Fear the Priest
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Fear the Priest

Ottawa, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | INDIE

Ottawa, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2015
Solo Electronic Techno


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Beyond The Hugs With Fear The Priest"

“The biggest problem in Ontario is that everyone has this ‘competitive’ vibe happening. I remember trying on multiple occasions to unite promoters in order to breed success and it was a lost cause. Everyone wants the whole pie rather than just a piece, and they fail to see that sharing that pie will lead to much bigger pieces of pie for everyone if the pie gets bigger. Is anyone else hungry for pie all of a sudden?” ~ Fear the Priest

Last year, Christian Poulsen departed electronica group Hugsnotdrugs. The team of often 4 members parted ways in September, while Christian quickly unearthed a new alias, Fear the Priest. Black and white branding, ghostly graphics and a VERY DARK techno vibe, Poulsen began populating his Soundcloud feed with new music on what seemed to be a weekly basis. Thanks to Christian, my newsfeed was filled with brooding and alternative techno sound waves that danced somewhere between Richie Hawtin and a vampire rave scene from Blade. Now, on the verge of Fear The Priest commanding the ones & twos at Toronto Warehouse Project, I wanted to learn more about Ontario’s techno community’s next rising star.

“I wouldn’t say hurdles as much as just ‘more work’,” says Christian when describing the undertaking he’s brought to himself after becoming a solo producer/DJ. “Promotion was certainly an easier task when the work was split between a group of people. I started Fear The Priest because for me personally, the group thing just wasn’t working anymore.”

photo-diary-skrillex-takes-over-toronto-1422361525893FTP w/ Skrillex [Photo by THESUPERMANIAK]

Hugsnotdrugs had always been a revolving door of collaborators even from its inception. I remember seeing the group open for The Bloody Beetroots at The Phoenix a couple years back, a completely different smattering of faces in comparison to a previous show I’d caught them at Wrongbar. “I actually started Hugsnotdrugs with an ex-gf of mine as a way of including her into my DJ bookings and music productions, since she was coming to the shows with me anyways, and she was interested in the DJng aspect. From there it kind of grew and grew into this ‘collective’.” Christian cites that collectives are fun and the variety of creativity that comes from them is great, but he began to lose the passion and dedication to a group of musicians rather than himself. “Leaving Hugsnotdrugs in the past was also about leaving that state in the past. I havent touched any drugs since, and I think that has led to a much more productive me with a greater sense of clarity about what I want to do and how I’m going to do it.”

As I mentioned before, one glance at Fear The Priest’s social feed will provide you a glimpse into how dedicated Christian is to the project. From September onward, his Soundcloud account has been a never ending smorgasbord of brand new music, both officially released by labels and released independently by himself. “I’d say music and my daughter are the two things that motivate me the most. I have a massive collection of records (yes, vinyl records) which I try to listen to some of each day. It could be a silly little thing like a percussion sound on a Shirley Bassey B-Side, or a rhythm or melody from a Type O Negative song – little things like that will instantly inspire me to make a tune.”

“Fortunately after having produced so many varied genres of music with Hugsnotdrugs I have this huge memory bank that allows me to go straight to my computer and turn out exactly what was popping in my head. My daughter is also a major factor. Seeing kids develop and grow makes you want to do the same and I believe it’s never too late for us to continue developing our own selves.”

Fear the Priest’s Soundcloud currently serves up 38 tracks, a commendable number of creations considering he’s only been operating this alias since September. “I have been withholding quite a bit actually. I have a 10 song album thats not like anything I’ve made before coming out this summer on BugEyed Records. I also have a ton of songs I’ve been holding back on releasing which I did with this amazingly talented singer/songwriter from the UK who goes by Mvrie Celeste.” Early last month, FTP’s swirling synthy trip hop collaboration with Celeste titled ‘Corners’ was released.

