FAIRMONT at Toika, Friday, March 21. Rating: NNN
Long before it was de rigueur for electronic music producers to eschew DJing for live performance, Toronto-born techno head Fairmont (aka Jake Fairley) was banging out beats in local clubs using a messy table full of drum machines, synths, filters and tangled cables. That offbeat approach has led to a nomadic lifestyle that finds him based in Barcelona these days, but a winter visit home has resulted in a series of low-key, local shows over the past month.
Fairley's productions and performances under the Fairmont moniker were always more melodic and indie rock inspired than your typical techno. But his new wave tendencies have been funnelled toward his Bishop Morocco side project duo in recent years, allowing his solo material to focus on the dance floor. Unfortunately, both the promoters and venue for this hometown gig seem to be going through a transitional phase, which made for a poor turnout and low energy, despite the hook-heavy melodies, atmospheric vocals and throbbing bass lines.