Matthew Bailey, Carl Schilde, and Scott Harper play improvised music oscillating somewhere between bingo hall Casio suites and kosmische dreamscapes. Performing under the name Playdate, the trio is sometimes accompanied by ‘90s instructional videos, larger than life amateur dancers, and outdated light shows.
Their sophomore album “Wonderland” is sourced from a monthly residency in a sports bar basement and a one-off show at a now-defunct cassette duplication facility. Each night they were joined by one of Toronto’s more adventurous musicians: no warm-ups, no practice sessions, no pre-game huddles. Every track is an artifact of performers discovering each other in real time, with clarinets, vibraphones, and pedal steel grounding and offsetting Playdate’s synthesized romps. The guests - Christine Bougie, Michael Davidson, Michael Eckert, Karen Ng, and Daniel Pencer - are all pillars of Toronto’s improv/jazz community.
Playdate’s first release “Manitoulin Tapes” (Séance Centre) was described as a “blissed out lo-fi ambient gem” by The Wire magazine. Matthew Bailey is a prolific musician and producer whose “curious mind conjures enthralling animated soundscapes for wired daydreamers” (Music Works). Over the last decade, Carl Schilde’s solo music slowly evolved from a single-note vinyl record (“The whole concept makes me upset” - Vice) to full blown late-‘70s AOR. Scott Harper, aka Knobs, recently ventured beyond niche YouTube stardom into the real world with his debut album “Stipple”.