Technical Kidman
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Technical Kidman

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF | AFM

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Alternative Experimental

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Dec
06
Technical Kidman @ Union Pool

Brooklyn, NY

Brooklyn, NY

Dec
04
Technical Kidman @ Capital Complex

Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada

Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada

Dec
03
Technical Kidman @ Seahorse Tavern

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Music

Press


Des mélodies spectrales poncées avec insistance, des dynamiques contemplatives et dansantes, le premier album de Technical Kidman est une réussite bourrée de (bonnes références). Écoute et critique.
Groupe avant-gardiste montréalais, Technical Kidman a su se frayer un chemin dans les multiples routes sinueuses de la scène locale, dont l’exposition médiatique avait été engendrée par l’explosion d’Arcade Fire. Savant mélange d’électro psychédélique, de dark-wave et de dance-punk, Something Stranger Coming In The Horizon porte un nom aussi mystérieux et équivoque que son squelette sonore entier.

Moderne mais vintage, sombre mais exaltant, Technical Kidman livre ici un album quiconfronte les époques. Du présent au passé, des ténèbres à la lumière, le groupe replace ses souvenirs dans ses rêves rétro-futuristes. Mixé par Jace Lasek (Wolf Parade, Suuns) au studio Breakglass à Montréal, on note dès la première écoute un point sensiblement travaillé : l’instrumentation. Un condensé de touches synthétiques, de rythmiques tribales et de voix fantomatiques se baladent et s’entremêlent dans un confinement qui parait infini. Les plages sonores, détaillées et nombreuses, laissent ici un champ ouvert à l’imagination et la contemplation. Plus important encore, ce premier effort part dans de multiples directions sans jamais vraiment quitter les chemins escarpés de leur synth-wave planante. Trépidant et hypnotique (Try), spatial et courageux (Without Fear), dystopique et emblématique (A Stranger Voice), Technical Kidman ponce ses morceaux avec une fièvre électronique sans faille qui rappelle le travail de plusieurs grands noms du genre. On pense aux décharges soniques haletantes de The Faint, aux rythmiques tribales et bizarroïdes de Doldrums, aux ambiances lugubres de TV On The Radio, aux voix spectrales de Man Without Country… Si vous pensiez voir arriver à l’horizon un objet non-identifié, vous vous trompiez. Il s’agissait simplement de Technical Kidman.

Album Something Stranger Coming In The Horizon (Technical Kidman), disponible depuis le 6 novembre - Les Inrocks


Experimental Montreal crew Technical Kidman recently delivered a taste of their latest material with the song "Try," and now Exclaim! is pleased to premiere the full album stream of the band's debut record, Something Stranger Coming on the Horizon.

Blending progressive rock roots with psychedelic electronica vibes, the inspiration behind the new album began with a box of VHS tapes of '80s and '90s Quebecois television ads. A similar retro aesthetic permeates the 10-song offering, from the aggressive percussive ring to opening tracks "King" and "Try" to the soaring synth sounds on "Fractions" and the dark bombast of "Voyager" and "Tapes & Codes."

The album officially arrives on November 6 and will be available at the group's Bandcamp page. For now, though, scroll past Technical Kidman's upcoming tour dates to give the album an early listen.

Tour dates:

11/05 Montreal, QC - La Vitrola
11/06 Ottawa, ON - Debaser presents
11/07 Toronto, ON - Invocation @ Geary Lane
11/09 Thunder Bay, ON - The Appolo
11/12 Saskatoon, SK - Vangellis Room
11/13 Calgary, AB - Broken City
11/14 Lethbridge, AB - Electric Eye Mansion
11/15 Edmonton, AB - Endless Bummer Festival
12/02 Saint-John, NB - Taco Pica
12/03 Halifax, NS - Home Bass @ Reflections
12/04 Fredericton, NB - Capital Complex
12/05 Brooklyn, NY - Union Pool - Exclaim


For the past few years, Technical Kidman have been leading a slow revolution in Montreal's music scene, taking the city's signature prog-y tendencies and infusing them with massive, eyebrow-singing electronic psychedelia. With only two EPs to their name so far, their live shows have been their staple — loud and explosive experiences, more akin to watching a spaceship take off than seeing three dudes play music.

That innovation and energy blasts through the speakers on "Try," the first glimpse of their anticipated debut LP, Something Stranger Coming on the Horizon, due out November 6. Production of the album started when one of the band members found a box of VHS tapes in their basement with hours of '90s TV shows on them. The band were fascinated by the weird but comforting retro aesthetic, and formed the instrumentation for the album by modifying, editing, tweaking, and sampling sounds from the tapes. It comes out sounding like nothing ever done before but is held together by big New Order-like hooks.

Get a taste of that for yourself via the premiere of "Try" below. You can also pre-order the album on the band's Bandcamp here.

