Sid LeRock Keep it Simple, Stupid

Sid LeRock Keep it Simple, Stupid
Sid LeRock is Canadian producer Shelbono del Monte, who belongs to a group of Toronto producers notable for jumpstarting that city’s techno exodus around the turn of the decade. And much like compatriots Jeff Milligan, Mike Shannon, Jake Fairley and Jeremy Caulfield, del Monte’s recordings (both as Sid LeRock and Pan/Tone) have proven closer in line to the twelve-inches streaming out of German clubs than anything routinely associated with the Detroit/Windsor axis, Toronto or Montreal. To that end, Keep it Simple, Stupid builds upon the jacking electro house hybrid he first explored as Pan/Tone in parts of 2004’s Newfound Urban Calm. He calls it "rockno,” an apt title given the reliance on riffage employed to distinguish the tracks from each other. In this fashion, del Monte jumpstarts Keep it Simple 90 seconds into the leadoff track and doesn’t lift his foot off the accelerator for the album’s duration; it’s an addictive formula. Still, given last year’s emergence of the Ed Banger-style of caustic party blockers, the latter half of this album seems to be living on borrowed time, further plundering a style del Monte himself, alongside Jake Fairley and T. Raumschmiere, first explored with notable freshness some four years ago. Nevertheless, this is a consistently rollicking record.

Did you come across any limitations working as a producer in Canada? I never felt like there were any limitations as an artist living in Toronto. Sure, it’s a big-ass country for tours, but I never reached that point where I hit a glass ceiling. It may have come eventually though if I’d have continued being dirt poor, selling my roommate’s promotional CDs from Universal just to get some food at Burger King.

What differentiates a Pan/Tone production from a Sid LeRock track for you? I can say that it’s been a challenge to keep them all separated. Sometimes their styles and purposes cross paths but I try to give each name its own identity. For Keep it Simple, Stupid, I made use of session players to incorporate real instruments. I wanted a less generic feeling with the guitar and drum parts to give it more human error. However, the humans that contributed played like machines. But Pan/Tone is all over the place. I let this project go willingly without any guidance or specific structure. (Fusion III)