THUMP’s Definitive Guide to Breakthrough Canadian Producers
We've singled out eight of Canada's top producers for you to soak up in time for winter.
Canada is known all over the world for hockey, Tim Hortons, the Canadarm, and endless winters (Vancouver not included), but it's also a hotbed for contemporary electronic musicians. With the ever-growing scene always brewing with new names it's easy to overlook this great nation's gems. Scattered across fertile plains and towering mountains, between the maritime estuaries of the Saint-Laurent and the silty deltas of the Fraser, we've singled out eight of Canada's top breakthrough producers for you to soak up before it's time for winter.
Whatever they're drinking in Montreal seems to be working, because the city is teeming with incredible electronic musicians, and for a case in point, here is Pomo. The genre-bending producer is a multi-instrumentalist who combines elements of hip-hop, funk, and electronic, and he has received support from the likes of Disclosure, Gramatik, and Canadian sensation Kaytranada. If you're looking to get lost in some silky smooth grooves, you'd be hard-pressed to find a problem with Pomo.
Darkness is spreading, or to be more accurate, #DARKPLUR, which is the new sound to come from Toronto's Hunter Siegel. As a former member of the dubstep group The Killabits, Hunter is certainly no stranger to making hard-hitting tracks, but he's since traded in his face-melting wobbles for house music vibes. His most recent release is a two-track EP on Steve Angello's SIZE records.
Montreal-based Eekkoo was discovered by deadmau5 himself and dropped his first EP on mau5trap in 2013. Blending together elements of progressive house and techno, he describes his sound as "one for late nights and early mornings." His latest EP Hell Is Other People, dropped on October 13th. Believe me when I say this: the man is worth the hype.
Vancouver-based producer Nathan Shaw, aka Ekali, is an experimental music-maker in a similar vein to Cashmere Cat. In other words, he makes world-class bass music. Translation: this is required listening material. Nathan is also the only Canadian to be admitted to the Red Bull Music Academy in Tokyo this month, and will be spending two weeks collaborating with 29 other artists from around the world.
Nick Wisdom's real name is really Nick Wisdom, so with that out of the way let's get on to the good stuff. Now living in Montreal, Nick came up in his hometown of Vancouver's music scene by founding a boutique label called Jellyfish Recordings and has since made waves internationally with both his solo work and side-project, Potatohead People.
Aside from having one of the coolest names in the industry, Black Tiger Sex Machine also happens to make some pretty serious party music. Part of the recent explosion of hard-hitting electro acts to come out of Montreal, the masked trio's unique, high-energy live shows are part DJ-set and part live performance. Their label, Kannibalen, is also responsible for Snails, a rising bass producer who you may know from his "vomit-step" productions.
18-year-old producer Harrison is a burgeoning master of throwback, groove-inducing dance tracks. Combining elements of soul, future funk, and a dash of '90s video game nostalgia, Harrison style is unique, infectious, and uplifting.
Simply put, if Dubfire grew up in Montreal, his name would be Johnny Trika. Not only are his dark, minimal techno productions played out on a weekly basis by both Dubfire and Richie Hawtin, which is no small feat, but he has also signed on to Dubfire's own SCI+TEC label. His forthcoming three-track EP, Main Squeeze—TEC 117 is set to be released on October 16th, and a second EP to follow in 2015, this is one producer that techno fans need to be aware of.