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I M U R: Dark electronic catharsis with soul

By Prachi Kamble
Photo: Kyle James Patrick

Photo: Kyle James-Patrick

VANCOUVER — I M U R (I Am You Are) had a successful summer on the festival circuit. From grassroots stages such as Revival, Hiatus, Chapel Sound Electronic Music Festival to larger ones like Centre of Gravity, Astral Harvest and Rifflandia, the Vancouver-based trio has been working hard to get their music out there. “We love performing live. We get to take our pieces and deconstruct them,” says vocalist Jenny Lea. “Mikey (J Blige) does live beat composition with electric guitar. Amine (Bouzaher), our new addition, plays bass and violin, and I do keys, looping and vocals. It’s fair to say that until you’ve heard us play live you won’t fully understand the music.”

I M U R’s music is a sexy concoction of electronic, jazz, hip hop and neo soul. Mikey’s hip hop and production background paired with Jenny’s soul-inspired vocals and deeply personal lyrics, blend seamlessly on their 2015 debut, Slow Dive.

The album covers themes related to being young and hopeful in a ruthless city — sexuality, drugs, alcohol, self-doubt and self-discovery.

“It was written about a dark period in my life during which I went through some pretty big changes. But everything that came out of it was positive,” she explains. “To express myself and tell those stories was a cathartic experience. Every time I get to perform those songs I get to feel the same emotions again but from a different perspective.”

I M U R are products of the vibrant East Van electronic music scene. The band has found support in the community’s crews and collectives, including the Chapel Sound Crew and Groundwerk Collective. The group already have tracks lined up for their next album and bagged a host of cool shows around town for the remainder of the year. “The newer sound is a lot bouncier. Maybe because lyrically we’ve been able to be more positive!” confesses Jenny, “But we want to keep it as unique and true to ourselves as possible.”

I M U R perform at the Biltmore Cabaret on October 14.

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