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 WM$
"THAT QUARANTINED MAGAZINE FROM CiTR 101.9 FM"
C&e Host flJSont&s
Jlocai + ifree
 WRITERS Afrodykie Zoe,
Alexis Ola, Alexis Zygan,
Amanda Thacker, Anton
Astudillo, Brendan Reid,
Clara Dubber, Conrad
Hendy, Dora Dubber, Fabio
Schneider,Fatemeh Ghayedi,
JamieLohJasmineLeeJasper
Wrinch, Jordan Naterer,
Katherine Gear Chambers,
Krystal Paraboo, Lauren
Mossman, Lisa Mayerhoefer,
Lucas Lund, Maria Lima,
Maya Preshyon, Megan
Turner, Milena Carrasco,
Olivia Cox, Peter Quelch,
Sam Tudor, Sarah Bakke,
Tate Kaufman, Tatiana
Yakovleva, Zainab Fatima,
Tasha:-) // ILLUSTRATORS
and PHOTOGRAPHERS
Cole Bazin, NeetuDha, Fiona
Dunnett, Katrina Gulane
(Skitzkers), Amrit Krishna,
Alistair Henning, Meghan
Lok, Ruby Izatt, Chelly
Maher, Ivanna Mosqueira,
Sunny Nestler, Emma Potter,
TJ Rak, Daniela Rodriguez,
Hay ley Schmidt, Alex Smyth,
Cemrenaz Uyguner, Abi
Taylor, Phoebe Telfar, Sheri
Turner, Tatiana Yakovleva
illustration by Emma Potter
 \9STMMffifS
April     -    August,     2 02 0
  ThatQUARANTINED Magazine
fromCiTR101.9FM   \
Lost Months 2020// Vol.37// No.2 // Issue #4J5\
cover courtesy of Julia Cundari
TABLE of CONTENTS
04 • EDITOR'S NOTE
Lost Spring
DEE  STflCEY
Dee Stacey is undoing years of bad sex with
her fluid approach to sex-ed, media literacy
and Pizza Parties.
08 • JOE BUFFALO
Colonialism Skateboards, remodelling, and
strength in communal storycrafting.
10 • OLIVIA DREISINGER
Conjurer of worlds, master of arcane wisdom
12   •   POST-GROWING  ROOM
Post-cancellation, from the comfort of our
bedrooms.
14 • JULIA CUNDARI
Grounding poetic snapshots in the discordant
energy of isolation
17 • HUE NGUYEN
Figures that elude containment, shapes that
break the tether, textures that wander across
the pastures
GIL GOLETSKI
MUSIC IS OVER! and other manifestos for
leisure.
PLASMA COLLECTIVE
Making space for freaky dancers
CROCODILE TEARS
an pre-COVID art review
CONTRIBUTOR ART PROJECT
By FIONNP DUNNET
Lost Summer
29 • "VIRGOS CAN WALK IN
PERFECTLY STRAIGHT LINES
WITH THEIR EYES CLOSED
BUT THAT DOESN'T GET THEM
ANYWHERE DOES IT?"
courtesy of BENI XIPO
30 -BENI  XIAO
It's in the small things
32 • DRAWER CLUB
Meet the neighbours
34 • TONK
Words glorifying the peasant and his tractor
37 • MARV HUONGBO + U.N.I.T.Y.
Home is where your friends are
40 • ADEWOLF & THE 3RIBE
On the sharpening of swords
44 • ELEMENTS MEGAZINE
Dusting off the pages at their own pace
47 • ALL THIS TIME
An online art review
52   •   s01e03
The URL Nexus of friendship
54 • TIP OF YOUR TONGUE
The latest from Fuzzy Logic Press
More! More! More!
UNDER REVIEW
Lot's of music!   And a  podcast
UNDER  REVIEW
Wait,  what?
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-©Discorder 2020 - 2021 by the Student Radio Society of the University of British Columbia. All rights reserved.
-Circulation 1,000. Discorder is published bi-monthly by CiTR, located on the lower level of the UBC Nest, situated on
the traditional unceded territory of the hariqamiriarh speaking Musqueam peoples. CiTR can be heard at 101.9 FM,
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@V^-IT^^-ER^     illustration by Katrina Gulane
 i
N
m
<u
o
u
>>
c
o
This issue is a marker of major
disruption, and it exists now as
a strange object that straddles
them all within its pages and stories.
I've always thought of Discorder as a
magazine which told stories through
tangential conversation, and here we
have that in it's most honest form. It's
all conversation, with little topicality.
As a combination of the April, May and
Summer issues, you'll read stories here
that are far more liberated from their
time cages, to be consumed like a capsule
of all the major disruption we've faced
in the last 150 (?) days. So be warned,
this is not a current issue, nor a perfect
one, but you are welcome to these words.
C^W- s the pandemic continues to make nonsense
♦•• of our contemporaneity, it also circumvents a
^"▼" long-trained, and self-consciously strict desire
to sustain the status quo. I will admit it is a privilege to
say the pandemic "changed everything," where in other
spheres, COVID played in the same key, but with a much
flatter, grim timbre. In his Ten Premises for A Pandemic,
Ian Alan Paul writes, "a pandemic isn't a collection of
viruses, but is a social relation among people, mediated
by viruses," suggesting first, to think reflexively of
whoever suffers. Second, that the pandemic is not a
question of equality, but a call for interdependence.
It's a unique opportunity to question the pre-pandemic
blueprint we had grown accustomed to.
I'm writing this note in bed. Sunning under a daylamp.
Metabolized by two screens — one for visual connection,
one to access work. This is a "work day". In pandemic
times, strange inversions proliferate. Time becomes
something to be in, rather than to fill. To use a popular
narrative mold — it is a marker of these strange and
uncertain times. The significance of which, to me, is
that we are exactly within the opposite. The platitude
soothes, but comes with an asterisk. We are not within a
moment of strangeness, as much as we are in a moment
of exposing normalcy for what it has been: Abject. Not
good enough.
My point is that the things of right now — of April,
May, June, July and August 2020 — should seem neither
strange, nor uncertain. It was strange for Britney Spears
to become the new leader of social democracy. I am
uncertain if I really get zoom raves. It is not, however,
strange that the intolerable and unending damage both
to individual bodies, and to the body politic, at the
hands of policemen, the prison-industrial complex,
or the accumulation of institutional violence, is being
protested. Nor, am I uncertain about it. Contempt and
power is most dangerous not just when it is held in the
hearts of individuals, but when it remains preserved in
systems. This system has long since needed dismantling,
defunding and civil disobedience. Of this, I am certain.
It is in ways both certain and necessary, we will meet
these impervious, and frankly, complex dynamics of
class and race, of systematic oppression and colonial
violence, with a change to our narrative. I will admit
to you I am not an expert at any of this, and Discorder
has its limitations as a medium — but we are changing.
My understanding is that, being socialized in a white
settler-colonial state means that we are always deep
in the canyon of colonial, white-centric, institutional conditioning. That anti-racist and decolonial
work is a constant state in which we interrogate our
default settings. Where we readily admit failure, or
weakness, and participate in social transformation.
CiTR/Discorder has been learning in public — perhaps
you will glean it through these pages, or through your
pursuits with us. Know that we — and myself, in this
strange, dual-citizenship with professional life — will
keep working. That we want this work.
~m^ ere are some notes on this issue, which you can
'M W use like a roadmap: In the beginning, there was
^X Growing Room's resonant exit interview (with
Jessica, Aimee, Jillian, Serena) therefore: No feeling
abstracted, instead everything made concrete, and
shared. All This Time, from #3 Gallery and Maria
Lima, makes normalcy a transgression, and time
liminal space, therefore: glittering autonomy. Brenda
Reid's review of Amna Elnour's Tip Of Your Tongue}
delights in the esoteric, therefore: intimacy. Marv
Houngbo's work with U.N.I.TY Collective — which
practices community not as something to do, but
something to be experienced, therefore: to witness, and
to be witnessed. And finally, Sara Bakke writes about
Kurt Walker and Michelle Yoon's s01e03, in which
the intimate visualization of our reality is actualized
through interdependence. That our connective tissue
is not our technology, but the human bodies behind it.
Therefore: we bake the bread, we grow our hair, we
dismantle, we friend, we eat, we listen, we argue, we
play videogames on Tuesdays, we don't just live through
it, but in relation to it.
I hope this helps contextualise this issue, and if not, it
is all subject to change by the time this ends up in your
tired, but clean, little hands.
j
Peace, true enlightenment, and fairer distributions
of wealth,
$$$<(
   Dee
JI haven't had a sex education
II lesson since I was roughly
f*r 14 — I don't remember
them well, but I can tell you
they weren't like this. Dee
Stacey and I go for a Sunday
afternoon sangria and I laugh,
gasp, and over share. I listen back
to the recording and realise how
quickly I had redefined terms I
thought I knew — everything
Dee said seemed to make
more sense.
» uch things as, safe sex is about
I more comfortable, more enjoyable,
more pleasurable sex. Yes, you still
need to use a condom if you're having a
kind of sex that requires it, but there are
ways of having sex that don't put you at
risk of pregnancy. In fact, there are many
ways to have sex that your sex-ed teacher
definitely didn't tell you about.
Dee Stacey is a sexual health educator
currently working freelance in
schools and for an organization
called Real Talk. They got a
BA in Psychology at UBC, and
went on to train with Options for
Sexual Health (BC's equivalent of
Planned Parenthood). Dee tells me how
their experience working as a high school
youth worker helped build her syllabus,
which includes far more nuanced lessons
than baby-making. We talk about the
sex-ed I received from ill-equipped and
awkward science and P.E. teachers;
teachers with whom you feel uncomfortable in the company of anyway —
made worse by words like "penetrate."
Gender is another conversation that
comes up a lot in the classroom. Dee
starts the class by writing their name on
the board, followed by their preferred
pronouns: she/they. This speaks to the
people that need to hear it, and often,
those people will approach her after class.
It's funny — but not surprising — to hear
that a concept as complex as gender is
a much easier conversation with second
graders than seventh graders, as they can
be more open.
<s
r onsent is another topic
t,.0.\ 1~  I   don't  remember
Mi ' coming up in my high
^F7    school lessons. This is a hot
■fc^     topic with the ninth graders
^iB triey teach, Dee tells me, "The
kids will ask, how do I know
if this girl wants to make out with me?
I can't just ask that.' If you feel like you
can't have these conversations," she
asserts, "maybe you're not ready."
Working with a diverse pool of people
means that Dee is often faced with conflict,
"when you're interacting with someone
who's misogynistic... or someone who
is super homophobic, you have to speak
up," Dee notes, asserting that boundaries
are important, but everything can be a
teachable moment. Adversity, after all, is
exciting in the classroom and it promotes
conversation. Although most of what she
teaches is science-based, learning with
Dee isn't about being right or wrong
— in instances where you can't understand another's perspective, it's about
respecting that you don't understand, and
just being kind.
Dee provides their workshop attendees
with the tools to make their own
decisions. It is a challenge, for example,
to teach that a big age-gap is a red flag,
while reinforcing sex positivity and
promoting choice. Dee also tries to avoid
making people scared of the Internet
and strangers, but is there to offer information if you're going to go down that
road. She speaks of her own mistakes
as lessons, and understands that while
sometimes we need to make our own
mistakes, knowledge is
power. Through these
workshops, she can help
people make those safer
choices themselves.
r ee works for an organization
called Real Talk, which hosts
^ monthly "Pizza Parties" — a
meetup offering sex-ed to people with
a range of cognitive disabilities. "Pizza
parties are really empowering." Dee
explains, "People's perceptions of what
they deserve in life change in a 2 hour
sitting." This is powerful and inspiring,
and proof that Dee's brand sex-ed
works. Prior to Pizza Parties, there was
little support for people with diversabil-
ities and limited access to sexual health
advice. Advice — instead of education —
was given ad hoc by family members and
carers, and in the absence of inclusive
spaces, vulnerable populations become
even more so. In the many cases where
disabled folx experience sexual abuse, it
is from their support staff, thus Real Talk
hosts workshops for family members
and the support staff of attendees. It
creates a sustainable support system and
promotes healthy conversations, and
healthy sex lives.
Unlearning is hard, and if we all received
the kind of education Dee is offering from
the outset, the world would undeniably
be having better sex.
Check out:
www.sexualhealthwithdee.com
or follow her:
@s exualh ealth with dee
n
%n #lntt$
ft
 Discorder Magazine      ????  2020
ALO
<TW- oe Buffalo is a
nfr pro skateboarder
4y and actor from
Maskwacis, Alberta
(Samson Cree Nation).
As a direct descendant
to Pitikwahanapiwiyin
(Poundmaker) his first
pro model out with
Colonialism Skateboards
pays homage to the great
leader, and their shared
dedication to social justice.
words       by
Lisa  Mayerhofer
illustration  by
Amrit     Krishna
photo courtesy of
TJ
Rak
Hi Joe, thank you for talking to
me. I just saw you're launching
a new project called Nations on
social media. How did it come
about?
Kristian Baseraba, a rad teacher,
had started a program called
"Exploring Colonialism, Creativity and
Reconciliation through Skateboards"
at Salisbury Composite High School.
He asked me to speak to the kids
and tell them about growing up in
Alberta. They loved it and more
schools approached me. But when I
came back to Vancouver, I couldn't
even open a newspaper without losing
my cool. I was breaking off chunks of
my energy, and taking in that of other
troubled youth. So my friends Rose
Archie — the backbone of the group
— Adam George, Dustin and Tristan
Henry and I founded Nations. It's a
non-profit based out of Vancouver,
and I'm truly stoked to be a part of a
necessary movement like this.
What is your approach?
To teach native youth the fundamentals of skateboarding. Growing up
on the reserve and being a residential
school survivor, skateboarding was a
vital tool to have.
What about skateboarding had
this power?
It taught me life skills and how to
tolerate pain, it also kept me sane and
out of trouble. The reward of trying
a trick a thousand times all summer
and finally nailing it. But being in the
prairies and kind of isolated, I know
how it feels to not have anybody to
run to when you've accomplished
something awesome. To be able to
push that vibe onto the kids, and to
show them that if you keep at it, the
payoff is huge. Having that power
feels pretty wicked!
How   was   growing   up   in
Maskwacis, Alberta?
It was really rough growing up on
the reserve, the land under it was
the richest in oil in Canada, so the
government paid us off to extract
our resources. It created all kinds of
greed and violence. It's still a really
strong, rich and powerful reserve.
My people pre-contact never had a
monetary system, so to be given large
sums of money kinda messed [us] up,
made for a rough environment. I'm
still proud to be from there regardless
of how bad the media makes it out
to be. Also because I am fair — I'm
not dark, I'm not white — I got it
from my own people, calling me
"dirty white boy" and all this. I had
this sense of not knowing where I
belonged. Back then, everyone who
skateboarded was a total outcast
and I was like, "Perfect, this is who I
belong with, the guys who are getting
made fun of and get bottles thrown
at from moving cars. Yeah, I wanna
roll with those guys."
What is the difference to other
sports for you?
I started skateboarding because there
were no coaches, no teammates
and no rules. It's individualistic.
Every skater has a whole different
approach. I grew up playing competitive sports. I went to residential
school because my whole family had
gone there. I also went there because
the hockey was the best and I was
good at it. That's where the scouts
would go I was told. I wanted to go
to the NHL. So I had that drive and
determination, but at the same time I
didn't want the label of being a jock.
I was a good hockey player, but then
the skaters were like, "Ah, you don't
wanna be one of those guys." But
that's me! I'm one of those guys! I
didn't want to be labelled, but really,
I was right in there."
So you often find yourself in the
middle?
Yeah, like mediating, which is okay,
I don't mind it. It just sucks at the
beginning, that's all.
Skateboarding seems to be the
red line in your life. Sounds like
a lot of the good came from it.
Obviously getting sponsored right
away and traveling opened my
eyes to a lot of what's going on
with the skate world because we
never had that out on the reserve.
All this "Hey, I like your skateboarding, here's some free stuff."
What? There's got to be a catch. But
there was none, and it led to having
even more support. I was skeptical
because of the whole "team" feel
but it turned out to be filled with so
much love that I was proud to be a
part of it! Big part of what I never
had in hockey. I didn't think there
was such a thing. Having sponsors
felt like a dream for a kid fresh off
the rez!
So you didn't get that kind of
support from hockey?
I haven't played hockey to this
day, because my dad blew it for
me. Everytime it comes up he says,
"I should've let you have fun, my
son"! It didn't teach me anything.
And just, the whole organized sports
thing, having teammates and my dad
coming down on me 'cause he was
vicariously living through me. How
good I was at it got outweighed by the
seriousness. The ugly side of hockey.
That was when I was of age to pull
myself out of residential school.
tt
Jo* MUnU
tt
 OSOS  ????      snisBgBMtsbtooaia
a
I found strength I never even
knew I had. That particular
feeling is my new addiction.
It's unexplainable! v
How old were you?
I was turning 15. Everybody was
getting ready to go back to school,
and I'm skating off to the side 'cause
I knew that I had pulled myself out.
My dad didn't know yet. "Joe's not
registered? What?" — yeah, I got
into shit. I probably got smacked,
but it broke the cycle. Had I not
taken the necessary steps to healing, I
probably would have just self-terminated like they wanted me to. 'Cause
that is what those schools were put in
place for. Just another genocide, like
smallpox, tuberculosis and wiping
out the buffalo. I was taught to not
trust anybody, and always have my
guard up. Those schools were just
designed to fucking make us fail,
to kill the Indian. There's about a
handful of people that came out of
these schools and succeeded, and it's
only because they took the steps to
heal themselves. It took me a long
time and I still have more healing to
do! It's forever ingrained in me so...
What made you ready to heal?
It's because I cheated death so many
times. I overdosed on heroin three
times in one summer. On the surface
you would be like, "Joe looks like
the life of the party." But really deep
down inside I was fucking miserable,
man! It was a lot of unresolved
childhood trauma that still lingered,
and I was taking it out on the booze
and the drugs. Toxicity still rears
its ugly head every once in a while,
but I know once I pass these tests,
the creator will bless me with more
gifts. Rock-bottoming was the
best thing ever, because it made me
fucking analyze my shit and all the
hard times I've endured. As soon
as I had this, I realized that I didn't
need alcohol to function, ever again.
I found strength I never even knew
I had. That particular feeling is my
new addiction. It's unexplainable!
You had many offers, but
Colonialism Skateboards
was the company that finally
got you to go pro and put
out   "Pitikwahanapiwiyin
(Poundmaker)", your pro model.
What changed your mind?
It just seemed right. Micheal Langan,
owner of Colonialism Skateboards,
is using his platform to educate
people on what really took place
in Canada's dark history. My story
matches all the stories he tells. I was
going to put that board graphic [by
Vince Dumoulin] out on a different
board company, but it wouldn't have
had the same impact as launching it
with Colonialism. Speaking truths
and educating the masses is the aim!
Beautiful time to be alive!
What does that board mean
to you?
A serious sense of accomplishment
after all these years growing up
skateboarding. I was presented
with opportunities before, but I
always thought I wasn't professional enough. Again, it stems back
to these institutions, where you're
constantly being told you ain't
gonna be shit, don't bother trying.
You hear that enough you eventually
start believing it. So definitely
having my name on a board, I can
breathe now, and pass along good
vibes, and show a strong message to
indigenous youth; It's possible if you
dream of it! Might have taken 35
years, haha, but it can happen!
Is skateboarding a platform for
activism for you?
I was born into this. Having a board,
and being a part of a company like
Colonialism, that's just an added
bonus on top of it. I've always been
educating people, and my mum
plays a huge part in how I roll. She
definitely instilled my morals and
values in me. Sure, she'd be compassionate with you, but she wouldn't
hesitate twice to stick up for herself
and educate you either.
What is she doing?
She served as the National President
of the Native Women's Association
of Canada from 1997 to 2000.
Right now she is the Chief Executive
Officer at Nechi Institute: Center
for Indigenous Learning. Marilyn
Buffalo, [...] she has a 50-year
history of activism and Indigenous
policy development behind her, and
just keeps on kicking ass and persevering. A truly badass single mother
of six whose "make it happen"
attitude is how I was raised! I'm so
proud of her.
The acting started out kind of
accidentally?
Back in late 2015, in Alberta. I
was not doing so well, and I got
contacted by a skateboard friend of
mine, Liam Mitchell, who also made
local skate videos. He was filming a
music video for A Tribe Called Red
and thought I would make a great
fit skateboarding in it. Through
this, I met short film director Kevan
Funk and he was like, "I'm making
my first feature film and I'm kind
of stuck on casting the costar...
it's about hockey and the dark side
of it." Immediately my residential
school hockey stories started coming
out — it was sort of an audition
that I didn't even know was going
on. When my phone rang again in
February, it was Kevan. He asked
"Have you ever acted?" I said "no."
He flew me in, and we shot in Prince
George for 8 days. That film, Hello
Destroyer, then went on to win all
sorts of major awards — we killed
it. I ended up getting nominated for
a Leo in my first film ever. It has
opened the door to so much for me,
super fortunate and grateful.
What happened afterwards?
Other people were approaching me
for work and I was like, what have
I gotten myself into? At the same
time I wasn't considered an "actor"
because I wasn't properly trained.
Back then I was on a street level
— I was just starting to get myself
together and giving it a go. It became
obvious that I couldn't juggle my
addictions and acting. It was a
whole new world I had to learn —
by sobering up, reaching out, getting
training and actually doing the work.
Of course, I can shoot from the hip,
but to be able to harness that skill
and unleash it, that's when you can
truly call yourself an actor. I'm still
new at this, so it's all pretty intimidating but I'm learning!
There seems to be a family
history here too?
My namesake is from my great
grandfather, the late Joe Buffalo, who
acted in "The Sheriff Of Fractured
Jaw" in 1958 with Jayne Mansfield.
So we both have an IMDb page,
haha. My great-grand-uncle is late
actor Gordon Tootoosis, so acting
is in my blood. Acting chose me, so
I'm gonna channel my energy, hard
work, and focus into this and see
what can come of it all.
Next to a lot of filming, any
other exciting plans coming up?
Colonialism Skateboards has plans
of launching another board graphic
of mine soon. And there's a fun skate
video we're gonna be working on
for Menu Skateshop. Aside from the
COVID-19 pandemic, I had made
some plans for Indigenous youth
skateboard workshops this summer
alongside Nations. As soon as the
dust settles, we can move forward in
helping provide for the youth.
Big shout out to my mom Marilyn
Buffalo, @Nationskateyouth, Vince
Dumoulin, Micheal at Colonialism
Skateboards, Syd and Teen at
Menu Skateshop for being super
supportive. Vans shoes, Sky Extracts
and Michelle Pezel for being so
awesome! Also to @Coastterrabc.
Check out Pitikwahanapiwiyin
(Poundmaker)and follow Joe
@therealjoedionbuffalo.
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\D\R
Discorder Magazine      ????  2020
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WORDS BY MILENA CARRASCO    ILLUSTRATIONS BY TATIANA YAKOVLEVA    ZINE IMAGE AND 3D RENDERING COURTESY OF OLIVIA DREISINGER
J IT ear tends to expose the best and worst parts of
T P what makes us human. Be it the greed that guides
^r a hoarder's cart at your local supermarket, to
the uplifting sound of cheering against pots and pans.
COVID-19 has given us a taste of what living in isolation
means and what this might look like for people with
chronic illness and disabilities — a reality that artist
Olivia Dreisinger is quite familiar with.
Olivia became chronically ill after a viral infection
triggered an immune response that never went away. She
describes herself as a "sick independent scholar specializing in all things disability," and her work ranges from
educational pamphlets like "Make Events Accessible,"to
a documentary about a cosplaying service dog team, as
well as interactive short stories, zines and animations.
