foundry 2014 / review

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12:00 am

we’re already late. i had promised friends that we’d be heading down to 99 sudbury street in toronto for the last foundry event of 2014 at around 10:30 pm. it’s midnight and we’re still drinking at my friend’s place near kensington market. we’re chatting about carl craig – the night’s headliner – swapping stories about the times we’ve heard him play, when someone timidly asks “what exactly is detroit techno?” a half hour later, i’m still explaining the history of techno and craig’s part in popularizing the genre when we realize the time.

12:37 am

still late. i’ve managed to get in an argument with the man at the convenience store, but we’re on our way. there’s no line up at the venue and the bouncers are super nice. we’re not in kansas anymore.

foundry is one of a kind in toronto. the toronto music scene suffers a lot from government crackdowns and laws that prohibit events from running late/early. the city saw its first outdoor electronic music fest just 2 years ago, so events like foundry have been a long time coming. this is foundry’s second year. i heard talk of last year’s closing event with DVS1, and i knew tonight’s final event would be well worth the roadtrip from montreal.

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featuring / alka rex

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“to be honest, we hate interviews,” eddie krilov and sasha kaline, new york-by-way-of-saint-petersburg producers known by their stage name, alka rex, laugh wholeheartedly. it’s around 1 pm on a grey sunday, and the three of us have been chatting over skype for a half hour before the pair confess that interviews make them uncomfortable. not that you could tell. after  more than a decade of friendship, and almost as much time spent as creative partners, sasha and eddie are so at ease with one another that they’re finishing each other’s thoughts. even before i ask my first question, both are telling me about when they met – in seattle, almost 20 years ago – and how well they work together. i scramble to get the my voice recorder turned on in time to ask them if, after all this time, they’re sick of each other yet: “not yet,” they both chuckle at once.

sasha, you must be so excited to be coming to montreal for the hushlamb party next weekend!

sasha kaline: yes! i’m super excited. it seems like the party is going to be amazing. the venue looks great, and of course, the crew is very special.

eddie, we’re all so gutted that you’re not able to make it down for the event. sasha, you’ll be representing alka rex solo at the hushlamb event – will you be doing anything differently to prepare given that eddie won’t be coming with you?

SK:  we’ve been working on the set together. it’s going to be a DJ set but it will incorporate our own music as well – some new, some old. i’ll be playing on my computer, so it will allow me to play mix and match a bit, and incorporate different bits of tracks to create something unheard of. eddie is more of a vinyl lover, though.

eddie krilov: when i play, i play only vinyl. it preserves the original sound, the original format. i try to support the vinyl industry as much as i can. even when we do our own releases, i strongly recommend that the label does both a physical and a digital release, otherwise it seems lost. you have this physical object to touch and feel and put on the wall. you see the artwork, too. it’s more special.

SK: he’s a vinyl junkie! you should see his collection! [laughs]

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10 montreal folk artists you should know

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i’ve been having an affair with electronic music for almost a decade now, cheating on my first true love, folk music. it doesn’t feel wrong though – electronic music is the younger, hotter babe i take out on the dancefloor, but folk music is who i’ll always come home to. folk, indie, bluegrass, country, gospel; i probably shouldn’t lump them all together, but all have been a part of my life in the same way. they’re my roots, in a weird way, the first kinds of music that really got me connected to music. and for that i owe them a lot. they’re genres i’ve always loved and always will. i might not be listening to dance music years from now, but i know for sure that folk will always be part of my catalogue. montreal in particular has a very special folk scene, heralded by a group of young up-and-comers who have the soul of a 90 year old. so, of course, this post – part of the 10 montreal series – was an absolute necessity. roots.

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igloofest 2014 / review

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guys, i’ve been so MIA the past couple weeks. and you wanna know why? well, i blame igloofest. i blame igloofest for most of the problems in my life right now, such as: i don’t think i will ever actually be warm again, i have perma frostbite on all my extremities, i am more tired than i have ever been ever, and also, now i have this insatiable need for booty shakin techno and big big room sound. so fuck you igloofest. but also, i love you.

this was the 8th edition of igloofest, and this year boasted a record attendance. people came out in the thousands to shake a foot to a roster of epic proportions. everyone you could think of from adam beyer to scuba to skream, pete tong, TEED, hissy fit, basic soul unit, art department and so. many. more took to the stage in what could easily have been a snowglobe, that’s how fucked the weather was this year. i was over it, mostly, but it’s igloofest – it’s a novelty. you put on 84 layers, suck it up, and head down to the old port because…well, what else are you gonna do on the weekend in february? stay home? please.

let me preface this by saying that i am not a whiner when it comes to being cold. most of the time. but this year, the cold was wet, it gets into your bones and clings to your body from the second you step outside to wait for the bus, to the very minute you are dragging yourself home, drunk, stumbling through the slush. it’s not cute. regardless, i managed to make it out to a record breaking 7 igloofests (like i said, i was over it by the end) and i’ve compiled a list of my favourite moments for those of you freaks that didn’t make it out. in no particular order, here we go!

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featuring / trevor barrette

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last week, i had the pleasure of being invited to the opening night of a new musical called to be: in concert, directed by montreal’s own trevor barrette. you might recognize his name – i reviewed his production of none of the above last month. trevor is the owner of kaleidoscope theatre, a new production company based here in montreal; the company has thus far put up four productions, and is well on its way to making a name for itself here.

i had no idea what to expect from to be: in concert. the book and lyrics were both written by barrette, with music by gabriel frank and stephan bradshaw. a true home grown production. if you know me at all, you know how much of a lady boner i have for musicals, so needless to say, i was excited. all i knew of the plotline was that the show was about a young guy, adam, whose estranged father had passed away. a year later, adam is coming to terms with his father’s death, helped along by his cousin benny (played by none of the above‘s scott humphrey). the two get a little tips and hit up a local drag show. i expected a “coming of age” story, a lesson about life and death. to be: in concert was much more than that. what surprised me most was the way the show dealt with adam’s new found sexuality. adam realizes part way through act one that he is gay, and the show builds an intensely deep relationship between adam and the supporting male, seb. what struck me most was how honest the show was – the love scenes in particular were something i’d never quite experienced in theatre before: raw, gritty, honest, nothing was held back. i think the grandmother sitting next to me actually had a stroke when seb and adam ripped off one another’s shirts in a fit of passion. that said, it never felt inappropriate, and that’s tough to make happen.

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