To me, Fear The Priest seems like a purveyor of everything; from traditional techno, to rock, to industrial electronica. His productions don’t get caught up on the pesky case of repetition, and his careful employment of vocals is reminiscent of Crystal Castles’ hypnotic distortion as a musical instrument themselves. “My influences are vast and I have never been one to shut out a certain kind of music in my life because I was deeply immersed in another kind. I literally love all kinds (that answer gets you nowhere on first dates). In terms of what I share, a lot of it is just stuff I listened to in high-school or maybe happened to be listening to earlier that day on vinyl. I worked at HMV and a record store called 2theBeat and in both those places we were always encouraged to share our love of music.”

Like any city, Toronto’s major electronic music venues obviously rely on trends amongst their audience to gauge booking strategies. Christian, on the other hand, dances to the beat of his own drum. “I have always been what you could call a floater I guess. I’ve always been passionate for the people. By that I mean that if I saw a company taking advantage of it’s patrons I was never pleased to sit back and say nothing. Sometimes that had negative results but I think the real partiers always understood me as someone who was more about the “raves for ravers thrown by ravers” kinda guy. I think Embrace as a live (and dj) music institution has done a good job of providing Toronto with things they wouldnt have ever had a chance to see/hear if they didnt exist. Promise will always have a special place in my heart because Ive been on the preparation end of that machine and know exactly how much hard work and effort goes into every detail of every event. I’ve also recently been spending alot of time in the Ottawa music scene and have experienced some of those original family/close-knit vibes in some of the promotions and events Ive attended there. 1Lifestyle for instance who were known for hosting some of the “bass music” events really brought me back to the early days of Bassmentality and that Wrongbar vibe.”

Fear The Priest’s next creation drops on June 10th. His 5-track Bangin’ EP will be released on Police Records, an alternative techno label based in France who have released tracks like ‘Omnisane’ by Father. If there were a label that I’d picture Fear The Priest finding a home at, I’d have picked them – techno structure with some blog haus fixtures. “This is probably one of my proudest accomplishments as a musician because Police has roots in music that I’ve been diggin’ on for so many years! The whole thing started I think when Police Records Soundcloud page reposted a remix of Crystal Castles I’d done. I was blown away because I’d actually been stock piling a bunch of their tunes for a mix I was working on. Then when I entered the NYE DJ Contest with a mix that I absolutely knew would never win or be chosen due to its slowed harsh acid-fuelled content, Police reposted it on all their social media pages. I’m super stoked on the whole thing since French electro circa 2002-2007 was literally my jam! I’m really diggin alot of the newer french techno artists as well and like you said, the sound is very in line with what I’m doing at the moment.” You can pre-order and stream that EP, HERE. - TRC

"Fear The Priest Talks About Toronto's Techno Scene"

Christian Poulsen aka Fear The Priest is taking the underground scene by storm with constant releases over the past few months. If you’re out of the loop, you may recognize Christian as one of the founding members from HugsnotDrugs, an established electronic group combined with producers and well-rounded musicians. They blew up for their edit of “Affection” by Crystal Castles, and Thump documented Christian in attendance for one of Skrillex’s secret Cherry Beach sets in Toronto, July 2014.

Moving on to Fear The Priest is opening a lot of doors for Christian, and I was more than happy to sit down and talk with him about the Toronto scene and what’s happening under the radar.

I know you’ve been into vinyls and mixing since a young age, with an appreciation for 80’s and 90’s music. What’s it like for you watching the electronic scene grow into what it is now?

Actually it’s pretty refreshing because I’ve seen all the ups and downs, having been heavily involved in the electronic scene from the early ages in Canada. I think right now, it’s a good time for the electronic scene. It’s expanding a lot right now. I’ve noticed the new generations who didn’t grow up in the 80’s & 90’s are actually getting into that music now as a revitalization of those sounds ; especially my sound which is leaning more towards the Acid House and techno sounds.

Do you think there’s more of a community now in EDM or oversaturation waiting to die down?

That’s the other side of the picture, is that I think there’s actually less of a community. I think that’s probably because when EDM first started, you only had one place to go to listen to that music which was an underground rave. Now it’s played on the radio, it’s in car commercials; you can hear it in every single club from Top 40 to the underground stuff.