Speaking with Olivia, I wondered how she deals with
isolation and pandemic as a chronically ill artist.
Make Events
Accessible
A disability primer for orger,***
Compiled by
Olivia Dreisinger
'    ••S>V^.A;'
Tell us about your creative
process, I understand it takes
place inside mostly?
Yeah, it's actually never been that
much of a problem for me, to be
honest, because I've been intermittently sick since I was a kid. I have
always been the home-dweller type.
I think what you'll see in the work
that I do now is I've always put what
I've learned from my own isolation
into my creative and academic
practices. My work has always built
accessibility into it and, because of
my illnesses, I need to work slowly.
I need to sleep a lot and I need to
stay home, or at least, really close
by in case I need to return home to
rest. And so, I think the medium has
just grown out of that. I write a lot.
I taught myself how to make 3D
animations just so I could sit at home
and be very physically still while
working. I used to also take photographs when I was more able-bodied,
but I've had to re-evaluate how I
do that now. I'm still working on
how to make photography work
with my body. More recently, I've
been working with plants. I've been
making herbal salves and teas and
vinegars to support my body through
illness. I'm also trying to figure out if
there is a way to bring that into my
creative practices. You have to be
really resourceful, I think, when you
work from home.
There's a constant unpredictability and
spontaneity spurred by illness that Olivia
has allowed to shape the space her art
inhabits. I imagine it kind of wrapping
around her computer, a viney growth
that bolsters a certain strength around
her pieces. The necessity for resourcefulness has sprouted a freedom of versatility in her crafts. This similar source of
strength can be felt from the story told
in her documentary, "Handler is Crazy,"
which can be streamed on Youtube.
You received a grant to create
the documentary "Handler Is
Crazy." Would you like to talk
about that?
Yeah, sure. So, I was really fortunate
to receive a grant through the
Canada Council for the Arts to
make a documentary and it was
my first time ever receiving a grant.
The documentary is about a woman
named Koyote Moon and her service
dog Banner. Banner is a medical and
psychiatric dog, who also cosplays,
which is why I was initially interested
in making a documentary about
Koyote and her life. Banner would
dress up as characters that had
similar disabilities or conditions to
Koyote [and cosplaying] became this
interesting kind of advocacy thing,
beyond Banner's regular service
dog tasks. Service dog knowledge
is, I think, pretty limited in Canada,
which was another reason why I
wanted to make a documentary
about this particular team. I think
the definitions around service dogs
are growing and service dogs are not
just for blind people anymore.
A large part of Olivia's art is providing
educational resources that create dialogue
on how to improve the emotional,
physical and financial wellbeing of
people with disabilities through sharing
sick and disabled experience in zines,
digital rendered videos and print-at-home
pamphlets. Her zines range from the
"little book of herbal vinegars for sober,
sensitive, or alcohol intolerant folks" to
"what is a service dog? 2-in-l booklet
providing information for the general
public and prospective handlers." She
says she's jumped to zines now because
zine culture is all about low costs and
circulating radical stories and media.
They're easy to convey information
through, and most importantly, she says,
they don't have to be perfect.
Olivia also has a new zine project, tentatively titled Eco-Crips Against Toxic
Ecologies, which aims to expose toxic
systems like ableism, speciesism and
environmental injustices. Even though
these topics might sound daunting to
someone who hasn't ever participated in
conversations within accessibility politics,
Olivia explains to me what ends up
being a common theme throughout her
interests — to make things simple. And,
sometimes, a little laughter is the simplest
remedy to help get the point across.
Can you speak to how you
balance the gravity of these
things with a palpable sense of
lightness and humour? As in the
"Make Events Accessible" zine,
which features a photograph of
an incorrectly marked accessible
entrance?
I don't know if it's funny to nondis-
abled people — but it's funny to
disabled people because it's kind of
like, oh, of course, you know, like
there's a step. You were so close to
making the ramp accessible, but
there's a step! So therefore it's not
accessible, you know? It's kind of
funny how people don't really think
about access very well, or they put in
like, 90 percent effort and fail at the
other 10 percent.
Olivia also explains how the spectrum
of disability leaves room for the creative
process to find ways of adapting and
accommodating access needs that can be
exploratory and fun.
It can be fun and also humorous,
you know, like having these random,
clashing, access needs. And like you
said, there's a lot of humour in the
work that I do. I think when you live
in an unruly body — a sick body —
you don't take things for granted
because you have to scale back or limit
the things you do. You start interacting
with systems, other people, and your
own body in ways that I don't think
non-disabled people do. There's a lot
of joy and a lot of pleasure, ironically
enough, in being sick and ill.
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This deep sense of gratitude, pleasure
and joy, garnered from tasks like making a
trip to her local supermarket is something
Olivia says are routines she misses now
within the pandemic. The world has
changed drastically with the spread of
COVID-19, and the risk for someone
chronically ill walking to get groceries is
simply not worth taking.
Sometimes art serves as an eruption of
feeling, other times it lingers between
survival and hope. Sometimes it is meant
to inspire — other times to soothe.
Olivia told me about how she had begun
foraging for poplar buds to make anti-inflammatory ointments to help alleviate
pain. Crafting these herbal elixirs and
tinctures are a new way she's begun to
find ease.
Since we weren't able to carry out a
photo-shoot for this piece, a precautionary measure due to COVID-19,
Olivia was gracious enough to accommodate by creating a 3D self-portrait.
Using her art as a means for accommodation was actually her entrance into
digital rendering, and it all began during
her masters program at McGill.
Why does 3D Animation speak
to you rather than drawing?
I actually taught myself how to do
animation during my thesis. That
was when I was getting really sick,
and I was almost failing out of
McGill. In order to access disability
services on campus, you had to have
a definite diagnosis and I didn't have
that on hand. And so, without a
definite diagnosis, professors will fail
you [for not] showing up to class.
Animation kind of came out as a way
to survive. I opted to do a creative
thesis, to make a video essay, and
it was a way to build accessibility
and survival into my practice. I
think it also kind of substitutes for
the scaling back of my photography
practice — I can kind of transplant
my photography practice into this
3D landscape and have that work
for my body. Another thing to note
is that the 3D program that I'm
working in is free, so it's financially
accessible and there are a lot of free
models to use. People are collectively
doing this labour, offering resources
for free in order to support creatives.
I think that's also why I became
really interested in [3D animation],
just to see how people were using
their time and labour, and putting it
into the world.
We spoke more on the solidarity within
the disability community, and what it looks
like during the pandemic. Another space
which displays this collectivity and built-in
accessibility, is the fan-fic community,
which also inspires Olivia's work.
What brings these communities
together and how has this
collective action changed in the
midst of the pandemic?
So I think fan-fiction pairs really well
with the 3D universe that I work
in because they have these built-in
access interests. Now that I'm moving
towards more academic terrains, or
with the Make Events Accessible
zine, for instance, disability representation has become really important to
me. I also recognize that I come from
a very specific point of view with my
own health, and I can't know everything about other disabilities. So, you
know, just talk to other people who
have different disabilities, and make
connections with them, and hope that
they offer their valuable knowledge
to you so that you can also represent
them accurately so that people also
start caring about them and what
they need. I think that's also, like,
the academic in me — I want to
know it all. I want to know inherently in my body, all of the disability
experiences, but I just can't. * laughs*
"With the fan-fiction community, it's
the same thing. It's like everyone
is contributing to the 3D universe.
Everyone's contributing within the
disability community. If you look
now at disability Twitter, or disability
Instagram, with the pandemic,
everyone is trying to provide care
and mutual aid to each other because
everyone's pretty scared right
now. Going back to the reality of
COVID-19, a lot of people's really
important medical appointments are
being canceled, or they're scared to
go to the hospital, or they already
have run out of nitrile gloves and
hand sanitizer. So, you know, everyone's kind of sharing what they can.
I shared my hand sanitizer with my
neighbor, who is also sick. We've
been dropping off care packages
outside each other's doors. I'm going
to be sewing fabric masks later today
and kind of helping distribute them.
So, yeah, you can't really work in
disability in an isolated bubble. You
need to be caring and working with
everyone else in the community.
Is there anything else that comes
to mind that we haven't touched
on?
I mean, I have one other thing to
say, and it's funny because with this
quarantine, it's actually been the
most social I've ever been online.
Now all of these non-disabled people
are coming up with creative ways
to interact with each other online
and I feel like pre-pandemic no one
would have extended that gesture
to people who are in isolation all
the time anyways. It's been weird
because people are now making an
effort to make socializing accessible
to me. I hope that once quarantine
lifts, people start caring about the
disability community all year round.
The comradery felt within the accessibility community is contagious, and
Olivia Dreisinger's art demonstrates
the power found within uncertainty.
The versatility of her work is an ode to
endurance and gives us the opportunity
to rethink our pain and forage pleasure
from places we never thought we'd be
in. But beyond indulgence, her art seeks
to expose the diverse ways we interact
within the sick and disabled experience.
It also demands that the crucial infrastructures created under the pandemic
which serve these experiences do not end
with the virus. Because after it passes,
there will be problems which cannot be
solved by vaccines — those which require
our continuous vigilance. Some of us are
simply visitors to the troubles of our time
in the pandemic.
You can find all of Olivia's work
on her website at:
oliviadreisinger. wordpress. com
Her Instagram is @bodyintrouble
and watch her documentary
Handler is Crazy on YouTube.
For a copy of her zines, you can
email her at:
oliviadreisinger®gmail. com
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 Discorder Magazine      ????  2020
The outbreak of COVID-19
has triggered the practice of;
social distancing, enforced
self-isolation, and quarantining around]
the world. Consequently, Western
capitalist cultures are buckling under!
the pressure of undervalued healthcare
systems, and to provide essentials like
housing, safe supply, and universal
income. Capitalism has officially
failed, and that's cool and everything,
but it is uncomfortable.
While everyone adjusts to our new reality in
their own way, Julia Cundari's series of small,
visualized poems sums up this emotional
oxymoron perfectly. The pieces are extremely
simple and articulate — bursts of melancholic
frustration — and are a strikingly honest articulation of a lot of the fears, anxieties, and
insecurities that are driving the narrative of
this moment.
I met with Julia on (duh) Zoom and our
conversation bounced around easily — covering
work, anxieties, fears, and tips on passing the
time. "The unknown is scary right now. We're
all living in this state of hyperarousal in the
unknown, and searching for outlets that are
maybe not satisfying our needs," Julia pointed
out, "and then we feel extra complex because
there's nothing to ground those fears in. The
whole outer world is going through this process
of change and nobody knows what's going on."
The four text-based pieces that prompted this
article read:
tt
Julia (toftact
tt
"EMILYAND
IMEETIN
OUR ALLEY/
STAMPING SIX
FEET APART."
"I USUALLY
SPEND MOST OF
MY TIME ALONE
SO THIS ISN'T
SO BAD / BUT
IT ACTUALLY
FEELS KIND
OF BAD/ MY
NERVOUS
SYSTEM IS ON
^OVERDRIVE."
 OSOS  ????      snisBgBMtsbtooaia
—     1
Sri
mam
IMZTM
■ffewM£
"I CANNOT
FIND THE TIME
EVEN THOUGH
/ ITS ALL
I HAVE."
"HOW DO
ITELLYOU
THAT I AM S A
WE ARE NOT
FRIENDS."
^^he short poems are bubbled across an
I entire sketchbook page with the background
f roughly shaded in around the words. Each
piece takes about 10 to 15 minutes to make,
"which feels like a long time to be ruminating on
only a certain set of words." Julia continued, "I
see this as a time to be self-reflexive, but the only
way I feel like I can process it is through poetics
and writing these words over and over. I feel like
it reflects the loop thinking that's occupying my
days." And the poem's form mirrors how Julia
has been coping with self-isolation, and all the
seemingly tectonic adjustments. "I think there's
this whole other side of things, focusing all of my
attention on these words and colouring them in
really slowly. Spending a lot of time with each
tiny poem sort of emulates this slowness that's
happening right now."
The series names the arguably ubiquitous experiences of young, relatively privileged, and politically
progressive art types; a group I will readily admit
that I am a part of. "I feel both connected, and
disembodied, and reaching for this attachment,
but not knowing exactly the most effective way
that we can go about feeling that. We're feeling —
or at least I'm feeling — complete opposite feelings
all at once." Julia laughed, "I'm talking in 'we's'J
and this is something I don't even do. I'm referring!
to the entire world as my partner." Granted, this
group is just a sliver of the COVID-19 experience,
and one whose complaints, while still very much
being felt, are comparatively non-issues. "A lot of
them feel kind of whiny." Julia explained, "They
feel very self indulgent but they're a bit cathartic."
This catharsis has echoes of that hollowness, while
honouring the release that comes with sharing
without fear of judgement.
"What's exceptional about Julia's series is their
simplicity and clarity. Fear of aloneness, instability,
futility, motivation, and distance are embedded
in the poetry and communicated directly to the
viewer. They read more like snapshot diary entries
than public pieces of art, and the access to just one
other person's anxieties — which feel so strikingly
[familiar — is a small comfort in a time punctuated
[by upheaval.
tt
Julia <£mtftaci
t*
 Iconic
Architecture
+
I got a place with a BALCONY but I never end up
going out there. I can't figure out why.  Usually if
restless, going to stand out on the balcony is
st straw before I accept that I need to leave
ouse right away or I probably won't make it
all that day.
+
A few times over the years we've had
PARTIES, and people have smoked out there,
but that's it. Never once have I hung out out there
by myself. No matter how I DESIGN it, I don't set
foot out there. I'll always end up going
SHOPPING aimlessly if I do.
Where Life Intersects by Nicola Coulter
 OSOS  ????      snisBgBMtsbtooaia
Discorder Magazine      ????  2020
•      •       •
The hyperpersonal and
the generally relatable
are a dialectic that Hue
Nguyen expertly balances. Hue
is a multidisciplinary artist (and
ahorse) practicing in Vancouver.
With clear and precise compositions, lines and palettes, they
needle the connective tissue of
their experiences and reflections
together with theory and
intuition.
Nguyen sees their work as an extension
of themselves. They began to work
seriously on their art practice in 2017,
which was a particularly difficult year
for them. They returned to a childhood
hobby — drawing — for comfort. "It
was healing to put all these drawings out
and really put myself into it." Nguyen
explains, "It was a great way to reflect
on my mental health while still being
creative." Their work is an abstraction of
their experience. It conveys what they feel
less able to articulate in words.
Approaching each piece from intuition
rather than a visual plan, they are a
process-driven artist. For each work,
they first write a poem and then visually
abstract it. To them, these poems act as
scripts for an emotional timeline wherein
"it's all about how the reader will feel
while going through it. That's what I'm
trying to communicate rather than some
storyline or actual narrative."
This intuition, with a basis in Nguyen's
own experiences and management of
them, binds the content with form. Their
pieces have a feeling of being necessarily
the way that they are. That line is there
because it has to be, that juxtaposition of
texture is there because it's what needs to
have happened. There is something deliberate in the way their work unfolds —
and that deliberateness comes from the
artist's honest, self-reflection. Of being a
Hue Nguyen
words by Clara Dubber
images courtesy of Hue Nguyen
person. Herein, Hue's contradictions are
cohesive, their personhood feels inevitable. Being honest about it lends their
work cohesion and inevitability.
Nguyen actively toes the line between
the hyperpersonal and broadly accessible, and that is what makes their work
so resonant. It's hyperspecificity peeks at
relatability. "I like to make work about
myself, but in a way that can reach a
further audience," they explain. "I want
it to be personal, but not too personal,
just enough that it's general enough to
have a relation to the audience." Being
honest about their personal idiosynchro-
nicities — resulting from their experiences as a first generation immigrant,
a Vietnamese-Canadian, a non-binary
person, an artist, an (in their own words)
egg-head — simultaneously reveals to
their audience their own specificities,
cohesiveness, and inevitiabilities.
"While Nguyen's return to visual art has
been their recent focus — and catharsis
— they are multitalented, having also
experience in film, soft sculpture, and
textiles. They admit to having "a strange
relationship with physical touch and
bodies," and moving into this third
dimension is particularly exciting for
them being able to "actually get to do it
with [their] own body, and feel it within
[their] hands and feel it between [their]
fingers." This sentiment is aligned with
their approach to their 2D practice as
well, because they prioritize physical,
tangible work. "I'm a firm believer in
paper. Anything of my own that I have
tt
j}U£ $JJUJJ£U
t*
  OSOS  ????      snisBgBMtsbtooaia
the control to publish I want to print
physically."
"With that physicality, they have started
to explore the physical world as another
point of abstraction. Their 2018 publication "Red Rainbow" is an exploration
of their experience on the antipsychotic Risperidone — a medication both
they and their mother were prescribed.
They wanted to understand how it
was affecting them and translate that
experience visually. To do this, they
referenced images of relevant parts of the
brain, abstracting the diagrams to ensure
they are "taken in a way that [they're]
owning." From this springboard, Nguyen
has steadily incorporated more science
into their content, "I'm interested in
neuroscience because of its relation to
mental health. I was interested in the
brain and the body. My work is moving
towards the intersection of philosophy
and neuroscience, as well language and
semiotics." Importantly, they draw
connections between science, philosophy
and their own human experience. "Right
now I'm really researching how starfish
operate, and relating myself back to that
in a human sense."
Their appreciation of the sciences — and
biology in particular — as a poetic field
compliments their return to visual art. It
was a field they were interested in in their
youth and are returning to as a means of
contextualizing their adult experience.
In this vein, their current research links
starfish morphology and psychoanalysis.
To Nguyen it explores "the idea of being
past the chaotic phase and what happens
now in terms of how I understand myself
as an individual." Approaching their
practice both from a place of extensive
research, and inuiting their emotional
response, contextualizes their experiences
— it informs the precision and intention
of their work.
This braiding of research with intuition
also makes Nguyen's work appealing to
a broad range of perspectives — some
to whom STEM feels more comfortable,
and some who gravitate more towards
the emotional tug of the work.
(^••^ pon researching Hue Nguyen, one
W I thing that consistently appears is
~\J their identification as a horse, or
horse child; as they say: "I'm a horse,
get over it." Across artist statements,
across publishers, across years, Nguyen
has consistently made space for their
connection to horses. Never having been
obsessed with horses as a child, Nguyen
"started to fall in love with horses when
[...] going through a rough phase and
living with a friend who had a big ranch.
The horses were very calming, just big
and lumbering." Nguyen's connection to
horses reflects the steady deliberateness
of their work. The playful openness
with which they pull inspiration from
multiple fields.
Their breadth of inspirations brace
their exploration of agency — and this
is the crux of their practice. "Agency
is such a big thing for me. Some of my
work is about how the body is reacting
[to being contained] and putting that
in a framework and then having the
audience member react to that. It's about
how my body is feeling and what it is,"
Nguyen explains. Agency is a thread
connecting almost every element of their
work, from neuroscience, as in how, as
Hue illuminates, "self-inflicted pain is
a strange form of agency because it's
all on your own. How the body and
pain work together is [itself] a form of
agency," to enacting belonging. Nguyen
has reclaimed the use of their first name,
Hue, as another form of agency and as
"an idea of creating [an] agency with
individuals," this is their way of situating
themselves in their community. Though
they are Vietnamese, they pointed out
that they "always felt like [they] didn't
belong in that community growing up."
Returning to their first name, enacting
that agency, allows them and other first
generations to "become part of this
community where you don't necessarily
feel like you belong."
This agency is also enacted in their
process. Their work being this extension
of themselves means they can control
how they are perceived. And that sense
of control is also present in how they
arrange their compositions, as they say,
"my work is an extension of myself, and
there's so much room to breathe because
I am such a reserved individual. It's really
important for me to have that reservation
and delicateness in there."
The intention of this technique is also
present in their textural pieces, or lack
thereof. To Nguyen, "the textured
portions are the parts of myself that
are actually speaking and articulating in
some kind of way." The pieces speak and
breathe for them.
Nguyen's work is an incredible example
of an artist using their practice to interrogate their experiences — and reactions
to those experiences. This balance of
dichotomies — the personal and the
general, the scientific and the poetic, the
researched and intuitive — not only lends
Ngyuen's work a richness beyond the
richness of their own personhood, but
also an incredible range of entry-points
into what is, necessarily, a very personal
body of work.
tt
j}U£ $JJUJJ£U
t*
 Discorder Magazine      ????  2020
words bv BRENDAN U£ID
illustrations bvSHCUI TURNER
PHOTOS COURTESV OF till GOIETSKI
If you take life too seriously,
you'll only develop ulcers,
skin conditions, and a boring
by-the-books existence which
ultimately leaves one wanting
more. At the same time, one could
argue that a life lived entirely
in free-willed aimlessness is
erroneous, irresponsible, and
destined to crash and burn. To
which extreme should one pledge
themselves? Well, to neither of
course, and Gil Goletski believes
the same should be applied to their
artistic practice.
Gil is a multi-talented illustrator,
animator and musician. Their
drawing style is sharp and
minimalistic. It captures
feelings of lighthearted whimsy,
while simultaneously tackling issues of body
image, existential dread, and discomfort.
Their musical outlet, shitlord fuckerman,
follows a similar dichotomy. On one hand
it's riveting, infectious electronica with an
undeniably funny name. On the other,
it's a lyrical and emotive examination
of entropic decay and societal failings.
Yet, as we drink tea in their clean, plant
shaded kitchen, Gil suggests that perhaps
listeners shouldn't draw too much from
their work.
Take "PATRICK COWLEY (IN
AGONY)" for example, the opening
track from the latest shitlord fuckerman
release, MUSIC IS OVER! The song is
a tribute to Patrick Cowley, an openly
gay innovator of electronic music from
the late '70s and early '80s. It revolves
around a grin-inducing disco beat and
lyrical mantra before breaking into the
bridge — a sample proclaiming, "my
reputation for misogyny is legendary!"
Gil's inclusion of this sample comes from
a place of authenticity, as well as a desire
for lighthearted diffusion.
"[The sample is] from a '70s anime
called Lupin The Third," Gil explains.
"In a really terrible dub of the series,
a line from one of the characters that's
incorrectly translated says 'my reputation
for misogyny is legendary', which I
think is funny. To find samples, I just go
through things that I like...things that,
out of context, are funny. Sometimes even
in context."
"When asked about how the sample
relates to the life of Patrick Cowley, Gil
gave an open and sincere answer: "I
consider myself part of gay male culture,
but at the same time, I find a lot of it
misogynistic. [The] song is about existing
as a gay male aligned person, but also
being outside of it — as a trans person.
I'm somebody who [has] experienced
misogyny in my life, and even though it
may not be my experience any more, I still
have huge amounts of empathy for people
that [do]...but I try not to look too far
into my songs," they emphasized, adding,
"a lot of the time when I'm making songs,
I'm not thinking about them too hard. It's
just something that I made one day."
This honest and untroubled approach to
creation is inspiring, and a reminder that
not every work of art needs be taken so
seriously. We are inclined to overthink
and overanalyze, and sometimes a work
of art should be allowed to exist for its
tt
m $*MM
ft
 OSOS  ????      snisBgBMtsbtooaia
own sake. This disregard of meaning
permeates MUSIC IS OVER!, and is
exemplified in the title itself.
"I think it's funny, as a complete nobody,
to make broad asshole statements about
art. Especially in a post post-modern
world," Gil stated with a laugh. "I was
inspired by the Japanese noise artist
The Gerogerigegege. The cover of [one
of] their tapes says fuck compose, fuck
melody, dedicated to no one, thanks to
no one, art is over. MUSIC IS OVER! is
based off of that."
