WABI/AEMUSIC NXNE ELECTRONIC SHOWCASE featuring DICK RICHARDS, POLMO POLPO, PAN/TONE, ADAM MARSHAL and Wabi DJs NITSUJI, OTAKU, TASK at the El Mocambo upstairs (464 Spadina), Friday (June 6). $8. www.wabi.org Rating: NNNNN
Wabi have made a name for themselves over the past few years as tireless crusaders for adventurous electronic music, with a special focus on live performances. The six-man team use their diverse collection of skills to handle promotion, flyer design and video installations as well as DJing. For this showcase, they bring together some of Toronto's most interesting electronic performers, with a special focus on minimal techno.
Adam Marshall's name is familiar to anyone involved in the local techno scene, since he's been at the forefront for almost a decade. His label, Killer, puts out consistently good records that tread that fine middle ground between experimental and dance-floor.
Dick Richards started his career playing bass in various post-punk bands in the 80s. He now spends his time making weirdo techno and releasing records on labels like Raum, Notype, Musik and others.
This is your last chance for a while to hear pan/tone perform in Toronto, because he's about to depart on a European tour and plans to live for a while in Koln. He's threatening a full-on "rockno" assault for this show, so be prepared for some rock 'n' roll craziness.
Polmo polpo went to school for jazz guitar but left after realizing he wasn't cut out for the session player lifestyle. Seduced by the emerging techno-dub sounds coming from Germany, he invested in a sampler and started Audisensa, a small label to put out his introspective ambient techno.
Known for his inventive use of the lap steel, polmo polpo will soon be releasing an album on Godspeed You Black Emperor!'s Constellation Records, but for this show will be playing brand new material that pays tribute to late post-disco composer Arthur Russell.
Russell is one of those little-known figures who injected avant-garde sensibilities into disco, which helped provide the basis for house music's later dance-floor abstractions. His best-known tracks are Is It All Over My Face, by Loose Joints, and Dinosaur L's Go Bang!
Polmo polpo has been working on an instrumental cover of Dinosaur L's Kiss Me Again that he previewed at Wabi's fourth anniversary a couple of months ago. An epic guitar-driven experimental disco number, it vacillates between discordant washes and melancholy but anthemic chord progressions.
"I've been into Russell for a while and really wanted to do a cover of one of his tunes. Hopefully, I'll be able to release an EP of this stuff next year. He was always behind the scenes, so nothing came out under his own name until his last album, World Of Echo, which is just solo cello and voice, no beats."