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Juan Atkins (left), and dubstep producer Martyn
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eclectic dub techno producer Andy Stott
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deep house duo Bicep
FOUNDRY with SHLOHMO, OMAR S, MARTYN, BICEP, D33J, JUAN ATKINS, ALIXANDER III and many more, at Blk Box Theatre (1087 Queen West), Friday and Saturday (March 1 and 2), March 9, March 16, March 22 and 23, March 29 and 30. $20, or $99 month-long pass. PDR, RT, SS, TW. See listings.
The darker corners of Toronto's electronic music scene will step into the spotlight this weekend with the inaugural edition of Foundry, an ambitious new series.
"We liked the idea of a carefully curated series where we could involve various groups - a team consisting of bloggers, promoters, DJs and art directors," says Nancy Chen, a co-founder of and music programmer at Mansion, a club promotion outfit that started with the ravey dim sum dance party Happy Endings nearly four years ago.
Foundry's dark, industrial vibe is a long way from the homey feel of those early parties. Inspired by similar events like MoMA PS1's Warm Up series in New York, the Warehouse Project in Manchester and Piknic Electronik in Montreal, the month-long festival has the potential to raise Toronto's international profile among discerning electronic fans.
"We'd love to see Foundry become an annual event for thousands of music lovers," says Chen. "We've also considered the idea of a summer series or weekender."
The event is structured as a series of eight showcases that will take place at Blk Box (newly refurbished with a Funktion One sound system) over March's four weekends. Each lineup is a mix of local and international acts curated in partnership with local DJs and tastemakers I Love Bass Music, Idol Hanse, Breakandenter, Box of Kittens, 92BPM, Evening Standard, Colin Bergh and How Does It Make You Feel.
Organizers have also assembled a team of artists and designers headed up by visual artist Fezz Stenton to create bespoke "multi-sensory" installations for the diverse roster of headliners.
Los Angeles's Shlohmo kicks off the series on Friday on a psychedelic hip-hop/bass tip, followed by Detroit techno pioneer Juan Atkins and Azari & III's Alixander III for a night of old- and new-school techno on Saturday. Other highlights include the local debut of Detroit techno/house legend Omar S, eclectic dub techno producer Andy Stott, dubstep producer Martyn and deep house duo Bicep.
"Foundry is about merging different organizers, artists and people together," says Chen. "The artists we bring are all producers who intimately understand their craft and the process involved in making music."