TTC with EDU K, ANDREW ALLSGOOD, DOUGIE BOOM and SYNTONICS at the Reverb (651 Queen West), Saturday (October 7). $15, advance $12. www.myspace.com/drugmoneyunderdogs . Rating: NNNNN
At first glance, the pairing of Parisian hiphop sensations TTC on the same bill as Brazilian baile funk outfit Edu K may seem a bit odd, but on closer examination it's not so strange. After all, outside of their native countries, the hipster DJs rocking TTC are also the ones going crazy for the lo-fi booty music of Brazil along with all those other "outsider" urban music forms: Baltimore club, reggaeton, dancehall and certain parts of the electro revival.
TTC's Teki Latex thinks we have Philly DJ duo Hollertronix - mash-up masters Diplo and Low Budget - to thank for the cross-pollination.
"Hollertronix really changed North American dance music," Latex explains from a Montreal hotel room. "These days it sounds like we're at home everywhere in the world. You hear the same hits at all the clubs, even though they come from very different genres and very different places. We have the same ambitions: to make good modern dance music."
Some critics argue that the fascination with foreign versions of American hiphop is just this generation's version of "world beat," another exercise in cultural imperialism. You can't help but wonder if the cool kids would still be interested in these sounds if they could actually understand the lyrics.
"It's obviously different performing for an anglophone audience, but not necessarily better or worse," Latex offers. "Our show at South By Southwest was one of our best. No one in the room spoke French, but there was a great energy. When the crowd is into it and feeling it, they'll sing whatever we want them to. Even if they don't understand the words, they sing along phonetically. The music that TTC makes couldn't be in any language other than French, cuz it just wouldn't sound honest."
This is turning out to be a big year for the crew. Not only are they wrapping up production on their third album, but all the members are also working on their own solo projects, including Latex's upcoming disco pop album. Produced by Canadian expat Gonzales, the disc's slated for release on Institubes, the label Latex runs with TTC producer Para One.
"Gonzales is a real musical genius - he's great at turning a melody into a song. I'll whistle a tune for him, and he'll turn it into a big club banger.
"TTC is a family of producers and has a certain sound that Gonzales wouldn't really be right for," Latex continues, "but when I decided to do my solo album, he was the first person I thought of."