What happens is, because there are so many different places for people to hear that kind of music, people can stay within their clicks, and not have to step out of those social groups and join the specifically electronic music groups to hear that music. Then you’re left with a lot of Jocks and groups you would normally see in high school have their own places to go to listen to electronic music. Whereas when I was in high school, if you wanted to listen to electronic music, you had to go to only one place.

What’s the transition like going from HugsNotDrugs to a solo project like Fear the Priest?

It’s not so hard for me, because I started out as a solo artist as DJ Unabomber, and Hugsnotdrugs actually started off as a solo project too. The transition for me is more producing solo, not so much the performing solo part. With Hugsnotdrugs there was often four of us working on a single song at any given time, whereas for me to do Fear the Priest, it’s just me.

I think the transition is actually good for me, because there were a lot of things I wanted to do in Hugsnotdrugs, but couldn’t do because it didn’t fit into what the other members were into musically. Or it didn’t fit into the Hugsnotdrugs vibe that we were trying to create. So this time I get creative control and complete aesthetic control. It’s actually refreshing for me.

christian poulsen

As Fear the Priest, you’ve been on a bit of a releasing spree over the past couple of months especially, but do you think about creating a techno album or collection of songs to come out together?

I have an album coming out on a record label from California, , and I have another release coming out on Champion Beats Records, which is run by Canadian electronic music legend The Incredible Melting Man. I’m very honored to be on that. There are a few other labels that I’m talking to right now about releases.

The releasing spree is a result of the fact that I’ve been producing music with Hugsnotdrugs for 5 years now, but at the same time I was always making other stuff that just didn’t fit that sound. So now I can actually put those out. I’m going back to those songs I made 5 years ago, updating them with what I know now about producing, and that’s why they’re coming out so quickly.

Where does your techno inspiration come from? Which subgenre of techno really tickles your pickle?

My earliest inspiration would have to have been a combination of the New York City Frankie Bones style; ghetto techno is what we called it. Combined with the German and Swedish, sort of drum-code techno that I was getting into in the mid to late 90’s. My favourite techno of all time is UK acid techno, which would be artists such as Chris Liberator, D.A.V.E. The Drummer, , and much more. That’s when I really got into techno, when I discovered their labels.

The Techno scene is really making a come back in Toronto. Do you have any favourite venues you’d love to check off a bucket list in terms of performing?

I haven’t played at Coda yet and I’ve heard a lot of good things about that venue. I know the crowd there really loves techno so that’s one place I’d really like to play. I have a long history with The Hoxton, so I’m always excited to play there. I’ve played techno in Sound Academy already, so I think most of the venues I want to check off are in other countries.

But I’m really enjoying the way techno is returning to Toronto. To be honest, techno was never actually very popular in Toronto so it’s really exciting to see people who may not even know what techno is, saying “I love techno” and people are calling them out in groups like Toronto Rave Community saying “you don’t know what techno is”. Well now that it’s been said and people are posting examples of what the genre is, people are being more educated.

techno education steve angello

Do you think attending festivals like Harvest have an impact on you as an artist? What other festivals do you think embody the genuine crowd of electronic music?

I have been one of the volunteers at Harvest Festival that go up for weeks at a time in the summer to help prepare the site. Every year, being able to see the reaction on people’s faces and the excitement that goes around that weekend, no matter what happens, it’s just amazing. The music that you hear there is so off the mainstream wheelhouse. It definitely inspires me and the music I make. I’d like to think when I’m making a song, “how would somebody at Harvest respond to this song at 5 in the morning” or something like that.

In terms of other festivals, I really love Valhalla Festival in Quebec, which is a 4-day festival, mainly geared towards Dubstep and Jungle. Every year it’s been a wonderful time and great vibe. It’s similar to Harvest Festival – lots of hippie, gypsy, and pirate ravers.

Do you have any projects/collaborations/or remixes in progress right now that you can hint about?