M
any of Gil's creations are
borne of a coy sense of
unbothered fun. It's this
removal of ego that makes
their work so enticing
—and inspiration often comes from a
simple, reactionary response. In the song
"Big Eden", Gil's lyrics lament the state
of decaying food: "Seal me in there with
the leftovers/Rotting food buzzing wires/
Airtight refrigerator/Leave me in there to
die." One would be tempted to pry deeper
into these words, to try and unpack them,
to dig for metaphors and references. But
Gil assured me there were none.
"I get grossed out by food a lot," they
said with a shrug. "It's just about being
some rotting fruit in a fridge...sometimes
food is just gross. But I [also] love food,
like everybody. Looking at compost is
intensely uncomfortable for me — but I
also find it interesting at the same time. I
get a reaction from it."
Art derived in such a way is immensely
refreshing. Not everything needs to have
a purpose, another layer, or be some kind
of deep statement. First and foremost,
art is a response to the world around us,
and everything Gil creates is a genuine
reaction to their experiences and feelings.
"With everything, I like not taking things
too seriously. But at the same time I'm
still trying to work through things that
are troubling to me," they say as we wrap
up our conversation. "But I try not to put
too much stock in it, because I'm just one
person and I don't have all the answers."
None of us do —and with their music,
illustrations and animations, Gil has
found the perfect way to express this
fact. Their honesty is inspiring, and
truly, it makes one feel less alone. We
could all learn a thing or two from
shitlord fuckerman.
tt
mi uuurt
ft
 Discorder Magazine      ????  2020
W*'
II remember the very first time I went to a
queer, underground gig. Nervous, giddy, and
(^ with only adrenaline keeping us warm, we
peeked down one nondescript alley to the next,
trying to locate the entrance which, arguably,
was the toughest task of the night. There were
no obvious signs of life other than a burly,
stoic figure slouched beside a door. A flash of
IDs sent us flying through a long neon hallway
and then, after what felt like a tumble down the
rabbit hole later, we heard the first pulses of
the dance floor. Plunged into darkness, save for
intermittent splashes of light across the walls,
we joined the mosh of bodies of what might
have been a hundred people. Packed safely like
sardines in a tin can, marinating in our collective
stickiness, I felt strangely at home flailing around
carelessly. That was when I knew there was no
going back from here.
Before we all got sucked into the
chaos of COVID-19, I got to
• pick the brains of CRM and MX,
who operate as designers by day and
freaky dance party masterminds by night
on their newest event series together:
PLASMA. In a JJ Bean somewhere along
the Drive, the duo quickly enveloped me
in their gentle banter, humble demeanour
and generous laughter telling me how it
all started.
PLASMA was birthed in a moment true
to its roots — on a sticky, cavernous,
reverberating dance floor. "We started
talking about it at a moment, for me,
is kinda lost in the smoke-machine haze
of a dance floor of some kind last year,"
CRM muses. Chiming in, MX clarifies
that while the exact moment is hazy, the
intent and mutual desire to create a new
event series was there — their affinity for
similar aesthetics and spaces made them
instant collaborators from the get-go.
Let's face it, Vancouver has earned its
reputation as No Fun City. But somehow,
a handful of creatives with the will, vision
and hope strong as steel, have managed to
find loopholes large enough to make space
for fun to happen. The underground scene,
albeit small and precarious, is teeming with
activity serving its community members
with generous slew of DJs/music acts both
local and from out of town.
"We wanted to do something that
wasn't happening in the city right now,"
CRM replies, when I asked him if he
felt there was a gap in the Vancouver
scene, "a lot of these amazing events
happening in the city feels as though a
lot of the music that is happening right
now is driven by a particular genre,
and is driven music first." PLASMA, he
explains, was an effort to put space first
and let everything else fall into place.
'[The] party series we want to create
is more about creating a space first, the
music could be something mutable."
That got me curious, why a space-first
approach? MX reveals, "we both have
a love for spaces and how to transform
them," especially of interest to them
is digging deeper into "what [one] can
do to transform a space with limited
resources ". They both find that by conceptualizing the space — with anything from
installation, light design, or manners of
[breaking up the space to allow for a more
witentional and thoughtful process —
people can gather with similar intention.
For PLASMA, it's all about what they can
bring to familiar and well-loved spaces to
make them look, feel and sound a little
fresh and new every time. They are hoping
that by being reflective of the communities who will show up, the atmosphere
of the space could drive interactions
on the dance floor, as well as friendships and community to flourish and
extend beyond.
ftfosum (gtffotfUtt
tt
 OSOS  ????      snisBgBMtsbtooaia
While PLASMA will mutate
and shape shift from space to
space, there is one element that
will stay the same — the ability to dance.
Being someone for whom dance is a
huge means of self-expression, CRM
is thrilled to hold space for folks that
share a similar affinity. "It's exciting
to try to create a space for people for
whom [dance] is a primary motivation,
more so than coming out just to be out,
or coming out to hear a particular type
of music over and over again. It's more
about a freedom of self expression, in a
space that gives you a sense of security to
be yourself."
Dance is not only a way to connect
with fellow freaky dancers, it is also
immensely cathartic for some, especially
marginalized communities. MX tells me,
"For many people who are in the scene,
especially for queer folks, you have
to put up this image for most of your
everyday, and dance parties are usually
a space where you can be the way you
want to be everyday."
Being intimately entangled in these
communities, MX and CRM both understand the need, and power of, dance in
a space to put the safety and wellbeing
of their people first. This could mean
dance existing in all its forms, from all
types of bodies.
"Plasma is for dancers, that includes
people who dance in wheelchairs and
of other forms of motion. It is not just
for people who are able-bodied. For
me its also for the queer, trans, femme,
non-binary babies crowd. Trying to
create a safer space for [everyone] for
self-expression, by building an ongoing
series that does its best to take everyone's
wellbeing into consideration, and let that
become the identity of it."
Whether PLASMA seems like the event
for you, CRM and MX hope it inspires
readers of Discorder to go out and start
their own thing. New projects, new
collectives, new voices filling voids in
Vancouver's creative landscape.
"We need as many people doing this
as possible and doing it better than us,
second skins, whicl
kept us warm on
that early winter
morning. Steeping
in the afterglow, a
heavy silence hung
between us as we made
our way home. It was obvious
that we had found something special — a
whole other world, within the city, where
we felt completely at home. There is
something magical about these spaces
that exist only for those who seek them
out, brought together by shared affinities.
For a city struck by loneliness, even more
so now that we're all stuck at home,   I
hope to see more collectives and events
like PLASMA adding their unique takes
to the scene.
if possible.'
£^W-   t the end of the night, we emerged
♦••   out the rabbit hole completely
^ spent, with woozy grins plastered
on our faces. This time donning shiny,
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  Discorder Magazine      ????  2020
oclile
mm] rocodile Tears,
B-x presented by Unit 17,
^^/ shares commentary on
modern-day capitalism. The
exhibition features three installations from a collection of
multidisciplinary creators, in
addition to a live performance by
Lucien Durey and Bess Durey.
Rapid industrialization and
mechanization is a common
theme for Unit 17, while the
title itself — Crocodile Tears
— is an agent for insincere
emotional expression. This
exhibition pokes at how
global superpowers react to
industries of mass destruction
— such as factory farming
— while also addressing the
rapid corporatization of our
communities. How privatization
is hand-in-hand with mechanization. With the words "I am
sorry," displayed in parody of
a phoney sympathy towards
these global issues, the artists
involved in Crocodile Tears are
unapologetic in their critique
of rapid industrialization.
4^t rocodile Tears also celebrates
\M-. Unit 17's third anniversary. The
^C/ scope of which is to mimic the
theatrical phenomena of every day,
connecting nature with technology in
a single, pan-generational, exhibition.
The display utilizes performance-based
art as well as sculpture, painting, audio
and video. With the anniversary — and
by remodelling how the space of the
gallery serves this realm of thinking
— Unit 17 continues to create exhibits
such as this, which blend art discourse
within the context of life itself. The
exhibit addresses the unified experience
of neo-liberal economic globalization,
with works from 14 different artists
words by
Alexis Zygan
photos by
Cemrenaz Uyguner,
courtesy Unit 17
(Alan Belcher, Mike Bourscheid, Gabi
Dao, Lucien Durey, Deborah Edmeades,
Babak Golkar, Neil Haas, Karilynn Ming
Ho, Nadya Isabella, Anne Low, Isabelle
Pauwels, Shahin Sharafaldin, Douglas
"Watt and Elizabeth Zvonar.)
In Gabi Dao's Curled Up in a Spiral,
a white-pink structure holds up a rock
upon which sits an old-school radio
playing audio. On another framework,
rests a radio with an antenna. The installation could be read as memorabilia from
a vacation, and the rise of tourism is a
direct result of a globalized world. This
utilization of props in the installation
encourages the viewer to think critically about entertainment and tourism.
Globalization reoccurs in the work
Skyline, by Lucien Durey. There are
cascades of yellow fruit-shaped objects,
owing themselves to compost bins, and
adorned with pressed flowers. The works
are attached with strings to a dish rack
and splashed with red paint. The banana
motif resurfaces in previous artwork
and sculpture, and the vibrant colours
resurface in Lucien's other works, as a
necessary element.
As you peer into the gallery from the
street, a green highway street sign painted
with the words "WE ARE SORRY" greets
you. With closer observation, the term
"forever" looms above the apology. The
title Made in Canada comes as no surprise
— artist Babak Golkar's piece intertwines
nicely into the theme of mechanization. It
brings the highway indoors and places it
residentially, allowing drive-by cars and
people to see the profound apology.
Adjacent to the door stands a mannequin
atop a chicken box filled with grass,
created by Mike Bourscheid, who's
work reoccurs in each installment of
the exhibition. In this piece, Bourscheid
presents a costume-like installation by
draping a cape over a mannequin body,
and attaching an O-ring bearing cooking
instruments, ingredients and cutlery. The
work also features gladiator strapped up
sandals, reminiscent of Greek-antiquity.
The composite of the piece suggests a
discourse on industrialized farming, by
its use of materials such as metal skewers,
garlic and chicken feathers. Stitched onto
the foam leg-forms are eyes that stare back
at the viewer — recognizing their gaze,
and therefore, participation in the work.
Crocodile Tears was expected to have
a changeover of new work exhibited
on March 27, however, due to closures
for the safety of the community, Unit
17 is now empty of human observation.
How can art create a conversation, or
change thinking, without the intervention
of human meditation? Especially as it
aims to critique the consequences of
the current climate — human intervention, viewership, is necessitated. The
exhibition, lasting until April 19th, will
be unfortunately impossible to view in
person, though pictures are accessible
online to keep the conversation alive.
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my birth chart says i'm pretentious,
and i don't play nice with others.
so i spend whole seasons hiding from the moon;
because what else am i supposed to do?
in a parallel universe where we (and by we i mean i)
have so much more patience, it takes me a whole hour
to complete one (1) kiss.
this is a world i would be happier in i think
except, would i? with all that patience,
would the night feel longer there?
here is a secret:
all virgos are deeply afraid of the dark.
it is in our nature; nothing
about the dark makes tangible sense
to someone who needs everything to be real enough
to taste and touch and hold.
am i a listmaker because i'm a virgo? probably.
so i make lists of everything i fear, and everyone i love, and
everyone i've hurt.
keep them on my nightstand, and
in the dead of night, by string light, rearrange them so that
all the overlapping parts can find each other,
become a body of if s own. condense this
until it is as concise as it can possibly be.
the sun rises and i eat my fingernails for breakfast,
i tell the sunlight around me:
i'm sorry, and
i love you,
and i'm scared.
i'm never awake long enough to hear a response.
 Beni
Xiao
Discorder Magazine      ????  2020
Reading Beni Xiao's work is a bit like
meeting a new friend, and a bit like
coming home to an old one.
The uniqueness, vulnerability and joy
of their work makes it true; true to
who they are, and true to the world
they are reflecting. "You can't pretend that
art isn't informed by or created by the
world we live in," Xiao says. "My work
is largely a reflection of what's going on
around me at any given time."
Xiao is a queer, trans, Chinese, disabled
artist who has been living and writing in
Vancouver for over five years. Although
Xiao is known for their poetry, they also
sew, play piano and draw, and enjoy
writing and illustrating their own comics.
Even when surrounded by so much art,
Xiao has gravitated towards poetry and
its potential for direct communication,
because it offers vulnerability. "I don't
approach [art forms] all in the same way,
and [they don't] always feel as personal,"
Xiao reflects. "Maybe that's why I do so
many art forms: because I'm looking for
different ways to express myself."
"I don't think art or writing is inherently
personal [...] There's so much art that is
frivolous, and that's allowed [....] I do find
that for me, my poetry is very vulnerable."
It is perhaps Xiao's attention to detail in
their work that makes it feel so intimate.
Xiao's words turn the most ordinary
aspects of life into a well of meaning.
"It's not something that I feel like I
consciously started doing," Xiao admits.
Xiao's writing process has evolved from
journaling, and the desire to document
the small memories they didn't want
to forget. "I'm sitting on the couch,"
they offer as an example, "and I'm very
content right now, it's quiet, and everything is soft and warm. I just want to
write this down, so I remember this
moment of joy."
"I guess sometimes I feel like I'm warping
the memory I'm trying to preserve,"
Xiao reflects, "Other times it can make
me appreciate it more." Xiao notes the
ability for writing to help them uncover
the feelings that come up as they write,
allowing them to realize the importance
of a moment, and why they were drawn
to document it. Perhaps rather than
preserving or warping a memory, poetry
opens it up, remodels it, and breathes
meaning into it.
It is no surprise, then, that Xiao's work
has a very immediate, even raw, feeling.
The barrier between Xiao's poetry and
the world is papery thin. Xiao's writing
changes depending where they are, and
at what time of year they are writing.
The material they wrote while in Italy
and Greece feels different from what they
write in Vancouver, and the work they
began during the summertime is different
from anything else they write throughout
the year. Somehow, Xiao's environment
permeates their work.
There is a strong and unique
voice that draws readers into the
intimacy and vibrancy of Xiao's
writing. "I definitely do think it is me,"
Xiao concludes of their poetic voice.
"Maybe not always the exact person I
am, but definitely a version of me, or a
part of me." Xiao doesn't write with the
aim of replicating reality. "Sometimes in
my poetry I'll play pretend a little bit,"
they explain, "as I'm going through a
poem, different emotions come up, or a
different mood happens on the page that
I'm not necessarily feeling, and sometimes
I'll just kinda go with that."
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era
words by
Katherine Gear Chambers
illustrations by
Alex Smyth
photos courtesy of
Beni Xiao
Xiao's poems indeed have a life and
energy of their own. "advice, or
maybe just some ideas" begins
with thoughtful, playful snippets of
advice — but ends with the calming,
grounded reassurance, "no matter how
many times you don't respond to a text,
or you forget to eat a meal, or call in sick
just to sleep in, try to love yourself / you
owe yourself that much." Xiao will never
hesitate to challenge us, and they will be
the last person to sugarcoat the truth.
The uniqueness of Xiao's voice comes
from their openness, and they are as keen
to share their joy as they are to articulate their uncertainty. In their quirky
humour, Xiao invites us to pay attention
to the small moments in our lives that are
sources of joy. Two things that delight
Xiao are "things that fit into other things"
and "things that are round." "I'm a really
big fan of stuffed animals and eggs,
because they're round," Xiao enthuses.
Perhaps Xiao's work feels so joyful
because of their ability to incorporate
their sources of delight into their writing
process. By allowing their work to flow in
a direction, and then harkening back to an
early idea, Xiao fits their work together:
"It's kind of like I'm playing tetris on the
page, but with ideas" they explain.
"I like bugs a lot," they add, "and I feel
like they're often there but not focused on."
Along with celebrating the unnoticed, a
lot of Xiao's current work honours the
people with whom they share their life
and their joy. "I write a lot of love letters
to my friends." they offer, "That's a lot of
the work that I'm working on right now."
Although Xiao hasn't always identified
with being a writer, they were a poet
even before they knew to claim the title.
"When I started writing poetry at the
end of high school, for a long time I
didn't necessarily consider what I was
doing poetry," they remember. Their
work was quite unlike that of authors —
such as Robert Frost — that populated
the high school curriculum. It wasn't
until Xiao's second year of university
that they understood their work to be
poetry: "I discovered a lot of American
alt-lit writers, and I was like, 'oh this is
what I'm doing!'[...] That just made a big
difference for me, and I started writing so
much more from that moment."
Since claiming the title of a poet, Xiao
has been featured by Room Magazine, Sad
Magazine, The Real Vancouver Writers'
Series and Can't Lit. Their chapbook,
Bad Egg, was published by Rahlia's
Ghost in 2017. Xiao is grateful to be part
of the Vancouver writing community.
"You meet unique, like-minded people,
and a lot of them are writing from places
that are very similar to where I'm coming
from, so of course I'm able to relate to
their work on a very personal level."
"Where early in their career, Xiao was
inspired by Jamie Mortara's Some Planet,
and by Ana Carrete, who is still a favourite
poet, most of the poetry they read now is
written by their colleagues and peers. Xiao
admires the work of Jane Shi, Santiago
Urena, Aja Moore, and Natalie Wee, a
Toronto-based poet.
"Any time I see my friends read or they
ask me to look over their work, or I read
their work in a publication, it's inspiring
for me." Xiao enthuses, "It makes me so
excited about poetry, and it makes me so
excited about my poetry."
Xiao is currently working on a
manuscript for a full-length book, which
they started prior to publishing the Bad
Egg chapbook. "I was working full
time [after graduating], and that wasn't
sustainable for my body," Xiao shares,
"and then I spent most of last year resting
and I feel like I didn't really write much
for about a year, but I'm writing again, so
I feel like my manuscript will be finished
at some point."
"I'm excited to be writing again. It feels
good to be doing things I enjoy."
Along with writing, Xiao's daily life is
filled with their unique creativity and joy.
"Time isn't real anymore. We're living in
a pandemic," they shrug, "All I do is play
Animal Crossing."
"My favourite thing to do [in Animal
Crossing] is catch bugs, because I love
bugs," Xiao laughs. "My roommate
is like 'the bugs don't make that much
money, you should be catching fish' and
I'm like 'but I don't care about the fish.'"
Even in a video game, Xiao will celebrate
the smaller things.
In the meantime, Xiao will continue to
create, and their work will continue to
reflect our world. "Art is a byproduct of
where we live," Xiao affirms. "I think it's
the artist's responsibility to be mindful of
how their art is influenced by the world
they are bringing it into, and how this art
will exist in context. This doesn't mean
that every piece of art has to be made
specifically for, and only to, address social
issues. Just that you need to consider the
impact of what you are doing, and why
you are doing it." There is no denying that
Xiao's art is mindful — maybe it is exactly
what we need right now. Xiao's work
invites us to find joy in what surrounds
us, to honour the smaller moments that
make up a life, and to celebrate those we
have the privilege of sharing that life with.
Xiao reminds us, "we can't ignore that
this is the world we live in." Their work
will make sure we're paying attention.
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t*
 Discorder Magazine      ????  2020
words by
Zainab Fatima
illustrations by
Neetu Dha
carpetsample94 avatar courtesy of
Anna Firth
rom Swampcone Magazine came the ultimate quarantine virtual escape
for art enthusiasts: Drawer Club. A choose-your-own-adventure —
Drawer Club allows players to create characters that get to navigate
a world they control.
Swampcone is a publishing
platform for Anna Firth, where
every season she sends out a
theme, and members of the magazine
submit comics related to it. The purpose
behind starting this platform was to allow
illustrators to have an accessible place to
publish their work.
Given that Swampcone is an illustrator/
art enthusiast haven, it seems pretty
natural for them to introduce an interactive
drawing game where the amazing contributors of the magazine and new participants get to connect through their avatars.
Best thing about it is that being a talented
artist is not a prerequisite, "it's about the
story, it's not about skill," said Firth, "so
there is no expectation that people are
expert drawers for joining which is nice.
"When all these little drawings are put in
the room it looks nice no matter what level
people are drawing at." In this case having
a unique art style can add to your benefit,
and create a spicy aesthetic.
Since Drawer Club is pretty much a
collage of different artists' work, looking
at a screenshot of the game without
contest is in itself an adventure. For those
of us who have played avatar games in our
childhood, such as Club Penguin, SIMS or
Star doll, Drawer Club allows players to
customize items exactly how they want,
because they are drawing themselves.
To play the game, players would send
their avatars, and then be given drawing
prompts everyday by Firth. The essence of
the game is pretty chill, with no strict time
obligations that players have to follow:
you get to come and go as you please.
This in particular is much appreciated
in quarantine, because having to balance
between Animal Crossing, Tik Tok and
binging 90 Day Fiance, can be chaotic.
Another unique feature of Drawer Club
is that the actual narrative of the game
also depends on what the players want
to do: Firth sends over the beginning of a
prompt and players choose how the story
develops from there, including creating
the richest, most funky backstories for
your avatars.
Drawer Club also has its own currency:
Swamp Coins. Players can spend Swamp
Coins to add items to their house, or
they can earn them by performing several
tasks in the game. One of the ways they
could earn Swamp Coins one day was
by talking to another player in the game.
This turned out to be an amazing opportunity for players to exploit the bank
because there was no limit placed on how
many characters you could talk to.
A choose-your-own-drawing-ad-
venture game with valuable life skills: a
Quarantine Love Story.
Swamp Coins also allow players to
add new things into the virtual world
of Drawer Club. For example, you can
spend Swamp Coins to be able to destroy
items in other characters' houses. Or,
you can live out your best Randy from
Recess fantasy by snitching on everything you see for an extra buck. Both are
equally satisfying.
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i will be your neighbour.
lthough Drawer Club began as a simple
quarantine activity, it soon became a
place to find your new best friend. When
characters are added to the game, their
identity is kept anonymous, but as the
game went on, "people were starting to communicate
not just through me, but through each other," said Firth,
"and I thought that was really cool, how many people
got in touch with each other just through the game."
And that is what Firth loves most about Drawer Club:
"having a community interconnected through these
personas, but then, also, they're sharing their real art
with each other." A pretty neat thing to have during
grumpy and slow quarantine days.
And because of this Firth might want to resume Drawer
Club, even if quarantine ends, "I think people are starting
to get back to their regular lives, and they aren't looking
for an escape as much, but I think there is still a place
for it." To accommodate people's changing schedules,
the potential re-start of the game would include weekly
prompts, where just like before, players can come and
go as they please.
As for Swampcone, upcoming updates for the magazine
are uncertain due to the pandemic and interruptions
in services like printing. So, for the time being, "the
future of Swampcone might look a little bit like Drawer
Club, something that's social media based and an online
drawing, digital art kind of thing," said Firth.
Even though there is a global pandemic looming over
our heads, causing uncertainty in every direction, Firth
wants Swampcone to stay, "it's about elevating people
that don't have access to the comics world. The illustration world is so tight-knit and hard to access for most
people, if I can use my platform to share people's work
and help them out then I don't wanna stop doing that."
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 Discorder Magazine      ????  2020
(Honky)
TOHK
words by Conrad Hendy II illustrations by Abi Taylor IIphotos by AlistairHenning
Tonk write lighthearted and amusing, yet pensive, ballads,
calling forth time-honoured images of corralled cattle and
a life on the open range; their recent debut provides the
ideal means to yee one's haw during these surreal days.
Tonk are a home-grown country band with a
welcome personality and sense of humour.
The vignettes of sinewy agricultural workers
and blue buckaroos that appear on their debut record,
Songs to Glorify the Re as ant and His Tractor, evoke a
sense of isolation and adversity which act as a fitting
analogue of life sequestered at home during these long
days in lockdown. This project, which was released
from isolation back in April, is both compelling and
sincere, weaving a vivid tapestry of beer drinking,
heavy hardware lifting and cowboys with a predisposition to the blues.
