CMW 2013: Doom Squad @ The Comfort Zone by Adam Bunch

SATURDAY — Electro-hippies. That's the totally made up term that leaped into my mind when Doom Squad took the stage under the dims lights of that dark and druggy hotel basement we call The Comfort Zone. They were wearing face paint and tie-dye and new age-y necklaces. They were bathed in the glow (and negative ions) of a salt crystal lamp, which sat on a table right beside a sleek Apple laptop. Their beats were looped and electronic, but also the kind of throbbing, elemental rhythm that makes you think of open campfires and ceremonial masks. And that contradiction — of the very new with the very old — is reflected in their song titles, too. "Head Spirit (For Our Mechanical Time)". "Land O' Silver Birch (Home of the Bieber)". And in the term they use to describe their own music: Shaman Beat.

It's apparently a very conscious decision on their part. One of our little red friends over at NOW Magazine, Richard Trapunski, interviewed the band's Trevor Blumas a few months back: "I think we’re especially inspired by the ways some cultures use music, totally in opposition to our idea of pop music here, as a vehicle to really elevate people into higher registers of consciousness, through repetition, chanting, and trance... So taking that approach to music and merging it with more 'western' musical approaches which express similar lofty ideas — experimental, noise, psychedelic and house music for example — became a motivating practice for us."

To be honest, music that veers as far into the electronic as Doom Squad's does isn't usually my thing (I need to stretch myself to make it as far as Pitchforkian crossovers like Animal Collective or Dan Deacon), but I felt strangely drawn to their dark, endless tunes — a feeling that only got stronger as their set went on. As experimental as they are, the three siblings do produce dance-friendly music. And a song like "Head Spirit (For Our Mechanical Time)" absolutely does have that kind of crossover potential, exactly the kind of track you can imagine filling indie iPods and blogs and dancefloors.

In fact, here it is right now, our very own indie blog:

MP3: "Head Spirit (For Our Mechanical Time)" by Doom Squad
READ: Our unfinished tour diary with Doom Squad 
READ: Our review of the next act: Mozart's Sister


Find all of our coverage of Canadian Music Week 2013 here

Adam Bunch is the Editor-in-Chief of the Little Red Umbrella and the creator of the Toronto Dreams Project. You can read his posts here, follow him on Twitter here, or email him at


Post a Comment