AUGH: not all prophecies, i.o


ALBUM U GOTTA HEAR: not all prophecies, i.o

Victoria’s most prolific percussive experimentalist i.o expands past established boundaries and warps grey matter with his ~213th release, “Not All Prophecies”. 

i.o is a solo experimental punk project lead by Victoria, BC percussionist and composer Maxwell Patterson, releasing his first audio experience on Bandcamp in 2014. This much we know is true. Following this, the details start becoming hazy as i.o’s pounding percussion rips through the fabric of space and implants themselves directly into each listener’s central nervous system. Through his hours of experimental composition it becomes incredibly hard to describe the level of abstraction presented throughout Not All Prophecies, perhaps the best way to understand the music presented is through personal experience.

My first time catching i.o live was on June 25th, 2022, underneath a tent at about 3pm on the Theoretically Brewing patio on what may have been one of the hottest days of the year in Lethbridge. Loading sandbags and plate weights out of a van to rest against his tambourine/bass drum combo, i.o created a sweaty, cacophonous soundscape for the following 30 minutes. Angular guitars scraping against polyrhythmic blasting beats that sounded completely foreign yet strangely familiar and tribal. Like if i.o had gotten a hold of an anthropologist’s ceremonial field recordings that played traditional rhythms through a solid state amp and a highly tuned snare with no wires. For the crowd that braved the heat on that fine Pride Day they were treated to one of the finest improvised sets of experimental music that you could hear in Alberta. I had never seen anything like it before. 

Not All Prophecies continues down the path created on that sauna of a patio in downtown Lethbridge. The album was recorded with zero overdubs, and the guitar passages were extracted from live sets between 2021 and 2023, keeping the live energy vital to punk music composition. The single “Paper Chord” has just enough melody in it to bring a throughline to the constant drum assault, expanding and evolving with each metric change. Providing a sort of harmony to bring the listener on the 38 minute journey of Not All Prophecies. The title track is 17 minutes of pure expression. Pure emotion. In the past i.o has had the potential to feel subhuman, pushing his compositions past what most would describe as experimental; this is not the case on this record. There is a vulnerability here. Sure, it is atonal and left of leftfield but there is a tangibility to the 4 tracks on this release, the tracks want to be chewed on and not merely exist as showcases of extraordinary talent.

Not All Prophecies releases on May 6th and i.o is headed on an extensive tour across Canada with fellow Victoria experimentalists Pet Retina this summer, stopping again in Lethbridge at Theoretically Brewing Co. on June 18th. There are many ‘miss-able’ touring acts playing this summer but i.o and Pet Retina are not such acts. Check out if they’re playing your area (they probably are) and drop out of life through the power of stacked cymbals and tambourine-clad bass drum strokes.

Pre-order “Not All Prophecies” here:

Follow i.o on instagram: @102_i.o

Article written by Jeremy Collier, CKXU Music Director