The Cansecos
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The Cansecos


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"Ben Rayner's Reasons To Live"

# The Cansecos, Juices!. Never got the Steely Dan thing – not a shred of it – and was, thus, duly impressed that Toronto duo the Cansecos had me thinking of Donald Fagen in favourable terms for the first time in my life before I read the credits to Juices! and realized Bill Halliday and Gareth Jones were already waving the influence in my face by attributing their new record's live drum parts to one "Steely" Dan McCormick. This is way cooler than that comparison implies, not least because the sleekly contained techno-pop-for-adults on the Cansecos' second album manages to expose connections between such tasteful `70s studio indulgence, the locomotive future visions of Krautrock and gauzy modern dance-music sounds that never previously seemed so obvious.

# Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend. I'm still not sure about the name, to be honest. But as New Yorkers in the curious position of sounding like a British band with subcontinental worldbeat pretensions – one sufficiently self-conscious of the fact to write a Peter Gabriel joke into "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa," no less – the four young scholars in Vampire Weekend definitely merit at least some of the grassroots notoriety that has preceded their debut album. True, Talking Heads found common ground between African rhythms and the urgent tics of post-punk 30 years ago, but it's been a while. And the "huh?" factor involved in hearing a chap named Ezra Koenig chime out brisk Afro-pop guitar licks is often superseded by the spry pop smarts of tunes like "One (Blake's Got a New Face)," which brings to mind the effusive experimentalism of latter-years Clash. - Toronto Star

"The Cansecos "Juices!" Album Review"

The Cansecos:
[Upper Class; 2007]
Rating: 7.1

* Buy it from Insound
* Download it from eMusic

With the Mitchell Report still warm and baseball players busy explaining that, no, what they actually took was B-12, there's probably never been a better time for a band called the Cansecos to release an album called Juices! (exclamation point theirs). The Cansecos, oddly enough, are a duo hailing from Toronto, the only Canadian city that still has a Major League Baseball franchise, and they know exactly what they're doing, playing off their name and the title of Jose Canseco's steroid memoir (they even released a couple of lengthy remixes under the title Juiced! to pave the way for the LP). It makes for amusing background noise as you take in their second full-length, highlighting the light touch the duo often brings to its analog synth-heavy electro-pop.

The first time I listened to Juices!, I was disappointed-- it seemed like a letdown from their fantastic self-titled debut (2003). And in some ways it is a letdown, lacking much of the immediate appeal and memorability of its predecessor, but what it loses from the debut it mostly makes up for with interesting textures, complex beats, and slow-growing tunes that get to you on subsequent listens. Bill Halliday and Gareth Jones seem to have focused less on making a pop record and more on something you can just groove to whenever you feel like it.

A good example is "Raised By Wolves", a song built around a scant handful of lyrics, most of which consist of the heavily processed vocals singing the line, "I was raised by wolves." The repetitive vocal is given a world of constantly shifting electronic soundscapes and modern r&b beats to roam through, and the result is hugely entertaining. The duo's more traditional vocals still have the same deadpan quality as on the debut, but they've gotten much deeper into manipulating the sound of their own voices, breaking out the vocoders and computers to create a range of different tweaked tones.

"Rise Up" barely even has a verse melody-- the verse is more of an ethereal haze of voice and whirring, buzz-toned synth driven ahead by a jumpy bass line-but the chorus rises up from the ether to deliver the album's most anthemic moment, as the beat crystallizes into a shiny disco pulse. "Nothing New to You" has a sneaky hook sung by electric aliens, "Clear Blue Sky" mixes a crisp beat with dreamy, soft tones, and "Lunar Landing" sports a frenetic, clicking rhythm track that palpitates under a chord progression that takes its sweet time.

Juices! is a different kind of Cansecos album, and though it will likely appeal to fans of their debut, those listeners shouldn't come expecting another "This Small Disaster" or "Are You Lonesome Tonight?", because that type of song isn't here. What you do get is an enjoyable album of electronic pop that reveals itself slowly, revering the beat and texture of the music above all else but still allowing the hooks to peak through.

