The first time Mr.Kitty graced the shores of the United Kingdom was in 2014, where for his first ever international show, he played gothic/industrial holiday camp Infest, where he also became the first, and currently, only non-headlining artist to perform an encore in the festival’s history. If that doesn’t speak volumes for the prowess and rabid fanbase that this project has amassed in nearly a decade, then there’s no swaying you I’m afraid. Five years on, this night is also a first in Forrest’s career, where on the eve I got to sit down with him, it was his first ever London show, and naturally anticipation was huge within the confines of Camden’s Underworld, not to mention performing alongside fellow witch house pioneer Sidewalks and Skeletons. Progressing through many doors and hallways bleached with graffiti and swarms of band stickers, I meet Forrest and husband Isaac deep in the Underworld’s bowels, to talk about the past, the present, and the ephemeral. Continue reading
There has never been a time where the conversation about mental health, needs to be louder. Any loss of life is awful, and taking the matter into your own hands will never be any less tragic. But, with the recent deaths of Chris Cornell, Chester Bennington, and now, the loss of Keith Flint, already very raw in the hearts and minds of musicians and fans alike, it is time to stop trivialising the matter of suicide and take affirmative action, not as a society, but as fellow human beings. Forrest LaMaire aka Mr.Kitty understands the value of this conversation, and with his seventh release Ephemeral, the exact value of this conversation becomes all the more evident. Continue reading
Ah the circus. The frequent realm of a child’s revelry or a child’s nightmare. No matter how you look at it, there’s always been an air of the sinister attached to the big top and its residents. Showmen even capitalise on it, turning their carnivals into horror shows, making the sanguine pantomime of the unconscious a living, breathing reality. It then begs the question: How have so few married the theatrics of the circus with the wealth of music the world has to offer? Beats me, but in the reaches of Toronto’s music underworld, lies a project that not only showcases a performance spectacle, but drags it into a watery grave to electro-industrial, sewn together with as many electronic-tainted genres as tentacles can ensnare. Once referred to by founder James Zirco Fisher as the electro-industrial glow circus, the ideals of Squid Lid created a playful submersion into an ocean of light displays and marine life mutations, sinking deeper and deeper into darkness with every evolution. Third album Tackle Box from May of this year, is the most accomplished genus so far, adding female vocals into the mix where previously unease and uncertainty dominated the instrumental albums before it. The switch feels more natural as the project gains ground in underground circles, and production values clamber higher with it. Every song of Squid Lid has always had its own identity, so it’s always difficult to get a full complete picture of the vast array of sounds that this outfit is capable of creating. Shark Club, from Tackle Box has been honed for dancefloors, percussion and bass exploding with every beat, designed with a tribe in mind and synths twisting and warping into snarling beasts, or into haunting stabs, hovering above the party below. For someone who has followed this group for a few years, the escalation of detail and devotion to realising this new album is jaw-dropping. Squid Lid are truly a cult sensation, an experience that has to be seen to be believed, contained within such a diverse, delectable, darker side of electronic music, that musicians and artists alike have no hope of replicating.
Tackle Box, and its older counterparts 2009’s Steam Powered Submarine and 2012’s Crypto Zoo are all available from Squid Lid’s Bandcamp page, all from a very respectable price.