I’m still playing catchup on 2022 as we slide through the gloom of January, but there are many that got lost in my review pile along the way. The year saw a good haul from Toronto’s Idée Fixe Records, including year-end list entry Isla Craig, but the label was especially verdant for local songwriter Carl Didur. Alongside a solo LP, Carl continues his collaboration with Mike McLean as Zacht Automaat. The pair translate social upheaval into rivulets of psychedelic jazz, Canterbury prog, and glam-glazed rock instrumentals. P Is For Progress continues on many of the ideas they’ve explored over their past two albums, spilling out of the speakers with a full range of emotions that runs from languid and lounged to tin-foil-on-teeth anxiety.
The Canturbury thread seems to be pulled tighter than ever on this one and the feeling that Matching Mole and Hatfield and the North (if you turned the vocals down) were on the stereo more than a few nights when this was in the incubator. The album peaks with the nervy, rubber-sheet shuffle of “I Know Bill Gates,” then slides towards the horizon with a three part suite centered on dog walking with pessimistic overtones. It’s not as searing as some of the Fixe’s frequent travelers, but the discomforting prog and slow-burn approach feels like a good fit on 2022.
Support the artist. Buy it HERE.