Technical Kidman just finished playing a handful of dates opening for SUUNS and Jerusalem in My Heart, acts that are a perfect fit with their sound and envelope-pushing mindset. With more songs like "Try" coming on the horizon, they should be taking the main stage before too long.

Tour dates:

11/05 Montreal, QC - La Vitrola
11/06 Ottawa, ON - Debaser presents
11/07 Toronto, ON - Invocation @ Geary Lane
11/09 Thunder Bay, ON - The Appolo
11/12 Saskatoon, SK - Vangellis Room
11/13 Calgary, AB - Broken City
11/14 Lethbridge, AB - Electric Eye Mansion
11/15 Edmonton, AB - Endless Bummer Festival
12/02 Saint-John, NB - Taco Pica
12/03 Halifax, NS - Home Bass @ Reflections
12/04 Fredericton, NB - Capital Complex
12/05 Brooklyn, NY - Union Pool - Exclaim


Technical Kidman have made quite the name for themselves these past few years. Their music has consistently been excellent since the very beginning, but nevertheless their tunes keep getting more impressive. We’d been finding the Montreal trio hitting new heights with their most recent singles, including the ominous “Without Fear.” And it’s all been culminating to this moment: the release of their debut second album Something Stranger Coming on the Horizon.

Hitting hard from the get-go with aggressive post-punk freak-out “Try”, the record has a powerful intensity that doesn’t let up, even in its quieter moments, like on “Our Way.” Naturally, we’re especially drawn to the most electronic moments here, like the incredible arpeggiated synths on power ballad “Fractions.” Would love to hear what would result if this band became a dystopic synthpop project. But regardless of what’s in store, we’ll be with them every step of the way. Can’t wait for LP2!

Technical Kidman is on tour in November, and the band is a force live, so check them out if you can:

11/05 Montreal, QC – La Vitrola
11/06 Ottawa, ON – Debaser presents
11/07 Toronto, ON – Invocation @ May
11/10 Thunder Bay, ON – The Apollo
11/12 Saskatoon, SK – Vangellis Room
11/13 Calgary, AB – Broken City
11/14 Lethbridge, AB – Electric Eye Mansion
11/15 Edmonton, AB – Endless Bummer Festival
12/02 Saint-John, NB – Taco Pica
12/03 Halifax, NS – Home Bass @ Reflections
12/04 Fredericton, NB – Capital Complex
12/05 Brooklyn, NY – Union Pool - Silent Shout


Montreal's Technical Kidman are perfectionists, and it shows in every blistering beat and carefully tweaked tone on their new A Stranger Voice EP. After releasing their self-titled debut EP in 2011, with four songs that packed more power than a jet engine, they've spent the last three years reinventing their whole approach to music while the city's electronic and indie scenes stood by eagerly wanting more. The wait is over, and the final product was worth it.

On A Stranger Voice, Technical Kidman combine their trademark wall-of-sound drumming with menacing, otherworldly synths and samples. They've set aside the more traditional guitars/keys/bass instrumentation of their previous effort and instead picked up enough electronics to launch a spaceship. Tired of the sounds available to them, they recorded samples from a collection of old VHS tapes from their parents' basements, full of early-90s movies, cartoons, and Québécois commercials. The resulting collage of tones is both futuristic and nostalgic, recalling the big sounds of a vintage action movie while looking to something totally new over the horizon.

It's an odd mixture, but it works - not least because Mathieu Arsenault's singing and Pierre Luc Simon's drumming keep this space-age project on planet Earth, emphasizing the band's energetic, pop-rooted songwriting above all else. This is a band that rises above the glut of Montreal-based electronic acts, sounding completely different from anyone else and bringing a sonic and visual aesthetic to the table that is all their own.

The three songs on A Stranger Voice are only the tip of the iceberg, as the band have written at least a full-album's worth of new material, but anyone interested in hearing more will have to catch one of their shows for now. That's okay, though, because they're ridiculously good live, and they're about to embark on a short Canadian tour.

A Stranger Voice will be available online and in limited edition 12" on Brooklyn-based label No Weapon starting July 17th. - NOISEY


