Toronto-based DJ/producers Ryan Lamont and Boris Kurtzman founded techno label OddSine recordings earlier this year with an intent to focus on the darker, brooding side of electronic music. According to the founders the label was conceived with an aim to affirm the differences that unify their sonic community. To give voice to the most intelligent expressions of the multiple subdivisions of techno by creating a space open to their infinite potentiality for hybridity, deviation, disassemblage and reassemblage.
The label emphasizes the importance for OddSine producers to have a unique creative vision. Lamont says, “The one thing we would like for the artist we sign to the label to have is a desire to be unique and make music that they are passionate about and not just the trending sound. It’s hard in this day and age to seek out artists who purely produce for themselves and not for whats in.”
In addition to providing a platform for both rising artists and techno veterans, Lamont says the crew will continue to host events in Toronto in order to “build stronger relationships with the artists we sign and also give us a chance to to expose the smaller artists on our label. What we feel defines a successful event is when we get positive feedback from both patrons and headliners and everyone is looking forward to the next adventure. It’s a big city with a lot of competition so sometimes it’s hit or miss but hopefully we will build a brand with a strong enough following that if another techno event is happening it won’t put a strain on turn out.”
Both Lamont and Kurtzman have been DJing since they started going to raves in the late ’90s, although it wasn’t until recently when they started producing their own tracks.
“Boris got into DJing in 1999 because he always had an ear for futuristic and innovative music, I got into it after I started going to raves in ’96,” says Lamont. Initially producing tracks for his own sets, he moved into production after dabbling with sound design for several years, while Kurtzman formed OddSine production duo Aerodromme with Steve Chan in 2008. In the coming year, the label will be releasing a compilation comprised by various artists, as well as streaming live feeds from their events.
OddSine Recordings on Facebook
Few others have been as influential to the Buffalo electronic music scene than now Denver-based DJ and Igloo music co-founder Paul Kuenzi. He started the collective in 2011 along with Brandon Chase “out of a need for intimate venues, deeper music, and events more formulated around the music and the vibe.” Since then, the crew has gone on to host monthly events throughout the city, with DJs Rufus Gibson and John Sullivan currently at the helm.
Kuenzi is clearly passionate about the thriving Denver house and techno scene, stating that “every week there’s at least four to eight events going on, I can’t even support everyone I want to in a given week.”
“There’s a lot of creativity here, being a place that a lot of people are moving to from all over the world. I think that energy and intelligence is creating a lot of cool events here.” Having played sets at Beta Lounge, one of the regions premier electronic music venues, the selector has also continued to evolve artistically since relocating. When asked how his current sets differ from his early work, he claims to have “certainly slowed down speed wise, and tried to flow more and be smoother rather than be heavy, hard and slamming,” aiming to “make things more of a story rather than an in your face kind of reaction.”
Making his return to Buffalo on Saturday, Sept. 26 to host and play Origins, Kuenzi expects big things from the techno event that also features Berlin DJ Oona Dahl, Jessica Lyn, Gene Linet, The Abbott, and Drumsound Blvd.
“You’re gonna hear some weird, deep, spacey, psychedelic techno,” he said, specifically excited to hear the unique sounds of Oona Dahl, making her return to the city for the first time in two years.
“Music To Die Alone In Space To,” the newest project from Buffalo DJ/electronic producer Spruke, is a wildly imaginative concept album that places its’ listeners at the forefront of a celestial narrative. Narrated by an astronaut who has been untethered from their spaceship and set adrift in space with an hour left to come to terms with their situation, each track conjures a unique frame of mind that follows the narrator’s journey through “different levels of consciousness.”
“It’s one of those ideas that just stuck with me since I was a kid and I learned about the laws of motion for the first time,” said the artist. Determined to create a sonic departure from the more energetic forms of music that define his DJ endeavors, Spruke attributes his inspiration to “yearning for a sound where you’re patient and you let things take time to happen, you don’t make a million noises just because you can.” Also citing ambient music pioneer Brian Eno as a direct influence on the project, the producer born Bill Boulden shifts from electronica, to mellow house, to open-ended, atmospheric sounds throughout the tracks on “Music To Die Alone In Space To.”
The record introduces a fresh concept of individualized distribution as well, with it’s Kickstarter campaign serving as a platform to ensure that each person who pledges will be allowed to choose from narrators of different ethnic backgrounds and genders to personalize the immersive experience the album suggests. What initially began as three voice actors, a British woman, a Hindi woman, and a South African man, has led to an open forum for the project’s backers to choose virtually any type of identity they wish to accompany the album.
“When Hollywood gets a product like this, everybody gets a Midwestern American man in that role, people want to hear themselves reflected in the album,” says Spruke. In addition, six different versions of the album’s cover art are available for the listener to choose, with more to be revealed as the project continues to gather support.
Currently there are 81 copies of the project produced in a nondeterministic manner, meaning each of which were made with random inputs controlling the tracks sound design so that the musical patterns remain the same while the sounds within them vary. No two versions will unfold quite the same way, an effort by the artist to “bring exclusivity back to music.”
With the standard copy of the record expected out this November, and custom copies expected in April, Spruke has set the stage for a work that bridges the gap between listener and artist, demanding an active experience rather than casual passive listen.