In this edition, DJ Garbage Body is surfing her deepest roots to reminisce, recall, reflect and remind when/where she comes from. It’s important to remember, to pay respect, and to never lose sight. Friends are important influences, and bonds shape us.
From what I can recall, the underground noise boom I knew sprung up after 2004. Obviously a lot of things were happening before that time, but Garbage Body was not yet infused. This scene got seriously awesome between 2007-2009. Many bands emerged and small underground venues in Toronto such as the Tranzac, the Boat and Teranga African Bar let everyone have shows. I specifically remember being at some of the shows in the videos I’m about to post below, and if you look carefully, you’ll see faces in the audience who are now involved with better known projects. Do you remember too? Cheers and creds to Ayal Senior for capturing many shows on video.
Kevin Crump (Disguises, Thrashed Genes, Roman Pilates, Tranz DeFonce) and his wife Andrea (VAJJ) played a huge role keeping this scene alive, putting on many shows, getting people excited, putting out weird noise tapes, and fronting some sweet bands included below. Check out Crump’s Wintage Records and Tapes.
Vanessa Hanson-Benoit also deserves the spotlight when it comes to girls in the improv, experimental + noise scene in Toronto. She had many projects and is a great mentor. Her later project Vanessa’s Entire Heart featured more accessible and eerie noise-folk songs. She is now in a band called Deciduous with Stacey Sproule and Jason Benoit.
At first, there were not many girls within this noise community. Vanessa Hanson-Benoit, Andrea Crump, Jill Aston and I eventually became VAJJ (initials acronym) after gathering from what we initially referred to as the Toronto Women’s Noise Collective. There is no trace of this collective unless you were around at the time and knew. A girl named Poornima helped start that… whatever happened to her?
Until VAJJ, I was mostly a show-goer rather than a performer, having been an avid fan of my friends’ avant-noise duo Gravitons (Mani Mazinani – drums, Jill Aston – guitar shredding) and label Free Market Records.
From what I recall, this thriving scene started to die after Teranga Bar in Kensington Market closed, and Mark Mclean (Induced Labour, Sick Lipstick, etc etc) stopped throwing his epic Doritos-laden shows there. At the same time, some of the core peeps from the band Disguises seemed to be splitting. Many friends shaped and influenced each other in music during a special, thriving time in Toronto (and Montreal + beyond). If you were around, you know what I’m talking about.
Thrashed Genes (Kevin Crump, Jill Aston, Mark McLean) @ Tranzac. Check out how packed it was… and I definitely remember being at this show. Jill Aston is the bomb!! I think I see Wolfgang of HVY WTR and Healing Power Records, Mani Mazinani of Gravitons and Free Market Records, Mark Sauner of Pink Noise, Kevin Hainey of Inyrdisk, Disguises, Cave Dudes, Kapali Carsi and many more.
More Thrashed Genes action. This happened at Bread & Circus in Kensington Market. It was an epic night. Gravitons and Cave Dudes (Bob McCully who is now Wizard Of, Randy Gagne who is now Man Made Hill, Toblerone Boys etc., and Kevin Hainey) also played that bill.
Mark Sauner of the Pink Noise now has a full band in Montreal. They are really damn good. Sauner used to make experimental lo-fi bedroom music and emerged from a small movement of musically inclined weirdos out of Newmarket, Ontario. Back in Toronto, I used to love chilling with Sauner at shows. This is what the Pink Noise used to be before he recruited his current line-up of musicians.
Thames is Blake Hargreaves (Cousins of Reggae, Clinton Machine, Dreamcatcher, etc) + Alex Moskos (Drainolith, AIDS Wolf etc). Live @ Teranga.
Here’s some more Drainolith. The video was made by the very talented Josh Bastien (Tired, Father Dust, Wasted Nymph, etc) a forward-thinking Montreal avant-guard noise beast.
Doom Tickler is Leslie Predy (lead singer of the famed Induced Labour). Leslie is extremely talented and has always been ahead of things in my opinion. Here’s a bonus music video.
Here’s another new vid from my friend Alex’s project Petra Glynt. I remember seeing her around at some shows back in the day, when girls were so much more sparse.
John Shapiro is somewhat of a legend among people that know him. He now abides in Montreal, and plays in the band Tired. In Toronto, he was in the bands Disguises and Induced Labour among other projects, including recording many bands and providing the sound engineering for many live shows. He’s a major cool dude. Here another bonus video from a sweet project of his called Almost Blue Sunshine.
When it comes to DJ Garbage Body’s musical upbringing, she can’t forget where she came from. These people all emerged relatively around the same time within the deep yet fruitful Toronto music swamps. Many of us met at these shows, and most of us come from there. Some of these venues played major unforgettable roles. If you were around, you know what I’m talking about. This community shares a bonded collective unconscious, memories of serious thriving (although I don’t know if we knew it at the time). It was pure reality breakdown, no trend for lyfe!
I hope your surf will continue from here. Watch live shows from your city, past and present. Surf youtube by venue. Type ‘Tranzac – Toronto’ in your search bar and see what you find. Check out other videos by the bands posted above. Scroll to the right of your screen, and see what kind of waves you’ll surf!!