SINEWAVE with ENDORPHIN , the HERMIT , LAMPSHADE and PETE SAMPLES as part of CMW at Spin Gallery (1100 Queen West), tonight (Thursday, March 2), 10:15 pm. $8, free w/ CMW wristband. www.cmw.net. Rating: NNNNN
Sinewave (aka Marc Wiebe) seemed to come out of nowhere (more specifically Winnipeg) with his 2001 album, Interplanetary Ridicule, an excursion into spacey drum 'n' bass and jazzy instrumental breakbeats. While it did well on the college charts and got decent reviews, we hadn't heard much from the producer since then until a couple of weeks ago, when he re-emerged with a new LP, Unity Gain.
This time, the breakbeats take a back seat to shimmering guitar tones and trippy psychedelic textures. There are similiarities to Air, but he exchanges their syrupy-sweet mood music for a darker, more introspective take on electro-lounge.
"The change in sound wasn't really conscious. I guess I'm just getting older and more mellow," Wiebe explains with characteristic conciseness during a break from his day job.
In the five years since his debut, he's relocated to Vancouver and kept busy with his space rock band, Guitaro, and his electro-breakbeat project, Help Computer, a collaboration with Phontaine. He hadn't given up on the Sinewave project, but the collapse of his record label meant his audio experiments lacked a forum to be heard until he got picked up by another Winnipeg-based label, Vinyl Republik.
"I was never really part of the electronic scene. It's more of a way for me to make music on my own. Collaboration is great for the mixture of ideas, but I also like being able to be a dictator and doing it all myself."
When we last talked to Wiebe, he had only played one gig as Sinewave and was still negotiating an acceptable middle ground between his studio work and live performance. Since then, he's taken a few different routes, including a show as a four-piece band and purely electronic performances.
"Depending on the show, I'll play the set differently. Sometimes it's more of a remix thing and I'll use Ableton Live to rearrange the loops on the spot, mixing it all together.
"The last few shows, I've been playing with Jer, who also plays in Guitaro with me, and it's more like a live band with an electronic backing. In Toronto, it's just going to be me, but I'm incorporating live projections as well -- bits of B movies and my own footage."