Concert Timeline:

Thursday Dec 19, 1996

The Living Well Café

W/ DJ James Martin

Measuring Man CD Release Party

Wed. July 30th. 1997

Gypsy Co-op

W/DJ Denise Benson

Glide Wednesday

preview upcoming CD

Thursday August 21, 1997


Opening for Roach Motel

Toronto Acid Jazz Festival

Tuesday Sept 30, 1997.

The Velvet Underground

W/An April March Opening

Sweet Like Poison CD Release Party

Sunday Oct 26, 1997

Bamboo Nghtclub

W/ace DJs plus Kardinal Offishall, Pocket Dwellers and Shafiq

CLKN Fundraising drive wrap party

Sat. Nov 1st, 1997


Opening For My Brilliant Beast

w/DJ Shawn Greenson

Thursday Nov 27, 1997


Opening For Magdelene

Magdelene CD Release Party

Wed Feb 11th 1998

Gypsy Co-op

W/DJ Denise Benson

Glide Wednesday 1 Year Celebration

Thursday Feb 26th 1998

C’est What

W/Sarah Slean Openning

Friday May 1st 1998


W/Sue De Nym, Jane Doe, Magdelene, Gloria Shreve & By Coincidence, Microgroove

Tough Women On A Short Plank Festival

Friday June 12th 1998,

Rancho Relaxo

North By Northeast Festival Showcase

Thursday Jul 16,1998 Reverb


Opening for Soho Kitchen

W/ Incandescent Bliss machine

Tuesday July 21, 1998


W/Dijik Opening

Speed Dog 2 Year Anniversary

4 Tuesdays Aug/Sept 1998



Wed Dec 02 1998

Lee’s Palace

W/ Shroeder opening

Friday May 14, 1999

Clinton Tavern

W/ Mike Harland Opening

Miracle CD Release party

Saturday Nov 13, 1999


W/DJ Denise Benson

August 2000

Clinton Tavern

W/Zeeland Opening

Headline Reverb w/ Soho Kitchen Openning

Headline Gig Rivoli???

Latvia House Film Festival Party 1998/1999???

Art opening acoustic gig 2000/2001???


Thursday September 23, 1997

CD Review Eye Magazine


Sweet Like Poison

Speed Dog Records


Subliminal Groove Records

Not the Future of Music, but a little closer to it than usual. What these albums — courtesy of labels straight outta East York and Palmerston Ave., respectively — signify is that trip-hop is now acceptable territory for DIY pop-makers. Herein lie plenty of slack-assed beats, record scratches, dreamy, jazz-inflected female vocals and maybe few new ideas, but enthusiastic application of good ones by other people.

Sweet Like Poison is a collaboration between Measuring Man — who made a more techno-oriented disc last year — and singer Cynthia Hallett, whose voice has more vitality than his music. The synthesizers often sound, well, synthetic (Kraftwerk’s hardly ever did) and melodies like the creepy descending figures in “She’s Crazy” and the title track are more Tubular Bells than Dummy… hence, uncool. But Hallett sounds great, mustering sufficient menace and sweetness to give the disc an unexpected resilience. When making beat-heavy, sample-laden pop like this, there’s the danger of over-emphasizing texture to the extent that the song disintegrates, and not in a good way. This happens near the end of Sweet Like Poison, as it heads toward formless, ethereal 4AD-isms. As long as Hallett and MM keep the songs tightly constructed, they impress.

Magdalene get away from any obvious synth sound, with more guitar and live drumming as well as treatments and loops. The songs are very chilly — most of the bass lines are dubby and loping in pace, Bonnie McLachlan sort of almost talks when she sings like Nicolette does, and there is much wah-wah. At their most fucked-up, Magdalene sound something like a heavily tranquilized Pop Group or PiL — closer to post-punk’s take on dub than hip-hop’s. As is usually the case, the tracks go on too long for the amount of stuff in them — rarely do they vary the intensity of the groove. That inflexibility hampers the mildly deconstructed cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams,” and they need to use more than two chords to really make it wail.

Still, it’s a little exciting because groups like them are just beginning to use this musical language, which is malleable now. While Hallett and Magdalene’s albums are not as inspired as recent discs by Slim and Locust — or Portishead’s magnum opus — but you’d be foolish not to keep tabs on them. (Cynthia Hallett plays the CKLN funding drive wrap party at the BamBoo Oct. 26, and Magdalene play the Gypsy Co-Op Oct. 29.)


April 1998

Exclaim Magazine

CD Review

Sweet Like Poison

Alberta-raised, Toronto-based singer Cynthia Hallett’s background is in jazz and soul, but those influences are overmatched by producer Measuring Man, a player in the Toronto trip-hop and acid jazz scenes, such as they are. I haven’t heard Hallett sing aside from the CD, but if she made her name out West singing jazz, blues and soul steeped in Billie Holiday and Marvin Gaye as the press material purports, then one can only assume that between the studio and the mastering, most of the depth and resonance has been digitally airbrushed out of her voice, leaving her with airy girlchild vocals that occasionally mesh well with the arid electronics of the album. She’s best served by the Sneaker Pimps vibe of tracks like “Easy” with their depthless ennui, which is precisely the sort of emotion that Measuring Man’s sound can credibly suggest without resorting to timeworn, artful poses on the likes of “She’s Crazy” – fashionably brooding, as if that fabulously vapid acid jazz-and-martini set woke up with a goth hangover. The mix of trancey acoustic piano with tinny synths is not only grating at time, but also sounds inadvertently like retro 80’s synth-pop, a singularly soulless and grooveless era.

-Chris Wodskou


Chart Magazine

Cynthia Hallett
Miracle EP

The sophomore release from Toronto songstress Cynthia Hallett, the Miracle EP finds her dropping (or relegating to the background at least) many of the sonic trappings that had her previous album, Sweet Like Poison, pegged as “trip-hop”. The title track (appearing here in two slightly different forms) is a pretty pop song that builds from a simple acoustic guitar line to a crescendo of synthesized strings with Hallett’s lovely voice floating over top. Other tracks, like “Rain” and an especially mellow take on Nirvana’s “Come As You Are”, favour piano melodies rather than electronic burbles or breakbeats. It’s not until the pair of “bonus tracks” – a drum’n’bass mix of “Easy” and a funky techno rework of “Torment”, both originally on her debut disc – that the electronic quotient is raised to a noticeable level. But even without the beatbox, Hallett and company are quite capable of producing some wonderfully atmospheric and melancholy sounds.