Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Canadian Content: Quality Over Quantity

Working with music in the electronic genre will definitely open your eyes to the lack of Canadian artists in proportion to American or British or French etc. Rightfully so, the United States has more well-funded record labels and a higher population, and countries in Europe have the ability to say that they are THE powerhouse fueling the electronic dynamo. Yet what people fail to realize is the Canadian Electronic scene is growing at rapid rate and most groups or artists give you more bang for your buck than a lot of those run-of-the-mill Trance or House outfits.

Canadian artists are bursting at the seems with potential and talent, yet often go overlooked for bigger names like Daft Punk or The Prodigy. Yet within the last year or so, many artists are either making huge debuts or striking back with albums that are bigger and better than the last. MSTRKRFT for example is Canada's current heavy-hitter, however Electro-House is not for everyone. As of late, a few notable Canadian electronic artists should be paid more attention to.

These Alberta natives have proved once again with their 2009 release "Feel.Love.Thinking.Of." that they're still in the game. Their sound is a unique blend of vocals (sometimes in falsetto) with catchy pop patterns and rhythmically blurring sound. This being their second full-length release, Faunts knew just how high to jump to clear their own preset bar and at the same time prove to create one of the freshest albums so far this year.

Joel Zimmerman, a resident of Toronto, has created quite a stir within the electronic community, not only while touring Canada, but the United States and Europe as well. "Random Album Title" was received with wide open arms, with a sound that is both customary and extremely in your face at the same time. The rolling pianos mixed in with the heavy bass kicks and clever and imaginative programming put this Canadian at the top of his class.

I Am Robot and Proud
Another native to Toronto, programmer Shaw-Han Liem has been more successful in Japan than he has in Canada. With over four near-perfect albums out since 2001 Liem has already proved himself as a master musician. His skills in creating rolling soundscapes powered by pop based IDM give the listener a euphoric sensation, yet still retain an extensive level of complexity and originality.

These are merely three prominent examples of hidden gems in Canadian culture. My advice to you: get out your shovel and start digging for more.

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