SINEWAVE at the NOW Lounge (189 Church), Sunday (September 30). $5/door. 416-364-1301. Rating: NNNNN
Once in a while, an artist comes along who defies categorization.
Take Winnipeg's Sinewave, aka Marc Wiebe. He released an album of jazzy drum 'n' bass, Ninja Tune-inspired instrumental hiphop and broken-beat weirdness earlier this year. Not exactly what you'd call typical Prairie music, but it was quickly picked up by college radio across Canada.
"I kind of just came out of nowhere, I wasn't part of any scene or anything," Wiebe explains from Winnipeg. "I just did this stuff at home, alone, on my computer. I played it for my friends and then it ended up on the college radio station here. The word got around from there."
In fact, Sunday's performance during his first visit to Toronto will only be Sinewave's second.
"I've only actually played this stuff live once before at the CD release party. I don't even have all the gear I need -- I had to borrow stuff for the show. I don't own a record player, so for the release I had to borrow a turntable to play stuff in between loading my songs. I had to pretend to be a DJ for half the time."
So how did he come up with an album that compares favourably with much of what's coming out of the UK?
"It's been a work-in-progress for the past three years -- you can kind of tell because it goes through a lot of styles as my tastes changed. I listen to Air, I like the old synth stuff like Jean-Michel Jarré. The Ninja Tune label's been an influence. I get influence from all over the place -- soundtrack music, scores.
"The next album's going to be different. It's probably going to have less of a drum 'n' bass vibe, more laid-back. Maybe I'll try to get more live input. I didn't use any live instruments on this album, but for the next one I'd like to get some guest musicians."
Wiebe also fronts a college rock band called Guitaro, whose upcoming album he's mixing down now.
"To make a quality recording with a band, you need a lot of money, studio time, all kinds of gear. For my new stuff, all you really need is some cool samples and a computer."