Toronto ON, June 27 – Artoffact Records of Toronto, Canada has a number of fantastic artists on their roster, some new, some old and the opportunity to bring some of them together presented itself in June of 2013. The core of the night was local Ontario artists including label veteran Prospero and Encephalon, as well as one half of newly minted Volt 9000. (The other half is Portland, Oregon. Put a bird on it!) But the headliner and the band that wowed us all was the Icelandic synthpop band Legend, who stopped in Toronto on their way to the acclaimed Terminus Festival in Calgary, Alberta.
Prospero live at the Artoffact Records Showcase. Prospero has recently focused on mixing electronics with traditional and unusual acoustics.
It’s funny I’m reviewing this because I had the unique perspective of being a music fan enjoying some amazing acts, but also on stage with Prospero as part of his stage show. Prospero’s music has taken a turn towards tribal noise and with a variety of unique percussion instruments and a few tracks with bagpipes. There’s also, more than ever a nod to vocals in Prospero’s music with a handful of songs written by me, Hangedman and making a debut at the showcase, adapted for the Prospero repitoire.
Volt 9000 made there live performance debut at the showcase. This amazing new industrial band kept the tradition of musical protest statement by presenting in true industrial form an anti-Monsanto theme.
Newcomers to the Artoffact Label, Volt 9000 put on great performance. I was surprised to learn it was their first ever live show as they completely aced it. They’re style was amusingly irreverent and included a curious plexiglass box filled with disgusting looking rotting tomatoes which vocalist Cory Gorski sprayed with what looked like a toxic pesticide sprayer. Scribbled on the box was the words “Monsanto Foods”. They poured their anger out over this topic in some of the best new narrative industrial music I’ve heard in a while.
Alis Alias of Encephalon augmented a truly great show with amazing visuals.
Encephalon has put on more than a few amazing Toronto shows in their day, but at the showcase they did it again. I always look forward to seeing their stage performance and this time we were treated with some really awesome background visuals. Encephalon has gone to the next level with their signature melodies and anthem-like sound. I highly recommend their latest album The Transhuman Condition.
Krummi of Legend cast a complete spell over the audience with his incredible vocal talent.
The act that took the night was Iceland’s Legend. Club Neutral in Toronto has seen some outstanding performances over the years but the energy and unbelievable sound of Legend was really special. In their debut North American appearance Legend treated us to a show to remember and people left talking excitedly about these guys, many wishing they could make the trip to Calgary’s Terminus Festival to see them again!
I also want to add how great the guys from Artoffact are as well. They put on a great show. These mini-fests with multiple live acts, each with their own technology and performance needs are no small feat. Planning and coordination to pack it all into one night is a tough job. As a bonus Artoffact also made this show very accessible on the wallet which included a copy of one of the bands discs with every ticket. This represented a great deal for fans who love live music. We thank you Artoffact and we hope that you do this again next year.
photos & video : Adrian Onsen