Published May 07, 2015For one of their official warm-up parties, the crew at Sled Island teamed up with the Hifi Club to bring Manchester techno experimenter Andy Stott to town. Both organizations are dedicated to bringing top-tier artists to Calgary, but the divide in their audiences was noticeable — some Sled fans took to Twitter to complain about the (admittedly late as hell) set times, which were far from abnormal for the Hifi's standard clientele. Regardless, it was an excellent booking perfectly suited to both audiences.
There are few better ways to start an evening of forward thinking dance music than with Calgary-bred bass auteur Kline. An artist in more ways than one (in addition to his music work, he studied fine art at Emily Carr), his tracks are imbued with care and thought. That said, it's hardly heady — Kline's compositions go hard in the club. If nothing else, it was a shame that there weren't more people there to enjoy his delightful hybrid of suave R&B and frenetic bass music.
Up next, Sanctums member Evangelos Lambrinoudis II played a set from his newer Corinthian solo project. In recent interviews, the artist has all but declared war on the city's late-night scene, which he's chastised for growing stagnant. His solution? Loud, pulsating techno with very little bullshit. The all-hardware set-up was paired with visuals from local artist Orthicon, and the live performance made it feel like everything could fall apart at any moment. It never did, of course, and instead Corinthian pulled off a vital, energetic performance that further cemented him as an artist to watch.
Then, at 12:30 a.m. sharp, Andy Stott finally took the stage. The artist has a similar obsession with producing outside of the box — last year he told us his latest album Faith in Strangers was "90 percent hardware." His show at the Hifi saw him incorporating a laptop into the mix, but since it's Stott, it was far from a traditional club set. The artist transitioned between his iconic, dub-inflected techno jams with loud washes of noise that enveloped the room.
While it didn't necessarily live up to the legends of grandiose performances at Montreal's MUTEK or New York's MoMA PS1, it didn't have to. Here, Stott proved that in the middle of the night, in the middle of the week, in the middle of Canada, he could command an intimate club setting with little more than his forward-thinking music.