I do… I don’t want to give too much away. I can say that one of the biggest projects I’m working on right now is with an artist named Kausea… I’ll let you guys figure out who that is but he played at Lollapalooza last year and I was fortunate to be on stage with him. So we are working on a track together for another big artist’s label whom I’ve been known to… hang around with once in awhile. That’s all I’ll say.

Some really exciting things are in the works for Fear the Priest. This is an artist who’s well respected within the underground community, has a lot of experience under his belt, and is in the scene for all the right reasons. Check out his latest tracks on his , and stay tuned on Euphoradio for all the latest updates. - Euphoradio

"Fear The Priest - L.A. Nights"

“New on the Nerdy scene Fear the Priest brings an impressive showing with this techno burner L.A. Nights” -NF (Rating: 5/5)

Previously working in the outfit Hugsnotdrugs, Christian Poulsen has been busy the past few years, working alongside many an artist, most notably Crystal Castles. They won the Fake Blood contest at Modclub, was called an underground star to watch for in 2013, THUMP/Vice Canada wrote about them in 2014 and now he’s back with his new solo project Fear the Priest. - Nerdy Frames

"Fear The Priest's "Lazarus Hook EP" - Review"

Lazarus Hook (original mix)

The title track begins with a sleazy, retro sounding synth line building to a climax complete with aggressive 303 style Acid House basslines, haunting synth sweeps, and in-your face hi-hat rolls. This track fits perfectly in The Priest’s catalogue of self-proclaimed “Black Techno”. The soundscapes and textures used in the track are somewhat of a throwback to 90’s techno (think Plastikman) with a darker vibe, akin to the sorts of music you’d hear in a side-scrolling shooter/action game on SNES. - Euphoradio

"Anywhere The Wind Blows - Fear The Priest Remix - Review"

Fear The Priest has blessed us once again with an incredible remix. This time FTP puts a glitch-hop-meets-hard-electro spin on Elex & Mkky’s Tropical House track Anywhere The Wind Blows (Original track for reference).

In contrast to the original track’s uplifting and happy dreamscape of sonic bliss, Fear The Priest takes this track to the dingiest, darkest corners of the electronic music spectrum with a heavy grinding bass line akin to those heard in hard electro house bangers pre-2013, and some of the filthiest drums to date. But it’s not all doom and gloom in this track, as FTP has perfectly married elements from the original track to his own additions in this sonic masterpiece.

Grab your copy of the remix here, Pay what you can! - Euphoradio

"Flim's Psychological Love EP - Review"

tle track of the EP, “Psychological Love” opens with heavily processed drums paired with a funky walking bass line. The track progresses with the addition of a dreamy yet unsettling, echoing melody; further being accompanied by spacey, swelled chords. The track carries into the main section, with the chord swells being replaced with subtle chord stabs that bounce between the listener’s speakers, progressing into a new melody. The track carries on with the addition of a vocal phrase overtop the chord stabs and echoed melodies. Psychological love is another journey of deep techno dreamscapes and sonic euphoria.
Love Manipulation (Fear The Priest Remix)

In contrast to Fear The Priest’s previous works, his remix of Flim and Jane Void’s “Love Manipulation” is a mid-tempo techno track with funky 303 envelope-followed basslines. The track opens with a bouncy drum line paired with unsettling shakers processed with what sounds to be slap-back delay or a small room reverb with boosted and compressed early reflections. The remix builds with vocal chops from the original track, and has an almost Aphex-Twin sort of vibe. Interesting syncopation of the percussion lines and synth chord fills carry the track along. This is definitely a new side of Fear The Priest we haven’t seen before and it does not disappoint. - Euphoradio

"Bangin EP - Out Now On Police Records"

The frontman of indie-electronic band Hugsnotdrugs, from now on know as Fear The Priest released a massive 5 song EP some days ago on Police Records.

The EP goes from the jackin’ Chicago booty techno title track “Bangin’ On” (feat DJ Assault) and it’s hard techno partner “Go Sit Down” to more Detroit styled techno vibes on “Frankfurt School” and “My Favorite Color Is Whatever”.

