Stadiums & Shrines
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To date, the stream from Montreal’s johnny_ripper has revealed an artist with a keen sense for the sublime and an overactive ear for obscure source material. These glimpses into a late night nirvana of sorts have for the most part been singular, made by (and for) a loner. Which makes the multi-medium “Observer (Natalie’s Song)” an interesting development.

Last April, Jean attended a friend’s show that opened with readings. Natalie Reid (pictured below, credit: Jeremy Clarke) recited her words from memory, leaving Jean, in his words, “devastated.” With notions of self-image and perception, the piece existentially resonated, like a direct counter to the “isolated headspace” Jean functions in. It stayed with him, and after some time, he reached out “as a stranger” to collaborate. From there, we now hear this: that night’s lines underscored by Jean’s beats, all formed from field recordings (keys, glass cracks, door knocks, light switches, bicycle bells and beyond) and a micro-sampling of Clara Rockmore’s “Song of Grusia”.

The theme continues across johnny_ripper’s upcoming album, Selfless, his first since 2014’s epilogue.



“I’m in front of the laundromat,” texted Jean, from a new city at midnight. The Montreal rideshare had dropped him in Bushwick, on the corner of Broadway and Marcy Ave. There he was, smiling big from the other end of a crosswalk, with palpable excitement—the energy confirmed by his rapid-fire delivery, and further endeared by his French accent. Among the carried gear (which he would put to immersive use the next day at our church showcase with Portals), was a gift “For Stadiums & Shrines”, mixed to CD with handdrawn artwork.

“Oooh that’s great—I’m movin a lil slower tonight. Perfect,” texted Nadia, upon hearing that she needn’t rush to the Newtown studio, as the aforementioned gift would precede her live set. She indeed arrived perfectly paced—her mic, vocal pedal, and laptop tested with time left to enjoy a Campari, some chocolate, and much of johnny_ripper‘s expansive mix.

Nadia performed songs from her EP I’m Your Protector Now (and one found on Phantom Posse’s Home), plus a lounge-y new demo tentatively called “That Neon Sign”—the set can be heard about an hour and 31 minutes in. Note: she would like to add her dad to those shoutouts at the end 🙂

[0:00 – 01:31:50] johnny_ripper mix:
Rene Hell – Meta Concrete
COH + Cosey Fanni Tutti – Closer
Klara Lewis – Untitled
Black to Comm – Hands
clipping. – Dream
Rrose – Levitate
Emptyset – Lens
Kerridge – Heavy Metal
Demdike Stare – Past Majesty
Evala – Cracking
Kyoka – Turn
Radian – Shift
Walls / Daphne Oram – Reflexions, Refractions and Multiplications
S. Maharba – Memorial
Kara-lis Coverdale – ICON/C
Old Haunt – Lord, I
Infinite Body – Drive Dreams Away
Roly Porter – Birth
Clara Rockmore – The Swan

[01:31:50 – end] Live performance by Nadia
Really You Got This
Survival Mode
That Neon Sign
Story City

Thanks, Nadia and Jean. S&S Radio is every other Tuesday night at 10PM, on Newtown Radio.



The most recent episode of S&S Radio was arranged by Jean, a French artist (now based in Montreal) who designs sound as Triste Marker, johnny_ripper, Adam Wrong, and Boy With a Red Cap. Across his various projects, there’s a sense of studious wonder, as if driven by a curiosity that never rests. Especially (in the context of the influences/favorites mixed here) his Triste Marker work, which uses field recordings and organic noise to edit “memory into music.” This is confirmed by the thoughtful effort put forth in Jean’s track by track commentary below.

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