TINKERTOY with DJ TOMA at Wroxeter (1564 Queen West), Saturday (February 4). $3 before 11 pm, $5 after. www.lautmaschine.com Rating: NNNNN
When Tinkertoy perform live, Andrew Wedman and Paul Shrimpton give the impression that they've been playing together forever. Their unique brand of lush, melodic techno feels like something that grew organically out of jamming, and they seem totally comfortable deconstructing it onstage, as if they do it every night.
In reality, much of their six-year musical relationship has been spent in different rooms, if not on different continents, since Wedman's day job has led him to live in various parts of Europe for much of their history.
"For the most part we've worked separately when we're writing, and a lot of the time we've lived in different cities, so we've had to do things independently, e-mailing tracks to each other. We do jam together whenever we can, but we seem to work better when we're not in the same room," jokes Shrimpton over pints on a rainy afternoon. Appropriately, Wedman is out of town today but does make the effort to call in to check on things.
"For a while, he would play shows in Europe as Tinkertoy while I'd be doing the same here, so it looked crazy on our website - one night we'd have a gig in Toronto and the next there'd be one in Germany. We decided after a while that it wasn't really proper to do that, so we've since stopped."
Luckily, they both live in Toronto now, so they've been able to concentrate on newer material, some of which will feature vocals for the first time. And as those kinds of pop elements are coming to the foreground, they're also becoming more enamoured of straight-up dance-floor material, and are about to create a new side project to accommodate their more minimal sounds.
They've yet to decide on a name, but they'll need to soon, since they'll be playing their first gig with this new identity at the end of February at Footwork.
This weekend's show is at a small bar, so their rich, sweet-sounding side is likely to shine through more than at a club. To fill their time until their next album, Wedman and Shrimpton have decided to record this gig and release it themselves as a live album that should be available at the unveiling of their yet-to-be-named alter ego.