Canadian tunes: The Sole Pursuit and Juan Barbosa

This month, the Toronto-based independent music promotion and artist consulting company, Hype Music, is releasing two new full length albums from artists on their current roster. New music from The Sole Pursuit as well as Juan Barbosa will become available for purchase later this month and they are both well worth investing in.

The album Infinite Regress by The Sole Pursuit is a great example of excellent music by an up and coming Canadian band. It has been my great pleasure to be able to hear the album before its scheduled release on September 11 and I hope that my opinion will bring it to your attention.

The Sole Pursuit is a four piece rock outfit from Toronto, Ontario. Originally created to be an outlet for their current front man, Kyle Dawe, with a constantly changing cast of musicians backing him, the band has changed into a consistent team of musicians working together to make the music they love. The band now consists of Kyle Dawe as the front man of the band, AJ Perry (who has also been a consistent member of the band) playing guitar and providing vocals, Adam Hay on drums and bass by Dylan Burrett.

The songs held within Infinite Regress are in essence ghosts of the time they were written in. It was described as being a time of conflict for the band which ultimately caused the album to take three years to make. Just as the album was finished originally, dispute with the band’s original producer caused a costly and lengthy conflict that jeopardized the band’s future. Ultimately, the band decided to scrap the original album and join with their current producer to start over with something new. This gave a different soul to the music than it previously had before, making it more intense and aggressive, which in the end worked in the album’s favour. It is a testament to being able to overcome obstacles and come out on the other side stronger than before.

The fruits of the Sole Pursuit’s labours in Infinite Regress are truly enjoyable. They are both melodic and aggressive, giving the listener a firm understanding of their trials and tribulations over the past three years of production while also not being so in-your-face angry that it becomes a turn off. It is both pleasurable and emotionally raw, which makes for an outstanding listen. I highly recommend it. No matter what the situation is that you are hearing it in, you are sure to ensure The Sole Pursuit’s impressive craftsmanship.

If you’re looking for a musical change of pace, then Juan Barbosa’s album, Soulbot 6000, is just for you. The blend of blues and science fiction sampling utilized in Barbosa’s music is unique to say the least.
Juan Barbosa has played in just about every style he could, from metal to hip hop and everything in between. This gives him a large pool of musical experiences to experiment with within the genre he has most recently decided upon pursuing: the blues.

If that isn’t enough to convince you to give his music a try, he is also one of our own, making music out of his cabin in the woods of Ontario’s vast cottage country.

Taking its stylistic influence from the Terminator film franchise, Soulbot 6000 brings a sort of man—meets— machine element to the blues music genre. Listening to the album you can hear both the cool and collected emotion of his blues guitar playing alongside the beeps and boops of electronic sampling, giving voice to both the machine and the man. Both elements seem to work in synchronization to become a singular artist. This effect is highly added to by the fact that Barbosa composed and arranged all the songs on the album himself and even played each of the instruments heard within it.

I would highly recommend Juan Barbosa’s Soulbot 6000 to anyone wanting a change of pace or anyone looking for some new blues music to follow. This guy gets it. The blues aren’t about using the Blues Scale on a guitar or playing long sad ballads like we are often meant to believe. It’s about taking your instrument and making it an extension of yourself. Taking a guitar or a piano or a harmonica and making it one with your emotions so that it can be the medium for you to express your thoughts and feelings. You mix man and machine to reveal yourself to the world in a beautiful way which is what Juan Barbosa has achieved. His music lets you know who he is, what he’s like, how he feels, and that is what the blues are all about.

Although the album is not yet available for purchase, it will be released on September 18 for your listening pleasure. Take a chance and maybe you will discover a new love for the old genre, the Blues.

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