Dent, Illitry and Bowjia deliver exciting electronica
Downtown’s eBar was a host of three unique and exciting electronic groups on the evening of March 28. Guelph locals Dent opened the night up for Hamilton’s Illitry and Guelph’s Bowjia. The dance floor boomed to the sounds of Dent’s greasy dance-punk, Illitry’s atmospheric grooves, and Bowjia’s carefully crafted and insatiably funky electronics.
The three-piece dance-punk outfit Dent opened the show with heavy breakbeats, warm analog synthesizer tones and grimy bass driven through a fuzz pedal. The group’s massive sound is reminiscent of groups like Big Black, Gang of Four and Chemical Brothers, specifically in the group’s use of both organic and electronic drums. The band struck a healthy balance of heavy, dirty punk tones with irresistible grooves and strong melodic hooks.
The second group of the night, Hamilton’s Illitry, performed a unique set of dream-pop atmospheres and electronic beats. Vocalist and keyboardist/electronic arranger Troy Witherow sung soaring and heart-rendering vocals atop the group’s diverse sonics, backed by the blazing drumming of Anthony James and the rock steady bass work of Dane Kelly. Like Dent before them, the group struck an inviting balance of organic and manufactured timbres, although to a more extensive degree with lingering ethereal sounds permeating the music. Warm atmospheres and jarring rhythms characterize their unique style of music. The group had an energetic and personable stage presence and kept the dance floor jumping from the beginning of their set to the end.
The show’s final act and headliner Bowjia kicked off an epic dance party as the crowd grew and grew. Musicians Elliot Grabish and Matt Herman used DJ equipment, laptops and live keyboards to create a diverse style of dance music – ranging from chill and ethereal to full-blown funky. They also used a projector to play cool and trippy visuals behind the duo, adding a distinctly visual dimension to music that is quite visual to begin with. The duo has a new full-length record out released on USB stick, entitled Ballooniverse. Using a blend of samples and original production, Bowjia won the heart of the crowd as indicated by restless dancing and a roaring applause to finish their set. The night’s performances, overall, showcased the enthusiastic and diverse electronica scene in and around Guelph.
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