Despite the preconceived notions some may have
about country—perhaps predicated on encounters with
tasteless, cliche-riddled pop country or "bro-country"
— the genre is (and always has been) deceptively
diverse. Increasingly, the traditional tenets of country
are challenged by alternative and independent artists;
those looking to defy boundaries, offering an antidote
to the formulaic and commercial sound prevailing in
the mainstream, particularly with respect to the heter-
onormative and culturally conservative status quo.
Yet, it is feasible to achieve an innovative or unconventional sound whilst simultaneously honouring the
traditional motifs of the genre, as well as the resonant
and poetic songwriting upon which it was founded.
Tonk strike this balance effectively. The nascent
band's balladry is both refreshing in its approach and
brazen in its country twang.
There's some deliberation as the members of Tonk
consider their affinity for country. "Personally, I think
I got hooked on country when I finished school and
started doing physical labour," says vocalist Quin
McCormack, who, along with Ogwaho Powless
(guitars and banjo), Nick Short (drums), Grant
"Whitaker (bass) and Dan Thow (vocals, guitar and
piano), have carved out a niche in the Vancouver
scene during the year and a half or so they've been
playing together. They may not have appeared on
stage alongside many other country acts but with a
local indie circuit which is so diverse, nobody arrives
at a show expecting to hear a line-up of bands that
sound alike. "We definitely stand out genre-wise but
audiences have been receptive," Dan observes. "I
think our take on country fits in with the bounty of
other sounds in Vancouver. Hopefully we have made
some new country fans or inspired people to start
country bands." Grant continues: "... I think people
are more into country than you'd expect."
"When asked about their shift into country from
other genres, the group describe a natural transition.
"It was actually rejuvenating for myself transitioning
to country. I bought a Gibson acoustic and started
writing songs," Dan explains. For Quin, it involved
picking up a new instrument altogether, the lap steel
guitar. The gliding country staple, used for mood
enhancement and soundscape formation, was an
acquisition both challenging and rewarding. "Most
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 Discorder Magazine      ????  2020
of the slide guitar on the album is jon a lap steel
which has less moving parts [than a pedal steel], but
I am definitely a beginner. Country is kind of a nice
genre to practice music and technique because the
traditional songs are usually just a few basic chords.
"Which doesn't mean it can't be complex. [I've] been
practicing the pedal steel a lot during quarantine so,
hopefully, that'll be in whatever future Tonk stuff."
Sojtgr^Glorify the Peasant and His Tractor is
ectiono^tracks brimming with playful and
intriguing lyrics. TnMead single, "Silt," is but one
example of the rich STvA creative narratives which
appear on the project, with its infectious "hard body,
soft brain" hook. "When I started writing Silt I was
kind of aiming for it to be about a romamV: labourer
but I think I got kinda disillusioned after the first
verse," Quin recounts. "I was working as a painter
and coming home covered in dirt and stuff everyday
and like relishing the muscles I was getting but also
mourning my arts degree I guess."
"I remember talking to Quin about lyrics when we
were working on songs," Ogwaho recalls. " It often
seemed that the lyrics ended up sounding like a medieval
easant trying to write a Bakersfield country hit.
A balance of ironyNnd sincerity is one of the
/^k salient features of the record. Quin reflects
X. .m. on the process of writing songs: "I think for
most of the songs I sing on the album, we would be
amming and [would] come up with something we
ked and then I would go home and labour over
the lyrics. For a lot of them I was pulling lines from
these kinda stupid medieval limericks I was writing
a few years ago, haha. Dan's songs are definitely
different, he shows up with like fully finished songs
to practice. I was really hesitant to record honestly
'cause I wanted to keep editing the lyrics. I think
part of why country music appealed to all of us is
because it often makes fun of itself a little. [The]
lyrics can be incredibly sincere and heartbreaking but
they also don't take themselves too seriously. John
Prine and Billy Joe Shaver are really great examples
of that." When Nick was mixing the album, he asked
the rest of the band how they wanted it to sound.
"Like Honky Tonk Heroes by Waylon Jennings,"
was the unanimous reply. Other primary inspirations
for the album include the likes of Gram Parsons and
the Flying Burrito Brothers. "We definitely got res
into outlaw country, but also the unique t^ke Cram
Parsons had on the genre," Grant explai#re.
The album was released at the end of April, so how
did COVID affect the launch and promotion strategy
for the record? "I don't think we really had a strategy
to begin with," Quin muses. "But we canceled our
release show which was too bad. I think [it would
have been] mostly a chance for us to have a bit of a
party and play with some other really good bands.
"We made the album on a slim budget so it wasn't like
we had to cover costs. People have still been super
supportive and kind though."
Grant agrees: "It was weird to just send it out there
so unceremoniously but it did give us a chance to
focus on how we got it out and to what platforms."
As I lament the unfortunate nature of the situation,
Ogwaho interjects: "I think one fortunate thing
is that people have more time, and maybe more
willingness, to listen to music on streaming services
during COVID." I looked into this and, as it happens,
when it comes to country, he's completely right;
data provided by Spotify suggest that country music.
specifically has seen an upsurge of streaming during
lockdown. Intriguing.
So, what's next for Tonk post-lockdown? The
overarching sentiment is that the band are eager to get
back onstage again, playing alongside other peopled
"The release show was postponed and hopefultywe
can play that when the time comes," says Dan. "In
Nashville too, of course."
"Hopefully someone from the Grand Ole Opry is
reading this," adds Ogwaho.
For the time being, Nashville will have to wait. At
present, Tonk seek to get back to making country
converts of the patrons of dark Vancouver bars; by
means of deadpan stories which can detail anything
from struggling with rental payments to inadequate equine knowledge. They'll continue to play
their alternative brand of dusty, "tear-in-your-beer"
ballad, which can be witty and self-aware, but often
vulnerable and always unpretentious. Above all, Tonk
prove how, by challenging the audience's expectations, a true-blue country band can, in itself, be a
subversive thing.
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Talking with Marv Houngbo, it's impossible not to
be excited about what they have to say. Talking
to them, listening to their music, seeing their
photography, attending community events they've
coordinated — it's obvious that they approach any type
of interaction with intent and care. His genuity isn't
plastered. He's not trying to impress upon you how much
he cares, he simply cares. And doesn't have patience for
not expressing it. As they put it, "I just wanna be a good
person. I don't care about being cool." They believe that
"what you do really reflects who you are.", and their
work reflects this authenticity. It is never farcical, nor
does it stray far from their family and personal history.
Being a Black, queer person, being a person who was
born in a tight knit community in East Africa(and has
since lived across the western world), being exposed to
many different life experiences —these have all been
imprinted upon Marv's creative practice. Being also young
— they're 21 — that history is immediately grounding,
contextualizing, and fascinating. They've said: "I'm so
fucking obsessed with knowing history and knowing
my history," and that history continues to be a huge
inspiration for them.
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ambient hip hop and rap project,
through it, they've been able to flex the processing of their
emotions. Where they can be like, " 'I love you, but fuck
you. Look what you not only put me through, but my
people through.'" The music that Marv makes with Nivram
works like therapy by "writing about stuff and releasing
it." Like any effective therapy, what they're writing about
and releasing isn't self-contained; they're navigating their
emotions as they feel them, but also through the broader
waters of their family story. Always aware of how they fit
into a larger context, historically and communally.
Marv works in many different mediums to give a voice
to the many different parts of themselves — but commu-
nality is always woven into their practice. They often use
their photography as a conduit to raise awareness of their
community. Their style is inspired by the African family
photos they grew up with: photos of their mother, their
aunts and uncles, and themself. These photos "remind
[them] of who [they are] whenever [they're] lost." For
them, photography is sentimental. It documents people
and community. They use that to uplift their peers and give
their friends a platform; they explain "When I take photos
: my friends, I want people to know who they are. I want
people to know what they do." They want to document
their friends, alongside themself — always aware of the
representation they were missing as a kid.
Their latest photo series, Home is Not a Place, it's a Feeling,
was sparked by the discovery of the self-timer button on
their camera. It expresses a reflection Marv has had for a
long time — having had to move a lot growing up, and that
kind of transience can feel untethering; "So many of my
friends have their childhood homes that they can always go
back to. A lot of my white friends have lived in the same
house their entire lives. For me, my friends are my home,
my friends' homes are my homes." This series documents
Marv's feelings about beauty and their relationship with
having, and how having is related to wanting. It's accompanied by a list of what they pray for, "things [they]'ve
never had, things [they] have now, and things that [they] will
have". Something they haven't always had is the privilege to
"see [themself] in a lot of artwork. [They] didn't see Black
joy in a lot of artwork" and photographing it now both
honors that past loss and celebrates its gain.
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U.N.I.T.Y. Collective to create a space where
' BIPOC queer and trans people can "meet other
BIPOC queer and trans people they would've never met
before." From a place of genuine care, Marv believes
community is about making connections that enable
sharing resources, to them it's fundamentally "being like
'Oh you need this? I know a person, let me introduce
you.'" U.N.I.T.Y. had their first show in the midst of
Covid on July 1. The event's germ was as a community
photoshoot project (Unity in Quarantine, in which Marv
photographed and interviewed friends and colleagues) to
counter the necessary isolation of lockdown and social
distancing. The shoot became an event showcasing
BIPOC, queer, and trans artists in Vancouver. Marv
wanted to show that "with BLM, and the pandemic,
Black joy still exists and BIPOC folks hanging out &
having fun is still a thing." The all BIPOC Lineup —
comprised of Nivram, HoodieBrowns, DeadnYoung,
Dani Your Darling, DJ Brat, and Delia Orrey — is an
essential feature to Marv's vision for U.N.I.T.Y.'s events.
The show had a 35 person capacity and was streamed
over Zoom. For the physical audience, Marv prioritized
Black, queer and trans folks "because we need spaces that
are ours, period."
That need, and U.N.I.T.Y. itself, aren't ideas limited
to Vancouver. As a network for resource sharing, Marv
wants to use U.N.I.T.Y. to "be putting on more younger
people, and Black people, and Indigenous people, and
people of color who come from the suburbs." People who
are excluded from the resources that are centralized, and
hoarded, bv the citv's white-elite.
...I
Vancouver-adjacent spaces: "in the next year what I wai
to see, [and] in the world in general, is more community."
In keeping with this hope, U.N.I.T.Y.'s future isn't
constrained to North America. Inspired by their aunt's
artist residency in Kenya, and their mother's nonprofit
Mamba Support Society, Marv wants to "take U.N.I.T.Y.
to communities around the world who don't have access"
— especially those in Africa. They've seen how, because
of the ways colonialism, capitalism and white supremacy
have shaped western cultures' perception of people in
Africa, "people don't realize that there's an underground
scene in Africa too. There's queer and trans poeple in
Africa too. People assume that Africa is this jungle with
lions and it's like — there are cities in Africa. There are
people who DJ, there are people who are in the scene."
""or now, U.N.I.T.Y. is shaping into a platform to
.elevate local artists' work. They've put out a call for
V submissions to post on their Instagram, but mainly
Marv's "waiting for the pandemic to end because [their]
whole life revolves around not being in a pandemic,"
waiting and working on their music, which Marv's been
developing for years. They've been feeling "scared to put
it together, but it's going to be so exciting because [they]
have such a good feeling that something so beautiful will
come out of it." Recently, they've been struck by the
word sublime, to them, "it's very noble, it's just beauty.
That's where my beauty comes from." Their sublimity
is their authenticity and care that makes their vision for
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rough     t
\micropnone  an
its reverb shoofo
the floor.
Or maybe it was the leg work.
Doshs' relationship with sound begins
in the loud and boisterous city of
Lagos, Nigeria. Moving to Toronto
as a twenty-something, and now in
Vancouver,heneverfor&othishometown., T   +. A+u.
waTi 7    .      . Jo .        .  ,   In your music — 1 noticed this
Where music is as common as air, it s with your freestyies — you're
hard not to breathe in deep. always playing Even if it's
^^^^^^^_^^^^^^^_ just like a freestyle, or just a
*   i Milena: How has music played a    beat, you know, you're still like
M/UrUb UJ/ part in your life? humming. I don't know if that
makes sense.
musical things. For example, there
are food vendors who would have
these bowls on their head, filled
with food, and forks that they'd tap
to attract people. So, I'd say for me,
in my household, there was music
around, but my parents weren't
really musical.
illustrations by
photos by
PHOEBE TELFAR
Dosh: Music has been like a
companion, like a friend in some
ways. Mainly in my house it was
kind of different. I grew up in
Nigeria, so there was music around
us but there were no devices. There's
no 24-hour electricity, we could
have no electricity for like a month.
We would make music ourselves.
We would play around, [there was
this] clapping game called Ten-te,
played out on the street. So the
environment was musical, but also
just the noise of the city itself —
because there's no electricity, a lot
of people had generators, and generators make a lot of noise. Imagine
everyone on the whole block having
a generator. It's funny, there was this
BBC documentary called 'Sounds
of Lagos', and [it was about the]
street vendors who, in order to
attract customers, do these different
Yeah for sure, I like how you said
it. You know, again, growing up in
Lagos, it's something that we always
used to do — there's a huge freestyle
culture there. There's this place
we used to call "The Waterside,"
and everyday after school everyone
would go down there and rap.
But again, the artform, the music
itself, was about the voice as an
instrument. I definitely appreciate
artists, rappers, who know how to
move with the music rather than
being stiff with their art form. So
yeah, it's an interesting observation.
So swords, I want to talk about
swords. Why do you like swords?
I saw that there was a picture
that you have where you have
a sword and you're cutting a
Macbook in half.
I think it's maybe a metaphor for life,
you know what I mean? I think that's
more so what I get from being "like
a sword." It's like, when you have a
skill, when you have a talent, it's kind
of like a blade. Because samurais
have a discipline to the maintenance
of their swords. They have to clean
it. They have to sharpen it after a
fight, or before a war. I think it's like
life — we're like swords and if we
don't maintain ourselves, or sharpen
our skills, then we can't slice through
the toughest of foes, or the toughest
of things. I think I've been more
cautious of the sword thing lately,
because [it can be a form of] cultural
appropriation. But I've always been
fascinated with them. I actually own
a sword, but I think I lost it.
How do you lose a sword?
It's my second sword. I'm just
clumsy. I moved and I think I lost it
somewhere.
Well, hopefully it doesn 't land in
the hands of the wrong person.
Yes, yes haha hopefully not.
Um okay. So also talking
about movement. I wanted
to talk about dance because
performance seems like it's a
really big part of your stage
presence for you. I don't know
if you do it on purpose, but it's
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& the 3ribe
fery contagious. Like you said,
your songs are playful and that
energy is definitely conveyed
through movement for you. I also
saw you include choreography
with Alyssa Marshi for the song
"Dangerous," and I think that's
something I wanted to talk about
because not all artists take the
time to make choreographies for
their songs.
You know what? Every artist has
their way to express a show, you
know? Personally, I don't play any
instruments, I'm just a vocal artist.
And maybe in some ways, you know,
I kind of use dancing as a type of
instrument. You feel the music, and
what do you gotta do? You gotta
dance! Yeah, I think dancing is just
how you feel the music. Dance is
just an essential form of human
expression. Some people say they
can't dance and I honestly believe
there's no such thing as that.
Maybe you don't know how to do
movements that other people are
accustomed to, or you can't move
in a certain way. But there's no such
thing as not being able to dance.
It's just like cooking — everybody
can cook. Some people can cook
better than others. It's just like,
you never saw it as a priority. But
everybody can do it.
Dance for him is a response to music that
asks us questions. The body answers.
Similar to the rhythm that makes feet tap
and hips sway, sometimes you need to
feel it heavy in your spirit to be light on
your toes.
So before I ask about your
team, the 3ribe, I should ask if
Fm pronouncing it right — is it
Thribe?
Yes. But it's honestly just Tribe. I think
after I did it [replaced the T with 3],
I realized — people are curious. It's
just interesting that it walks into your
memory when you are trying to figure
out how to pronounce something.
Makes it more memorable.
Constantly working on sharpening that
blade, building crafts and finding grooves
to fill within it. Writing rhymes with a
heavy hand and entering the stage with a
right hook. They say the pen is mightier
than the sword — for Adewolf they're
not in competition. Writing rhymes with
a heavy hand and entering the stage with
a right hook. Through his music you'll
hear that risk and danger is a match he's
willing to fight for.
It seems what you have is like
a mentality of like...wanting
to create statements, because
you look up to people who are
recognizable. Who have built
an empire of themselves through
their art. So would you say
you have something that you're
building right now for yourself?
I guess more like the Egyptians
said —just immortality. They say,
life is like a fruit, and it's just like
how much you squeeze, and I'm
still squeezing. Seeing whatjuices
come out. See, I'm just having fun
with it. I think my legacy is just
making sure you push yourself.
Reach better versions. I think we
have an obligation to. We consume
a lot of music. I feel like it's greedy
to take all these amazing things:
art, music, all these forms — we
can't make it one sided. You gotta
give back something, I think we
all have something to keep back.
So maybe my form is this. In
whatever capacity, big or small,
it doesn't really matter but so
far, it's making the world better,
especially now. A lot of people
are not going as deep. They're just
going wider. They don't want to
go deep, there's something deep
this time of isolation has shown us,
how the capitalist system is moving
the pace for the world. That is just
dangerous — we can't let money
decide how we should be moving.
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 Discorder Magazine      ????  2020
and if we don't
or sharpen our skills,
then we cant sliee
offoes,orthe
toughest of things"
So let's talk about 3ribe.
I always had a dream of just having
a crew, a band, where we can
make music together like a family.
I initially just kind of set it up to
perform for a release party and
well, I think we just kind of chilled.
Jammed. The whole crew. We have
Chris Bede on the drums [...] Max
Gage playing the piano, and also
the guitar, and is like, an awesome
musician. He's also a producer and
an engineer. Same thing with Ron
Nazal — he plays the piano, but
many other instruments as well.
Then, we have Omo Iruoje. Omo
was actually the first guy I met
that introduced me to everyone.
Omo is, again, a creative person.
He's a graphic designer/Then we
have Abby Agnes, who is a singer.
Abby's a newer member. There is
also Stephanie Aigbe-Joseph and
Nayeed Toriola who are singers.
So genres — well, just tell me
what are the genres that you feel,
you play with 3ribe, describe the
music to me.
I would say like, definitely aspects
of hip hop, and aspects R&B. I think
we definitely play around with
some jazzy elements, definitely
Afrobeats because I'd say that's
more my background. We throw in
some reggae there too, and some
Dancehall cause yeah, shit, I grew
up on that. Bob Marley and all
those tings.
What do you feel is your message?
What you want people to feel
when they listen to your music?
Although I understand how that
could be different based on the
song as well.
Uh huh. Yeah, I'll say maybe that
it's more like it's OK to be yourself.
You know what I mean? To be like,
kind of awkward and insecure
sometimes. It definitely takes a
bit of courage, you know, taking
time to understand yourself. [...]
They say to get the gold, you
have to dig deeper. You have to
be fighting to get that gold —
not be cliche — but I feel like I am
doing that most of the time. I have
songs like, new phone who be dis,
which is definitely more of a party
song. But even in that, I'm kind of
also talking about how sometimes
you need to let go, in the steps to
becoming your better self. Letting
go of old friends, and having a new
group of people who have the same
mindset, you know, that line, "don't
call me if it 'ain't about biz" —
dont be calling me if it's not about
progress. The lyrics "We shine like a
compact disk" — you're with people
who want to shine. Stuff like that.
Adewolf entered the game with an urge
to be palatable — but now, his sound
has ripened into something less sweet,
but that, he can savour. Music that is so
shiny, it can't help but see its reflection
on the stage floor — like a Michael
Jackson glove.
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Growing into the letters that spell
Adewolf has also meant anchoring
himself in the 3ribe — a world made
of trees that drip gold and a peacock-
jeweled sound that hums the highlife
of his hometown. Sounds enveloped in
a persistently pink-toned percussion,
with glittering accents. Vocals shine and
improvisation is a dagger built of words
that could split you open.
You kind of talked about how,
when you were growing up, felt
like a different time. And right
now, we're living in very racially
tense and urgent times. How
do you think your upcoming
projects or the music that you're
working on right now have been
affected by this atmosphere?
I grew up in Lagos Island. Lagos
Island is right by the Atlantic sea,
and was one main ports where
slave ships used to take Africans
to the West — it's the main hub.
It's crazy how everything comes
full circle. Now I'm doing a bit
more research. I'm understanding
the systematic oppression, the
pain, and there's definitely some
responsibility to speak about these
things. To be confident in your
culture and have a stance. I feel
like working on the inside is a big
part of this future progress. And I
think, maybe, that's what my new
project is talking about. What's
inside, and how you can use that
to build yourself Handle anything
that comes. Whether it's like,
systematic oppression, whether
it's like actual racism. Yeah, it's
definitely important to talk about.
How it's going to be reflected in
this project is something I'm still
trying to figure out.
And how about the theme of
love? How does that translate
itself in music, or for your art?
Is it a tone? Is it a rhythm?
I think for me, first is self-love,
to be able to focus on my craft. I
think love is also one of the most
powerful things when you give it.
It might not be tangible — but it's
creating something that moves.
It moves people in a way that
physical things can't. That pretentious things can't. It's the most
honest, pure, thing.
I think more so it's an action.   You can keep up with Adewolf on
Acting. You know, I love making   all major streaming and social media
music. I have to do more of the   platforms.
things I love. And I feel like if there
was more love in the world, every- ^
where would just be a better place.
IB: @adewolfy
W-fa cebook.com/
adewolf);
soundcloud. com/
adewolfj3
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 Discorder Magazine      ????  2020
This is gonna sound fucked up but
do you remember the girl rolando
was with?" "Yeah, Timika?" "THAT'S
Timika Laque? Oh my god, it's a
real person..." "there's a story
THAT GOES ALONG WITH THAT." Sitting on
THE PAVEMENT OUTSIDE BY 868 EAST CORDOVA, WHERE
§,ARGE MURAL BY THE AA CREW IS HOUSED, JAY
WING, FLIPOUT AND DEDOS have an
IMPORTANT DETAIL OF THE FIRST ISSUE OF ELEMENTS
MAGAZINE TO FLESH
OUT; 25 YEARS AFTER ITS
PUBLICATION IN MAY 1995.
WORDS   BY
FATEMEH
GHAYEDI
PHOTO   BY
DANIELA
RODRIGUEZ
ARCHIVAL
IMAGES   COURTESY
OF   FLIP,    JAY,
AND   DEDOS
lements — extending out
of the CiTR station —
ran until Winter 1996
and focused on encompassing all the elements,
so to speak, of Hip Hop
culture: MCing, DJing, B-boying and
graffiti. DJs Jay Swing and "Flipout"
(Phil Cabrita) had already established
themselves at the station as hosts of
"The Show" with Checkmate at CiTR
every Saturday night from 6-8PM,
before approaching station manager,
Linda Scholten, with their idea for the
magazine. The functioning core was
made up of Flip and Jay — who handled
everything from the editorial duties, the
layouting, to the distribution — with AA
Crew members, Dedos and Virus, who
contributed the lettering and graffiti-style
illustrations. Now, those behind Elements
come together again to wrap things nicely
into a book that collects all the little
pieces to the magazine.
