Harrison Studio Bar, Toronto ON, May 7
Published May 08, 2015There's a glut of young Toronto-based producers out there right now making waves on SoundCloud, but Harrison stands out from the pack for a number of reasons. For starters, the 19-year-old (whose real name is Harrison Robinson) has tons of personality. Armed with a bare bones DJ setup, projector flashing anime clips and a lone balloon, he was affable and entertaining, bobbing and weaving like a boxer behind the booth. Instead of pandering to what's trendy in dance music, he's been making workout-ready disco, electro-funk and synth-heavy soul edits.
His recent EP, Colours, released on Last Gang Records and U.K. producer Star Slinger's label Jet Jam, merges Super Nintendo soundtracks with slinky house and a touch of melancholy (fitting perfectly on your iPod between Cashmere Cat and Ryan Hemsworth). He was joined by vocalist and frequent collaborator Maddee (who sings on three of the EP's five songs), whose warm voice perfectly complemented the producer's vibrant beats.
For good measure, he also threw in a handful of buoyant remixes that would have gotten him slapped with takedown notices if posted to online platforms, including Amerie's "1 Thing," Blink-182's "Feeling This" and Cassie's "Me & U." While he might have been playing in a dark club, the overall effect was that of a great summer house party, with feverish dancing, Instagram snapping and perhaps one too many drinks.
While there were a handful of technical difficulties, he shrugged them off with ease, playing for an all-too-brief 40 minutes. With a full-length album due out later this year, his stock is only starting to rise.