In an effort to reinvent their sound, Technical Kidman, one of Montreal’s most forceful and kinetic live acts, looked to the past. All the way back to the 1990’s. But it wasn’t the music of the era that inspired them. It was the commercials. Their new three-song EP, A Stranger Voice, was built from samples of old commercial jingles, inspired by the likes of Burger King and Tim Hortons to cheapo Quebec wine Harfang des neiges. The EP’s theme is, fittingly enough, about finding authenticity through the grim artifice. “It’s telling of the era we come from that the commercials had a greater effect on us than the shows themselves,” says frontman Mathieu Arsenault. “They’re hard-wired in my subconscious, because I’ve seen them 1,000 times before.” A Stranger Voice, as well as their upcoming full-length, are darker than their previous efforts. Arsenault and Thomas Champagne have replaced bass and guitar for synths and samplers. It took them a year to make the full transition from rhythmic punks to electro moodscapers, but now the creative floodgates are open and their live set-up packs the same punch as when they were using their old instrumentation. “It’s more of a visceral approach with guitar and bass — if you want to play hard, you just have to hit them hard,” Arsenault says. “With synths and samplers you have to think about it beforehand and program them with a range of intensity. It’s not easy, but it’s what we’re aiming for.” And the name the band has given their new style? “Wild electronics,” he says. The band isn’t hiding the fact that A Stranger Voice was made from ads taken from old VHS tapes recorded by Champagne back in the day. So far, though, people haven’t picked up on it. “I thought they would, but people haven’t identified them so far. I thought they were pretty straightforward, but apparently they’re not. They’re transformed, but to me I thought it was just a little bit. Even in the studio, I pushed (mixer) Jace Lasek to make them as clear as possible, because I want people to get the reference. But hearing those sounds in a different context, it eliminates the reference. Conceptually, I can live with that.” ■ - See more at: http://cultmontreal.com/2014/07/technical-kidman/#sthash.s38dEX2D.dpuf - CULT Montreal


Technical Kidman Club Lambi, Nov. 21 Things took a darker turn at Lambi when Technical Kidman took the stage, with their heavy, purposeful sound compelling you to take things a bit more seriously. Having been impressed by the trio when they opened for Suuns at the SAT last summer, I knew they were capable of incredible intensity, and seeing them in the more intimate space at Lambi was even more jawdropping. The power behind drummer Pierre Luc Simon’s live performance is evidenced by the sight of his cymbals being literally ripped to shreds by the force of his playing, open-mouthed with sweat flying. Simon’s driving rhythms are matched in potency by frontman Mathieu Arsenault’s vocals, urgently delivered with outstretched arms, taking over every inch of the stage as the performance builds in ferocity to a stunning climax. Keep these guys on your radar, as they’ll be releasing a new full-length album soon, which will certainly mean more opportunities to see them kick ass live on a stage near you. - Cult Montreal


[...] Mais la savate, la vraie, arrivera avec le dernier groupe de la soirée. Ils sont trois, ils n’ont pas choisi le nom le plus attractif de l’année, mais ils sont probablement le groupe qu’on aura préféré à M pour Montréal : Technical Kidman. Une sorte de folle messe clanique où chacun fait ce qu’il veut – une cérémonie tribale dingue de précision pour le batteur, du hip-hop pour le jeune homme derrière ses machines et du rock pour le chanteur à la voix aigüe, nasillarde et possédée. Ensemble ça marche. Pour vous dire, on pense très fort à la fois à Constellation Records, à Suuns et à Jagwar Ma. Au premier rang, un couple sous MDMA passe la meilleure soirée de sa vie. Nous aussi. Et sans drogue. [...] - La Blogothèque


Un EP d'un groupe montréalais qui sait vraiment y faire côté musique psychédélique/électropop noire.

****1/2
No Weapon

Ça fera tantôt penser à du Yamantaka // Sonic Titan (leur disque homonyme, paru en 2011), tantôt à des côtés quasiment new wave et rappellera certains éléments de We Are Wolves (et avec quelque chose du projet Claass également). En beaucoup plus planant et ambiant. D'ailleurs, la voix du chanteur (Mathieu Arsenault) est vraiment singulière, et donne un ton très particulier à l'ensemble: ça donne quelque chose qui est à la fois inquiétant, à la fois ultra accrocheur (je me suis surprise à penser à la pièce Big in Japan d'Alphaville, avec laquelle j'entendais des éléments similaires!) et, décidément, fort bon!

Seulement trois pièces, mais hyper bien produites, avec des clins d'oeil à des éléments typiquement québécois. Par exemple, on y trouve un échantillon d'une publicité du vin Harfang des neiges dans les années 80 (!) qui devient ici la finale de la puissante pièce Fractions. On ne l'entend pas nécessairement du premier coup, mais quand on y arrive, on veut rigoler, mais pas vraiment en même temps, parce que... ça marche tellement!

Un EP à découvrir le plus rapidement possible. - Nightlife magazine


Technical Kidman are part of a community of artists in Montreal (including Doldrums, Grimes, Majical Cloudz, and d’Eon) pushing the limits of electronic music. Like their peers, they live dual lives playing international music festivals and late-night loft shows of questionable legality. The last two years have seen them perform as far away as Iceland and the Czech Republic, go on tour with SUUNS, and dodge mudslides in Calgary (not to mention recently being named one of AUX’s 11 Montreal Bands to Watch in 2014). That’s a lot for a band who has released only four songs.