The magazine boasts features with
some prolific MCs in the industry —
like Raekwon, KRS-One, OutKast and
Ghostface Killah, and with DJs in their
"Vinyl Conflict" columns such as Red
Alert and Stretch Armstrong. Each issue
contained album reviews, a 'mixtape' of
songs, and the "Masterpieces" column
to spotlight worthy graff coordinated
by the AA Crew, who were also running
their own 'graff-zine' at the time called
Xylene. Going through the eight issues
the crew produced, you find little pockets
that delve into the thoughts and lives of
people within that community; in the
editor's notes, in Mr. Bill's ruminations
in his "Metaphysics" column on the state
of the scene, or in Checkmate's assertion
of the language he uses in Issue 4 under
"Y'knowwhati'msayin'." It's a brief look
at this culture scarcely documented in
Canada, at a time when content wasn't
as readily accessible and our duties not
so streamlined. "We were still fucking
printing them out and pasting them
on boards at that point," Flipout says
of their process "it would take us so
fucking long to do this shit, too." In
every mention of Elements that I have
seen, there has always been reference to
their difficulties with meeting publication
deadlines. Flipout's editor's notes were
often frank about their issues with getting
to print on time, and Jay says "we ratted
ourselves out. If we'd never said that, I
bet people wouldn't have even known
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that it was late." Ultimately, the delay
contributed to the end of their run, "The
next issue started to get worked on," Jay
explains, speaking of the never published
Issue 9, "I kept getting mad because we
wouldn't go out to make another one,
[...] too much time went past. We were
always late, late, late and finally, it was
obvious that it was just way too late."
Not only were they coordinating every
administrative aspect of the magazine,
they were also writing a majority of the
pieces themselves. Doing all of the work
on their own became overwhelming,
especially when this was something they
were not profiting off of. "We were doing
it for fun from the beginning, we kept
doing it for fun, and then it became a lot of
work for Jay and me." A lot of the pieces
from the first issue are penned by Flip and
Jay, so much so that Rolando Espinoza
— the editor on the first issue — decided
it would be a good idea to list some
under aliases. That's where Timika Laque
comes in; as one of the 'credited' writers
on that issue. "He chose his girlfriend's
name for one thing that I wrote, but I
happened to diss K-OS in that. I said he
sounded like that kid who thinks he's
Q-Tip, and then K-OS got pissed." Jay
recounts, "And K-OS is my guy, but back
then him and Ghetto Concept wanted to
confront Tamika about the diss. When
they found out that Timika Laque was
Jay the White Guy then they were really
pissed and confronted me in front of the
York Theatre at the Hip-Hop Explosion
Tour. They were like 'You fucked up,
bro. We are trying to build something
here and you just put a crack in the
foundation. Why would you do this and
why would you change your name?'
I'm like, 'This sounds like an
excuse, but it was the editor
before we went to print! It
was such a bad look. It was
also a real uncomfortable
situation."
The issue of contributors persisted while
the magazine was in
publication. There
was little interest coming
in from other Discorder/
CiTR volunteers in writing
for Elements, and they still
couldn't get themselves
paid through this work, no
less, pay others who they
wanted to write for them.
"Rolando did say 'try to
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get more diverse contributors.' We tried,
but then no one could be paid," Flipout
says, and Jay summarizes the sentiment
stating "You couldn't pay somebody
to do the work — and it was a lot of
work — so we just did it." There was an
interest in branching off from the station
and its non-profit structure, but that
proved difficult. Past a certain point, they
couldn't really justify the sleepless weeks
that would go into putting out an issue
they couldn't get paid for either. The lack
of contributors, the institutional strain
and absence of pay, all contributed to
the decision to fold — though the same
could be said for the urban BIPOC youth
whose self-expression breathed life into
the scene, and into Elements pages.
t was a funny time to
be having this conversation with people who
ran a magazine through
CiTR before I was born — because
it's one we have been circling back to
within Discorder — the defining line
between work that is solicited, and that
which is volunteered. Our position as
an outlet which provides opportunities
to volunteer; to learn, and to make, but
further, to have work published — and
what then, is considered fair under our
particular structure. It's been something I
have had to reflect on, in thinking of what
my role as an editor has traditionally been
defined to consist of, and the ways in
which I could (and should) reconceptu-
alize the work I do to to better align with
what it actually means to be equitable
and accountable.
In discussing the distribution of work, I
wondered how much of that could have
been avoided if others in the station had
been more involved. Interestingly, Jay and
Flip tell me that it's hard to tell. Especially
now, decades after the fact, how much of
that was lack of interest and how much
of it was them being unapproachable. "I
think a little bit, too, maybe we were not
that inclusive. We weren't that open, you
know?" Flip considers, "I went though
all of my 20s with this weird chip on my
shoulder about anything. I kinda didn't
wanna hang out with people, and was
like 'We're doing this shit, you're not a
part of this.' There might have been a
little of that from my end." In a way, I
guess it makes sense, looking at it from
the perspective of 20 year olds' overpro-
tective disposition towards something
they've initiated, and that they find to be
an extension of themselves. "If it was me
now, I would be asking everyone 'yo, do
you wanna be a part of this?', but back
then we were like 'We got this. We know
what we're doing [...] You would've
fucking hated us. It was peak... white guy
in the 90s. I don't think I was very cool
then, at all." Flipout also admitted that
sometimes that sentiment was justified —
recalling an old argument, "Fuck I feel
so dumb. I was arguing with this girl, she
was saying "hip hop is political" and I
responded with "no it's not, it's just about
youth expression". I got very defensive
— but we were actually saying a similar
thing, and, like, she was right," he says
laughing.
Parts of Issue 9 will finally
get a home nestled among all
the other fragments, including
an interview Flip did with
Jay-Z in '96 before his first album came
out which he claims to be a "Terrible
interview. If you hear the audio, it's cringe
max," with Jay coming to his support
to say that it "reads a lot better." Along
with that, we can expect a big showcase
of Dedos' unreleased artwork. Speaking
to this renewed interest in their work
with Elements, Jay says "Whenever
we'd post stuff, people would be really
into it. It really sparked some nostalgia,
and more importantly, fuck all that, it
would spark something in people. People
like you, who weren't even there, who
were like 'What is this artefact — this
time capsule?'" This an opportunity for
them to bind those experiences into one
substantial thing that cements what truly
went down. This is where the magazine's
journey towards existing as its own entity
culminates, years after that question of
"what now, and how?" was first posed.
The book is slated to come out around
Christmas, if things go according to plan,
but as Jay says, "we have no idea of
timelines when it comes to publishing."
So, in true Elements fashion: the book
will come out whenever it's time for it to
come out.
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ALL TH IS TIME
CONTRIBUTING
ARTISTS i
Alex Gibson, Alexandra Box, Amber
Pb, Astrid C. Johansen, Avery
Hannig, Brenda Wisniowski, Brigitte
Patenaude, Daryn Wright, Diana
Hanitzsch, Doenja Oogjes, Eric
Tkaczyk, Gloria Avgust, Hanshu Ma,
Jane Cheng, John Padrino, Joni
Cheung, Kai Choufour, Laura Lindsey,
Leslie Leong, Liam Johnstone, M.E.
Sparks, Madeleine Keen, Marika
Vandekraats, Matthew Wong, Matthis
Grunksy, Melanie Evelyn, Meichen
Waxer, Nellie Stark, Nick Morrison,
Nicole Caspillio, Nina Sarnelle, Shyra
DeSouza, Simon Bermeo-Ehmann,
Stephanie Gagne, Trish Malcomess,
Victoria Furuya, Yifan Jiang, Yujin
Kim, Quintin Teszeri
WITHTIME
IN OUR
HANDS
\ll This Time is an ongoing online
exhibition curated by Number 3
Gallery; a mobile curatorial project
centering emerging contemporary artists
and spaces.
As a response to the abrupt cultural
changes and new circumstances of this
spring, #3 invited participants of any
artistic genre to submit work that was not
immediately 'art' related, but in distinct
ways could contribute to discourses
around legitimacy, value and productivity in cultural landscapes of capitalist,
patriarchal and ableist behavioral norms.
Topics which are not only symptomatic
of the current moment, but have become
even more evident and urgent in light of
recent events.
Setting out as an exploration of the
ways in which we adapt and respond
to moments of crises, the exhibition
provides a digital frame for rethinking
AT #3 GALLERY
words by Maria Lima
images courtesy of Number 3 Gallery
embodiment, materiality, and temporality
to discover healthier time orientations.
After all, "crisis" is nothing new. Health
crises, climate crises and economic crises
have all long formed part of our lives.
What is extraordinary about the current
moment then, might be that we no longer
will accept the normalcy of emergency.
Presented as a curatorial project in a
blog-style format, the exhibition creates
new forms of kinship through and beyond
online presence. All This Time is not only
a documentation and archive of our
daily resistance to surrendering to "Gore
Capitalism," but an example of our inter-
connectedness and affective bonds to
non-human forces. It is no longer enough
to demystify the world. In order to create
images of hopeful futures, we have to
actively re-enchant the world. In this
context, technology becomes not only a
last resort, but a tool for social change.
On a digital wallpaper more blue than
the sky, both #3 and the artists use this
expansive realm to reimagine a vibrant
future of human and non-human bodies.
In a time where life on-screen often has
us feeling more embodied and connected
while the real world increasingly distances
us from our bodies and sense of reality, All
This Time subtly reminds the viewer that
it's not only what we make of objects —
but what they make of us. It's the ability
of inanimate things to have material
effects on our lives, pulling us in and out
of our own materiality — Like Donna
Haraway said; Why should our bodies
end at the skin?
Yujin Kim's dumplings, screenshot from
All This Time online exhibition/blog
2020, courtesy of Number 3 Gallery
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John Padrino's toilet paper drawings,
featured on All This Time
2020, courtesy of Number 3 Gallery
Nelli Stark's
double-sided
shirt, featured
All This Time
2020, courtesy
of Number 3
Gallery
STEPPING
OUTSIDE
THE WHITE
CUBE
#3's curatorial approach to online
exhibitions centers the need for
growing sustainable systems of
exchange — recrafting definitions of institutional and human bodies, both online
and off. The result is at once a quiet,
introspective experience of slowing down
and withdrawing, as well as an urgent
institutional critique, calling for action.
Nellie Stark, one of the participating
artists, demonstrates in a video piece the
functionality of a reversible top she made
as a result of finally having time to familiarize herself with a sewing machine. The
text included underneath reads: "Turns
out I have endless patience for intricate
embroidery, but none for using a machine
to sew a straight line." As a non-binary
person I've always found it difficult to
follow straight lines. Maybe it's because
the perfectly aligned lines of machines
and of capitalist society are out of tune
with the movements of our bodies. Is
straightness an ideal only because it is
unreachable? Perhaps every person has
their own temporal rhythm to follow.
One that is as intricate as embroidery on
a shirt.
All this time makes space to think
outside the white walls of the gallery,
effectively destabilizing normalized ideas
of (re)production, value, and legitimacy.
It seems to ask us; should growth and
linear progression still be ideals we
live by? And at the expense of whose
diminishment or exclusion? Can we
embrace slowness as a political act?
Practicing institutional slowness requires
abandoning the idea of the white cube
as a timeless place — free of social or
political context. To bring value back
into daily life and lived experience, as All
This Time challenges the assumption of
neutrality and timelessness within online
and offline institutions. This is a powerful
way of restructuring the architecture
of the white cube that separates artistic
value from the presumed outside political
and social sphere.
There is nothing innate about value. It
has no essence, and is forged by the ideals
of a specific time and place. Some objects
acquire more value with time, like arche-
ological artifacts, while others, such as an
old TV, quickly lose value and slide into
the category of trash. John Padrino's illustrations on toilet paper —a commodity
which during the pandemic gained an
almost incomparable value — exemplifies
this logic. Value seems to be given to
whatever is in shortage, whatever is
running out. The work forces the viewer
to consider their own position in the
current landscape of consumer capitalism
— buying into the fear of scarcity. Just
imagine the gallery of the future in a far
distant galaxy wherein the cyborg visitors
admiring Padrino's work wonder why
on earth human beings panicked at the
threat of a lack of toilet paper, but not at
the threat of climate change.
Leslie Leong's work leaves us to reflect
on how some human traces change
landscapes forever. The video of the
melting permafrost becomes evidence of
the immediacy of climate change and
the precariousness of communities who
might not have the privilege of time as
temperatures continue to rise and their
lands disappear. Leong's works shows
us the mechanics of time and how it
works as an unequally distributed social
currency. It invites us to gain new understandings of the interwovenness of human
and non-human forces, and the damaging
effects of temporal oppression.
RE -
CRAFTING
TECH
NOLOGY
Gloria Avgust's work; a heron's
fountain made from rubber tubes
and SPA water bottles placed on
a steel ladder brings back memories of
4th grade science projects. The feeling of
achievement watching the modest squirt
of water somehow not giving in to gravity
blurred distinctions between science and
magic — the fountain is simple, yet as
mesmerizing as childhood itself. As kids
we experience the world as enchanted.
We didn't feel the need to understand
its magic as much as the need of simply
experiencing it. What is the difference
between science and magic, really? Isn't
magic just a word used for technologies
we don't understand?
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The works in All This Time reframe
the term 'technology". They carefully
consider more embodied and intimate
forms of technologies, like the technology
of sound, language, and time. Technology
and the future often appear in the
same discourse, as if technology equals
futurity. Technology is imagined through
the image of computers, artificial intelligence and cyborgs. This imaginary
detaches technology from the past and
the etymology of the term, leading back
to the Ancient Greek word "tekhne"
referring to 'art' and 'craft'. The works
reinsert art and craft into the meaning
of technology suggesting that technology
is the everyday magic we make with our
two hands.
A fountain is just one kind of technology.
Historically, fountains began as purely
functional, being important sources of
drinking water. However, they later on
gained decorative value, becoming urban
landmarks that showcased the wealth of
cities. The circular flow of a fountain that
is unaffected by the lack of an audience
or human interference brings time into
the visible realm reassuring us that time
still moves, even in a global moment
characterized by the feeling of loss of
time. The flow of water is like the flow
of time. Waves are like memories slowly
bouncing back in a circular movement,
like recurrences of history repeating
itself. Why do we feel the need to create,
to make and reinvent things, especially
in a time of crisis? Perhaps Avgust's
revisiting of ancient fountains is a way
of refusing to forget how old crafts
have always been embedded in modern
technologies, and how the use of these
now seemingly obsolete technologies help
us move forward as we invent new ones.
Painting Bootcamp, Doenja Oogjes
2020, courtesy of Number 3 Gallery
Marika Vandekraat's duolingo lesson,
screenshot from All This Time online
exhibition/blog
2020, courtesy of Number 3 Gallery
WE TOUCH
SCREENS
AND TECH
NOLOGY
TOUCHES
US BACK
^ Jk V hen I take a break from social
■% media I worry about missing
■ m out. When I spend all day
on social media, I worry about missing
out. Sometimes after falling deep into
an Instagram wormhole, scrolling until
my wrist hurts, I am convinced this
object has become an extension of my
hand. A prosthesis of its own smooth
and glimmering skin. Bodies extend
themselves through objects and we adjust
to their presence to exist in synthesis.
What happens when technology seems
to know more about us than ourselves?
Marika Vandekraat's work of a screenshot
Duolingo lesson, juxtaposed with a digital
collage of iPhone images, reconfigures the
notion of inanimate matter while considering the growing extent of surveillance
systems and autonomous machines. The
images of everyday obj ects now rearranged
and detached from chronological order
suddenly appear foreign. As objects are
removed from their ordinary context
they acquire life and symbolic value
beyond their mere function. Duolingo's
daily reminders become a disciplinary
and regulatory force upon the malleable
body. These notifications provide a sense
of structure and routine by telling us, 'it's
time for your daily lesson,' while further
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 Discorder Magazine      ????  2020
proving that in a time when institutions
fail to operate as they were supposed
to, we tend to find ways to continue
their work that has already become so
ingrained in us.
As the translated words on the screen
reads: 'the artist keeps hoping,' we are
reminded of how easily computers read
our mind through algorithms detecting
and further shaping our behavioral
norms. We now touch screens more
frequently than we touch skin. Not only
as passive spectators, but as users we are
forced to acknowledge the affective bonds
and connections we make with inanimate
things as we tell them secrets that we
might never say out loud, but reveal
by the subtle movements of our fingers
passing over a screen.
TIME
ORIEN
TATIONS
OF
HEALING 8
SEEING
THE
HORIZON
^^™ he works in All This Time seem to
Iask; how do we reclaim time, when
time was never in our favour to
begin with? It is then more a question of
(re)encountering healthier time-orientations, abandoning the universal and linear
perception of time so deeply embedded in
Western culture, than "getting back to
normal." There is feedback between the
past and present and the echoes of the
past always find their way into our lives.
Doenja Oogjes, a design researcher
working within speculative design, found
herself invested in watercolor painting
while experiencing the sudden time on
her hands. The blue and red patterns
mirror the slow repetitive movement of
the brush shaping them. Doenja herself
explains the calming feeling of repeating
the same movement, almost as if experiencing time folding in on itself, layer
upon layer, bending and twisting. The soft
U-shaped strokes turning into triangular
shapes then becoming sharper Z-shaped
figures are perhaps a slow countermove
to consumer capitalism and its demand of
constant progress and efficiency. The work
visualises how patterns — in paintings or
in society — are never the product of an
immediate and singular event. Rather
they are shaped by recurring movements.
The self-regulating experience of repetitive motion is not about controlling time,
but rather to tune into its shape-shifting
materiality. Everything exists on its own
timeline, a line which is not a line at all,
but rather, slow bended strokes or curves.
The paintings somehow echo patterns
created by weaving and I am reminded
that the world's first computer was, in
fact, a loom. Another traditional craft, or
technology, if you will.
The folds and bends of Oogjes waterc-
olour paintings are not unlike the curves
and folds sealing homemade dumplings.
Yujin Kim's work presents an exploration of heritage and the time traveling
technologies that allow us to feel at
home. Preparing a home cooked meal
requires the same amount of skill and
attention to detail used in the making
of a sculpture or painting. The work
ascribes value to embodied and sensory
Melting Permafrost,
Leslie Leong
2020, courtesy of
Number 3 Gallery
still from Clumsy
Heron, Gloria Avgust
2020, courtesy of
Number 3 Gallery
experiences allowing them to become
sources of knowledge and storytelling. In
a future oriented society, looking back
and giving oneself time to repeat gestures
of undersung practices is a subversive act.
All This Time allows the visitor to
think beyond limits of the presumed
lifeless blue-screen, while recognizing the
challenges of online existence. Centering
works that imagine new spatio-tempo-
ralities of being and becoming in a time
marked by loss of linearity and coherence,
the exhibition provides a glimpse of a
future that arrives at, and departs from, the
subtle force of everyday lived experience. In
an unsustainable environment of constant
rush, to slow down and make time for
repetition, stillness and ritual might be an
act of resilience that counters the imposed
linear time.
The artists in All This Time use
technology as a means, rather than
end, allowing new forms of kinship and
gathering to be imaged and effectively
enter the digital and daily realm. After all,
pivotal change has never been a singular
event in time. The revolutionary potential
of the everyday is in the simple act of
taking our time. All This Time is a portal
inviting us to reconsider the boundaries
of our own bodies, acknowledging how
human existence exceeds the flesh. Time
is a substance as malleable as clay in our
hands. With all this time on our hands
just imagine what we could build.
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 Smartly-
Crafted
Living
Riding the SKYTRAIN home,
I wondered whether I should stop at
the MARKET. There's a
sandwich I want to make for him,
but it takes three kinds of cheese
and I can't afford them all.
I wondered which one he would be
least excited about, maybe I could
omit that one. Then I realized I
shouldn't bother making a less good
version for someone who is already
so far out of my league. It's
doing things like that put me
in my league in the first place.
I decided to hold off on buying the
INGREDIENTS until I was
sure whether we were going to
break up or not.
Where Life Intersects by Nicola Coulter
 Discorder Magazine      ????  2020
SHEI3
words by Sarah Bakke
illustrations by Ruby Izatt
he opening minutes of s01e03 tell us that
we are heading towards an end.
Qt is the last day of summer and a dear friend will soon be
leaving the city. The final hours in an MMORPG — the
URL nexus of friendship — are passing quickly. "I was up
all night visiting our favourite spots," one player says to another,
as it seems impossible to leave without saying a proper goodbye.
What ensues within the film's 24-hour narrative is a telling of
many interconnected relationships, the centrepiece being a love
story between people who have not yet met in person — only
online. However, this is not to say that their connection is less
than, or that it has yet to fully form.
Kurt Walker and Michelle Yoon, co-creators (among many)
of s01e03, agree that there are no clear lines between life/love
experienced online and off. "The time I spend IRL and URL is
part of the same existence... nearly every collaborator in this
film is a friend I've met online and have communicated with
digitally. I know it's more compartmentalized for some people,
but it's becoming less reasonable to me how anyone can create
such a divide," Yoon says. In Walker's words, "My experience
of the two is interwoven, and as a filmmaker I figure the task
is to reflect and embody this instead of clinging to increasingly
antiquated forms of classical storytelling and image-making."
£2>
01e03's approach to image-making is itself intensely
collaborative. Not only between artists, but also
locations, modes of existence, and cinematic forms. The
film's synthesis of onscreen text, subtle soundscapes (the wind
and lapping water in-game SFX, or James Emrick's charming
piano and choral score), and footage of both virtual and material
locations feels familiar despite its experimental label because it
emulates the way we live now — constantly moving through IRL
and URL spaces and selves. "There was no single image that I
weighed above another while making this movie, instead I was
most invested in the audio-visual and emotional rhythm of its
whole," Walker explains. Similarly, Yoon relays "there really is
no hierarchy... despite all the formats and image qualities," and
adds that it is a film about "friendships, collaborative filmmaking
and the metaphysical unity of virtual and physical space." It is a
remarkable example of interdisciplinary forms coalescing.
The seeds for s01e03 were television melodramas and online
forums. Yoon describes how their group of collaborators would
meet online to watch films and share music via Tinychat, and
Walker describes watching Gilmore Girls for the first time with
his friend, and accidentally starting with a mid-season episode;
"we watched in dumb awe thinking the ellipses was intentional... this mistake had me start thinking about the possibilities of figuring a standalone tale to be experienced as a kind of
excerpt by way of withholding characterization and plot."
The decision to mold s01e03's form in the likeness of a single
television episode is evident — and is clearly reinforced by the
film's title —but the narrative does possess a finality. Yes, this is
an excerpt (what story isn't?), and yet, we've been gently moving
towards a convergence of friends, lovers, conversations the
whole time, unsure of what the eventual crossing of paths will
bring. Complimentary (though seemingly antithetical) to this
convergent energy is the parallel movement towards separation.
The narrative revolves around not only the arrival of a cherished
friend, but the leaving of one too, and we are regularly reminded
of the MMORPG's impending dissolve via a countdown to the
server's closure.
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 OSOS  ????      snisBgBMtsbtooaia
Qespite the film's clear affinity for relationship and
connection, there is also a loneliness to it, which comes
from the plot's sense of anticipated separation. It's a
reminder that our friends too could leave for another city, and
the places where we spend treasured time (both in person and
online) will eventually close their doors. Vancouver is notorious
for both of these phenomena. How many people have we lost to
Montreal? I say this only partly in jest. How many venues have
we had to wave our goodbyes to? In fact, parts of s01e03 take
place at the former 333 (gone but not forgotten), a DIY space
that has since been shuttered.
"The cliffside rendezvous point that the players Gavilan,
Shuqiii, and Mypretzel find themselves at towards the film's
end is [an] especially resonant place of goodbyes," Walker says.
"With our generation facing constant ousting from the places
we acclimated to as home, the closure of an entire world and
the disappearance of a friend only focused this sense of loss into
the melodrama."
It's not all somber, though. The film's very first instance of spoken
dialogue comes as a voiceover, a snippet taken from the 1968 film
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and sampled within a Noctilucents'
track titled "Spring (For Mick Kelly).". The voice says:
"Since I found music I don't get lonely anymore. Well, I do get
lonely... but soon as I listen to the music it just goes right away.
You know, sometimes I can even make it go away by just remembering the music in my head."