* Myspace:
* MP3: The Cansecos: Raised by Wolves

- Joe Tangari, January 17, 2008 -

"Around The Globe..."

Sally Shapiro - “Hold Me So Tight (The Cansecos Remix)” (MySpace)
If you need something a little less giddy and brash, turn to Sweden’s Sally Shapiro. She’s a blog favorite so we might as well join the party, too. Her album Disco Romance has glittery tunes but a deeply melancholy soul that would only bum out the dancers while they got down. Cue Remix Romance, a set of tunes from the album reworked (for the most part) for the dancefloor. A little extra glitter here, a little less sad Sally there, and we’ve got nothing but good times. Check the Cansecos‘ pretty brilliant bongo-fied tarting up of “Hold Me So Tight” for a taste of the light-hearted, light-footed fun to be found on the record. - Allmusic

""Juices!" Review"

The Cansecos
Upper Class

Buy it at Insound!

It is what it seems. The Cansecos are witty. Their name and sophomore release, Juices! pays blatant homage to baseball and one of its most quixotic figures. Juices! is a giant leap forward from the band's 2004 self-titled release, using a pairing of densely mixed digitalism and a smattering of subtle, though impactful lyrics. It's surely a dizzying ordeal, kind of like taking a baseball to the melon.

Signed to Toronto's Upper Class Recordings, home of Cadence Weapon and The Russian Futurists, The Cansecos are primed for ascendancy, as their label sets to gain ground on Arts & Crafts in the battle for Canadian recording supremacy. They've been compared to The Postal Service sans Ben Gibbard, and are pegged to replace The Rapture as ogle-worthy dance-pop act. The Cansecos offer all the sounds of both of those bands but are, at least on Juices!, hardly as obnoxious.

On the exterior, The Cansecos are built on most of the hallmark instruments of modern electro. Drum machines, vocoders, and synthesizer. All standards when it comes to computerized music. A closer listen to Juices! finds the album spilling its digital blood. That is—the lyrics have a distinct sense of hopelessness with a touch of Canadian romanticism. On "Raised by Wolves" a wailing synthesizer is met by the prophetic whining of "Love is a need/ love is a greed/ love is divine/ love is unstable" and the repetitive chorus "I was raised by wolves." "Wolves" is easily The Cansecos most infectious song from Juices!, while songs like "Seen the Sun Rise" can get stuck in your head even when the lyrics remain indecipherable.

At no time is the churning landscape of Juices! more obvious than when the words "Is this the calm of the storm or is this combat?/ Is this the height of a war or just a warm day?" are rhetorically vocodered on "Nothing New To You," a straight pop song, only to be followed by acid trip mope track "Clear Blue Sky." The Cansecos' ringleaders of production, Bill Halliday and Gareth Jones manage the heavily textured sounds in a way that the multitude of layers intermingle but do not interfere with another, leaving Juices! with a sound that is lush but not overdramatic. The songs here can be danceable or reflective and can be sung along with or can remain subterranean.

Similar Albums:
The Russian Futurists - Our Thickness
LCD Soundsytem - Sound of Silver
Chromeo - Fancy Footwork

Listen Here

Download at The Cansecos - Juices!

Tyler Weir
04.03.2008 - Treblezine

"The Cansecos at CMW 2008"

CMW 2008: The Cansecos @ Sneaky Dees

By: Karolina Rous
Photo: courtesy of the band

Taking the stage at Sneaky Dees on Thursday night, looking like a pack of college emo kids, Toronto's The Cansecos surprised me with what came out of them. With a flurry of electro-based, pop rock sounds that incorporate tinges of genres such as ska and even reggae and rap at moments, this little band sure knew how to deliver. You could hear the LCD Soundsystem and Daft Punk moments clear as a bell, which was just fine by me. It was also clear that The Cansecos had some of their hardcore fans in the crowd; kids wearing sunglasses and going spastic, dancing their asses off? Yeah, you know you are doing something right when you have that happening at your show!

