Joel Boychuck is Hobo. You may already be familiar with his work as one half of Tractile who graced Minus
with their debut EP a couple of years ago, if not this 12” single release represents his first solo outing From A
to B, remarkable for its conception as for the smooth, shimmering techno it includes.
The more time Joel spent touring Europe with Tractile, the more he recognised a link between the modern
generation of electronic musicians and the founding beat generation of the late 50’s and 60’s, personified by
On The Road author Jack Kerouac. He arrived at the conclusion that as musicians we’re all hobos, travelling
light from city to city and gig-to-gig, only nowadays the traditional guitar case has been updated to a laptop
bag. As a result of this personal discovery, he left Berlin and headed back to the relative calm of Canada
understanding that music is just as much a spiritual journey as a physical one and therefore, in order to reach
his goals he must continue his journey alone. This led him into the wilderness (The Pinery national park to be
exact) where he set up a makeshift studio in a traditional Mongolian style tent. Fasting for much of his stay
and relying on heightened levels of perception and objectivity brought on by the immense beauty and
peacefulness of his surroundings, he set to work.
When looking for clues to this in the music, more than anything there’s clarity of thought, a natural homogeny
and an inherent oneness to each track. The organic sounds, beats and samples of Failsafe blend and mix
together without abrasion, offering smooth passage through the night even as it subtly changes shape two or
three times. The orthodox bassline creates a tense underbelly that’s complimented by an array of finely
crafted, evolving synth parts that zip across the surface. All the while a spaced-out vocal mantra urges the
crowd to ‘do the right thing’, drifting increasingly into view as the track unfolds along with a host of ambient
bleeps and distant, nocturnal squawks.
Midnight is a sure-fire winner from the moment the first beat hits with it grizzly, sliding acid bass motif and
loose percussive swagger immediately grabbing the attention. From there on in the rumbling bassline
dominates the dancefloor as the twisted rhythms and sample cut-ups combine skilfully over a smooth,
house-tinged breakdown. Joel injects some serious fun into proceedings with a clever arrangement full of
tricky stops, starts and breakdowns that encourage the DJ to get busy with the crossfade. It’s the kind of
proactive tune that will inject energy into any set through its sheer creativity and variety of ideas.