By Paul Rodgers
CALGARY – Shambhala’s 2008 festival was a special year for a variety of reasons. Not only was it this writer’s first (thought not last) experience with the festival, it had just passed their tenth anniversary the summer prior, their stage designs had really begun to come into their own, and their roster of artistic talent continued to develop alongside the rapidly evolving world of electronic music as a whole.
Four such artists, edIT, Boreta, Ooah and Kraddy were all separately booked to play the Living Room stage. They decided to work together and perform a tag-team set and after that decided to form a group together, that they would dub The Glitch Mob.
“It changed everything for us; we became hooked on the energy of playing on stage together,” says Justin Boreta. “From then on, Shambhala and Canada in general have been one of the most meaningful places for us to play.”
The group released a couple of singles the following year, as well as a massive mixtape called Crush Mode, and it was also in 2009 that Kraddy decided to leave the group due to what he referred to as “creative differences.” Their debut album Drink the Sea was released on Glass Air Records in May of 2010 and featured one of their defining tracks “Drive It Like You Stole It,” a tune laden with melody, crushing drums and wonky bass. The album as a whole is a crucial piece of the music genre known as glitch hop.
Their debut album and their 2014 effort Love Death Immortality both were accompanied a year later with remix albums and now in 2018 they have their third full length LP. Available in May and supported by reinvigorated touring, they will release See Without Eyes.
“It took us about two years to write this album. There was a lot of exploration, trial and error, and spiritual deep diving,” says Boreta. “Our best music happens when we get out of the way and capture a moment. Then there’s a lot of time spent refining the body of work into a cohesive album. It has elements of all of our previous work but ventures into new territory.”
The new record is vibrant, lively and modern. It features collaborations with vocal artists such as Elohim and they’ve already released a remix of one of their tunes from one of electronic music’s biggest phenomenas Rezz.
“All of our collaborations happen organically. They all come to us through friends, music, or meeting like minds online. When we got in the studio with Elohim we knew immediately it was going to be a fit. Creative resonance first and foremost,” Boreta says, adding that Rezz is long time Twitter friend with a sound very much akin to their own.
Their approach to touring, as well as producing, has taken vast strides forward over the years as well. In their 2014 tour they unveiled “The Blade:” a set piece literally designed by film industry professionals that contains their lights and instruments. Their performance in Calgary at the Marquee will feature this audio/visual extravaganza, as it has the room. Boreta explains that at some shows, such as festivals like Shambhala, they may not be able to fit it, and so they remove the live drums from the show and refer to the performance as a DJ set well in advance.
See The Glitch Mob on Saturday, May 12 at the MarqueeMarquee, The Glitch Mob