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The top 5 artists making drone music in Toronto

Posted by Guest Contributor / April 2, 2014

Drone music TorontoA focused drone is hard to find: there's a lot of other music out there calling itself drone that's totally something else altogether. A worthy drone artist keeps things more sparse than even most minimal composers, creating sounds only a few tones at a time, letting them stretch out without the aid of traditionally organized rhythms and modes into something ultimately formless and meditative. In an age when anyone can slow down a Drake song and call it drone, here are the deepest ambient sounds going in Toronto.

Skull Bong
This solo/duo project creates live environments by filtering hypnogogic drones through sound-scapes of what can only be described as psychedelic weirdness. Sprung from the deep waters of weathered Toronto psych-rock champions Ghostlight and Under Heaven, Skull Bong is the demented dream of lone sharks Marco Landini and Minesh Mandoda, and it comes on like an acid-induced tidal wave.

Hoover Party
Jonathan Adjemian's exploration of outsider synthesizers sometimes flirts with krautrock-inspired melodies and rhythmic patterns, but for the most part his two cassettes with Healing Power Records and years of occasional live performances have exhibited a fascination with the spacier synth tones found out beyond well-trodden structures and sounds---right where they should be.

Panic Engines
This brand spanking new analog drone project by Toronto's surrealist avant-garde veteran William A. Davison isn't taking requests or playing concerts under this name yet, and there aren't even any sounds to be found online, but his uninhibited tonal abrasion can be dug up from a new cassette with a very long title. Just ask him for it via Davison's website Recordism.

Body of Waste
Another solo recording project with but one release (so far), Body of Waste struck me like a breath of freshly, wonderfully rank air as its drones and non-tones recalled such fond American memories of mine as rhBand and Double Leopards. In the interest of full disclosure, I might be biased about this as it was released on a modest independent label that I run, but others agree Adam Hanrahan is making some deep and exciting droning weirdness.

Black Walls
Ken Reaume's Black Walls is a prime example of the place where drone ideals crossover into song-based arenas such as doom metal, shoegazer and post-rock. Much akin to Nadja (Toronto's former drone heroes who became Berlin's darlings of doom), Black Walls stretch basic tonal ideas out until you can't sense their end. And like a good drone, why would you want it to end?

Thanks to Focus: Life Gear by TRIDENT for sponsoring this post. Focus: Life Gear by TRIDENT is a fashion line that blocks your mobile connectivity, allowing you to embrace a lifestyle of focus.Focus Trident

Writing by Kevin Hainey, photo of Black Walls via Facebook



lowdown replying to a comment from Rob / April 2, 2014 at 02:36 pm
aren't you the expert. self appointed i presume?
r / April 2, 2014 at 03:00 pm
i like drone sounds. i found it weird and shocking i would find a drone post here on blogto. cool. any drone hangouts othere than my house? r
CaligulaJones / April 2, 2014 at 03:33 pm
Did this get accidentally left out of yesterday's posts?
Rick / April 2, 2014 at 03:45 pm
Please castrate yourselves - all of you.
Dre / April 2, 2014 at 04:18 pm
Is this supposed to be listened to when huffing glue or paint thinner?
Sloane / April 2, 2014 at 04:31 pm
"Wahhh wahh, I don't like this music! It's a joke!"

cool, bye

Annie / April 2, 2014 at 04:45 pm
"Thanks to Focus: Life Gear by TRIDENT for sponsoring this post. Focus: Life Gear by TRIDENT is a fashion line that blocks your mobile connectivity, allowing you to embrace a lifestyle of focus."

