SIXTOO with TITTSWORTH , JOKERS OF THE SCENE , DOUGIE BOOM and FISTFIGHT at Crosstown (178 Bathurst), Saturday (July 14). $5 before 11 pm, more after. Rating: NNNNN
Montreal-based producer Sixtoo (aka Robert Squire) is best known as someone who orbits indie hiphop circles as both an autonomous artist and a provider of beats for the likes of Buck 65, Sage Francis and others.
Like a number of that scene's other sharp minds, he's recently branched out into uptempo party music, quickly earning attention for his new sound.
"Mainly it's guys who have been doing hiphop for more than a minute and aren't challenged by making that music any more," he explains. "I started off as a rapper and got recognized as a producer through that. Now I'm back at the point where I feel like what actually got me into rap music in the first place was the club element."
That element has been channelled into Megasoid, the live remix project Squire's been working on with Wolf Parade's Hadji Bakara, which he describes as "somewhere between indie hiphop and French techno."
Squire claims their collaboration has benefited from an extraordinary natural chemistry in the studio. Considering how the pair came to know each other, it's surprising they ever got to that point.
"I blew up one of Hadji's modular synths while he was away," laughs Squire. "Basically, we met in the coffee line and got to talking about synthesizers one afternoon. Wolf Parade were going on tour, so Hadji loaned me one of his synths, and long story short....
"People in the neighbourhood call us the odd couple."
Weirdly enough, it was another equipment disaster that ended up shaping the direction of his upcoming solo album for Ninja Tune. This time Squire's own gear was involved, and he wasn't the one doing the demolition.
"Last fall I had a sampler get smashed on a flight back from Paris, so I lost most of the source material of the record I was working on," he says. "I scrapped the idea of making a studio record and made an edit album from bits of a bunch of live sets from the previous year and some partially finished studio takes."
Scheduled for a fall release, Squire's new album stays close to the moody downtempo instrumental hiphop vein his fans expect, but he's also been incorporating textures and ideas from the contemporary club music that's currently turning his crank.
If your stereo blows up, he swears it wasn't his fault.