JEREMY P. CAULFIELD with IAN GUTHRIE and LEE OSBORNE at Footwork (425 Adelaide West), Saturday (May 7). $5 before midnight, $10 after. www.fukhouse.ca. Rating: NNNNN
The last time we heard from Jeremy P. Caulfield, he was getting ready to move his Toronto-based minimal techno label, Dumb-Unit, to Berlin in order to be closer to the main market for that stripped-down bleep-funk.
That was two years ago, and Toronto is still feeling the empty space left when most of the top techno producers decided to flee to more receptive locales.
Don't be too jealous of Caulfield, though. As he explains, moving to Berlin has been a time-consuming and energy-draining exercise despite the advantages of being so much closer to the major minimal market.
"Last year was kind of slow. We were still getting settled here, figuring out where I fit in," recalls Caulfield as he prepares for a busy weekend of European gigs. "It's been a bit of a fight. It's a much more crowded market, and you have to stake out your spot.
"We're starting to establish ourselves here now, though, and have been doing a lot of parties for the label, which is sort of a Toronto strategy that doesn't get used that much here and has worked well for us."
Caulfield is about to release a new mix CD, Detached, a dark and hypnotic journey through clicky percussion, ominous synth washes, throbbing sub-bass riffs and atmospheric textures. His sound has grown since he relocated, but if you were a fan of his style when he lived in the T-Dot, you'll likely still be feeling it.
"My taste has definitely been influenced by living here. I'm taking in new information and influences all the time. I've actually been finding myself going back to my minimal roots.
"There's been a real resurgence of minimal here, lots of good music and artists. Some of it is kind of redundant, though. I was around the last time minimal got its head stuck up its own ass, and I could see it ending up going that way again. Too many tracks with changes so minute only other producers would notice."
Toronto will have to wait to hear Caulfield's current approach to minimalism, since this time around he's showcasing his live electronic set. Like most producers these days, he's gotten rid of his bulky hardware and has framed the live performance around his laptop, rearranging his tracks on the fly using the Ableton Live software, a German program that has revolutionized live electronic performance with its simplicity and stability.