Technical Kidman go electronic and get out of town

Montreal’s Technical Kidman talk about their leap from rock to electronic music and their experience at the Iceland Airwaves festival, ahead of playing tonight’s launch of a new local music magazine, Midnight Sun.

Technical Kidman

“Iceland is beautiful,” says Technical Kidman’s Mathieu Arsenault, recently back from Iceland Airwaves. “The festival was crazy: there were people everywhere and maybe 50 shows all the time around the city. There was so much broken glass on Saturday night; people were throwing glass everywhere. I’ve never seen that before, but I like it. It was chaos!

“We stayed there for a week, so we were lucky enough to get out of the city and see the country. It was mind-blowing. It’s a weird feeling: there’s nothing out there, just the mountains in the distance, and there’s no sound; you just hear the wind. In the mountains, even the wind feels far away.”

After the Halifax Pop Explosion in October, Iceland Airwaves was only the second time that Technical Kidman had played outside of this city. It’s fitting that their first Montreal show after that nordic sojourn is at tonight’s launch of Midnight Sun, a magazine linking the local music scene with those of Reykjavik and Berlin.

Arsenault and his bandmates Thomas B. Champagne and William Sylvain (replaced roughly a year ago by Pierre-Luc Simon) have been at it for three years, playing dense, highly percussive dance music with dark tangents — they’re known for handing tambourines out to their audiences to further enhance the rhythm. In the beginning, they were more of a rock band, as reflected on their eponymous 2010 EP. But lately, they’ve been swinging electronic.

“We’ve always been really interested in electronic music,” says Arsenault. “We’ve explored that from the start, but we decided to really focus ourselves around that style in the writing of the new stuff. We wanted to find a way to use it that felt authentic to us; we didn’t want to feel limited by it, we didn’t want to make music that felt too rigid. It’s hard to improvise with electronic elements, but that’s what we’ve been working on: making electronic music that’s playable and fluid.”

The band is in the midst of working on their debut LP, which they hope to release on a label (their EP was independent) and promote with heavy touring next year.

“It feels like we’ve been making this record forever,” says Arsenault, suppressing a laugh. “We’re almost done writing, and we finally feel satisfied with what we have.” ■

Technical Kidman play with Solar Year, Doom Squad and Marble Lion at the launch for Midnight Sun at Eastern Bloc (7240 Clark) tonight, Friday, Nov. 30, 9 p.m., $10

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