Gig Seeker Pro


Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
EDM Alternative




"Aurganic - Life As a Canvas"

The admixture of jazz and rock has a long tradition. And not always a successful one. The virtuousity of much jazz lends itself to some potentially rather pretentious backwaters inhabited by charatcers of comic pomposity. Rock, on the other hand, attempts a wider appeal by means of rhythm, often to the point of repetitiveness. Many bands have tried, and many failed, to bring their love of jazz into a format more akin to rock. Aurganic are the latest to make such an attempt. Life as a Canvas offers a chance to evaluate their achievement.
Given that background, Aurganic are to be commended for a brave step. And opening any album with an instrumental is a brave step. However, the jazz influence really gets going with the second track, "False Accusations". But not just jazz. A close listen will reveal the true diversity of influences on offer here, from Camel and Van Der Graff Generator right up to Radiohead and Arcade Fire. And if that selection of influential bands is not enough to convince you, then let us state it for the record. The is music for an intelligent mind. If you are expecting to get up and dance then forget it. If you are not in a thoughtful mind then Life as a Canvas is either going to put you there or drive you out of the room.
Irregular time signatures; passages which seem improvised in their complexity and ease; and the smooth flow of sounds across a page, almost an aural representation of a yacht sailing across the billowing sea. Much use is made of a variety of instruments and styles, from the almost Glitch opening and underpinning "Pleasure Addict" to the ambient sounds which course though much of the music. Male guest vocals are augmented by guest appearances from Jessica Stuart whose rich voice is reminiscent, in the higher end its range, of Sadé.
The intermixture of instrumentals with vocal pieces breaks up what might otherwise be a difficult listen. The three "Ophiuchus" tracks, for example, despite their differences, could not be listened to together end to end. After the first one, the almost industrial sound of "Systematic Vision" (with a vocalist who at times reminds me, oddly, of both Ozzy Osbourne and Phil Collins) provides a stark contrast. But in truth, the sound is often too complex to get to grips with. There is a lot going on, too much at times, and without concentrating, any one track will not get under your skin. And you cannot concentrate on an album like this for too long.
And perhaps therein lies the problem. No one is going to doubt that Aurganic have immense ability. No one can dounbt after listening to Life as a Canvas that the band has the capacity and the intention of producing thoughtful, deep and at times impressive music. The more I listened to this the more I began to appreciate the layers of sound, the patterns which seem to vary with each hearing and the occasional hidden depths. But in this age of instantaneous gratification, where a piece of music without immediate appeal is all too often overlooked, where a teenager with the buds of his mp3 player in his ears hears music as the soundtrack to a life rather than a journey of multiple experiences, I fear that the patience to grow to appreciate this album is lacking. The truth is most people are not going to listen to this more than once, and few, I doubt will get through the whole album. Sure this has its audience, and will go down very well with that audience, but Aurganic are unlikely to break out of a narrow niche unless they change their style drastically, something I fear they (and I) would regard as something of a betrayal. - Music Emissions


Still working on that hot first release.



Aurganic is an experimental electronic/alternative project of two long time friends Mike and Leo. Life found them living in Toronto and New York respectively, but the distance could not break the musical connection of the two. After a little bit of research Mike and Leo found a way to write and produce music online. Soon it became an extremely efficient process. Two years later the project gave birth to one EP (self titled) and a full length (Life As a Canvas). Currently, duo is working on their third release set to be completed in early 2013. The sound revolves around blending different genres (jazz, rock, drum'n'bass, soul, dubstep) as well as blending live and electronic instruments. Aurganic prides themselves on using minimal loops or pre made samples, preferring to program and synthesize everything from scratch. A number of local Toronto vocalists are featured on Aurganic tracks giving the music more variety.