Techno event showcases original music

By ALLAN WIGNEY — Sun Media

“This,” Techno Ontario’s organizers T.C.P. and Nonstop Promotions helpfully declare in capital letters in their description of tomorrow’s ambitious electronic-music presentation, is “NOT A RAVE.”

Given the event’s Club SAW setting and scheduled 7 p.m. ’til midnight running time, that might go without saying. Yet, there is a more significant element to Techno Ontario that promises to set the night apart from a typical evening of dancing to DJs.

“The idea,” says one of the evening’s performers, Nikolaus Sands, “is that rather than going to a club to hear someone spinning other people’s music, you can go to something that showcases people creating their own music.”

Sands, aka Comrad, will be one of seven local electronic artists presenting original music under a particularly broad ‘electronic’ banner. From trance to metal, there will be an impressive array of sounds on offer.

In addition to Sands, the evening will feature DJ Lushys — both solo and with his band I Awake — as well as Indian-born percussionist Zarnoosh, producer Twiin, dark-trance specialist Blake Sutherland (making his public-performance debut) and producer Chris Girard. Each will bring a different style to the table, and will introduce original music often built upon organic instrumental roots.

“It’s all built from scratch,” Sands says of his productions. “It might start with a guitar line or a bass line, or something on sitar. I develop it from there, using a sampler, drum machines and an analogue synth. And at the show there will be visuals, though I’m no visual artist.”

Fortunately, visuals will be provided tomorrow by Patrick “Brainwerx” Brown, and by old-school video games to be projected onto the big screen. Cool.

And cozy, given the intimate confines of Club SAW. Only 100 tickets are being sold for the event, in fact, with proceeds going to the World Wildlife Fund.

“It’s not very often that we get to do this kind of stuff,” Sands enthuses of the original-music showcase. “The only chance someone would normally get to do it is if they put on their own event.

“This is a chance for us to not only get some exposure, but also to hear what each of us is doing. It’s not like people doing live electronic music get invited to play clubs very often.”

Sands did have a semi-regular gig performing his music live at the University of Ottawa’s Cafe Nostalgica. And, in the interest of maximizing his musical pursuits while he prepares for his final year in Carleton University’s environmental studies program, Sands has hedged his performing bets by playing bass with a local “pop-punk band … that hasn’t played any gigs yet.”

Not that one should jump to categorized conclusions, as the breadth of styles slated for Techno Ontario strives to remind us.

“I’m just into music in general,” Sands notes. “It doesn’t matter if it’s punk, hardcore or electronic. I just want to make music.”

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