Intense waves of unrelenting rhythm surge forth from the sparest background of sound, just like vegetation creeping through cracks in an ocean of asphalt. Out of the grimy manufacturing-sector port town that is Hamilton comes Cedrumatic, four freethinkers in their late teens who have been forging their unique brand of improvised prog-rock together for just over a year – though their group playing is so natural and unforced they sound like a much older band. Comparisons are usually drawn to the likes of Can and Tortoise, and though the similaries are there – expansive, open-ended song canvases and dynamic  percussive interplay – that ain’t the whole story. 

Cedrumatic’s creative improvisations are led by duelling drummers Eric Hovius and Michael McGillivray, who switch back and forth between a full kit and a stand-up assortment of toms, snares and housewares. The duo’s slowbuilding blend of simmering beats and unexpected accents bursts through the narcotic yet nervous mood set by the minimalist guitar of Damian Hornich and Carl Didur’s droning synth. With no bass guitar grounding the mix, the Steeltown quartet’s sound is much airier than that of the aforementioned Kraut/post-rock icons. Cedrumatic have already released two CDs, the self-released Cadencecandance, and the new one To Live In Paris, on happenin’ Hamilton indie label Hot Tub Records. Expect more churning goodness from these boys in the future.


From February 2000 Wavelength Zine