Festival of adventurous sound

Modern Fuel hosts coldwave concert to kick off Tone Deaf festival

Carlyn Bezic playing the bass.
Carlyn Bezic playing the bass.

Modern Fuel Artist Run Centre turns its space into an ultra-punk underground coldwave music concert for the 13th annual Tone Deaf Festival of Adventurous Sound Performance, which kicked off Thursday night.

The festival, which started in 2001, runs until Oct. 29 and features performances from four subgenres of alternative music: coldwave, electroacoustic, ambient, and reverberation. It also includes a poster art exhibit. Each night features one different subgenre, and the poster exhibit runs for three extra days.

The festival was created in order to celebrate and share underground experimental music with the Kingston community, and bring these new genres to an audience which may not have otherwise discovered them.

Modern Fuel’s gallery space on 21 Queen St. bustled with artists, performers and music enthusiasts. Covered in a glow of purpled flood lighting, gallery-goers mulled over the poster exhibition and listened to blaring tunes. The poster exhibition featured promotional material from the past 13 Tone Deaf festivals.

Excited for the first night of the six day festival, organizer Kristiana Clemens is optimistic about this year’s turnout.

“The audience changes from year to year, usually we get from about 59 to 70 people,” Clemens said.

“Last year we had a great year. We collaborated with Kingston Art Council and had over 100 people which was a lot.”

“This year we should be expecting around 50 people per night,” added participant Daniel Darch.

Strolling through the gallery, attendees could be seen pondering over and discussing the displayed posters on the far wall of the gallery.

One attendee, Ben Cook came out to support his friends in the coldwave musical group Ice Cream.

“Kingston seems to have an interesting outsider art and music scene,” Cook said.

“Everything I’ve ever known from Kingston has been pretty forward and good, maybe it’s because of the small town vibes and because people have time to focus and there’s not too much going on.” Meanwhile, bassist and backup vocalist of coldwave group Ice Cream, Carlyn Bezic — who graduated from Queen’s fine arts program in 2010 — was preparing for her set.

“Its molecular pop, but we try mostly not to describe our music. Other people have said it’s fun but scary,” said Bezic. Ice Cream’s performance was an industrial post-punk with a 90s underground music scene vibe. Even the audience was dressed for the occasion, donning black leather jackets, long floral dresses, and lots of black.

The band’s performance, although well-presented, weren’t the most accessible to the everyday listener. Although this kind of music was a very love it or hate it type of sound, the dreamy purple lighting and mellow vibes provided an enjoyable experience nonetheless.


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