At the turn of the millennium, Montreal became a hotbed for a type of dance music that the French Canadians called microhouse (pronounced meecro-house). St Laurent Boulevard, off Montreal’s Sherbrooke University district had become a two mile long stretch of poutine joints, punk bars and experimental house and techno music.
On Sundays, during the summer months, Montrealers would get the subway under the river to Picnic Electronique at Parc-Jean Drapeau. Against the backdrop of the island’s huge biosphere, they would dance all day in the sun to Montreal’s own brand of funky techno. Central to these shenanigans was Marc Leclair, who in 2004, put the cat amongst the pigeons with a debut ‘Long Player’ that was as experimental as it was pure body music.
‘My Way’, under the name Akufen, a nom de plume that is a play on the french word for tinnitus, married big disco bass lines to dense micro sampling. Other producers like L.A.’s The Rip-Off Artist and Austen’s Matthew Dear were using huge banks of tiny samples and found sounds to construct twitching, clicky house and techno, but no-one approached the art of micro-sampling with such glorious abandon and danceable results like Akufen. On ‘My Way’, Leclair lifted tiny snippets of FM radio, sometimes static, sometimes fragments between stations, wrapping around a rolling bass line and then driving a compressed 4/4 kick straight down the middle. ‘My Way’ is at once intellectual and irrepressibly thumping. A stone cold classic.