It’s only been in the last couple years that the dance-music world has really taken notice of the many amazing things happening in Toronto, Ontario, Canada via the successes of folks like Art Department, Nautiluss, and Azari & III. But, truth be told, things have been brewing in the Big Smoke for decades. Sitting about half way between Detroit and Montreal, Toronto’s scene equally reflects Motown’s deeper, soulful side and the Quebec capital’s more austere aesthetic, yet, naturally, it melds them into something all its own. So, without further ado, here are 10 Toronto techno and house artists you should familiarize yourself with, if you haven’t already.
Solvent & Lowfish
Analog electro heads will no doubt know the incredible—and incredibly underrated—works of Suction Recordings heads Solvent & Lowfish. If you don’t, we encourage you to see what you’ve been missing.
While he recently made the jump to Berlin—not unlike many Canadian techno stars—Noah Pred served Toronto’s techno scene dutifully for years, and it’s where he started the always-on-point Thoughtless Music label.
Art Department/Kenny Glasgow
Kenny Glasgow has been Toronto’s premier dance-music don for pretty much the last two decades, and now, as part of the Art Department with Jonny White, he’s ensured his relevance for years to come.
Junior Boys technically hail from Hamilton, Ontario (about an hour from Toronto), but Canada’s biggest city has largely claimed them as its own for years. We haven’t heard much from Jeremy Greenspan and Matt Didemus as a duo since 2011′s It’s All True, but Greenspan has just released a single on Caribou’s Jialong label.
Egyptrixx boasts Night Slugs’ first-ever full-length release—Bible Eyes—and deservedly so. David Psutka serves up deep bass with the best of them—enough to turn the heads of one of Britain’s most celebrated new labels.
Mike Shannon has floated between the techno centers of Montreal and now Berlin, but he arguably got his start in the Toronto scene, which is also where he kicked off his successful Cynosure Recordings label.
Another T-dot OG, Arthur Oskan has been producing and DJing since the mid-’90s, and after decades of putting in the work was recently nominated for a Juno Award (the Canadian Grammys, more or less) for his Thoughtless-released A Little More Than Everything LP.
Azari & III
If you didn’t know Azari & III were from Toronto, you could just as easily mistake them for New Yorkers—the hip, disco-friendly house vibes of Dinamo Azari and Alexander III seem equally as at-home in ’80s Manhattan.
Jeremy P. Caulfield
Jeremy P. Caulfield’s Dumb-Unit label was instrumental in establishing Toronto’s fertile techno scene in the early aughts. He has since moved to Berlin and closed down the label, but it’s opened him up for more awesome DJing and production work.
As a former member of Toronto hipster-talk-of-the-town duo Thunderheist, Graham Douglas Bertie now strikes out on his own as Nautiluss with some killer tracks for Tiga’s Turbo Recordings and Martyn’s 3024 label.