Canada - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 7 - 05/22/97
Switch Records 1992-97 / Northern Circuits
Hello, and greetings from Canada! My name is Greg Clow, and I'm the
second Canadian to join the happy international bunch here at the Kafé.
But while my fellow Canuck, Laura, brings you reviews of releases from
our country's indie-rock scene, I'll be covering something else
entirely: our thriving electronic music scene!
I was hoping to prepare a sort of primer or introduction to Canadian
electronic music as my first contribution to the Kafé, but I couldn't
get it together in time for the deadline. Perhaps next month? We'll see.
But in the meantime, these two compilation discs provide a pretty nice
taste of what Canada has to offer.
As the title of my first selection suggests, Switch Records 1992-97 is
an anthology release covering the first five years in the existence of
the experimental techno label Switch, which is run by a Toronto area
techno composer/producer named Himadri. As with most labels specializing
in 12" vinyl releases, Switch has received little recognition beyond
adventurous DJs and hardcore trainspotter types, but this CD should
change that. Combining the best tracks from the label's back catalogue
along with new, unreleased and remixed material, 1992-97 contains
nothing but the highest quality in tweaked-out electronic bliss, with
highlights including a remix of the mini-classic The Wipe by Teste (as
seen in the U.S. on MTV's AMP!) and a gorgeous ethereal-ambient piece by
Silent Floor entitled Aka Iro. All in all, proof that the sound of the
underground is alive and well.
One should note, however, that this "underground" does not exist solely
in southern Ontario, the area of Canada where the Switch crew is based.
On the contrary, we have artists creating electronic vibes from sea to
shining sea, and many of them appear on Northern Circuits. Compiled by
the Montreal based Interchill label, this disc includes contributions
from the label's homebase, as well as other major urban centres
(Vancouver & Toronto) and even a few points in between. The result is a
lush and organic sounding collection of chill-out and ambient dub
grooves, with highlights coming from Watershell, Legion of Green Men,
Mere Mortals, and (a personal favorite) David Kristian, who reins in his
usually manic drum'n'bass tendencies on his track Want to provide a
spacey excursion based around a lazy, low-key breakbeat. Yum.
Copyright © 1997 Greg Clow