Published Jan 27, 2020Humidex is an index used by Canadian meteorologists to describe how the combination of heat and humidity affects how the temperature feels. This concept isn't lost on anyone whose spent an evening in one of Montreal's smoke-filled clandestine dance spaces. In the Mile End neighbourhood, underground techno has cross-pollinated with the prolific indie pop scene of the past decade, and, as a result, it has reached an open-minded crowd that would otherwise be averse to the whole club scene.
Humidex is also the name of a new label co-founded by Absurde, along with his "technoid" co-conspirators S. Chioini and softcoresoft. Their first official EP release — following a compilation — is both a product of this milieu, and a perfect encapsulation of the idiosyncratic spirit that inhabits the bilingual city.
From the title track's superimposed grooves to the frenetic, quasi-undanceable tempo of "Bioturbation," the A-side seems designed to bring listeners out of their comfort zone with music that falls somewhere between a declaration of intent and a psychedelic laboratory.
The second side, and its bedroom-style productions, brings us back to more familiar territories. Colourful details emerge whenever its interwoven beats threaten to become too abstract, like the synths of "Wet Mallets" or the high-pitched percussion that punctuates "Ogni Pensiero Vola," making you feel like your jaw is literally clicking to the beat.
Cerebral in its approach, Folding the Dishes is surprisingly accessible in the way it juggles techno grooves to compose an EP that feels modern, and better yet, personal. (Humidex)