New Chance 42 Jane Street, Guelph ON, July 15

New Chance 42 Jane Street, Guelph ON, July 15
Photo: Tom Beedham
Victoria Cheong's recorded work as New Chance has a way of melding the organic and the mechanical. Ear Rationelle, New Chance's March-released cassette debut, is filled with gorgeous ambient soundscapes built on loops and processing that allow sounds room to breathe across entire songs, sparsely deploying samples of birdcalls and flutters of synthetic percussion to create tranquil sound environments of a serene, hypnotic nature.
If Cheong was playing those songs last night (July 15), they were unrecognizable. New Chance's Incline/Decline set inverted its Ear Rationelle dynamic by floating Cheong's soulful vocals over more rhythmic tracks built on subterranean bubbles and blips, and it blurred the performer/audience dichotomy.
Joined in the front room at 42 Jane Street by dancer Wolfgang Nessel — Cheong's partner in operating the excellent Healing Power Records and bandmate in HVYWTR — instead of enchanting those watching from the next room into a trance, the main floor of the house was eventually transformed into a pulsing dance cave, and some audience members left their space in the crowd to join Cheong and Nessel in their performance space; Cheong even paused to take pictures of the crowd with a disposable camera while samples built between songs.