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While the global EDM scene still debates the merits of“pressing play,” techno veteran Marc Houle has beenwowing audiences for over a decade with a liveperformance that is constantly evolving night after night, incity after city, at clubs and festivals worldwide. T he skill andeffort that goes into creating these truly “live” sets is theresult of an entire lifetime dedicated to electronic music anda deep love of the machines that make it.Raised adjacent to Detroit in Windsor, Ontario, in the samefertile music community that spawned his former label bossand mentor Richie Hawtin, Houle’s obsession with electronicsounds goes back to the noise of ’80s video games andvintage synthesizers. And while too many electronic artistsuse their machines as merely tools of convenience, Houleregards his with a dedication found in few producers.T he results have been extraordinary. A decade-long careerof seminal records on Hawtin’s Minus imprint and his ownItems & T hings label that not only helped define the belovedminimal sound of the mid-‘00s (“On It”), but had a laugh atits expense (“Techno Vocals”), before transcending thelimits of the sub-genre completely by incorporating industrial,disco and new wave influences (“Undercover”).No wonder Houle’s records have found their way into thecrates of DJs far-flung from his typical list of peers. Howmany producers can create a track as adaptable as “Bay ofFigs,” an underground club favorite favored by his closecolleague and star techno DJ Magda that also managed tofind its way into the hearts of stadium-trance audiences viamegastar DJ Tiësto.Ironically, even though DJs of all sorts play Marc’s records,you won’t find Houle delivering a DJ set any time soon. Acommitted live performer, he arrives at each gig equippedwith not only five superb albums worth of material (plusdozens of favorite singles and remixes released under hisown name as well as Raid Over Moscow or Run StopRestore), but this dedicated craftsman carries with himhundreds of excellent unreleased tunes that he can drop atany moment on an enthusiastic crowd. No matter what timeor tempo, Marc Houle has exactly the right Marc Houle tunesneeded for the nightclub, after party or festival stage.And there seems to be no slowing down for Houle. 2013 sees a slew of releases, starting with a collaboration EP inMay with one of techno’s biggest stars, Miss Kittin, followedby another collaboration EP with Items & T hings artists ClickBox in September. A full-length album in spring 2014 andmore remixes and releases on multiple labels will keep usexcited as the year goes on.