. Inspired by video game worlds, Alex produced otherworldly gothic spacious worlds that the audience experienced through a projected first-person perspective, that presented a loose narrative plot to David’s music. Total immersion was achieved from David and Alex’s entanglement of AV mediums: We navigated through trippy moon-rock canyons, circled suspended cubic mazes, walked along psychedelic mist-covered light paths and experienced kaleidoscopic and geometric visions. The most fascinating aspect of the performance is that audience members had the chance to explore an underground dungeon themselves, taking turns with a wireless game controller to find magic treasures within.
For their debut performance, David Alexander’s Magic Dungeon Land was a flawless execution of integrating and controlling analog electronic music in tandem with digital video game visuals, and there is so much that can be further explored moving forward.
JOYFULTALK from Crousetown, Nova Scotia followed to continue the evening of electronic analog sound creation. Duo Jay Crocker and Shawn Dicey gave a display of experiential electronic trance music played on repurposed junked-analog sound hardware that they handmade themselves. Their performance presented a more audio-focused immersion, allowing the listener to close one’s eye and be channeled through cascades of repetitious rhythmic patterns and pitch sequences. Do not let the word “repetitious” put you off! JOYFULTALK amalgamated fire and ice: they placed prominent focal elements that were the core layers of each piece they played but executed slow shifts in beat and frequency textures across the sonic field. You would have almost missed these subtle well-attuned current changes. JOYFULTALK’s excellent coordination of their unique DIY analog electronic instruments is absolutely worthy of praise, creating distinctive glitching sonic spheres that teeter between mania and charm.
Photos by Nicholas Cooper – Scope Overseer Photogenics
Kazoo! Fest 2019 Concert Reviews:
Day 1 – Wednesday April 10th: David Alexander’s Magic Dungeon Land – JOYFULTALK @Kazoo! HQ (on Irregular Dreams)
Day 2 – Thursday April 11th: Baby Labour – nigel nigel – Motherhood @ eBar (on Ride The Tempo)
Day 3 – Friday April 12th: Kitzl – Property – Luna Li – Blood Monkeys @ eBar (on Splendid Industries)
Day 4 – Saturday April 13th: Bonnie Doon – Lo Siento – Bleu Nuit – Drunk at the Library @ ANAF (on TBD) = To Be Posted