Kurt Swinghammer

Vostok 6

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Swinghammer has been around the Toronto scene for ages, sometimes as a producer, sometimes a session musician, and sometimes as a graphic artist (he designed the Shuffle Demons' painted suits), but his solo work often goes unnoticed. Less bizarre than some of the material from his indie cassettes, Vostok 6 nonetheless tackles a somewhat unexpected subject: It's a concept album dedicated to cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space. Much of the music is ambient and airy, capturing weightlessness beautifully. It's set up as an hour-long performance work interrupted only by one intermission and a few commercial breaks designed for space stations of the future; Toronto residents especially will enjoy the use of local TV host Mark Dailey as an announcer. Although it's not an album that lends itself to casual listening, as a whole it's outstanding.

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