■"■I s I watched s01e03 for the first time, this dialogue was
I simply another texture amidst the greater collage. But
T^nB as I rewatched, an understanding began to pull at me;
loneliness can be quelled by remembering that we were, at some
point, with the people we love. Our discontent can be set aside
if we merely think about our friends. Most importantly, it is
the internet — at times an endless void, yet still an acute site
of meeting — that can facilitate a similar kind of relief. The
film fully embraces URL existence and validates the friendships
which develop and crystallize online, regardless of wether this
version of them exists offline. In fact, the most intelligible
relationships in s01e03 are those which belong to URL spaces
only. There are the characters who spend hours with each other
in the MMORPG, for example, or the scene wherein close
friends discuss the complexities of love over instant message.
It is somewhat comforting to do away with typical hierarchies
of URL versus IRL, and instead open ourselves up to digital
intimacy and our own adaptability on the internet as beings who
crave connection.
"I wanted to make a movie that could be healing — a kind
of space for respite amidst our generation's many anxieties,"
Walker writes to me. We spoke over email — a fitting medium.
Especially so, considering s01e03's use of text as connective
tissue. Reading his reply to my questions, two quotes from the
film immediately struck me in response.
The first moment occurs during a conversation between distant
friends, and the second appears as an inter-title, right before a
scene at 333. They are:
"When I think about love, it's not finite. It grows and shrinks
and changes with time. I think it should be boundless."
"The only images worth anything now are the ones that bring
people together."
 OSOS  ????      snisBgBMtsbtooaia
Discorder Magazine      ????  2020
M
uch is needed to stand
out in the world of
food writing. Along
with security, love and oxygen,
food is one of the essential needs
of human existence, and as a
result, countless authors have
mused upon its significance.
Recipe writing is a particularly saturated corner of this
market. Recipes thrive in the
online world, and most are
accompanied by paragraphs of
personal back-story and pop-up
ads, which do all they can to
prevent the reader from getting
to the information they came
for in the first place.
n seeming response to this, Tip
' Of Your Tongue by Amna Elnour
does something different with the
recipe writing formula. Her exemplary
use of observational prose creates an
experience that is engaging, instructive,
and mouth watering all at the same time.
Tip Of Your Tongue is a rare form of
recipe writing, one that can be read for
the knowledge it provides, or for the
meditative pleasure of its script.
The project is broken into six chapters.
Within these chapters are several sub-sections, each outlining a specific dish, spread,
or dessert. Elnour's poetic style mixed with
the conviction of the recipes gives Tip Of
Your Tongue its true charm, and each
reading feels like unravelling a riddle you
know you are privileged to experience.
Elnour begins Tip Of Your Tongue with a
i Of Your
"Tongue
a review by Brendan Reid
illustrations by Chelly Maker
poem, and its intimate prose sets the tone
for the rest of the work. The first recipe,
mayonnaise, is delivered in a numbered
list format, a style that makes repeated
appearances in Tip Of Your Tongue.
While some entries in the list get right
down to the business of making, many
have a more lyrical feel to them — such
as the ninth point, which discusses the
process of whisking the mixture: "Keep
the ritual from becoming anesthetic, or
let it be if you need. Could be casual or
just as easily sacred." Cooking can be a
utilitarian chore, or it can be a soothing,
fun activity wrapped in ritualistic importance. Food can be made for one, for
many, alone or with others, professionally or begrudgingly. Tip Of Your
Tongue revels in this dichotomy, and
through the text you can sense Elnour's
empathy and cynicism. There is personality here beyond the simple instructions,
and the addition is pure nourishment.
One of the key tenets of Elnour's voice is
colloquialism. The recipes often speak to
you as if you were in the room with them,
and leave many elements open to interpretation. This can be seen when discussing
zhoug, a Yemeni style hot sauce: "If you
don't have a mortar and pestle, or time,
or the ability, use a blender, or chop as
finely as possible and use spice grinder
in small portions... or put everything in
a sealed bag and strategically smash it
with a jar." This type of language cuts
the rigidity often found in instructional
writing, and encourages any who would
doubt her culinary abilities. So much of
>V*S?j
food creation relies on interpretation,
personal taste and tool set, and Elnour's
good humor suggests that anyone can
make the dishes she describes.
That being said, Elnour isn't afraid to
get serious when the time calls for it.
This is someone who clearly knows what
they're doing with food. She has a diverse
pallet, and outlines recipes from multiple
traditions, including Middle Eastern,
Greek, European, and North African.
The advice she gives clearly comes from
a place of wisdom and experience, and
after reading Tip Of Your Tongue,
you'll have a much deeper understanding
of oils, dough, spices, and the priceless
worth of the common onion.
These segments explore a variety of
topics, and all this information is
packaged within Elnour's observational prose. Chapter 6, Performative,
discusses a repairman visiting a kitchen
with a broken dishwasher, and the disdain
that follows: "The repairman calls me
over to point out the cockroaches living
in the machinery of the dish sanitizer...
I am a little embarrassed that it doesn't
phase me... Doesn't he know he's only
there fix the machine until the next
time one of us slams the $7000 hunk of
metal so hard it breaks, i.e. in 2 weeks?"
Working in a poorly run kitchen can be
a neglectful, unforgiving experience, and
this observation is woven into a recipe for
cardamom buttercake. It's an intriguing
combination, and reminds us that there are
often grim realities beneath sugar-coated
surfaces, especially in the world of food.
Other more abstract passages require
readers to fill in the blanks: "Everyone
learns intimacy somewhere, and then
later you find you're expected to re-learn,
you're reproducing the image rather
than doing... every time it's new, you
have to participate in the building of the
instant." Perhaps making food is akin
to intimacy, something that exists solely
in the moment, no matter your past
experiences? There are dozens of similar
passages in Tip Of Your Tongue. They
leave themselves open to interpretation
from the reader, and are much more
personal and intriguing as a result.
Tip Of Your Tongue is a singular
experience. Rarely will you find food
writing so informative, entertaining, and
esoteric. Elnour makes a name for herself
in a realm so often oversaturated and
redundant, and her creations will stimulate
your mind as much as your salivary glands.
Highly recommended for poets and
would-be cuisiniers alike.
tt
Tip <ll Htmt ftm#w
tt
 FANTASY
GARDENS
••••
A
'*■
J*-Jfc.
■A
VM
\ *
•a^i^^m
FANTASY GARDENS
(jaZHecorbs)
September 6, 2019
••*.
• •
jai •-■Tacon
*
• ♦ •
• • ♦ ♦
, • • •
- • •
al Gracen's FANTASY GARDENS utilizes,
catchy Casio keyboards and delightful
drum machines to produce music that is
m
4
• i ■
:.•
easy on the ears, but heavy on the heart.
• ^Although Patrick Geraghty, the individual behind the Gal Gracen moniker,  \
• considers the title quite generic, "Fantasy Gardens" is the name of a*
, *'90s Richmond amusement park that is currently being renovated into a
condo complex. There is something poetic about naming an album after •
' something that once existed within this reality, but can only be effectively
r re-lived through an individual's memories and dreams.
The LP opens up with the blissful track "Arcadia," which immediately
• transports you to a paradise of natural harmony with peaceful percussion
. and soothing synth leads. One of the catchiest melodies on the EP is
" found in this opening of the chorus: "Closer than the moon and night,
• Arcadia is twice as lonely/ Oh it's a beautiful life." Geraghty conveys
■ the idea of how some paradises can be not as special as we are led to
'  believe, and that the speaker is living in the present, enjoying whatever
they currently have available.
My next highlight track is the eight-minute "She's the Queen" which
I would describe as a modern surf-rock synth jam session with a killer
bass-line and impressive catalogue of fun keyboard samples. "Today or
Tomorrow" is one track I would definitely recommend as it showcases
Geraghty's higher vocal range along with additional catchy melodies
and beautiful guitar tones. My last standout track would be "Winds
of Solace, Pillars of Sand," which uses soft keyboard arpeggios and a
warm saxophone tone to establish a peaceful setting for the second half
of the LP
Although Fantasy Gardens may no longer be visitable at the intersection
of No. 5 Road and Steveston Highway, Gal Gracen's 2019 release creates
an accessible portal into a realm where the listener may reliably confront *
themes of paradise, euphoria, and bliss. —Jordan Naterer
and Rose make Olivia's World extra sugary. My personal favourite from
the EP is "SuperValu." Although the lyrics are simple and repetitive — "I
don't know why it's hard to try / I don't know why / I don't know how to
follow"— I can empathize. It's exactly how I feel whenever I am exhausted
from trying to do my best to satisfy myself and others' expectations. The
continuous, steady, bass and tambourine sounds create a perfect balance
with the lyrics about being lost.
Olivia's World is an album that feels right nearly every moment of the
day, touching on heavy and emotional themes, without ever getting
too melancholy. With every listen, it brings me a little closer to Olivia's
colourful and bouncy world. —Jasmine Lee
"•• .""•■-   "•"_""•-•-'"■_"    - "  ~ •      - • •
^onjieaaanaba
Something Comfortable
((0cean£urf£oun6s)
26,
ctober
20ig
• ♦ .
• ".
• •
•
• i
«
» •
• •
»•
• ;•
■<■.
• •• •
eiiuia's World
• • • ♦ «
• •
music,  my heart was stolen  by the*
illustration on their cassette tape. There
was nothing extravagantly technical or sophisticated about the drawing,
♦ ♦>  •
, with its freely drawn black lines and ordinary subject matter; a sunflower •
•t-shirt, a penguin, a void facial expression. Yet every detail added to its •
•quirkiness. After listening to the album, the bouncy and fun cover art*. < while melodies oscillate between the infinite and finely tuned harmonies of
. • • r   . . • • ... ...
omething Comfortable is not your typical
LP— maybe because each of its eleven
tracks are, by themselves, a portal. Maybe* «
because this record acts as the score to Tonye's AfroScience. Maybe m
"because Tonye is actually a world building, shape-shifting, time travelling
creative. Notorious for conjuring and creating intimate experiences, while
evoking a vulnerability which leaves our Spirit wanting more.
Produced by Aaron Hamlin and Tonye Aganaba of Ocean Surf Sounds,
Something Comfortable dropped in March of 2019 and acts as the ■
score alongside Aganaba's work, AfroScience. Inspired by their journey   '
with multiple sclerosis, AfroScience is an immersive performance and
workshop series that fuses live music, visual art, dance, and storytelling *
as a way to spark dialogue, Especially on the axis of identity, addiction,
expression and healing we all may find ourselves on. The eleven   '
images generated for the AfroScience project, housed at the Cheeky
Proletariat gallery, correspond — albeit ambiguously — to the eleven
tracksof the record.
Gifting us with a vast collection of instrumentals from harps and flutes,
to horns and congas, she thoughtfully brings together the jazzy, funky
stylings of icons such as Dutch Robinson, Alex Maher and Khari Wendall
Mclelland. Tonye intentionally crafted a work that is layered, nuanced and
entices us to listen over and over again.
Electric guitar solos that act as verses, and dampened ivory arpeggios,
have you gently slipping into spaces of ease wherever you may find
yourself. Playful, staccato rhythms, and smooth lyrics are paired with
percussive vocal free-styling — like in the track, "Got to Know," — take
you to a deeper, more delicious place as you drip, slip, ooze into funky
self-love tracks like "Sugar," and "We Ain't Friends." '90s throwback bops
like "CC," give off serious Lauryn Hill vibes with the mantra "Love is the
drug that I'm missing."
"Borrowed Time" is a sincere ballad where Tonye's voice acts as an anchor
» t
• i
</
was the best explanation I could imagine of the band and their music. ■
. (Formed after Rose Melberq was introduced to Lica Rezende throuqh
> 4a random drunken conversation, Olivia's World may not be an overly* t
serious or philosophically-minded project, but they are surely a band full#«
.of excitement with wonderfully weird subjects like cereal box and blotter.
Their first EP, Olivia's World, is a perfect representation of their sweet
, and punchy music. Bouncy drum sounds and speech-like melodies are
choral whisperings — reminding you the dream-like state you have settled
into is ephemeral. The use of the harp and triangle lead you into raw vocals
and honest lyrics like, "Excuse me / While I'm trip-ping / Out again."
"Do it Sweetly" is as haunting as it is warm. Long sax notes hold even
longer, as though you are watching the notes leave your body too. The
kick drum and high hat provide a soft and reassuring foundation, while
Tonye's voice fills the remaining space — fills your body. "[Music] has
Their first EP, Olivia's World, is a perfect representation of their sweet • kick drum and high hat provide a soft and reassuring foundation, while •
, and punchy music. Bouncy drum sounds and speech-like melodies are ■ Tonye's voice fills the remaining space — fills your body. "[Music] has "
waivaapcMU. 55
 • ♦
* been a way for me to work through my mental, emotional and physical ■
trauma, and put it in a place that is safe."
Like a key inside the right lock, these vibrations fit. On Something   <
Comfortable, you are held, seen, at home. —Afrodykie Zoe
• •
• •
• ♦
©ebra- Jean Creelman
,♦ •
•••
Triggers & Mirrors
(sElf-releaseb)
15,   2019
• •
• •
• •
• ♦*.
♦ ♦ .
♦   a
• •
November
»-ebra-Jean Creelman, one of the original•
I  members of Mother Mother, came out with •
• V
• •
shitlorb fuckerman
MUSIC IS OVER!
(sElf-releaseb)
December 20, 2019
» • • •
• •   • '
• *• .
• •  •
• • • ■
• • .
■
•   ♦ •
■ ,
• •
ti
ith   the
cancellations
sudden
• - ♦
• " •
onset  of  show
venue closures and
countless musicians out of work for the .
• «
a solo six-song EP last November, Triggers
& Mirrors. With her 25 years of experience making music, Creelman
delves into experimental electro-pop driven by raw emotion.
The eponymous "Triggers & Mirrors," features purposeful 2000s-esque
autotune that adds to the upbeat, electronic pace of the track. Starting off
reminiscent of Owl City's synth-heavy and playful style of pop, "Triggers &
Mirrors" fills the room with curiosity and intrigue. About two thirds of the
way through the song, the cheery synth transforms into a rock ballad with
haunting harmonies that are truly felt within. Creelman's hopeful voice
soon turns into a confession of her sorrows, both mournful and pleading.
The variation and diversity in the title track carries throughout the rest of
the album, creating a unique and unforgettable experience.
"How Many Times" is a heartfelt conversation with the listener,
accompanied by unsettling synth and a slow beat. Sharing similarities
with AURORA'S style, the track also demonstrates Creelman's abilities
to convey a sweetness and delicacy with her voice that does not show
up elsewhere on the record. Through intentional repetition, "How Many
Times" becomes an atmospheric lullaby that can reach into the depths of
any character.
Although Triggers & Mirrors features only six songs, its emotional
influence and broad range of styles make it exciting to listen to. While
it was, at times, not my cup of tea, the uniqueness of Creelman's EP is
ideal for anyone looking to venture outside of their musical comfort zone.
—Tatiana Yakovleva
i
I:-
<.
itellarissa
We're Mest
(se(f'teleaseb)
November  19
• • •
2020
■  •
• • •
• ♦     •
m     •
•*♦•
•     •       «
• •
■••'.'•••:
• - -   •   • • •
•      •   •     m
• •
•   • •
ellarissa's latest EP We're Mest is far from
» foreseeable future, the title of shitlord fuckerman's latest full length,
• release seems eerily apt: MUSIC IS OVER! But shitlord fuckerman, the*
, genre-bending experimental electronic project from multi-disciplinary
►  artist Gil Goletski, couldn't have predicted the current downtrodden*
i
• state of music and art communities around the world amidst a global •
g'panclemic. Having released MUSIC IS OVER! last December, shitlord's •
vision of the end of music was an entirely different beast.
MUSIC IS OVER! comes after a long string of singles, holiday EPs,
and musical miscellanea, reaching back to shitlord's early days. While  4
the volume of material, not to mention the years of frequent and truly
experiential performances throughout the city, has established them as   ,
a staple in Vancouver's independent music community, MUSIC IS OVER!
seems to be shitlord fuckerman's first fleshed-out musical statement. It
seems as though the reason they chose to format this release in the guise •
i of a full-length, ten-track album is to dismantle their idea of what music is
1 from within.
As if the flood of the internet's content sweeps through the album, "
« shitlord fuckerman slowly washes away the traditional notions of
» what should be included on an artist's "debut" album, leaving only the
wreckage and shards of music to grapple with.
The record begins with "PATRICK COWLEY (IN AGONY)," an upbeat,
deep-house-tinged dance track that is undeniably dance-able. The next
1 four tracks continue in a similar vein, all featuring hard-hitting beats and
« bit-crushed sonic palettes. The arpeggiated synths, put to incredible
» use in shitlord's live shows, on "BIG EDEN" and "RANCHO BAWANG"
' propel the album forward with an almost overwhelming energy. On these
1 tracks, however, shitlord's voice gains prominence in the mix, with lyrics
i slowly peering through the digital onslaught, to reveal vaguely apocalyptic-sounding remarks: "Air tight refrigerator / Leave me in there to die,"
"Nothing better than a knife in the gut," "I can't remember the time I said
I love you."
"VACATION OF THE MIND (GREEN BLUE GREEN)," marks a change
on the record. The driving rhythms and aggressive samples of the first
five tracks are replaced by gentle, atmospheric soundscapes. While still
almost entirely digital sounding, "VACATION OF THE MIND (GREEN BLUE
GREEN)" feels like a walk through the forest, a respite from the onslaught
that came before. The next track, "baby's on fire" is an almost entirely
true-to-the-original cover of a 1973 Brian Eno track. The following two
>    • •
• • •
• •:
• «:♦
• «:•
•   » ■
I
■    «
■
»
4
your stereotypical holiday album. The bells *
ring tenderly, followed by her heavenly*
• symphonic prose arranged in choir-like vocals which tell a story of the*
holidays; gathering with family on cold winter nights. The predominant* * instrumental covers are markedly less energetic than the beginning of the
» use of the accordion, an instrument associated with folk music, acts • ' record, as if shitlord was losing the will to create the bombastic, and truly
• as a reference to her Finnish culture, as in the track "My Mother's "
Motherland." Kellarissa speaks of her mother's immigration, singing
■ •
•"She came here fifty years ago." The combination of accordion and bells*
* 4shape the album's atmosphere, and the soft tranquillity of the jingle bell, "
^presents a sound far removed from the well-known, rowdy holiday spirit, *
' <in "Jingle Bells." A gust of wind rings windchimes benevolently as the
"album takes the listener to each new song.
Unlike Kellarissa's earlier work, We're Mest steps away from electronic
synth-pop while still sustaining the familiar eeriness established in their
earlier albums. The track "Oh No! It Might Snow" emits a peaceful serenity
, onto the listener as you listen to Kellarissa detail the dread that comes
• with snowflakes gently descending onto pavement. The melancholy
'  voice, amidst the organs and basilica acoustics, could easily be misheard
as a hymn for angels. That is, until Kellarissa sings "Never gave you
grandkids / It's a future you can't predict / This is now our holidays," a
reference to her queerness on "Fill My Glass With Brandy, Fill My Glass
With Wine." Her subsequent references to drinking during the holidays
twist the common trope of merriness into something more morose.
Kellarissa's latest release is a demonstration of the genre-bending
capabilities of her artistry, her ghostly vocals mixing immaculately with
the ecclesiastic atmosphere of holiday music. She intertwines traditional
folk instruments with her style of synth-pop through an honest, first-hand
perspective on the holidays. Despite its chill, We're Mest is assured to
keep you warm throughout the winter months. —Alexis Zygan
• «
unique, electronic music for which they've become known.
The final track, "bus on parade," acts as shitlord's attempt to create a
new musical language, in the wake of the crumbling musical landscape
they've outlined throughout the album. A wholly ridiculous, yet somehow •
incredibly fitting mashup of Rage Against the Machine's "Bulls on Parade" '
and Vengaboys' "We like to Party! (The Vengabus)," "bus on parade" isn't
' so much a jab at the state of music in the internet-age, or an ironic quip
at the idea of the musician as the creator of original and meaningful art.
1 Instead, it's an embrace of what music could become, now that it's finally
' over.—Frances Shroff
•   •   ." • "_ •" J*   •""•"^."■"_"    •
■   «
£0Uin«
• • •
• ♦
• • •
If I Am Only My Thoughts
(£ast(§anaHecor6s)
January   30,   2020
• •
• ♦ • ■
• • •
•   -
•   •
•
oving might be a band that could easily be
reduced to a Spotify "Chill Indie" playlist,*,
but on If I Am Only My Thoughts, the trio of
David Parry, Jesse Henderson, and his brother Lucas Henderson, offer
•something more in their alluring psychedelic folk. Like a Haruki Murakami
novel, the Victoria band captures a sense of existential dread in their*
56
• •
• • •
• • •
• •
• ••
. • ♦ ♦♦ *
• •
• • •
• ••
*
• •
• •
• • •
UNDER REVIEW
???? 2020
 lyrics — they meander about life, not knowing where to go, reaching
female demagogues, honouring lie's preceding reputation. If there is one <
• empty conclusions that circle back to pontificating through their music.., element to focus on, it would be digesting You Want it Real in the context »
Many of us at one point in our lives must face mortality no matter how • . of their environment as women; not only as women established in the  4
| ,far we are from death, not knowing exactly how close we are to it. Loving  * • punk scene, but navigating a patriarchal society at large as self-identi-
• attempts to appease that feeling by making music that eases those fears* # tying women who are intentionally resisting social hierarchies. The lyrics ■
On their self-titled EP Loving, demos only scratched the surface in what * ,  exude confidence in womanhood as they call out and command respect,
they could do. While permeated with a wave of melancholia, the EP had a » .   forcing acknowledgement and accountability. But what makes them
• •*    «
sun-kissed sensation that's been carried over onto If I Am with tracks like • different from the likes of other women in punk goes beyond the powerful,
"Forgot Again" that felt like daydreaming on a hammock by the beach. On  ' '   anarchic presence; it's their deliberate connection to embodying the laws
"Visions," that sunny disposition is apparent as Loving's signature slinky , of art making with the intent of preserving their values through experi-
guitars delight and charm. On the self-titled track, Henderson sounds ■
like lighter Paul McCartney without range. He sings, "Adrift like light
along a riverbed / I'm going somewhere I imagine / At least in my head"
» t
• i
mentation, and taking up space. —Krystal Paraboo
« as if the daydreams are vivid as ever. On "Lately in Another Time," the
» dreams get overshadowed by futility. "All of this time I spend just getting
'  by / sometimes forget to wonder why" sings Henderson. The track's final
instrumental suspends time as piano twinkles and the guitar lead drifts off
as if also getting lost down an endless path.
It's when "Nihilist Kite Flyer" begins, that Loving settle into this dread.
* It was always present, but acceptance is achieved — "And though I've
' always wanted an answer / Now I know better," sings Henderson. The .
swaying guitars carry a pace that evokes one meandering down a path of
Jamie £ee tlftio
• •
• • ♦
Introspective
(sElf-releaseb)
February 29, 2020
..♦♦
• •. •
•'
• •
• _
misdirection, but its melody is so reassuring that it's easy to settle. With
•      «l
• ••   •
.1
ramie Lee Trio's Introspective uses diverse
P soundscapes and eclectic influences to show   ,
how pumped and punchy a jazz trio can be. ,
All recent graduates of Capilano University's
jazz program, drummer Jamie Lee teamed up with bassist Marcus'
Abramzik and pianist James Dekker for their debut release, Introspective.
