By Paul Rodgers
CALGARY – I feel like I may have said this before, and perhaps I’ll say it again, but the exercise of writing this column accomplishes two primary things for me. It makes me realize, on a more surface level, how insanely fast time moves by. It’s hard to process that November has already come. The deeper realization however, is just how incredible the Calgary electronic and hip hop music communities are. This month is a very special one, in that the second annual Alberta Electronic Music Conference (AEMCON) is taking place on home soil. There will be some crossover between this column and the following pages, but I will make special note of that below.
On November 4, Kastle will perform at the Hifi Club with local tech house aficionado BB Mars opening duties. Additionally the HiFi has put the call out to other local DJs with a mix contest to win the opportunity to claim that other opening spot. Excited to see who will be chosen. Kastle is a seasoned and versatile producer, committed to pushing avantgarde, progressive and challenging music with his own productions as well as his label Symbols and newer sub-label Display.
Odesza have experienced one of the most meteoric rises to electronic music stardom I can think of. According to a Pitchfork review of their latest record, released September 2017, A Moment Apart, their top ten songs have been played nearly a third of a billion times on Spotify. They have sold out back to back shows at Red Rocks, and headlined the world’s biggest festivals. Considering their debut record came out just five years ago, that is pretty astounding. The live duo will perform on November 6 at the BMO Centre with Sofi Tukker, creator of the catchy hit “Drinkee.”
Prism, “a dynamic refraction of sound from our minds to your ears,” brings full-spectrum house music to Habitat living sound on November 11, featuring Miss Hazard, Theo Hansen, Rick Sharma, Will Devlin and Magnus. Don’t forget!
Also on the eleventh, Calgary’s very own rising stars Chuurch will drench the crowd at the HiFi with their greasy lean bass. Magic & Johnson firing shit up on this one.
On the long weekend Sunday, November 12, Sonny Fodera will grace the decks of Bespoke Nightclub. A tasteful craftsman of deep house, the Australian native has fast-tracked himself into the global limelight as one of the genres best producers, remixers and DJs.
On November 17 UK dubstep and hip hop heavyweights Foreign Beggars perform at the HiFi as part of AEMCON.
Also on the seventeenth is an absolutely monstrous lineup comprised of Spectrasoul and Nomine, two of the UK’s finest in terms of drum and bass and dubstep, respectively, performing alongside Canada’s own John Rolodex. This one goes down at the Nite Owl and is a part of AEMCON, so pass holders get free access.
Bass Coast co-founder and one of Canada’s most exciting DJs within the spectrum of 80 BPM drum and bass/halfstep/grime The Librarian will be performing at The HiFi on the nineteenth alongside OAKK and Carissa Gem. This is hosted as both a New Wave event as well as part of AEMCON.
Arguably Australia’s biggest hip hop export Hilltop Hoods will bring their easily accessible rhymes and rhythms to Wild Bill’s in Banff on the twentieth and the Gateway at SAIT on the twenty first.
If anyone was fortunate enough to catch Kid Koala’s wondrous and simply delightful performance 2016’s Calgary Folk Fest, and even luckier to see his mind-blowing DJ set at the after party that night, you will know just how special his show at Commonwealth on the 23 is likely to be.
Honourable early December mentions go to A Tribe Called Red at the Palace Theatre on the first and Troyboi on the second, also at the Palace. These two are simply too good not to mention here. We’ve covered both of them in interviews and album reviews before, so if you’re unfamiliar, hit up that search bar on www.beatroute.ca. Have fun this month, I’ll see you in December.A Tribe Called Red, Carissa Gem, Chuurch, Foreign Beggars, Hilltop Hoods, John Rolodex, Kastle, Kid Koala’s, Magic & Johnson, Magnus, Miss Hazard, Nomine, OAKK, ODESZA, Rick Sharma, Sofi Tukker, Sonny Fodera, Spectrasoul, The Librarian, Theo Hansen, TroyBoi, Will Devlin