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Footprintz in the sand How the Montreal duo made their mark on electronic music

“We partied with Seth and the boys for the first time at their label showcase back in Miami WMC a few years ago,” explains Clarian North, one half of Montreal electronic pop outfit Footprintz, alongside partner Addy Weitzman, on meeting the group whose Visionquest label would help them break into the consciousness of house and techno fans via last year’s release of the jaunty ‘Utopia’. “We just all glide on the same wavelength and vibes of music and life.”

As much enthralled by the dark electro pop of ‘80s UK synth as the late night soundtrack of youthful afterparty adventures at Montreal clubs like Sona and Aria, their genesis as a duo began at the age of 18, singing and jamming on whatever instruments they had around – something that grew into an obsession with vintage synths. But it was a bizarre story wrongly attributing the work of OMD to Ricardo Villalobos that helped hook up their late night electronic tales with the Detroit foursome cur- rently ruling the techno roost.

“One spring day in Montreal 2007, after one of the weirdest and most fascinating nights of my life, Seth Troxler came back to the plateau resi- dence of Leroy Cuddlez with a pile of records that he had just bought,” recalls Addy. “In that pile was the OMD single ‘Talking Loud and Clear’. He put the record on and told us that

the guy at the record store told him that it was Ricardo Villalobos doing Italo. We freaked out! I found it hard to believe that it was Ricardo – and eventually we realized it wasn’t - but we were like ‘damn, this is good pop!’ We listened to it over and over again and it became kind of an anthem.”

Next up on Visionquest is the emotional cocktail of ‘Dangers of the Mouth’, driven by New Order-esque guitars and an air of fraught hangovers, early dawns with lovers and that post-party mixture of excitement and regret. It’s a taster of an album, co-produced with studio and DJ legend Ewan Pearson, due some- time in early 2013.

“All the songs on the album were written in a shared sleepless state-of-mind, based off poorly played hooks on guitars and synths,” says Clarian, confirming their sometime mel- ancholic sheen. “We’d go off on life adven- tures and meet up in the studio, share stories about meeting gothic beauties with kittens in clubs, or waking up in a garden in Barcelona somewhere with a hole in the memory. We’d shut the lights and dim the blinds so that the sunrise could just set enough morning fire onto the Juno.”

“Basically you can expect to hear the blue- prints of our confused and vulnerable souls,” adds Addy. “We actually thought about calling the album ‘Blueprintz” but that didn’t really work out because of Jay-Z. Now we’re pretty sure we’re calling it “Escape Yourself’.”

Remixes of “Dangers of the Mouth’ come from electro lothario Jimmy Edgar – with a prowling electroclash turn - and fellow Montreal native Tiga, someone else not shy of a little eye-liner, for whom the pair provided the excellent ‘Rush to the Capsule’ (also remixed by Ewan Pearson) for his Turbo imprint.

“Tiga and Turbo Recordings are legendary and words can’t describe how cool it’s been to be involved,” says Clarian sincerely before adding: “The truth about Montreal is a thrilling story of love and despair. Back in 1933 we were invaded by aliens seeking shelter in a new world. They turned themselves into tiny parasites and took over everyone’s minds by entering the ear- drum. As the generations continued to evolve so did the aliens and the humans.”

And with that, Footprintz are off on another wild adventure through time, space and their own imagination.


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