* a fuller sound, more instruments, more kaleidoscopic effects and a little
'  more polish in the production, If I Am Only My Thoughts offers harmony in • • Rather than the exacting style of classic jazz trios like Bill Evans Trio, \
,  our anxieties through calming contemplation. —Anton Astudillo • or the groovy hip-hop influences of BADBADNOTGOOD's early work,
rf you reside in Vancouver and consider »  is a track that I quite easily got lost in, due to its hard-to-follow rhythm and
' yourself an expert in the local music scene,> • compositional spontaneity. In the video of their live performance of this
*" then you are bound to have heard of lie. • ( track, recorded by the West Coast Art Collective, the energy of the room
The band has been a staple in the scene" »  is just amazing. The impulsiveness and impromptu nature of the main
since their emergence in 2013, including opening for the likes of Cloud
•>
• melody illustrates how small ideas can have surprising and unexpected u
u ii iui iu na ieiy si.ieiii.e lias nui yei leoi-iieu  me siaye wneie we
< can effectively peer into people's minds and understand their truest
,   motivations and intentions. Luckily, the aptly titled Introspective,
•Nothings. To better grasp lie, imagine The Distillers and The Cure giving* effects. The last song I have to praise is the closing track "Beginning,"
, "birth to a trio of women who effortlessly uphold the garnishment of* i » which brings in a choral ensemble to perform a cathartic ballad over
*post-punk music. ' Jamie's marching beat, Marcus' blissful bowing, and James' impactful
lie revitalizes the darkest cult of the '80s, with an underlying essence of » ( piano performance,
female truculence in their latest album You Want It Real. The eight songs • Unfortunately science has not yet reached the stage where we
are diverse in composition, ranging from dynamic dance rhythms, to
intrinsic fast-paced punk riffs. The album's experimental nature allows for
an authentic cold punk arrangement that is bound to attract alternative »  gives us the opportunity to gaze into the mind of three of Vancouver's
• • •      *
,   rock lovers across the board. up-and-coming jazz performers, while also offering some tracks that are
You Want It Real opens with playful bass strums that introduces the first « quite catchy and impressively show off the artists' performance chops.
" track "Digging in the Desert." Minimal synth bleeds in, followed by a drum • —Jordan Naterer
break by Kati J that sets the conceptual tone for the album. The energy *
reaches its maximum in the third track, "Bugs." Guitarist Ashlee Luk doesn't
( miss a beat as she shreds her way across the entire two minutes. Even as *
Kati J slows it down, Luk maintains her fast, high frequency electrical shreds
' that dazzle the ears and invigorate the body. It becomes apparent that the '
»
drums and guitar are constantly flirting, each testing new boundaries of
their relationship. The undeniable chemistry of this partnership does not
cease to succumb to the modes of experimentation. This becomes more
obvious when you listen to the album's second single, "Drowning In Piss."
The quick-paced guitar riffs indicative of traditional punk have found a
romantic balance with synthesized accompaniment in the drums and
varying crescendos from the disjointed, lyrical rasps of Brittany West.
Despite the first six tracks providing head banging sensations, it is
'Fantasy of Destructive Force" that reinforces the album's decompression
Babe Corner
•««
• i
♦ m
Killer EP
(sElf-releaseb)
March  2,   2020
•   •   •
•    •  "
1       ♦
•    •     ♦
•   ♦ • *
■ • .• •••••,
• •••••••
♦ - •
eleased at the beginning of March, Babe   (
Corner couldn't have predicted how their
debut release could come to encapsulate
the hopeless tone of tired 20-somethings •
.before they and the rest of the world had to deal with the chaotic month.
£. • that would hit.
From the first song, "Alone at the Party," the vocal harmonies and woozy
lie abandons another potential dance number for a more stripped-down ► , guitar riffs set the tone for a string of songs that are unpredictable in
confrontation of raw strumming. « their composition but keep you hooked, wondering where the voices •
"Why so hostile? / Why don't you leave me alone? / Why so hostile? / < and rhythms will take you next. The beginning of the record relays the
Why don't you need me anymore? / Why so hostile? / Can't you give me • (   emotional turns of relationships, break-ups and the trials of self-identifi-
a smile?" West delivers different renditions of the song's lyrics with a »  cation, all issued between airy pop hooks and distinguished, gritty guitar  <
nonchalant elicitation of acceptance whilst exuding criticism. Even as the  « solos. But as the EP nears its end, the last two songs mark a change in
•*    * .
tempo picks up during the chorus, West maintains the tone allowing for  « mood, from previous wallowing and dreaminess to outright defiance.
consistency in the track's experimentation. The confessional atmosphere Babe Corner evoke makes Killer
EP feel like your best friend sitting with you on your bed, indulging you •
with their irrelevant, yet entirely pertinent problems like only wanting a •
The transitions between tracks are not disconnected despite the •
variance in sound, as there is the continual conspicuous display of
•••••••   •   *#.   •♦•#•••     ••♦•«••   •     ••^•♦•.••»     •••••••   •     •
waivaapcMU. 57
.0.0 ««
 aptize," is well placed in the middle of the ,* jnrw»v ****•>.«*
ingly joyful high, amidst the broody and   ■ .   "_«»_. 	
« cigarette outside, in "Cigarette.".
One of the standout tracks, "Ba
EP. The melodies reach a seemi
# somewhat defiant tones of the rest of the record. Yet lyrically, "Baptize"
is amongst Babe Corner's saddest songs. This third track comes to terms ►
with a confusing and unstable break-up, yet satisfyingly juxtaposes the *
,  lyrical malaise with the light and delicate tones of vocalist Lindsay Sjoberg.
Overall, Babe Corner has established themselves within their own
> genre, with Killer, blurring the lines between bedroom and power pop
> with indie-rock. This debuting Vancouver band warmly invites you to
« their circle of four to ponder on the parts of life and relationships we
,' love to address but often fail to successfully articulate, let alone have the
capacity to musically emulate. —Lauren Mossman
•BlachCiiattbelotet
i* •
. ■
• ♦
• a
Januarji 2020-present
. _•• •••.••••♦.•..•• • •:?.,
here's something to be said about the* i
conversations that come up in your living"
•   room — about the mind-bendinq and
theoretical shape shifting that occurs when,
ideas are tossed around, political theories.
, dissected, notions discussed; about the complex and nuanced views •
Wares
Survival
(IBintltecoros)
April   24
• • '   ♦ •
• • ■ •
I- ••     • •• • *
♦     • _  • ♦     •
••••
►  of ourselves and the world around us that become entirely reshaped.
The electric pulses that bounce off one another as we share, argue,
, lament and bolster one another in our attempts to bridge gaps in our
own (mis)understandings are exhilarating. Figuring out where and how
2020
•
.-••.'
•••*••
• • •
< each of us connects to the other is a dance, as we weave thoughts
•♦ <.
ith dripping synths like spider thread
* from brain waves using tongues and teeth to mash rationale into our
, feelings to present them to our kin. Like building blocks or puzzles,
dewdrops after a storm, and guitars
humming and pattering as if chasing
a sunset, Survival, the latest release by
«:.•
we use conversations to find our place within the world and within our   ,
communities. We make a noble attempt to build ourselves up, even while
the world tries to tear us down.
I've just described to you the generous offering that Morgan and Kona
have bestowed upon the world via their newly born project, BlackChat
the Podcast. These two radical, queer Black artists invite you into their
ig room to sip some tea, get comfy, and listen in as they endeavour to
seek answers to the complex, the magical and the downright ridiculous.
BlackChat the Podcast is their most recent labour of love under the
«> -
what seems like an elegy to a past self: "I left my body behind /Taking BlackChat banner. Starting inside of the home of these two intergenera-
' ,only what I could afford / It doesn't haunt me now like it did before /" 4 tional gems in the summer of 2016, the duo opened their home to Black
► ^Sometimes in visions I'll go and visit the room / And find him sleeping • folks as a way to build community and have difficult discussions in a safe,
• alone." welcoming environment, all while throwing a low-key, high vibrational
The following track, "Tall Girl," is a dreamy piece of indie pop with a kickback. Thus BlackChat: The Gathering was born.
chime reminiscent of The Velvet Underground's "Sunday Morning." Hardy > Coming from a need for more spaces for the lower mainland's Afro/
* Cassia Hardy's Edmonton-based project Wares, stuns with its emotional*'
. vulnerability and nuance. Opener "Hands, Skin," a nostalgic and*
•melancholy yet hopeful little vignette of pop punk, sees an undulating • < livinc
. 'drone build into an explosion of punky guitar riffing. The sweet grit of , « seek
the track provides the perfect basis for Hardy's harrowing delivery of
«»•
■ .
1 recalls a "tall girl" who seems to have served as an inspiration for her, as
' she sings "I can't imagine how hard you fought just to survive /1 regret not
" getting to know you better."
Survival is, in many respects, a narrative concept album, as "Living
» Proof" (a dream pop tune worthy of the Drive soundtrack) and "Tether"
> further explore the struggle to move on from a past-self into a happier,
brighter future. The record sees its first climax at "Surrender Into Waiting
► Arms," an anthem of self-acceptance, emotional openness, and the
" unabashed pursuit of happiness, in which Hardy explains "With each
decision / In our power to change / We can give ourselves away."
• •
•
'  Caribbean diaspora to gather and find ways to heal together, as well as
• Black folks visiting from other cities, this almost-monthly gathering picked
i up momentum. It became clear to both Morgan and !Kona that it was time
• to bring the energy that was generated in their living room out into the
•   «
« world. Thus prompting BlackAttack.
• ♦.-
jubiun / ill uui |juwei iu i-iidiiye / vve i_dii yive uuibeiveb dwdy. ui dicji-k iuikjs on 1111
Here, the record sees a sort of rebirth, as "Jenny Says," the first track * . thriving community
In this iteration, and through generous community partnerships,
BlackChat members attend art, film and cultural events together as a
', way to connect. And, most importantly, BlackAttack serves as a way to
1 show the city of Vancouver that despite the history and blatant erasure
of Black folks on these unceded lands, there still is and continues to be a
«, with overt acoustic elements, provides the basis for a story about meeting
• a woman on an overpass. Through the lyrics, we learn her life story just
before elements of maqical realism kick in with the line "Her hair turned „
• grey to match her eyes" and the song leads into a psychedelic break •
• much like the one found in The Beatles' "A Day in a Life." From here,
the instruments drop as Hardy, in the voice of Jenny, delivers a subtly
reverbed cry "Does it hurt so much to get out of bed sometimes / Why do
• people scare me so much I can never go outside."
Thrumming with '80s style gated reverb drums (think "In the Air
1 Tonight") "Violence" contains one of the sweetest opening passages
on the record, as Hardy delivers a sort of coming-of-age story, detailing
:•
♦ •
While there are only four episodes (and counting) of the podcast to
date, Morgan and !Kona are not afraid to go beyond the surface and dig
' deep. Asking questions like, "How do we go about creating the conditions
1 that would allow people to invest in each others' survival?" and "What
* does intergenerational work look like to you and how does it show up
, in your life?" They've had guests like local Black artist Jillian Christmas,
• who touched on the importance of self care and provided a more broad
understanding of the sacredness of Locs. There is also an episode on
what it looks like to support our Indigenous kin during the already complex
• '
• time of Black Futures Month under colonial occupation on Turtle Island.
Through all of this, there is joy, magic and love in BlackChat the Podcast.
' the pressures to perform a masculine image in the sports in which she  ' You can really hear the care and tenderness between !Kona and Morgan,
■ ■ • * ■ '
participated as a child. The ripe wordplay of lines like "The boys all watch even when they disagree or don't seem to hold the same value to shared
each other changing / And pretend they're not in love / Some love to say
, the word / Some hope it never comes up" simultaneously invokes the
•
they disagr
1 experiences. Morgan's inquisitive nature really shines through during
interviews and iKona's deep belly laughs and soothing voice have you
• pressure for emotional suppression among male peers, as the struggle * * leaning in for more. Listening to them will have you feeling as if you've
'   with (and case against) male puberty is illuminated through a glimpse into
the locker room.
Ending on the eponymous "Survival," the record merges its prior more
personal focus with a greater concern for the survival of all of us, as Hardy
prompts "Burn with all your might/ Against a pipeline's civil rights" and   '
, urges us to "fight like a dying species" against the structures that promote
• social and environmental injustice. UltimatelySurv/Vo/'sgreatsuccessisin
• merging the emotionality of our successes over personal dysphorias and
, been pulled into the fold, wrapped up in their fuzzy, weighted blankets
• and given a delicious brown drink to sip. One that goes down easy, and »
warms every recess of your soul. —Afrodykie Zoe
• •
:.
• • •
, • • •
• • •
• • -
i
• •
• •
III
•••
To submit music, podcasts, books, or film for review consideration to
Discorder Magazine, please email:
I
•    •     •
• •   •   ■
• •    •   .
•  '
■  ,
 (Outback
Outback
(self-releaseo)
January   24,
•     •   •
♦/.-..
• ♦.„>•
•♦•♦;••
•missed something, or if the best part has come and gone already. Slowly*
disorienting note — a listener at home may wonder if maybe they've
• •
- ♦     «
2020
• • • •
• •:   ♦ - - - .
small pieces of the audience noise are absorbed into a growing hiss* .
•     •  • •       •■
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■   •    • •     ♦_
. ♦ ••.*.♦
reminiscent of tones from Brian Eno & David Byrne's early experiments'
w
.    .   m
.   •».
riting about Outback's self-titled EP
• ♦!
is a nightmare. To aptly articulate his '
„jntion to detail, intricacy of sound
and creative elements is near impossible when you don't have the
intensive musical knowledge to describe it (music making is a mystery to
• me). Despite not having the sonic vocabulary or record-mixing vernacular"
I"
• •
that would help in explaining his newly released EP, I can confidently^-
» isay it is exceptional.
• ♦
> •
t
• ••
•> •
•♦
•••
v. •
♦ ♦
Outback is a symbiotic, cohabitation of music and moments. Aiming
to preserve those moments of life in a subjective way, Jasper Miller's
field recordings, often taken simply from an iPhone's voice memos, lend ►
depth, layers, flow and significance to every track. Speaking of depth,
there is a lot to be said regarding the gear and equipment that goes into
making the tracks on this record and I'll just say, to my own mind at least,
it's extensive and a bit confusing! This guy does not skimp on the fine
elements of each song, there are bright tones lying in the dancey beats
of some tracks as well as trance-like synth cords in the darker songs.
Outback has a clear range of emotions amidst its five tracks that makes •
listening a truly submerged experience.
Musical influences just might come to Miller rather easily considering
the other wonderful artists that he's worked with and has been surrounded
by in the Victoria music community. Diamond Cafe, Petal Supply and
Cartoon Lizard are a couple artists to which he has lent his talent and they *
may even impact the sound of his own personal projects as well. Certainly t
Petal Supply has, as they feature on the record's fourth song "Be My."
The first track, "Russian Udu and a 909" has a spacey feel and darkness '
to it that hits you when you listen. If I could use one word to describe the
synth sound, I'd say "Sega Dreamcast," and I mean that in the best, most
nostalgia-inducing way. The next song, "Heated Blanket," transitions into
a similar trance-inducing tone as the previous song. This one is definitely
more heady though, with a sample dropped in the middle that says "You
can make all the money in the world and it s not going to change one *
thing except for the circumstances under which you still feel bad."
My favorite track is, (what I like to call Outback cubed) is "Outback" by *
« Outback on Outback. This is the song that reminds me why Outback is a
' dance project. The beat is undeniable and infectious. As I write this during
4 a global pandemic, my inevitably unfulfilled urge to dance at live shows is
now through the roof thanks to this song. On a positive note, if you want
to dance out the stresses of quarantine life, this song is a banger ideal for
* that. Simply a dope dance track, much more and no less.
This release is one of those projects that doesn't get old. Despite being
less than half an hour long, these five tracks seem to have me returning to
. them constantly. Outback by Outback is an infectious creative expression.
>   I swear, listening to this album will make you hungry to create for yourself
and the world too. —Maya Preshyon
• ,
• t
m
I
• ••
•*   •
• ■
';•
with sample based looping. A spacious fuzz fills the air, an ever changing
oscillation giving the otherwise calm atmosphere an anxious edge.
Eight minutes in, the sharp wake up call of an arpeggiator emerges from
the initial haze. "OK, OK, OK, alright alright" shouts a sampled voice, over
and over again. It could be a positive affirmation, or it could be a plea for
a cease fire, like crying "uncle" in a play-fight. Andrew Lee's piece leaves
room for different contexts & emotions, not forcing itself on the listener
but rather accompanying them on whatever emotional journey they might
be on.
The twenty-eight minute performance was recorded in Toronto, as part
of the 2019 Avant Festival. The recordings and samples of which the
piece itself is composed were captured in and around Lee's New York
home. When heard on headphones in rural BC, as I experienced it, it feels
like something else entirely. Perhaps you could say the same thing about •
any recording, but this work feels especially like something that plays
with — and even interrogates — time and place. The work has existed,
and was constructed, in multiple realms, and presents all these places to
the listener at once.
Perhaps because of this, it feels like an especially fitting recording to
listen to while in self-isolation. Recorded in October 2019, Lee's work
consists of samples "captured" from the outside world before they are
then processed, re-processed and performed at a later date. This circular
motion, this processing and re-processing of past events or more exciting
memories, might be familiar to many at home. In some ways, this work
makes the case that our recollections of moments inherently distort these
moments — the memories themselves are separate, new things, distinct
from the original lived experience.
All of this culminates in a deeply emotional recording, a piece of work
with a distinct "rending" effect. For this writer, the recording functions
as a reminder that although sample based, ambient recordings have
been around for a while now, there is still so much life and beauty in this
construction of music. As was the case with his 2017 album All Of My
• Bodies, Lee has a way of using synthesized strings and voices to achieve
'  a deeply organic, human tone.
In 2018, producer and guitar virtuoso Blake Mills released an ambient
, album entitled Look, which immediately engulfs you with a rich,
►  overwhelming sonic texture, as if to demonstrate all the powerful sound
< Mills can create. Holy Hum offers an alternative to this mode, a slow build
< where new layers curl outwards over time, as if they were floating to the
'  top of the mix. In an era when music — even ambient instrumental music
• — is under immense pressure to grab us and thrill us immediately, Holy
, Hum takes their time, and the effect is, well, transcendent. —Sam Tudor
» t
• i
loin lum
If There Is Transcendence Let It Be Now
(a^eatijiCarh)
March  20,   2020
a   » •        •
•        ♦ -
.   •     • •      •
Into The Pink EP
(self-releaseo)
• •
.•:•••
a
•   *    •  .
• -••
•  •••
Black, and Charlotte Coleman, this local trio perfectly, albeit unintention-' «
aally, mesh their melancholic and anxious lyricism with what has proven to'#
oly Hum's latest release is a live recording. * be an emotional summer. Into the Pink is made up of six songs that feela ,
It begins with an audience clapping,* alike listening in on someone's thoughts as they process and accept the •
 a •
•  •
♦ •
_ _ a
•  a •
•   a •
• a
' •♦       • •
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The EP opens with, and continually explores, themes of uncertainty and
• upset. I found the lyricism to be easily the strongest facet of Into the Pink,
m and the opening track is a shining example. "Body of Water" immerses
itself into emotions of uncertainty with hard hitting lines: "What if the thing
I'm most afraid of is the thing that would be the best for you / Should I do
, it anyway?"
I found the final song on Into the Pink, "Enough," to be the perfect
► complementary track to the opener. It wraps up all the emotions of the
► preceding songs by offering resolution to all the previously explored
« feelings. Pale Red loudly exclaims "I've been giving myself a break / I've
,' been looking for love in all the right places!" There is an extraordinary
< amount of personal investment in the lyrics, and the closing track
i concludes Into the Pink ecstatically.
Reminiscent of the feeling of putting your head against the bus window
• with your headphones on to process your thoughts and feelings,  Into
"  the Pink is a definite recommended listen for anyone. The emotionally
expressive lyricism and moody sound create a perfect addition to your
,   tunes for this emotional summer. —Olivia Cox
a
►        •
a     *•   •    -"." ". . a -" • a* . ^ " a •   •   • ~    "•■."„•     *."•    «"_"".
complicated process of adulting, from heartbreak to restless desires and
• anxiety-driven decisions, all while seeking acceptance from oneself but
a*      a
i from others too. When you question where you fit within the predefined
< boxes society has imposed, or when you become inundated by the list of
tasks left to accomplish, but you can barely get off the couch and make
a meal — Strap seems to be going through it all. On "Not a Lot," Ace and
Sarah sing in unison, "Motivation is so strange / And on this day, I don't
have a lot." While the track "Stuck" shares the tornado of mixed emotions
that come with gazing into the eyes of someone for whom you are falling
head over heels.
This debut record emits a jazzy flare, embezzled with sultry melodies
that will evoke familiar feelings of nostalgia for listeners in their thirties,
who reminisce about the simple problems of their early twenties and the
fearlessness that somehow dismantles itself with age. "Remember when
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we were young / Felt like we could do anything." —Alexis Zygan
MOUR
luillolux
Armour
(self-releaseo)
March  21,
••.".-•
• # •
i      •
2020
a
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• •
Beafraib
Remember Fun
(^tooenBajKecoros)
May  8,   2020
■•••   •••.••   *.
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fter undergoing several line-up changes*
I  since their inception, Be Afraid has landed, •
on solid footing with the release of their,
•second album, Remember Fun. One can't help but smile listening to»
illolux's Armour is singer 7 songwriter* .their laid-back yet strong vocal style and driving power-pop riffs. In a' "
Kristina Emmott's sophomore album is a  , • musical landscape dominated (understandably) by emotional themes of
transition away from folk and Americana, « • anger and nihilism, Remember Fun provides a refreshing change of pace.*
a»
towards a more intimate brand of dream pop. While her debut album, The band had me hooked from the get-go with their explosive opener   '
' ^Thread & Tape, pulled from influences such as Laura Marling and Brandi" « "Birdbrain." Being the longest track, at just under four minutes long,
► Carlile, this new group of tracks harnesses catchy melodies of Regina ■ "Birdbrain" weaves a tender tale of juvenile antics and unrequited
* Spektor and Andy Shauf. With a new producer, Daniel Klenner, Kristina « '  teenage love through the disarming sincerity of their songwriting:
* •     v •
» ^utilizes a new, more ornate musical language throughout the record — « "Could've said what's on my mind /That's ifl had a spine." The song takes
•orchestral strings and sparkling synths glisten throughout — that pushes^ a slightly darker turn into the chorus, shedding light on the fears felt by "
'  members of the millennial generation who face unprecedented economic
»
a
►Armour further towards a dreamy brand of art-pop than ever before.
The opening track, "The Gift," sets the lyrical framework for the album,
repeatedly hinting at the confession of emotions towards a romantic
partner. The lyrics also continuously allude to floating, drifting and gazing,
which are fitting verbs to open up a dream pop album. The spooky track
"X O Skeleton," has incredibly tense and chilling piano melodies, and
includes themes of monsters abusing those who are in a position of
weakness. "My Heart Is Like A Shell" is a badass divergence from the
adjacent songs, which uses a hollow body electric to drive the melody
forward. "Safe Spaces" has the catchiest melodies of the album and is
backed with Beatles-esque progressions and anxiously adorable lyrics to
help set up a summer pop tune.
The last two tracks are quite stylistically different from one another but
work quite well together. "The Perfect Name" is a sad acoustic ballad
returning to themes of a lost lover with acoustic fingerpicking that is quiet
as a mouse. Finally, "The Only Way Out Is Through" concludes the EP with
incredibly vulnerable lyrics that are supported with an orchestra of strings
and overdubs to emphasize the magnificence of the finale.
This BC high school teacher's stylistic progression creates a melancholic *
• and environmental devastation:   Let me find a place to hide from the
a
i gloom, the collapsing machine / Let the shrapnel hurt you in the tomb
» of dwindling dreams." The album continues to shine with the short-yet-
« sweet "You Lose Continue," with its great guitar solo and then with the
* somber yet catchy "My Boy."
