Kaytranada plays up hip-hop’s eclecticism

Plus: Kardinal Offishall and k-os make a cameo during the Montreal producer's freewheeling set

KAYTRANADA at Danforth Music Hall, Friday, September 18. Rating: NNNN

Kaytranada’s eclectic taste has a tendency to cause confusion. Is he a hip-hop producer? A dance producer? The architect of an entirely new sound? Watching the Montreal beatmaker move between tempos and genres at the Danforth Music Hall, it was clear he is a hip-hop DJ in the original sense.

Whereas many DJs lean heavily on the most prevalent and ubiquitous sounds – i.e. trap-y beats with almost no female voices or energy – Kaytranada’s freewheeling set connected rap to a myriad other styles, from jazzy and flamboyant electro-funk and rare groove and diva house and southern bass.

He insisted this was “a party not a concert” and occasionally tried to bait the crowd into going nuts by rewinding or pulling tracks, but mostly let the music do the talking. The room roared as loudly for his remixes of Janet Jackson, AlunaGeorge and Teedra Moses as they did for tracks by rappers Denzel Curry, Rich The Kid and Vic Mensa. Meanwhile, Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King and Pharrell Williams cuts nodded to deeper influences on his lithe-and-light rhythms, and appearances by k-os and Kardinal Offishall stoked the hometown hip-hop pride.

kevinr@nowtoronto.com | @kevinritchie

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