Montreal’s Karneef makes music impossible

Plus hear new music from Moss Lime, Man Made Hill, and Black Walls.

October 9, 2015

No Rest for the Obsessed is a column spotlighting some of the most exciting new music AUX’s Associate Editor Jesse Locke finds each week. It began in 2010 for Calgary’s dearly departed alt-weekly FFWD, and takes its name from a Lightning Bolt song.

Karneef – “Musiq Impossible”

For the past few years, Montreal-via-Gatineau’s Philip Karneef has kept busy collaborating with the likes of Sean Nicholas Savage, Jef Barbara, and Pat Jordache. During that time, he’s also been toiling away at a bizarrely ambitious 17-song album titled Musiq Impossible, playing every instrument and displaying some dizzying art-rock virtuosity. Allegedly “inspired by a recurring dream where Karneef steals an old Ferrari and then misplaces it,” the album bounces between off-kilter pop songs and library music style instrumentals with titles like “(Undesirable) Recurring Character”, “When My Dad’s Been Blazing” or the Seinfeld-referencing “Muffin Top.” We’ve got the premiere of Music Impossible‘s title track above. This slinky salvo brings to mind the eerie elevator jazz-fusion of Gary Wilson or David Byrne fronting a prog band, which sort of happened with The League of Gentlemen, but that’s not quite on the money either. Keep your ears peeled for a full album announcement soon.

Moss Lime – “I Always Get What I Want”

Montreal-via-France’s Moss Lime continue to give us what we want with the first cut from their upcoming Zoo Du Quebec EP. Their understated hooks and propulsive post-punk minimalism are just as mesmerizing as they’ve always been, but the addition of backing vocals from guitarist Jane L. Kasowicz (a.k.a. JLK) add a whole other layer of goosebumpy neck-chiils. The EP will be available as a stocking stuffer on December 8 in 10″ vinyl form from Toronto’s Telephone Explosion and as a cassette from France’s Atelier Ciseaux.

Man Made Hill – Totally Regular

Two weeks back, we raved and drooled over Man Made Hill’s “Double Dippin'” video and now you can hear the whole damn album from whence it came. Totally Regular is the latest deep dive into the mutant funk dungeon of Toronto’s Randy Gagne with 16 new insta-classics. Standouts include the Prince-jammed ode to jealousy “Don’t Breathe On My Baby”, rockapella vocal loops of “Space Shakespear”, and “Mutton for Lawyer”, which might have something to do with Matlock. He channels his inner wonkaloid Santana on “Spiritual Woman”, lists off desirable items on “Spoiled”, then gets some heavier kicks on “Scorched Gruel” and closer “Toad Leather.” Squelchy surrealist visions meet some of Gagne’s best songwriting to date. Get your claws on the cassette from Orange Milk Records.

Black Walls – “Down”


“I lost myself in the labyrinth of the past” intones Ken Reaume on the new song from his one-man wall of woe. “Down” offers the first whispered hint at the forthcoming Black Walls album Nothingness, following a pair of LPs and a cassette from Toronto’s Pleasence Records. Each release has drifted further away from his plaintive finger-picked sounds of nylon and electric guitar, and this funereal march does away with acoustic instruments altogether. The glacial shifts of the music video match the song’s shimmering tones and stir of echoes.

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