The extraordinary Toronto turntablist SlowPitchSound is performing in his hometown on Friday night at Arraymusic. If you’re unacquainted with this talented young man, think of him at the modern end of a line that starts with Sun Ra, and passes through George Clinton and Afrika Bambaataa.
Born Cheldon Patterson, SlowPitchSound is promoting his remarkable new two-track album THK SKN. His take on turntablism marries musique concrète with touches of neo soul, thanks this time out to an amazing vocal by Shikha Sehgal. The album also features contributions from Yegee Lee on violin, percussionist Germaine Liu and John Kameel Farah on keys.
The work is complex and gritty. “Act 1 – Freak Show” offers up glitchy ambience, new classical strings and more. “Act 2 – The Oculus” opens like a creaking door before moving on to one mind-boggling panorama after another.
I asked SlowPitchSound about his unique take on turntablism in an email interview. “I’m just staying true to myself and always developing as an artist,” he wrote. “I’ve fallen in love with an art form, the art of sound manipulation and decided to stick with it no matter what. I don’t spend time figuring out or trying to fit into any genre specifically, I just focus on creating a body of work that is timeless and feels good to me.”
He continued: “I like weird things, sci fi/fantasy, comics and art that challenges the imagination. Isolation has helped me to find my own musical voice which is really a challenge with all the social media platforms out there, something I use to promote myself. Most of the time I’m in my studio or somewhere creating.”
There are so many ideas packed into these two new pieces that it takes repeated listens just to absorb them all. SlowPitchSound is an electronic music phenom.
For locals, Arraymusic is at 155 Walnut Avenue in Toronto. Sharing the bill with SlowPitchSound are Steptone and Mike Hansen.
“I don’t really have much planned other than keeping an open mind and trusting my skills,” SlowPitchSound told me. “Exploring sound is what I enjoy doing. So after digging through the Array studio’s library of records, audience members can expect to hear sounds they’ve never heard before.”