Electronic music has historically been NXNE’s weakest point, but this year, it looks as if things are changing. There are some really interesting, progressive, wonderfully weird artists on the bill this year. Here are our picks.
When: June 19, 9 p.m.
Where: Sennheiser Sound House at Massey Hall (178 Victoria Street)
A side project of Black Moth Super Rainbow’s Thomas Fec, Tobacco is fascinating, a little frightening, and yet weirdly catchy. Tobacco features big, crunchy analogue synth and drum–machine sounds, and its music somehow communicates a slight sense of decay. Fec claims to be influenced, in part, by old Betamax tapes—and you can tell.
When: June 20, midnight
Where: The Great Hall (1087 Queen Street West)
One of the pioneers of the hard-to-understand electronic micro-genre “vaporwave,” Oneohtrix Point Never became a critical darling for his weird, shimmering soundscapes, then started receiving mainstream attention after he scored The Bling Ring. Go, and if you manage to make sense of this vaporwave thing, let us know.
When: June 18, 1 a.m.
Where: Smiling Buddha (961 College Street)
Beta Frontiers have been one of our favourite local electronic acts for a while now. There are a lot of bands flogging that cool, detached, slightly grainy synth sound that was briefly called “chillwave” until everyone realized that name was horrible. Beta Frontiers do it better than most.
When: June 19, 2 a.m.
Where: Adelaide Hall (250 Adelaide Street West)
In electronic music, there’s a constant tension between breaking new ground by exploring the boundaries of the technology—because frankly, when you have a machine in front of you that can replicate any sound in the world, you should really try to do something interesting—and making music you can actually dance to. Egyptrixx manages to split the difference better than almost anyone else.
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