Artwork: Gabriel Coutu-Dumont
A little-known historical fact about the small town of Kitchener, Ontario: prior to World War II, itwas officially known as Berlin, Ontario. Transplanted Germans settled the area late in the 19th century, and in an effort to recreate a small Germany in Canada, they named their new home after the city of their past. But the Canadian government changed the town’s name during the war, when sentiments for Germany were at their most ambivalent. Which may all go a long to explaining why a number of Canada’s most revered producers – Kitchenerites like Deadbeat, Mike Shannon, and J. Hunsberger – have such a natural affinity to the sounds of modern-day Berlin. In spirit, they’re already part of the city. While Deadbeat and Mike Shannon have since moved to Montreal, J. Hunsberger still calls Kitchener home, and has been working his unique blend of minimal techno from there for over a decade. His work has been released on numerous labels, most notably Textone, Blank Records, Cynosure (run by Mike Shannon), and Revolver (owned by fellow Canadian producer and DJ Jeff Milligan). The Movement EP, his debut on MUTEK_REC, sees Hunsberger shifting his sound toward the leftfield of techno. He’s pulling away from the standard 4/4 beat to more syncopated robotic funk, and he’s experimenting with the use of his own voice, which he manipulates beyond recognition before looping into the mix. It’s a change that ought to turns heads in his direction. Having steadily built an evergrowing following over the years, Hunsberger is primed to make things happen, and Movement is bound to be his calling card.