So was this article written specifically as a way for Trident to get to a younger demographic? Or was it already written and it seemed like a good match??????????
lol / April 2, 2014 at 05:03 pm
lol@description. 10-4
Rick McGinnis (@rickmcginnis) / April 2, 2014 at 05:55 pm
Nice post - gives some sense of how much more is going on in Toronto musically than what you read about in the papers.
WhisperingDrone / April 2, 2014 at 06:47 pm
What a load of BS this is not an accurate list of people doing drone in Toronto I'm starting to think these posts of lists are made to piss people off!!! Other then blackwalls I've not heard of any of then! Even William Davidson great guy but that project is theoretical at this point how is it a top 5? Bunk list!!!
fuckinghainey / April 2, 2014 at 07:09 pm
ease up, make your own list and post it, haters
fuckinghainey / April 2, 2014 at 07:10 pm
thanks for the positivity, lovers... it was just as hard to define who's a drone artist and who isn't as it was to narrow it down to 5... instead of hating on this list, why don't you hype up your own favourite droners?
North Country Boy / April 2, 2014 at 07:56 pm
Guest Contributor is the greatest writer of all-time!
a person form canada / April 2, 2014 at 08:53 pm
im very glad you gave these musicians an outlet for their music. despite the occasional negative comment, its good to see someones sonic passions made available for others to listen to in a field of music which many choose to publicly hate on based on a few sad personal hang ups. these 5 people can rest assured that many listeners will give their stuff a listen thanks to you.
Aaa replying to a comment from Rob / April 2, 2014 at 09:08 pm
Rob. tell us some more. Teach us!
Brian Taylor / April 2, 2014 at 09:58 pm
Brandon / April 2, 2014 at 10:43 pm
Really shocked Gates isn't on this list!!
Aubrey replying to a comment from Brandon / April 2, 2014 at 11:47 pm
Out of respect for Gate, clearly.
Heiki / April 3, 2014 at 12:18 am
Quiet Drones 4 ever… and ever… and ever...
Heiki / April 3, 2014 at 12:20 am
Chromsphere: Green
Heiki / April 3, 2014 at 12:24 am
Government Island by Heiki
Heiki / April 3, 2014 at 12:26 am
dreamSTATE are The Kings.
Drones quietly / April 3, 2014 at 12:41 am
Some of this cities drone veterans!
Mark / April 3, 2014 at 07:13 am
The top 5 "artists" making drone "music" in Toronto
onceagaindefendingmyfriendsonblogto / April 3, 2014 at 10:36 am
"Call it what you want, but this isn't music. That's an insult to actual music and musicians."

where do you get off? who the f*** are you to make such stupid statements.

these MUSICIANS have been making music for years upon years, and will continue to do so, whether you like it or not.

your comments are very misguided and disrespectful.

keep disbelieving your reality and truth. it will get so far in life.
Realist / April 3, 2014 at 12:02 pm
Händel, Debussy and Mozart made some real music.

Rock, pop, metal or whatever noise you listen to is not music.
fuckinghainey / April 3, 2014 at 01:05 pm

I've never heard of these Paper Sound droners, thanks for the link i just opened!

Gates is a good pick, yes, it's true. Thank you, North Country Boy haha!
fuckinghainey replying to a comment from fuckinghainey / April 3, 2014 at 01:09 pm
actually, i've heard naw... he was hiding at the bottom, but you're right, he is a veteran for sure. honestly, i was on a tight turnaround.
Emirry / April 3, 2014 at 01:48 pm
Scott M2 / April 4, 2014 at 01:45 pm
A heads up that THE AMBiENT PiNG welcomes performing droners from the ambient/soundscape side of the drone scale to its monthly stage at Supermarket. There's a contact adress on the PiNG website where booking requests can be sent but the best approach is to attend a show to feel the vibe and talk to Jamie or Scott, who are approachable and interested in new performers and new audience members. The main webpage has the next date and performers and there's an e-mail list to join for a monthly update on shows. William Davison and Bob Vespaziani just performed a cool set in March. Cheers!
treeotica replying to a comment from Rob / April 4, 2014 at 02:17 pm
The difference between what you appreciate and I appreciate brings a new undiscovered it through music, art, food, fashion or any human sensory experience. Respect that the individual is tapping into the creativity within to express themselves...a gift endowed to all humans and the defining marker of the human journey. Yet not accessed by so many for fear of rejection, judgment or criticism.

my goodness, what would you say to a fella - who is not a musician - but was compelled to express himself musically, and from that emotionally need he creates "his" interpretation of music with an amplified treebranch. if you don't like it, or drone music, or country & western, or polka, be open-minded...not ignorant.

a side note, you say drone is not "music". pass your thoughts onto the horror, sci-fi film, multimedia and games industry who embrace drone "music" for creating the emotional connection
assenav replying to a comment from Realist / August 30, 2014 at 05:13 pm
How sad to have such a limited (uneducated) view of art.
Rudy / September 1, 2014 at 04:12 am
OOOhh man, just WAAAAITING for some kind of 170 bpm break to come through in that skull bong thing!
Quinton / October 6, 2014 at 12:19 pm
Hurrah! In the end I got a webpage from where I be capable of truly take valuable information regarding my study and knowledge.
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