Published Jun 15, 2012In front of three hanging flags at a sardine-packed Wrongbar, Montreal electronic duo Purity Ring played an early NXNE highlight. There was an air of expectancy for the duo, but mere seconds after Corin Roddick's DJ contraption -- complete with drum machines, samplers and percussion bulbs that lit up when he hit them -- moaned to life, and vocalist Megan James's hammered a five-foot bass drum to an opening song and highlight "Belispeak," the band had already surpassed expectations. James's voice is strong and beguiling, and unlike most performers using built-in samples, Roddick looked up to his eyeballs in musical duties, fulfilling them all: providing rhythm via live drum machines, hitting the colourful, light-up orbs in time to the beat, and, most impressively, manipulating James's voice as she sang. The result was a set that fused hip-hop, techno, IDM and R&B into a tight, thunderous package. Purity Ring don't need any more buzz for their forthcoming album, Shrines, but with a live set like this, they've just gone ahead and snagged some.