Lastly is the monstrous techno rave slammer similar to early Drumcode and Cluster Records “10 000 Hardcore Members”. - This Is Killerrr

"Fear The Priest & Mvrie Celeste Team Up For Their Track "Corners""

One of the most unique and unbeatable combinations of artists, Fear the Priest and Mvrie Celeste are at it again for their latest synth-house track entitled “Corners”.

This dark and mystical song embraces Mvrie’s soft vocals, FTP’s clean production, and an overall slow-building, indie witch-house tune. It truly is amazing how this duo sees no limits, working together strictly online while Mvrie Celeste is in the U.K. and Fear the Priest in Canada. The cohesion of their individual signature sounds has created an end result of a significantly less sloppy Crystal Castles, with more depth and darkness. - Euphoradio

"Mvrie Celeste & Fear The Priest - "Bite It""

Filled with the kind of electronic music tropes that would normally turn me off from a project, Mvrie Celeste & Fear the Priest however take all these discarded building blocks and come up with something new and original. Combining the griminess of Post-Punk with the cathartic beat of Rave and even a little dash of the often overlooked sub-genre of Witchhouse, “Bite It” isn’t just a post-modernist grab bag of reference points. As the two musicians behind the song actually crafted something unique and enjoyable out of it. Their debut album is coming out later this month on 9G records out of California, if the reset of the album is even half as good as this, it will be well worth your time to check it out. - Pop Occulture

"The Matinee - July 28"

It is still a puzzle as to why MVRIE CELESTE remains unsigned. She is an extremely gifted musician, who has dabbled in rock and pop with great results. Now she takes her turn at electronic, teaming up with Toronto-based producer Christian Poulsen – a.k.a. Fear The Pries†. The collaboration has produced the apocalyptic “CITY FREAK”. The track reverberates with the dark, anthemic soundscapes of Crystal Castles but merges the haunting ambience of Burial. For nearly seven minutes, your attention will be transfixed on this hypnotic number. - The Revue



With over 40 official releases on more than 10 different record labels in under a year Fear The Priest has been taking the Canadian techno scene by storm. Despite quantity there is no lack in quality as Fear The Priest's releases continually appear on label top 10's and Beatport charts. The solo project of Christian Poulsen, former frontman/dj/producer for indie electronic band Hugsnotdrugs, Fear The Priest combines elements of 80's new wave, 90's industrial and old school acid techno to create "BL∆CK TECHNO". Christian Poulsen first received notoriety for his work with Crystal Castles when his remix of Affection was chosen as the soundtrack to the bands official video release for the same song. Other remixes for Crystal Castles were featured on the bands soundcloud including the moody and ethereal Pale Flesh remix. Christian went on to provide tour support for Crystal Castles in 2012 and 2013 as well as performing with the band at The Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada opening for renowned producer Deadmau5. 

For almost 20 years Christian Poulsen was responsible for some of Toronto's biggest underground warehouse events, pop-up street parties and illegal squat raves. Utilizing his experiences to take electronic dance music back to its intended vibe Fear The Priest recreates the original 90's rave feeling with a modern twist. Incorporating various synths and drum samplers as well as dj'ng elements that include vinyl turntables into his sets Fear The Priest presents an interesting alternative to the over-hyped laptop dj. His dj sets have been compared to a cross between Nine Inch Nails and Richie Hawtin and he has opened for many of the top names in electronic music including Adam X, Angel Alanis, Annie Mac, Dj Assault, Big Gigantic, Bloody Beatroots, Chris Liberator, Crystal Castles, Dave The Drummer, Danger, Destructo, Dillon Francis, Downlink, Eric Prydz, Fake Blood, Frankie Bones, Jack Beats, Matt The Alien, Omar Santana, Robert DeLong, Sam Punk, The Stickmen,Thomas Krome, dj Tron, Uberdruck, UZ, White Ring, Xxyyxx & many more. Besides earning respect as a dj and a producer Fear The Priest has been integral in the discovery of many up and coming artists including Rezz (Mau5trap and Owsla artist) and Polaris (Hospitality Records) just to name a couple. 

Band Members