Thankfully, Technical Kidman have just finished recording their debut LP, an electronic about-face follow up to their blistering self-titled EP. They recorded it in spurts over the past year at a friend’s home studio and will mix it this month at Breakglass Studios with Montreal production legend/Besnard Lakes member Jace Lasek.

We spoke with the band’s lead singer, Mathieu Arsenault, about the their recording and songwriting process and what the new album will sound like.


AUX: How is the new album different from your EP?

Mathieu Arsenault (vocals): Almost every aspect of this album is different. We wrote the songs in another way completely. We used different instruments, explored different concepts.

Why the change?

Right now we use synths and samplers exclusively aside from drums and voice. We made the choice not to use guitars in order to push ourselves further. Even though we knew we wanted to explore sampling, we had no idea how we could use it to make songs, and it actually took us a full year of research before we got a song we liked. We were accumulating material and bits of ideas, and I remember being very stressed out and afraid, telling myself “I’m sure it’ll make sense at some point.” And it did, eventually. It was like relearning to be a band with instruments we barely knew.

What was the inspiration for using samplers to write music?

We wanted to use the sampler as a structural element and let the sampled material guide us in the writing process. Basically, we wanted to build the songs around the samples instead of breaking and forcing them into the songs. And since we wanted these songs to be as personal as possible, we immediately started looking for sounds that we have a strong emotional link to. We went through hundreds of VHS tapes that [synth player] Thomas B. Champagne had recorded during his childhood. To our surprise, it was the commercials that had the strongest impact. We found a very strong nostalgia in them and we felt like they had the power to summon a past era, a time we had almost forgotten. These disposable bits of sound suddenly had a lot of value to us and really gave us a direction and conceptual depth to rely on.

How did you move from samples to songs?

From there we got into all kinds of pop artifacts from the same period, like sci-fi and action movie soundtracks from the end of the ‘80s. We mostly pursued that aesthetic throughout the writing and recording process and tried to make it fit with who we are, or who we think we are, at least.

This article originally appeared in the December 2013 issue of AUX Magazine. - AUX magazine


On se retrouve finalement à nouveau au bar Hresso, au chaud. Cet après-midi y est consacré à la pop canadienne, en collaboration avec le festival Osheaga de Montréal. Voilà qui est plutôt alléchant, on y découvre un premier groupe québécois au nom évocateur : Technical Kidman. On remarque avant tout un chanteur leader aux attitudes hip-hop mais avec une voix lancinante, parfois grinçante. Son inspiration pourrait venir de chants amérindiens si on se mettait à fermer les yeux et si on n’avait pas en face de nous un excité aux mouvements saccadés avec casquette et veste en jean. Après tout, les punks et les iroquois ne sont-ils pas liés ? La musique est quant à elle électronique et plutôt agressive, basée sur un laptop et une batterie down-tempo. Ces divagations synthétiques sont plutôt dansantes avec ses breaks comblés par la voix et des reprises dans des crescendos chaotiques. Nous trouvons en Technical Kidman la première bonne découverte du jour. - Sound Of Violence (France)


“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
- Cult Montreal


Discography

Something Stranger Coming on the Horizon (2015) self-released

A Stranger Voice EP (2014) released on No Weapon

Technical Kidman EP (2011) self released




Photos

Bio

Technical Kidman is an experimental rock band from Montreal. They merge rock music's engaging and transcendental energy with modern electronic sounds and ideas. Recognized for their explosive live sets and their envelope-pushing mindset, Technical Kidman thrive on exploring the boundaries of both genres, yet they never fail to make the outer limits feel accessible and exciting.

Technical Kidman have been making a name for themselves in the Montreal scene for many years now. They have played Pop Montreal Festival many times (headlined twice and opened for Gang Gang Dance), played M for Montreal (2013-2014-2015), and opened for Suuns' album launch for Images du Futur (2013) and for MEG festival (2014). The band played Canadian festivals Sled Island in Calgary (2013-2014-2015-2016), NXNE (2013-2014) & CMW (2013) in Toronto, and Halifax Pop Explosion (2012-2014). It also shined internationally by being part of Nouvelle Prague festival (Prague, Czech Republic, 2013) and Iceland Airwaves (Reykjavik, Iceland, 2012). Since the release of their critically acclaimed debut album Something Stranger Coming on the Horizon, Technical Kidman has also produced and performed the music for the multidisciplinary show Youngnesse by Projet Hybris. The show was premiered during Montreal's OFF.T.A. Festival in June 2016 and at Méduse in Quebec City in November of the same year.

Technical Kidman just finished production on a new album with Radwan Ghazi Moumneh at Hotel2Tango. It is set for release later this year. 

Band Members