Canadian music is bursting at the seams in terms of growth. Whether it’s the lasting stamp that our country’s rock outfits have placed on the world or the meteoric rise in hip-hop influencers, Canucks are in the midst of a takeover. However, some of the North’s finest can also be seen in electronic music. Some fantastic producers and artists within the electronic realm come from around Canada, and it’s time to direct the spotlight on them for those who are unaware. Just as a warning, electronic music basically has more tastes and subgenres than you can count on two hands, so this list will cover artists that lay on a few different areas of the spectrum.
1. Caribou: Dan Snaith uses the moniker “Caribou” to drop music that hosts a slew of influences. 80’s R&B and psychedelic rock sounds are just a couple, and they find a quality home on Snaith’s projects. Though these fusions of genres seem adventurous, Caribou always manages to produce accessible and danceable results from these ideas.
2. Kaytranda: The Montreal-based producer and 2016 Polaris Prize winner dabbles in a cornucopia of musical reference points. Dance, hip-hop and even Haitian music are sprinkled throughout his small yet impactful discography. Lately, he’s been a go-to production option for many hip-hop artists, with Anderson .Paak and Chance the Rapper just to name a few. His latest L.P., 2016’s “99.9%” is an album for anyone really, but especially for those with eclectic taste.
3. Kid Koala: Eric San is from Vancouver, and his impact has been felt for nearly two decades. More specifically, his debut album “Carpel Tunnel Syndrome” came out in 2000, and Kid Koala has been a Canadian electronic music staple ever since. His mastery of sampling is one that keeps audiences enamored, and is truly something to behold. You have to hear it to believe it.
4. A Tribe Called Red: Probably the most unique entry on this list, A Tribe Called Red are a DJ collective that introduce traditional indigenous music and sounds into dance music. The crew have brought this distinct and powerful sound around the world. Coachella, Osheaga the New Orleans Jazz Fest are just a few places to name, and that’s not even touching on their international tours. Catch these guys as soon as you can and become a witness to the truly new mark they are leaving on electronic music.
5. Tim Hecker: For those in search of contemplative, long-winded music that can contrast moments of calmness and jarring disruption, Montreal’s Tim Hecker is the first stop to make. His brooding soundscapes can evoke an immeasurable amount of emotions, while ranging across the board in terms of volume and dynamics. Quiet, delicate piano-based melodies can turn into blistering drones at any moment in time within Hecker’s production. If there was ever an artist’s work to apply the “musical journey” cliché to, Hecker’s is no exception. Be ready to invest time into some of his work (though the investment will surely pay off).
By: John Pattee