Changing the Conventions of Techno

New Music Collective “Human Pause” Promotes Avant-Garde Experimental Electro

  • Photo courtesy by Human Pause

The new electro-art platform Human Pause is throwing its official launch party on Oct. 24, marking its debut in the Montreal music scene.

Dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of emerging underground artists, Human Pause started out by using social media to gather the work of a selected group of electronic music enthusiasts.

Though they come from different backgrounds, the members of the group all share a common passion: avant-garde experimental electro.

The artists have made their first steps in the most underground after-parties in Montreal, far from more mainstream trends.

June XXVI, a student at the Université de Montréal and founding member of Human Pause, delves deep into the origins of techno, arriving at his music through research and the layering of different sound textures, to create unexpected harmonies.

“The music I do can seem a little bit dark and violent but the concept is really complex,” he said. “I try to convey a subversive message inspired by the socio-economic context in which we live.”

During his formative years an art-infused environment, June XXVI tried many different styles and art forms—from drawing to dance lessons—before finding his musical identity. It was in techno that he found the best way to highlight and showcase different elements of culture as he experienced it.

“I try to draw upon personal experiences or moments that have affected me as much as possible,” he said. “Sometimes I express with music what can’t really be expressed with words. It’s an exploration of sensorial memory.”

Urban culture and the hard-edged aesthetics of peripheral landscape stand out as strong influences in June XXVI’s work. Oscillating between utopia and dystopia, this distinct environment has often proven itself to be the cradle of underground culture.

Considering themselves to be very attached to the authenticity of the techno movement, the members behind Human Pause are very precise regarding their vision and the approach they have to make music.

The collective defines its style as “tribal atmospheric techno.” Privileging dark and hypnotic atmospheres, their experimentation with sound and visuals is strongly tied to psychedelia.

The collective not only uncovers new grounds in experimental music, but also fosters a certain reflection on the human condition.

June XXVI characterizes the group’s ethos as “an elaborate approach to music that seeks to initiate reflection and encourages us to break free from our alienated human condition in this modern society.”

The artists and works showcased in the Human Pause group respond to the particular atmosphere and genre that the group wishes to convey while being strongly tied to emotional effect.

However, preferring not to follow a basic grid of criteria, the group privileges the free flow of creative initiatives. The works they promote don’t need to be musical per se, but should tantalize the senses while staying true to the philosophical train of thought that permeates the concept of Human Pause.

It’s through this music of revolt, elevation and evasion that Human Pause communicates its message, one that is profoundly abstract while staying precisely constructed.

For their official launch party, the collective has invited renowned Swedish DJ and producer Abdulla Rashim, who will be performing with Human Pause residents including Lao Rine, Laven, June XXVI and Skander Cherif.

At only 24 years old, Rashim has released tracks, EPs and albums on European labels, including Semantica Records and Prologue Music, establishing him in the international underground electronic music scene.

Rashim started out by as his own label to promote his works, his musical style is very different from techno’s conventions. He nonetheless quickly caught the attention of important labels, becoming a recognized pioneer of Swedish techno.

“We’re very happy to be able to present this artist to the Montreal crowd because he really offers an unusual maturity for his age,” said June XXVI. “His style is really particular and his music is very asymmetric. He really creates a type of art that is atypical, complex and profound.”

If you’re ready to embark on this new mysterious sound voyage, a sensorial awakening is definitely guaranteed.

Human Pause launch // Location TBA // Friday, Oct. 24 // 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. // $20 advance, $25 door

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