My fave tracks of the night were "Raised by Wolves" and "Rise Up," both which offered some serious energy and creative lyrics and beats to boot. The facetious, fun nature of the band was evidenced by comments such as "That song was at 20 per cent, let's take it up by 30 per cent for the next one. Needs more dancing from you guys," made it clear the band was having fun with it. And isn't that what CMW is all about? The Cansecos delivered on that score! All right!
- Soundproof Magazine

"Quick and Dirty: The Cansecos"

Quick and Dirty: The Cansecos

By: Karolina Rous
Photo: courtesy of the band

You know you've got it going on when you're a Canseco, you're running your own label and you get to tour across Europe while throwing down your bags in London, England. Gareth Jones, of Toronto's up-and-coming act The Cansecos, took some time out of his whirlwind life to talk about how his band came to be and what's on the up and up for the boys.

Currently touring Europe and working on his label, Upper Class Recordings, Jones works with artists with as high a profile as Cadence Weapon, but it wasn't that long ago that The Cansecos got their start. After hooking up with sometimes-filmmaker and co-member Bill Halliday, the duo got its music on.

"Bill Halliday, a.k.a. the billionaire, and I went to high school in Barrie together," he explains. "We became friends over baseball, then music and then started messing around with music together. I went to college in London with Paul Prince, a.k.a. Princely P, and he was already in two bands with Dan McCormick, a.k.a. Stealy Dan, and anyway we all ended up in Toronto. Billionaire and I needed a deadly rhythm section so it worked out really, really well for us."

After the birth of The Cansecos, the guys started getting crafty together, making music that Jones describes as "electronic yacht rock." At the end of last year they released the album Juices! and Juiced!, a bootleg mega-remix version of the record.

Jones and Halliday just finished two remixes as well: One is for Sally Shapiro on the Remix Romance album; the other was for the new Black Kids single "Hurricane Jane", which was just released. They're also working with Matthew Hart, putting some finishing touches on the mixing and production of the brand-new Russian Futurists' album.

"The album is called The Weight's On The Wheels, and it's his finest and now best-sounding work to date," Jones brags. "On the side we're working on a couple new projects, too. Those are still secret status though."

So what does Jones love about making music?

"Each new song is like setting sail on the waters of possibility. The water is real calm though and we're sailing a yacht, and it's a sunset." Whoa, poetic! But pretty spot on. When you listen to the electro-funk originality that is their music, it becomes pretty clear the boys have done their time at rock and roll high school.

"All the great producers inspire us Cansecos; that would include the big sound guys like Phil Spector and Brian Wilson, the Dub Kings' King Tubby and Lee Perry. Also the hip-hop kings like Prince Paul, Large Professor, Rza, Premier, Madlib, Dilla. The funk and disco men like Quincy Jones, the Cayres, Moroder, Cerrone, Moulton, Levan; the rock guys like Jeff Lynne, Jimmy Page, Stephen Street, John Leckie, Brian Eno; the more recent indie kings like Daft Punk, [Basement] Jaxx and the Neptunes . . . but there are so many more and those are just the producers."

"We like a lot of music," adds Jones.

So what's in the stars for The Cansecos?

"We're going to finish up this new Russian Futurists album, and it's going to come out in the fall. It's really, really good! We like doing the remixes, so we'll probably do some more, and some people are remixing us - Parallels (drummer from Crystal Castles), Vitomir, The Russian Futurists, Lo-Fi Fnk from Sweden have all been known to be working on remixes of our stuff."

