The Selector is a new regular series where we commission a continuous mix from an electronic artist and then talk to them about what inspired it. There are no rules. Each artist can base their mix around a theme, around a feeling or sound, or just whatever music they’re excited to share.
In David Cronenberg’s 1983 film Videodrome, which was shot and set in Toronto, main character Max Renn gets seduced by the strange new flesh of an open digital frontier. It’s a path that’s markedly similar to that of Toronto-based three-piece, Odonis Odonis, who started out as a guitar-forward trio, playing on warped B-horror tropes only to find themselves drawn to the plugged-in paranoia of synths and drum machines.
Formed in 2011, in the same unpolished noise rock scene that gave us Metz and Greys, Odonis Odonis have become almost unrecognizable in the seven years they’ve been performing, moving on to a higher plane of noise and musical antagonism.
First arriving with Hollandaze as Dean Tzenos’ solo studio project, Odonis Odonis quickly became a live entity, with Tzenos enlisting help from Denholm Whale and Jarod Gibson. The band convened in the studio for their raucous Better EP, before releasing Hard Boiled Soft Boiled, a selection of cuts from the original Hollandaze sessions that Tzenos recorded on his own. Despite feeling like a step backward and a step away from the cohesion Tzenos and company had been building as a live unit, Hard Boiled did point to the band’s progression away from “rock,” drawing on ’80s dream pop and industrial influences. The band’s third album was their most significant departure, finding the group returning to the studio and abandoning guitars almost completely. No Pop, which arrived late last year, continues in that darker digital trajectory.
In the second iteration of our Selector series, Odonis Odonis’ percussionist Jarod Gibson takes us down a YouTube hole that blends coursing techno with left-field Toronto hip hop, talks the band’s sonic transition and gives us a bonus rundown of what Toronto-based electronic artists you should have on your radar. Listen to the mix above.