Dun-Dun Band
​Pita Parka, Pt. I: Xam Egdub

No. 1
No. 20 (Once Raw: The Aging G)

No. 7 (Nilan)

Jay Anderson: Roland Handsonic. Josh Cole: electric bass. Ted Crosby: bass clarinet, tenor saxophone. Craig Dunsmuir: single-line electric guitar, P___r P____r. Colin Fisher: tenor saxophone, “Hahahacksaw” Jim Duggan. Blake Howard: conga, other repercussion which continues to be quite serious. Kurt Newman: chordal and lead electric guitar. Karen Ng: alto saxophone, clarinet. Mike Smith: Rhodes 88, Hammond A105, continued keyboard transcombobulations. Brodie West: alto saxophone, clarinet. Engineered by Julian Decorte at Canterbury Music in Toronto from October 30th to November 1st, 2022. Additional engineering of Colin Fisher’s parts by Josh Cole in the TRANZAC Southern Cross Lounge on December 27th, 2022. Mixed by Sandro Perri. Mastered by Jeff “Fedge” Elliott. Produced by Sandro Perri and Josh Cole with Craig Dunsmuir. Photography by Nick Storring. We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.


For anyone at all acquainted with underground music in Toronto, Craig Dunsmuir is as ubiquitous as he is revered. Many locals know him for his profound knowledge and curiosity as a listener, traits he's deployed as a DJ and while working at some of the city's most beloved record stores. His famously encyclopedic vantage point, though, has also served as fuel for the vast musical output he has created over the past 20+ years.

Even as far back as 2001, VICE cited Dunsmuir as "Toronto’s unsung guitar god," touting the fact that "his low-key guitar looping pedal performances [as Guitarkestra] have made people actually cry." Since that time, Dunsmuir has adopted an increasingly varied compositional approach, one that has yielded everything from asymmetrical beat-work to churning cacophony, strobing polyrhythms to ambient euphoria.

Glissandro 70, his duo with Sandro Perri, served up quirk-infested disco on their lone self-titled 2006 album for Constellation Records, prompting All Music Guide to hail it as "one of the more auspicious debuts to come down the pike in a long while." Following a slew of homespun, xerox-sleeved CD-R releases, the Montréal imprint released another LP for Dunsmuir, Kanada 70's Vamp Ire, which compiled highlights from his various handcrafted outings.

When his Dun-Dun Band emerged in early 2016, it marked a significant progression in Dunsmuir's explorations. Despite his ardent and visible support for the local scene, Dunsmuir had (apart from his collaborations with Perri, the last of which were released on that year's Off World 2) largely led a more or less hermetic creative existence; Dun-Dun Band signalled an opening-up of his musical world, seeing him surround himself with an eclectic and carefully curated cast of performers—some of Toronto's finest.

Stylistically, the group also expands Dunsmuir's already generous sonic range, embracing elements of jazz, American minimalism, and the mellower end of instrumental prog- and post-rock, as well as traits that recall various African traditions. Dunsmuir's writing for the band orbits odd-meter grooves, featuring spur-of-the-moment arrangements that he cues and conducts. Inasmuch as these spontaneous events highlight the individual improvisational personalities of his collaborators, they also stimulate conversation between band members, permitting a wide range of musical influences and vocabularies to nourish the music.

Many listeners will find familiar faces among Dunsmuir's tangled web of fellow travellers. For starters, the band shares four members with Brodie West's Eucalyptus, including West himself (on alto saxophone and clarinet), Mike Smith (performing here on keyboards), guitarist Kurt Newman, and percussionist Blake Howard. Jay Anderson of Badge Époque Ensemble, Lammping and Marker Starling infamy also contributes to the band's percussive dimension, trading his customary acoustic arsenal for a Roland Handsonic, an electronic implement which Dunsmuir has employed frequently throughout his solo catalogue. Bassist Josh Cole, a member of Sandro Perri's core ensemble and of Brodie West's Quintet, as well as leader of Kind Mind (featuring one Karen Ng), fills out the rhythm section, bringing both taut precision and nimble movement to the ensemble's low register.

As Jesse Locke noted for Bandcamp Daily, "no list of forward-thinking Toronto jazz artists would be complete without Karen Ng," and given Dun-Dun Band's all-star lineup, that statement is equally applicable in this context. Alto saxophonist and clarinetist Ng (who has been heard alongside everyone from The Weather Station and Andy Shauf to Badge Époque and Orange Milk Records' ---__--___ ) is one of the band's four reed players.

In addition to the aforementioned West, Ng is joined by bass clarinetist and tenor saxophonist Ted Crosby (leader of Nomad and Revival Ensemble, member of Isla Craig's band, formerly of Sick Boss). Dun-Dun's horn section also includes multi-instrumentalist Colin Fisher (heard here on tenor), "a distinctly gifted musician" according to PopMatters. On top of having released acclaimed records for Astral Spirits, Halocline Trance and Tombed Visions, Fisher collaborates with Caribou and plays as one half of Not The Wind, Not The Flag.

Dun-Dun Band's unique interplay has been cultivated through numerous live appearances in Toronto. In addition to informal sets at such cherished local spots as the TRANZAC, the Monarch Tavern, and Wenona Craft Beer Lodge, they've been programmed by the Music Gallery for its X-Avant Festival, by Toronto's TONE and Intersection festivals, and by Hamilton, Ontario's Something Else! Festival (where they were briefly but enthusiastically joined by William Parker on double reeds). A pared-down trio incarnation of the group also recently opened for NYC trombonist improviser/composer (and Arthur Russell co-conspirator) Peter Zummo, for a night curated by Pita Parka mixer and co-producer Sandro Perri.

Pita Parka Pt. 1: Xam Egdub is Dun-Dun Band's first vinyl release, comprising three extended pieces, each tracing a rambling path connecting multiple ostinato-driven sections. Tracked at Toronto's Canterbury Music, the record refines the approach found on their debut cassette Riff Ref (2023, Dark Matter Tapes). This LP is the seventh entry in Ansible Editions' discography, following albums by Rob Mazurek; High Alpine Hut Network; Playdate; the Brodie West Quintet; Adams, Dunn & Haas; and Nicole Rampersaud's East Coast Music Awards-nominated Saudade.