Artist Spotlight: Holy Fuck
With their heads in the knobs and their bodies firmly set in the groove Toronto’s Holy Fuck creates exhilarating, analog rocked out electro that’s a joy to see unfold live. Chaotic and euphoric channeling of energy, it’s pure expression of experimental electronica in peak form.
At it’s heart, Holy Fuck is dance music that demands to be moved to. Their songs have that 4/4 measure, the driving beats, the slow build to the massive crescendo you’ll find in most modern electronica. If you had only listened to their recorded work, and had not read a single thing about them, you would be forgiven for thinking it was the work of a single person, alone in his basement, twiddling knobs and programming music on his computer for his own edification. But you‘d also be way off.
Brian Borcherdt, Graham Walsh, Matt Schulz and Matt McQuaid are absolutely breathtaking in action. It‘s quite a sight when all four of them are so amped up on their own music that they‘re all lurching up and down, coaxing the crowd to do the same, in unison. The Matts provide a complex rhythm foundation with drums and bass that at times feels like an invisible hand leading you through a dark hedge maze. Working in tandem, Brian and Graham are hunched over their equipment, blending all manner of sounds together in a seamless and seemingly impossible blend of fuzz, echo effects and hiss. In a frantic but controlled zone they hurriedly and aggressively plug in and taking out cables; feeding film through the infamous film synchronizer; banging effects pedals with the palm of their hands; and even occasionally kicking the bottom of their effects table as if it needed an extra physical jolt to cooperate the way they want it to. Seeing such harmonized creation in action makes you stop and stare while saying “HOLY FUCK” to yourself.
Holy Fuck’s newest sounds are a 3-track EP on their soundcloud, +Ghost (2011). Their most recent full-length studio endeavor, Latin (2010) was cut live off the floor during their brief downtime at home. Delivered in trimesters, Latin was engineered by Graham Walsh and mixed by Dave Newfeld (Broken Social Scene), D. Sardy (Johnny Cash, NIN), Eli Janney (GvsB, Wilco,), Paul Epworth (Bloc Party, Primal Scream) and Holy Fuck themselves. It’s the follow up to 2007’s simply titled LP which Filter described as “nine perversely noisy, mind-bogglingly ferocious freakouts” and Spin said of it “Holy Fuck play the sort of id-gripping dance rock that’s best experienced in person. Luckily (LP) retains the raw energy of the live show, even without the visual barrage.
Don’t let the long lapse in between records bring you down. “We’re overdue for a record,” Borcherdt said of Holy Fuck in an interview last summer. … Now that we’ve taken this break it was to allow ourselves to be creative again.” This is literally music to our ears:)
Check Them Out
Camp Bisco 2010 playlist
Full concert in Sydney, Australia 2008
Video Interview – with Undercovers