We’re going go out on a limb and say that Bruce Haack is the most original, prolific, and pioneering Canadian electronic musician of all time, by some distance. A schoolteacher who began self-releasing recordings on his own Dimension 5 label in 1963, his most well-known and widely-released album was The Electric Lucifer, which came out on Columbia in 1970. Electric Lucifer Book II is the sequel, recorded in 1979, more futuristic and forward-thinking than its predecessor, but despite its merits, it’s a strange record and nobody would release it. It was finally released to little fanfare in 2001, long after Haack’s death. It’s a criminally overlooked album.
Toronto-based Telephone Explosion Records is righting some major wrongs by reissuing this lost classic, and making sure Haack’s magisterial work remains in print, and helping garner some deserved attention to possibly the best electronic album in Canadian history. Buy it here.
Ah, this is a colloboration we wouldn’t have expected! Edmonton’s Kuhrye-oo (who’s been in New York for a bit now), who used to play in Grimes’, Born Gold’s and Cadence Weapon‘s bands, has continued to produce excellent genre-bending music on the Uno label. This new team up with Vancouver electro-r&b act Evy Jane is a really nice fit. Big, bombastic, nineties beats that pair beautiful with soft organs and a slow, floating melody atop it all. Freaking great! We’d love to hear more like this, hope it’s not a one-time-only collab.
Our Calgary faves AM Static channel their inner Erlend Øye to bring us this funky and smooth bit of sweet synthpop. This jam feels so effortless! As you might recall, we LOVED their debut EP Roots Between the Stones, so we can’t wait to hear their next one. Apparently we can expect A Life Well Lived in November. Calendar marked!
Philadelphia seems to be a secret hotbed of underground synthpop, and we’re ecstatic to learn of the existence of Resistor, a duo with a penchant for hooky singles. Their latest track, “Can’t Believe,” is a crisp, bright, and tightly constructed production that begs to be played over and over. Their back catalogue is well-worth exploring too: essential listening includes the winking and clever “Narcissist” as well as a brilliant cover of the Magnetic Fields classic “If You Don’t Cry”. Visit their Soundcloud for more! Thanks to the ever-wonderful Yvynyl for bringing them to our attention.
Montreal is a city that is constantly generating new incredible talent, and it seems like much of the new crop is collected on this compilation released by management group/distribution collective Summer Cool, which is based out of both Montreal and Berlin. One is the first in the collective’s planned biannual compilation series, and it is a stellar listen from beginning to end, a great summation of two weird pop scenes we so adore. It includes some old favourites (Magic Island, Adam Wilcox, Mathématique) and plenty of new ones, including the super-fresh Vesuvio Solo jam we premiered a few weeks back. Our favourite brand-new discoveries off this compilation are the woozy electronic funk of Noni Wo‘s “Solarstorm” and the bombastic synth-rock of COUNTRY‘s “Life-Like”. Amazing tunes both!
But there’s such a wealth here, really, and you should hear it all. One is available on cassette in a highly-limited run, or as a free digital download, both at Summer Cool’s Bandcamp.
Oh, this is just so deliciously dark and evil – and a masterpiece of arpeggiation. Sarin, who released his debut EP Rotten on Sins’ Deth Records back in August, seems to have the most sinister synths in Toronto. We’d better keep our eyes on him.
You can buy the Rotten EP on cassette or as a download from Bandcamp.
Here at Silent Shout we love us some atmospheric pop, and Mekele just might be the etherealest. His last single “Ananda” was a meditative, immersive wonder, and we’ve been eagerly waiting to hear what’s next for the Toronto ambient up-and-comer. Well, news has arrived! His debut full-length album Monolith is coming out this fall, and shit are we excited. Silent Shout has the honour of premiering the newest single, “Xenocryst,” an equally immersive, but more beat-driven, piece that, like everything Mekele does, is strikingly original, and moves through one unique sonic space after another. We imagine it to be a microcosm of what Monolith will be – and we’re sure we’ll never have heard anything quite like it. Watch for it this fall, being released via “an interactive website functioning as a visual media player sensorium”. Can’t wait.
Miracle Fortress is quietly releasing some of the best music of the year. First we had the emotional-but-bouncy “Here’s to Feeling Good All the Time,” which hasn’t left our digital tapedeck since its release. We knew Mr. Van Pelt was planning on releasing other singles, but didn’t think he (or anyone, really) could top the heights of that song. “Let Me Be The 1″ proves those thoughts misguided-as-fuck. One last epic synthpop jam for the dying days of summer, it’s extremely ambitious in its scope but still so so catchy.
Miracle Fortress is staking a claim to 2014 with these two brilliant singles. Please let there be another. Buy “Let Me Be The 1″ from Amazon.
We’ve been fans of Edmonton’s Cygnets since the earliest days of this blog, they’ve been quiet lately, but now we know why: new album. It’s called Isolator, they’re self-releasing it, and it’s well-worth checking out. Here’s maybe the highlight of the record, lead single “Gallows,” a broody, brilliantly arpeggiated goth anthem that’s still extremely danceable despite the slow tempo.
You can buy Isolator direct from the band at Bandcamp.
Programm are now a mainstay of Toronto’s shadow-lurking scene, and we’re very excited to hear new music from them. “Like the Sun” is a massive, slow, electro-shoegaze track that is perfect for gazing directly into the sun. Burn every retina! (Ed: DO NOT look directly into the sun.)
We sincerely hope we hear more from Programm soon. They’re onto something!