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Electric Independence

It seems that more and more the next wave of innovative North American techno producers are calling one particular city their home: Montreal.
Κείμενο Raf + Vince


Montreal Minimal Mecca.

Forget all the shit you heard about Detroit, Berlin, and Chicago. Stockholm on the nex nex? Yeah, right. It seems that more and more the next wave of innovative North American techno producers are calling one particular city their home: Montreal. Well, at least that’s what Force Inc. seems to believe. One listen to their latest mix-CD compilation

Montreal Smoked Meat

(Force Inc) and it’s hard to argue. Opening up with a stompin’ track from one of Montreal’s brightest stars, Akufen (who already has one release for Perlon under his belt), other highlights include tracks by Force Inc.’s own Jetone and Raster Noton’s Mitchell Akiyama, all hailing from tha 514. Newcomer Stephen Beaupre impresses with a funky clicked-out track that would make Herbert drool on his sampler (which he would probably then sample and put into his next track, of course). Thanks to internationally respected festivals like Mutek and FCMM, Montreal’s position on the global techno scene can only increase (Force Inc. even moved their North American Headquarters there), so this is surely not the last we’ve heard from these artists.


Outside of Montreal, one particularly haunting release is an album by if.then.else entitled


on his own label Emanate in California. Rich delicate textures and subtle micromelodies are skillfully crafted into a warm washed-out ambience. Not the kind of music you’d expect from someone who had to put music and his label on hold to serve a six -month jail sentence for weed possession. Not necessarily a new release but one you should seek out for your own mental health. Also on the same label,

Services Rendered

(Emanate) is a full-length from Solenoid, the man known to those in the American noise scene as Mr. Pharmacist (y’know, the circuit-bent Speak n’ Spell guy?). Playful melodies and crunchy drums give this introspective 10-track CD an easy listen as his penchant for synth tinkering shines through. Check it out, and while you’re at it look for his

12” Narcissistic

(Hiaohiaohiao), which features an Adult remix.

Speaking of 12”s, keep an eye out for Frenchbloke and Son’s Haggis Traxx release, comprised totally of bootleg mishmashes of pop songs. They put Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor” over a killer Gabber beat to make “Gabba Surviva.” They also put “Whoop! There It Is” over “Tour de France” to make “Whoop de France.” This is plunderphonic pisstaking at it’s best. I had a chance to catch up with the mysterious Frenchbloke and Son via email, but due to unfortunate circumstances, they are not able to plug the LP. They were, however, able to divulge the following information:


“We are two people, both Scottish, and one of us definitely can’t speak French. We started doing these tunes for the

optimo website

. Some people from Germany heard them, liked them, and asked if they could release them. We said, ‘Why not?’ (it’s not as if we own the copyright). Frenchbloke and Son have never met each other. They have never met anyone from their record company. Indeed, one of them doesn’t even hold a passport. One of them dances, one definitely doesn’t. One of them likes cakes, the other doesn’t. One of them is older, although not the father of. One knows what they’re doing, the other tries to imitate. We have done enough tracks for five CDs, almost six. We’ve been doing this for a long time. We ought to get out more.” If you don’t like your music too serious I suggest you seek it out while it’s still around.

Also worth looking into on the “silly-ass” tip is the self-titled debut from Tony Ezzy. With titles like “Put Your Hands Together (If You Like Robots)” “I Am a Robot,” and “Voltron Was a Drummer,” there is a definite robo-centric theme goin’ on. As for the music, think a teenage lo-fi Rick James and Parliament if they grew up on Transformers and smoked lots of crank. Check him out at


Also on the robot-obsessed tip comes a release from the Montreal co-operative Electronic Humans Guild, a group dedicated to the unification and understanding between robots and humans. Musically sounding like something you’d hear on Kranky or Thrill Jockey, EHG manage to blend electronics and organics so convincingly that it just might make you think twice about smashing that evil robot that’s trying to kill you into a million pieces.

On the downtempo tip, live drum and bass duo dB are set to release their anxiously awaited first split 12” on 2top Records out of Toronto, featuring Winnipeg artist Sinewave on the flip. Fans can expect the same breakbeat manipulation and dubbed-out melodics the duo have become famous for at their live shows. Expect more from these two in the near future—we’ll keep you posted.