Sounds like a lot - but on top of all this, The Cansecos are also working on two new albums and will be doing some touring come fall. There's no holding this duo down - there's no fighting it: The Cansecos are on the up and up

- Soundproof Magazine


The Cansecos "Juices!" (Upper Class, 2008)

The Cansecos "Juiced!" - full album released in Jul/07 on internet through

The Cansecos "The Cansecos" (Upper Class, 2003)

Black Kids "Hurricane Jane" (The Cansecos Remix) on "Hurricane Jane" CD Single - label: Almost Gold/Columbia, released June 2008

Sally Shapiro "Hold Me So Tight" (The Cansecos Remix) on "Remix Romance" - label: Paper Bag Records, released April 2008

Small Sins "Holiday" (The Cansecos Remix) exclusive iTunes avail through Boompa/Astralwerks

The Russian Futurists "Let's Get Ready To Crumble" (The Cansecos Remix) - MySpace Exclusive 2007

Vivek Shraya "Your Name" (The Cansecos Remix) 2007

Madrid "Reply To Everyone" (The Cansecos Remix) - exclusive album bonus track



The Cansecos put pop songs into space suits and float them away in every direction.

This sonic construction crew consists of Toronto writing/production duo Bill Halliday (Billionaire) and Gareth Jones (Generous G), and rhythm ace duo Paul “Princely P” Prince (bass) and “Stealy” Dan McCormick (drums). Jones and Halliday go back to high school in Barrie; The Cansecos is the third incarnation of their musical combinations, but the theme has persisted: They love pop songs and they love engaging productions. But what sets them apart from many collaborators is that most of history’s arrangements of this sort involve a producer and a writer, and then a band, yet Halliday and Jones play all roles; that is - both of them play both writer and producer and play most of the instruments on their songs, making for probably one of the more eclectic songwriting/production duos in pop’s young history.

Their self-titled debut album (Upper Class Recordings 2003) was created using little more than some outdated, falling-apart computers and a four-track recorder, but the resulting sound, feel, image…is something truly original yet enjoyably - not taking itself too seriously. These early inventive pop productions have been celebrated in music circles, and some commercial success was had when The Cansecos landed the track “A Common State Of Being” in star-Canadian director Aubrey Nealon’s debut feature-length film A Simple Curve while Nike was using Cansecos tracks for their workout mixes, as well as The Cansecos “s/t” ending up with raving reviews from the likes of, Uncut Magazine, and the NY Observer.

After keeping quiet for 3 years while assembling a live band, a new arsenal of instruments and computers and creating new audio blueprints, Jones and Halliday’s experimentation with cut-and-paste sampling vs. intriguing pop melodies, live instruments vs. programmed beats, analog mixed with digital, dark ruminations vs. playful humour has seemingly spiked in the last year. In July 2007 they announced the coming of their new studio album “Juices!” in November but immediately released a free downloadable remix album “Juiced!” of the forthcoming studio album. “Juiced!” is likely the first ‘premix’ on record, it being a remix released before the actual release, not to mention it being an entire album remixed!

While the studio album “Juices!” took The Cansecos over two years to make, including enlisting the help of Adam Nunn (Radiohead, Air) to help finish the album at Abbey Road Studios, nobody is quite sure what inspired them to remix the entire record to rare and popular disco classic cut up instrumentals to make “Juiced!”, and then to release it ahead of the actual album, for free download, but this is exactly the ingenuity the band is becoming known and celebrated for, and the fact that those antics only make “Juices!” even better, is a credit indeed. “Juiced!” is still available as a free download at, in addition to a new disco mix they released called “Disco Showers”.

Recently, in addition to heading out on a Canadian tour, hitting NYC, playing showcases at Canadian Music Week and SXSW, The Cansecos have been producing like wildcats, recently completing remixes for Sally Shapiro “Hold Me So Tight” (for Remix Romance Vol. 1), label-mates The Russian Futurists “Let’s Get Ready To Crumble” (MySpace Exclusive), and Black Kids “Hurricane Jane” (Almost Gold/Columbia - June 23), mixing and doing production on the new studio album by The Russian Futurists “The Weight’s On The Wheels” and working on 2 new records of their own.