Although a disappointingly short ride, at just under 15 minutes, it's a
', consistent effort all the way through and a perfect addition to anyone's
'  summer playlist. —Peter Quelch
♦ " • • • • •w ♦ "•♦:•-"."
©blomou
• ♦
Steady Drip of a Broken Spout
(self-releaseo)
April   25,   2020
a • •
a • • ■
.   •   •  .
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. •
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fter my first listen of Steady Drip of o.
Broken Spout, I realized that it was not the
album that I expected it to be — and I mean •
4>   «-
yet beautiful environment for the listener, where it is okay to open up and
be vulnerable to the ones you truly care about. —Jordan Naterer
• *
•  a'
a a
i
• a
•that in the best way possible. It's an album that showcases incredible"
• growth, both within individual songs and throughout the project as a"
whole. On this debut album, Vancouver emo-punk trio Oblomov start with
*>
• a
tracks to conquer their boredom, Strap —• ' welcome and unexpectedly heavy and dissonant bridge, which teases
a  • •
a rebranded or reconfigured version of, the more experimental tracks that are to come. "Brick" calls attention to
long-standing Vancouver act Ace Martens — delivers a fresh batch   ' a the band's songwriting abilities; by building up tension, having a cathartic
i of songs, guaranteed to get you off the couch and grooving with the • release and ending with a subdued conclusion, the song is able to take
a thump of the mellow drums and lively guitar. Released during the peak of* the listener through a journey. Many bands can only create a feeling like
* Vancouver's quarantine, the theme of demotivation and self-acceptance this through complicated ten-plus minute songs — Oblomov does it in
as a protest against the expectations of society that runs throughout the*. ' less than three.
record feels especially timely. "Airplane" is a turning point on the album, and one of its standout
tracks. It's almost completely instrumental, although it contains the
60
•^   a
Strap's self-titled is a catchy glam indie-rock album that grapples
with the stage of life as you grow into yourself. The lyrics explore the
album's first instance of spoken word, something that will be featured
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UNDER REVIEW
???? 2020
 ► in almost every track to come. While the album's first half leaned more
i towards the emo side of emo-punk, "Airplane" and the tracks after it lean
*  more towards the latter. With blazing fast guitar licks and some surprisingly
(   melodic drumming the track demonstrates the band members' skills with
t
a ..
■ their respective instruments.
The album's last track is also its best. "This Is Serious" combines all
■ of the album's strengths to create an exceptionally strong conclusion
• to an already great album. Steady Drip of a Broken Spout is loud and
introspective, experimental and accessible, sludgy and polished, and is
an overall fantastic debut album. —Fabio Schneider
' »a
a •
a I*
♦:•
.needed focus on the space around us has sharpening as we have sat in
' .our homes for the last few months.
a -
Part of the reason these five short documentaries, presented through
a DOXA's 2020 online documentary film festival, are so compelling is that  ■
# they allow the viewer to settle into a new space for a while. These films, ■
■ grouped together under the theme "Peculiar Sites," each set their focus
.   narrowly on a specific place or space, allowing viewers to interrogate, in
" detail, the subtleties of the world outside their social isolation chambers.
'••     "•"•".■•   «"a   'a.      a#--Va».-. -      -
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Hebbirb anti other bxtbs
Julieta Maria, Canada, 2019,13 mins
,*• •
• • a
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n
hiva's Life in  the  Midst of Decay,*,
demonstrates how DJ / artist Jessie le •
Couteur has found her voice within the
• ♦!
Focusing on the outdoor space of Buttonville airport and surrounding
» conservation parks in Markham, Ontario, Redbird and other birds delves
into the tangential lives and passions of two people within the areas: one
her previous releases have focused on creating dark soundscapes with»
'  reverb-heavy vocals and unique bass-driven rhythms, her confident vocal
r XaT VUIVUI I   I   \_i «J        ■   \S   W   ■   ■   V-i        I   I   V»   I V    \S   ■ ^r V» V ■   ■   fc  LI   ■   V» IIIIV      LI   ■ V»      IUI   I^IVf I   IIIUI      ■ ■   V   V» ~J     UIIU      1JU JJIVI   U      \S ■       \. V ■ \S      hS V> W hS ■ V>       llll        tl   I \_-      U ■    \^ U ._>.      V/l   IV
realm of dark electronic and bass-infused hip-hop on her latest EP. While . J hobbyist pilot, and one bird listener. In the words of the filmmaker, "these
connections open a path through the opacity of these spaces, which I
enter in fragmentary ways." And while this does aptly describe the way
melodies are now pushed further towards the front of each new mix. The* ,  the film opted to investigate the genuinely fascinating environment of ►
,complex and haunting bass sounds have also strictly improved, showing • constructed 'natural' spaces surrounding the airport, the "fragmentary
iKhiva's development as an electronic artist and producer. • ways" in which the film jumps from disparate voices, topics and techniques
For instance, within the track "Path of Night," we are constantly
i
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bombarded with evolving, low-frequency rhythms and wubs, clearly
influenced by dubstep artists she grew up listening to. The wide and ►
expansive vocal melodies along with the aquatic and glassy keys are •
produced to create this epic dark pop ballad. While this song discusses <
surviving the shitty times in which we currently live, Khiva forms similarly ►
terrifying stories within the other tracks. The track "Fairytales," describes »
a past relationship similar to a horror movie with instances of monsters
waiting outside and being terrified like Chicken Little. This track shows
off more of Khiva's talent as a hip-hop vocalist, as she is able to rap with
multiple rhyming schemes over her staticky and springy synths.
My favorite track is easily "Up To Bat," for the insanely catchy yet evil
melodies and haunting lyrics she delivers. She alternates between clean
and pitch-shifted vocals to enhance the punchlines of the stories she tells.
It feels like her experience as a DJ and live performing artist has taught
Khiva how to deliver such catchy and charging vocal lines, along with the
reinforcement of haunting low-frequencies that you could still dance to.
Khiva's confident vocals and stylistically unique low-frequency melodies
can take on many dark incarnations, whether it be epic pop ballads
or thrilling hip-hop inspired bars. She has taken another step towards
defining her style as an artist, and is proof of the potential of dubstep and
bass-infused electronic moving past 2020. —Jordan Naterer
• a
<•
•I.'
_ a
•\:
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(the most jarring being superimposed diagrams of planes and birds
appearing and disappearing seemingly at random throughout the film)
closed the very paths Maria was attempting to open.
However, the soundscape throughout, an interweaving of "birdsong
and aircraft radio transmissions," was captivating, and juxtaposition of
the airborne, both the birds and the desire of the pilot to become just
that, did make for a handful of compelling moments. Unfortunately, those
moments weren't pieced together in a way to make the film as a whole
feel like a complete work.
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Felix Lamarche, Canada, 2019, 19 mins
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imilar, in a way, to Julieta Maria's Redbird and other birds, #
Felix Lamarche's experimental short film, Ghost Lands, utilizes^
fragmentary sounds and film snippets to compose this exploration ■
of place, this time focusing on the Gaspesie area in Quebec. However*
» a
, "where Lamarche succeeds is the way in which these fragments come
• 'together not to reveal a coherent understanding of its setting, but instead
evoke a distant memory or nostalgia for the places that used to exist, i
Bringing together archival photography and footage, heavily  '
• processed and partially destroyed analog film, and narration from the
people who were forced to leave the long-since abandoned towns of
, Gaspesie, Ghost Lands doesn't attempt to educate or inform its audience
about that historical displacement. Instead, the film focuses on the spaces
those towns used to occupy and the voices of those who used to live
< there — evoking a memory of a place for those who never knew it. Space,
< in Ghost Lands, is hinged on temporality, and because of our temporal
distance to those towns now overgrown and skeletal, a complete sense
of them is impossible. Felix Lamarche's presentation of this partial
understanding of place, through oral histories and degrading images, are
the closest one can get to those ghostly lands.
aa**    •_••••
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ix feet apart. Give distance. Stay home. Avoid unnecessary ^
travel. These words, plastered across just about everything since •
mid-March, have been impossible to ignore; and the ways in which •
, a
t we are forced to confront the physical space we occupy in the world .
amidst a global pandemic, has seemed to rise to the forefront of the •
_   a a
, <public consciousness. The spatial realm has become a talking point en
> 'masse, with governments, public health authorities, private businesses,* «
' 'and everyday folk advocating for a greater awareness and caution in  •
designating who has the right to public space, and how those with access*
to private space should utilize it. With literal life-or-death stakes hinged •
Jennifer Boles, US, 2020, 11 mins
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upon how we conceptualize and take up space, it seems that a much
• - • ~   a    -.-.
r s with Ghost Lands, Jennifer Boles' short documentary The
I   Reversal reaches into the history of a space, through archival* 4
r documents. Instead of letting the years wash away the hard details
• "of a history, as Lamarche did with his film, Boles instead elucidates an oft
forgotten history of human intervention and effort in transforming urban' <
a ^ .
■spaces into what they are today.
The Reversal tells the story of the Chicago River and the almost   ,
unthinkable feat of engineering that went into reversing its flow during •
. the late 1800s. Made up of thousands of historical photographs flashing *
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by, The Reversal begins with images of flooded farmlands and unsanitary ►
• troughs that made up Chicago's sewage system. As the photos flicker •
, past, at times almost forming stop-motion vignettes before shifting
i settings and perspectives, the film showcases the intense strain and
practical engineering that went into the reversal of the waterway, around
,   which Chicago still sits.
As the film ends, a brief title card appears over images of the modern
Chicago River that explains the chronology of the project. These modern
»   shots evoke almost no semblance to the monumental piles of excavated
• earth, to the thousands of tonnes of stone and concrete, to the literal
*     4
i human lives that went into physically transforming the natural waterways
« that has enabled the urban population of Chicago to live for the last
t century However fascinating and educational the archival material from
■ which Boles drew, the most visceral impact of watching The Reversal
• is that the spaces around us, especially the urban spaces, however
'   mundane or uninteresting on their surface, were designed, constructed,
and engineered to be so innocuous — that there are layers upon layers of
.•«
place on the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksika,
Kainai, Piikani), the Tsuut'ina, the Tyaxe Nakoda Nations and the Metis   (
aT*
•:•
Nation (Region 3)), the lingering gaze of the film on these caricatured
, depictions of the 'Wild West' is disarming. The way in which the camera •
■ holds on people and situations forces the viewer to pay closer attention
> to the underlying history and violence that shapes the modern, almost
cartoonish Stampede.
Julie Conte, France, 2019, 27 mins
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stories and meaning for every space we don't think about very often.
Stampebe
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Allison Hrabluik, Canada, 2019, 13 mins
■ '•♦
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he longest of all five of the Peculiar Sites films is also the best. Julie
Conte's Public showers, Oberkampf street, Paris, is an absolutely* ,
enthralling look into a public shower building in Paris and all the *
people who are forced to use it.
Just like Allison Hrabluik's Stampede, Conte's film is observational and
understated. Settling into the building, a large portion of the film watches *
the space as a whole, as staff routinely maintain the state and sanctity
, of the space and visitors wash, chat and linger. Shots are long and often  ,
unbroken, as laundry schedules are maintained, as families gather around .
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ust because the histories, however close to being forgotten, can,
supply new understandings of spaces doesn't mean the present
state of a place is not worth showcasing. And in Allison Hrabluik's
, 'short doc, Stampede, the incredible wealth of enthralling and surreal ,
i 'imagery that surface out of the Calgary Stampede make for a truly •
* invigorating film.
sinks to wash, as people sit and wait in the entrance hall for their phone
to charge. The pace of the film enables all those unfamiliar with the
« rules and customs (however unwritten they are) to become intimately
acquainted with this specific quotidian culture.
Yet the film never seems to step into the realm of gawking at the *
• people it depicts. Instead, Conte marries these observational stretches 4
» with interviews, letting each of the people observed explain the hows
a
a '
■ .
Over the course of a single day amidst the fairgrounds of the 2019
'   Calgary Stampede, Hrabluik's camera settles not on its attractions — the
* carnival rides, country music concerts, rodeo events — but the people in
'   attendance — the visitors floating through the chaos of the food vendors,
• the horse groomers prepping their animals, the employees selling raffle
* tickets. With all the activity and excitement of the fair, Stampede's pace
" is markedly slow, watching situations unfold in the same manner one
• watches people pass by from a park bench, and its tone is observational
to its core.
Watching young carnival workers dressed in cowboy boots and
stetson hats overseeing games of whack-a-mole, or sunburnt onlookers
and whys they use the public showers, and how they public showers fit
into their lives outside the tiled walls. Often, the characters reveal their
history with homelessness, addiction or poverty that force them into
the Oberkampf St. showers. But those histories are often married with
• the agency and invigoration that come with the showers — the free and
• accessible means to sanitation that are too often withheld from people •
■
pushed to the margins of society enable them to develop routine and
•
a '
a
•<
a
i
a
a
dignity that they can't find elsewhere.
Conte's film is as empathetic as it is entertaining, allowing space
for necessary but difficult discussions about racism within European
immigration to the cyclical nature of poverty, to exist next to endearing
real-life moments that can only come with spending time in observation,
eating whole turkey legs in the shade of a ferris wheel, Stampede feels * »  Public showers is a captivating and honest glimpse into a space where
like an anthropological study on how humans came to participate in <
something so outside their everyday realm. Especially since the
mythology surrounding the Calgary Stampede is so entrenched in the  ,
colonial westward expansion of Canada, and the subsequent erasure and '
4 a multitude of lives collide, and brilliantly captures what documentary
1, filmmaking does best.
a • *     a       a _ ♦
. displacement of Indigenous peoples that come with it (the festival takes
MAI
Elf Pity / Dew / Spesh
Pep / Myyk
FEBRUARY 5 / RED GATE
TV-1 was the kind of birthday party that had an air of
r being all-too-aware of its irony; aware that time
(W* is a human construct and age, by extension,
a weaponized form of numeric representation,
wielded by institutional powers to both honour and
shame our socially-constituted bodies.
"Fuck it," the night-gatherers at Red Gate seemed
to be saying. "Any excuse to blow up some balloons,
spread some love, and shred some guitar in
celebration of life in this perennially whack world
62
is one that ought to be seized."
And seize they did.
The evening began with the members of Myyk
setting up under a haze of neon pink lights, adorned
from head-to-toe in black and silver, reverberating
effortless femme-punk energy. They looked like the
people I was totally intimidated by in high school
— the type of kids who sketched in the margins
of every homework assignment and were referred
to as "moody" by their teachers at parent-teacher
conferences.
The wall of noise that slammed into me from the
bass and guitar somehow smacked me across the
face and subdued me at the same time. It was
almost too felicitous that the only lyrics I was able to
distinguish from behind it were the words "society"
and "anxiety." Moments of hypnotic trumpet-solos
produced the feeling of suddenly floating through
an abyss, without stripping songs of their edge. I
seriously needed their mixtape when I was 17.
Spesh Pep stepped up next and announced
the name of their first song, "Sketchy Dude" —
effectively setting the tone for the set-to-follow
that was as fierce as it was groovy. The three band
members jammed wildly, producing some powerfully
satirical new wave psych rock. Halfway through
the set, the barefoot drummer dedicated a song
to expedia.ca, the guitarist wailed on the whammy
bar like they were trying to break their high score
on Guitar Hero, and members of the crowd went
UNDER REVIEW
???? 2020
 flying around the floor as if their limbs were freeing
themselves from the confinement of their bodies.
Those closest to the stage plopped down on the
floor and stared up, cross-legged, at the band to
follow, Elf Pity. They swayed along to some fairly
low-key post-punk alternative tunes, featuring some
pretty crazy drumming, and traded head-scratches
for slobbery kisses with Stanley, the partially-deaf
cavalier King Charles spaniel (the real star of the
night if I'm being totally honest).
"My name's Jess. It's my fucking birthday,"
proclaimed the frontperson of the closing band,
Dew, with the same intonation one might proclaim
their excitement for a Monday. As soon as they
began to sing, that same voice projected so
beautifully I felt, for a heartbeat, blissfully paralyzed.
They were joined on stage by the groovy guitarist
of Spesh Pep, a dazzling drummer, and a spicy
saxophonist — and I walked away dreaming wistfully
about the day I'd have enough musically-gifted
pals to gather on the eve of my own birthday.
—Amanda Thacker
The Sunday Service
Present: In Your Home!
MARCH 15 / FOX CABARET
There are not many things in life that can be
counted upon quite as steadfastly as The
Sunday Service. Week after week, through
very occasional venue and lineup changes, and
regardless of extreme weather phenomena and
political upheaval, Vancouver's beloved improv
troupe have been able to put on an improv show
every Sunday for close to fifteen years.
It only seems reasonable that a global pandemic,
the likes of which haven't been seen since the
Spanish Flu outbreak of 1918, that has sent stocks
plummeting, toilet paper to mysteriously vanish from
shelves worldwide and governments across the
globe to declare states of emergency, lockdowns
and quarantine zones, along with an ever-growing
population of people infected by the vaccine-less
virus known as COVID-19, would have caused this
improv troupe to take a week off.
But on March 15, after widespread calls for social
isolation, and "non-essential" businesses to close
their doors indefinitely, Taz VanRassel, Ryan Beil,
Caitlin Howden, Kevin Lee, Emmet Hall and Mark
Chavez did it anyway — Aaron Read featured in an
instagram live pre-show broadcast from his own
home. Instead of performing to their usual packed
room at the Fox, the Sunday Service had only a
camera operator and sound person in the room
with them. But with close to 400 audience members
tuning in from their own home, the improv troupe
had plenty of virtual support.
With Chavez taking on hosting duties, the set
got off to a somewhat shaky start, as the typical
audience warm-up / introduction segment was met
with applause and responses coming from their
fellow improvisers. For example, Emmett Hall's
question for the crowd, "What do you think my dad's
cousin Francesca is doing in Rome right now?" only
elicited a "She's fine," from Chavez and VanRassel.
While it was easy to forget about the pandemic
that caused this strange Sunday Service situation,
little instances of the global health crisis did slip
endearingly onto the stage, including a quick
hand sanitizer break near the beginning of the
show, as well as the awkwardness of not being
able to touch each other during the "freeze"
game. The energy usually associated with the
i/ioitda avu JAaa
0£0£ ssss
Sunday Service shows was sufficiently lacking,
yet the six comedians managed to gain some I
momentum through the short-form improv games. •
Since all the suggestions, usually coming from the •
audience, came from themselves, introspection and j
self-analysis of their own scenes and characters
did, at times, run rampant. The game "Question
Period" was especially guilty, as Howden and Mark
almost immediately started feuding by questioning
each other's questions, diverging from the barely
established vampire-based scene.
But as the show went on, the six improvisers
managed to dispel any of their earlier apprehensions
with performing to an empty room, by doing what
they do best and committing themselves to an
ever-evolving and labyrinthine story line. Each
performer played multiple roles, in the complex
narrative built around a couples' games night
hosted by two seductive losers, an ensemble of
linguistically advanced lobsters and an embarrassed
son named Puzzle. With some exceptional accents
from Beil and VanRassel, as well as Lee's truly
understated quips coming throughout the entire
show, the Sunday Service pulled off a quintessential
show, as if the world outside of their always
ridiculous scenes wasn't crumbling around them.
—Lucas Lund
•ome Thoughts on
Live-Streaming Music
MARCH 31/ MY HOUSE
CjW- s COVID-19 and the public health guidelines
^* in response are sweeping through nearly
^* ▼ every aspect of society, people (privileged
enough to have the means to do so) have been
forced to shutter themselves away in their homes
and are largely relying on art to get them through
the day. Watching films, reading books, listening to
podcasts and music, it seems that now, more than
ever, artists should be given the recognition they
deserve. That by providing a brief escape from
reality, or a new way to view or understand that
reality, artists are providing an essential service to
those who consume it — they are enabling those
people to continue in these troubled times.
So it seems strange that the vast majority of artists,
even those who were well established in their fields
prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, are left without the
support they need to exist. One representative
facet of this phenomenon is in the live music sector.
Now that public gatherings have been essentially
outlawed, venues that rely on crowds of people
are unable to make rent and musicians who rely
on those venues are unable to make a living. The
federal government's CERB (Canada Emergency
Response Benefit) may be able to help some
individuals weather this storm financially, but for
much of the independent music scene, the future
seems both uncertain and treacherous.
As a result, artists and venues have gotten creative
in their attempts to fill the void that social isolation
and quarantines have created. Live-streaming
performances has become the new concert, and
releasing a back-log of miscellaneous material
has made everyday seem a little more special for
everyone keeping up.
And while I commend those artists and venues for
their nearly seamless adaptation to a new, online
mode of creating, I can't help but feel as though
these live-streams are falling short. Financially,
relying on a crowd-sourced donation system to
compensate artists and the organizations that run
these live-streams is unsustainable — generosity
can go a long way, but it cannot keep an entire
industry afloat. Aside from money, I question the
actual form of live-streaming as a viable alternative
to live music. What really is the appeal of a live
stream when there is an endless stream of content
in the next tab over? Is the experience of watching
someone perform through a screen any different if
that performance is happening real-time versus two
days ago? While I admit there is certainly a novelty
to viewing a live-stream performance, and feeling
connected to a performer somewhere out there, as
well as whoever else is watching along with you,
from wherever else they may be. But that novelty
seems small in comparison to the vast quantity of
not-so-live performances that are available to view.
Live or not, we are still sitting at home, watching a
performance mediated through a screen.
All of this is not to say that these live-streams
are unworthy of their place in our socially-distant
lives. They are providing musicians with some
much-needed extra funds during these financially
unstable times; they are allowing venues to
fundraise for their ongoing rent, bills and wages for
their laid off workers; they are giving people, whose
lives are suddenly devoid of live music, a means to
experience at least a fragment of what a concert is
from their homes. People are making the most of a
bad situation, in the best ways they can — and I'm
sure as the weeks wear on, there will be innovations
in how to better organize, facilitate and transmit
live musical performances to everyone wanting
to experience them. But as they are today, these
live-streams simply aren't an adequate replacement
to live music for anyone involved. For now, we are
all just making do.—Jasper Wrinch
To have a live show considered for review in Discorder Magazine
and online, please email event details 4-6 weeks in advance to:
Jasper D. Wrinch, Section Editor
rla.discorder@citr.ca.
RLA also includes comedy and theatre, among other live experiences. Feel
free to submit those event details to the e-mail above.
Illustration by Abi Taylor
 With
Spectacular
Views
My mom called me to meet her at the GALLERY
downtown. She said she thinks I'm emotionally shut down
because I dated a guy all summer who I knew I didn't like that
much. My friend said he was like a warm sweater except he
was cotton and making me colder. I spent most mornings laying
in his bedroom until noon. This is when I would worry about the
fact that I hadn't been to any BEACHES all summer. I
justified it because of the light and breeze that came in the
EAST-FACING WINDOW. I felt like I could do whatever
I wanted but not in a good way.
Where Life Intersects by Nicola Coulter
 is your local mag for
culture, storytelling and discovery
through tangential conversations.
Our approach to media coverage is
to create a platform for new artists
and writers to enter the world
of publication, gain experience,
and get published in an inclusive,
open, and accessible environment.
We prioritize stories by, and for,
marginalized communities and
individuals.
'adio Society ofUBC
ina Rose Carri
Casha Heffor
sper D. Wrinc,
men Gnai/e
Castanedi
//
//
akT
PUBLISHER
//STATION MANAGER
// EDITOR IN CHIEF
SECTIONS EDITOR
WEB EDITOR
DIRECTOR
//   SOCIAL    MEDIA    COORDINATOR
//    ADMINISTRATION
COORDINATOR //
PRODUCTION     ASSISTANTS
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Discorder Magazine
CiTR.ca

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