Harrison Newspeak, Montreal QC, April 11

Harrison Newspeak, Montreal QC, April 11
Photo: Sarah O'Driscoll
In what's starting to be a trend in Montreal, the grungy Cabaret Underworld — home to mostly punk and hip-hop shows — recently underwent massive overhaul and has been rebirthed as the Newspeak, the new premiere downtown electronic venue. On Saturday (April 11), it played host to promising new Toronto producer Harrison, who was in town to launch his brand new Colors EP.
Apart from the fact that it said "EP launch" on the poster, though, there wasn't much to make you believe anything at all was being launched, let alone a new release — there was no merch, no promo and worst of all, no actual new music. It would take close to an hour to finally hear a Harrison original — the fantastic "You're Light" — but it didn't seem like anyone in attendance actually noticed. Also, it'd be the only original material he would drop.
As such, it was less an EP launch than a straightforward DJ set, and for what it's worth, it was a highly successful one. Harrison played the part of his own MC/hype man, dropping lines like, "It's getting sweaty tonight!" and remixes tailor-made for a crowd largely as young as he is. To his credit, he managed to keep most attendees on the dance floor throughout the night, dropping some older Daft Punk mixed in with newer artists like Disclosure and Shamir.
While the evening should never have been advertised as an EP launch — because on that front, it failed miserably — it was a successful club night with some pretty ace cuts. It's just too bad that his stellar debut release wasn't properly showcased.