Toronto musicians to watch in 2017: electronic edition

Look out for House of Resistance, Bruce Trail, E-Saggila and more this year


House of Resistance

Former Azari & III producer Dinamo Azari (aka Christian Farley) has teamed up with vogue scene fixture Twysted Miyake-Mugler and singer James Ken Bailey to form House of Resistance, a group that combines acidy and analog techno rhythms with psyched-out R&B vocals and ballroom-style MCing. They’ve been performing and recording for about a year, and embarked on a short tour that included a small but high-energy show at Bambi’s in November. 

Though the group’s makeup – a producer and two vocalists – is similar to Farley’s old group, he says the project emphasizes dance and movement, a development that evolved out of various studio collaborations over the past few years. (Bailey, who has known Farley since he was a kid, guested on his solo LP, Estranged.) 

“It just happened naturally,” Farley tells NOW. “They’re dynamic together and there’s a unity there. They’re bringing together different forms and styles but also taking time to learn each other’s styles.” 

Given that the Bambi’s set attracted regulars from both the underground dance and ballroom worlds, House of Resistance could also be a conduit for the cross-pollination of those separate scenes.  

House of Resistance is releasing a 12-inch white label single via Farley’s Model Future imprint on February 2 and throwing a late-night release party on February 4, including a ball hosted by Twysted. Details TBA.


Pick a Piper

Pick a Piper

Caribou drummer Brad Weber is releasing a second album, Distance, as Pick a Piper via record label Abandon Building on February 24. (It’s out a week later in the UK on Tin Angel.) Produced with bandmates Angus Fraser and Dan Roberts, it finds the polyrhythm-obsessed Toronto musician drawing on worldly sounds inspired by his travels over the past three years. Lead single Geographically Opposed takes things in a dreamy, sunset direction with help from vocalist Bevan Smith of New Zealand’s Ruby Suns.


E-Saggila

E-Saggila

Opal Tapes has earned a reputation for releasing experimental house and techno that pushes (and disfigures) the boundaries of those genres. Last year, the English indie released Old Orders Of Beauty by Toronto-based E-Saggila (aka Rita Mikhael), whose work as a producer and DJ mixes eerie ambience and pummelling industrial-tinged techno with Arabic and Assyrian folk influences. She also runs the local cassette imprint Summer Isle, which will put out her next release. Mikhael is planning a short U.S. tour for 2017 with fellow Toronto act Death Kneel.


Conga Radio

Conga Radio

Roberto has been a regular presence behind the decks in Toronto for the better part of two decades, and he had a breakout 2015 with four singles released across various international imprints. The year ahead brings the latest from the DJ/producer’s collab with New York-based Torontonian Jex Opolis. Conga Radio is a dubby Balearic disco project that started as a studio thing and is evolving into a live act. Expect a 12-inch single to drop around the middle of the year. The pair is also prepping a live set for the summer in addition to respective solo material.


Bruce Trail

Bruce Trail

Formerly half of local duo Nacho Lovers, Scott Cairns has been DJing and producing under the Southern Ontario-esque moniker Bruce Trail for the past three years. Last summer he made an impact in underground house circles internationally with beautiful and nostalgic EP Ravine Dream, released via London-based Magic Wire. The new year brings another release – tentatively titled Under Currents – with the same label, as well as a new live show he plans to take to Europe.


LA timpa

LA timpa

Affiliated with Babe Rainbow’s Slow Release label and local creative collective A.C.C., Christopher Soetan, aka LA timpa, released his promising, anxiety-laden debut, Animal, last spring. The five-track EP was among the more intriguing local debuts of 2015, expressing a wellspring of emotion with a decidedly lo-fi sonic palette. New music is on its way in the new year.     

kevinr@nowtoronto.com | @kevinritchie

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