The Art We Are usually plays host to small, acoustic acts. On September 1st, the acts were small, but definitely not acoustic.
Calgary’s Hello Moth was through town with ba:zel, an electro-acoustic act from Prague in the Czech Republic. Both bands had been on a long cross-country Canadian tour.
Ba:zel are a duo, made up of Ewelina Aifen Chiu on vocals, piano and flute, and Daniel Vlcek, playing guitar and manipulating a production board. Ewelina has an enchanting, ethereal voice, and accented her singing and playing with rhythmic dance moves and swirling arm movements. Daniel mostly played with a sample board and manipulated the piano sound, but did play a guitar on a few tracks. Mostly, the music had a classical feel, with a healthy dose of electronics and post-punk.
Hello Moth met up with ba:zel thanks to fellow Calgarian Foonyap, who toured with ba:zel during a European trip in the summer. Hello Moth plays a sound straight out of the 80s, swirling, crisp synth-pop with vocals reminiscent of Howard Jones or Jimmy Sommerville of the Communards. Hello Moth’s musical set up with a simple Casio keyboard and a sampling pedal. He’d play short bits at the start of each song, sample them into the pedal, then layer the bits together to make the base of the song, then sing and play a bit over top of the samples. The result is a full band sound with very little effort.