My Pick: aKido

Posted on June 3rd, 2009 by .

You can find a self-proclaimed “World’s Best DJ” in every city. But electronic music isn’t all about techno beats and repetitive jingles. Coming up with something different is hard – and it often seems about as likely as Lady Gaga going without hair products for more than 24 hours. aKido, however, has done it. Read more to find out why you shouldn’t leave Montréal without his latest release.
When speaking of electronic music, we tend to generalize and have the same clichés in mind of what a good DJ actually is – someone who mixes tapes and whose main goal is to make people dance. But I also think electronic music can be something a little more rational, with melodies as serious and rigorous as classical compositions or carefully shaped pop songs.
That’s exactly what aKido does. This Montréal-based musician is getting more and more attention these days, both locally and internationally. He’s released two albums in the past years, Playtime and Blink, and I truly believe these albums have the qualities of Puccini’s operas.

There’s no need for voice when your songs speak volumes. aKido’s ballads are instrumental, yet it feels like each xylophone note, guitar riff, or even the loud echo of the bass are guest performers on each track. Fade-Up is made of genuine fragmented beats, while Cause célèbre is subtle and aerial. On China Babies, aKido creates a dreamy vision of some foreign country I don’t know much about, and it magically becomes very personal and intimate. And finally, Reaction Shot, perhaps my favourite song from the artist, would be a great addition to the soundtrack of my life – if only I had one.

Sometimes he leaves on tour in Europe and elsewhere in North America, but he always finds the time to play Montréal. You can catch him in different venues around the city. You won’t notice any real change between a sweaty, fully-loaded performance at Divan Orange and a bigger outdoor gig at the Jazz Festival: no matter how many people there are, no matter where he’s playing, aKido is still one of Montréal’s best live musicians. And if you can’t catch one of his shows, pick up his latest CD while in town and a get the pulse of the city.

Listen to aKido’s music on his MySpace page, and get the latest info about his upcoming shows on his official website.

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