Oct. 03, 2012 - Issue #885: Fall Style 2012
A chance meeting in 2009 has proved to be a fortunate one for Robbie Slade and Peter Ricq, also known as Humans, an electro duo redefining the genre one song at a time with its new EP Traps.
Slade commissioned Ricq to do merch design for a folk-music project he was working on, and when Ricq pulled out a sampler and began jamming with the band, the beginning of something new started to take shape. Ricq invited Slade to create a vocal sample for his solo electronic project and it wasn't long before a new duo was created.
At the time, Slade wasn't into electronic music and was somewhat opposed to the genre, but after Ricq began to show him different facets of the style, he was hooked. Now, Slade finds it amusing to see other people react to electronic music, recalling a night when his friend's conservative father was introduced to it, and ended up enjoying what he heard.
"I was basically showing him music that Peter had shown me and that was a bit of an 'ah ha' moment for me," Slade recalls. "I think in the formulative years of electronic music, it was a really interesting time, but a lot of that stuff went way over people's heads, I think, like early techno stuff ... a lot of people think electronic music is that stuff. They think back to techno and go, 'I don't like that,' but they have their own little 'ah ha' moments when they hear how far the genre has progressed."
Humans is a testament to this evolution, with Slade's background being in folk and Ricq's being purely electronic. The contrast has allowed the duo to formulate its own flavour of electronic music that fuses folk influences with electro beats.
"I think anyone who's in a band, at some point you want to blend in with the crowd, but you also want to have something completely different with your music, so I think it's just finding that new way to be creative and really stick out and kind of break new ground," Slade notes.
Breaking this new ground is achieved through a unique collaboration that relies on free-flowing ideas and inspiration. For Ricq in particular, this happens when he's out biking and allows his mind to be completely present and void of distractions. He also notes he does not ever sit down and tell himself he has to write a song, he just allows ideas to formulate.
"I don't have any distractions, and also, my breathing is kind of a rhythm," Ricq says of his biking. "There's a lot of people, when they take a walk or bike, when they're not supposed to be creating, it actually comes easier. I think there's less stress and you come up with all your ideas."
Sat, Oct 6 (9 pm)
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