a.k.a. Fairmont, Hands Gruber, Jacob Fairley, Jard Fireburg
Over the past few years Jake Fairley has become recognized as a key force in the growing Canadian electronic music scene. Since June 2000, Jake has had nearly twenty releases under various names and on various labels, mostly under the Kompakt Distribution umbrella. Being from Toronto, he has developed a style which is a little harder, a little drier, and a lot dirtier than the common sound from Montreal.
Born and raised in the west end neighbourhood of Parkdale, Jake Fairley had an average inner city upbringing. He began experimenting with electronic music in 1995, toying with different genres before settling in with techno in 1998. His peers, however, were 100% rock and roll and although his close knit group of friends were supportive, he was essentially on his own musically. In 1999, Jake made an important contact in the Toronto electronic music scene, when Jeremy P. Caulfield heard him playing live at a small downtown bar. The two became friends and when it came time for Jeremy to start his Dumb-Unit label, Jake was the first featured artist.
From the very beginning, Jake's music has showed a bigger focus on stretching minimal techno into the popular rather than the experimental. Spending much of his youth watching bands play live has pushed Jake to try and perform his music rather than merely present it. As of late, Jake's music has begun to show his rock and roll roots more and more. By using distorted sounds, a steady beat, and occasionally aggressive vocals, he has been blurring the lines between techno and rock music more than ever.
The desire to make the perfect hybrid of techno and rock n' roll is nothing new for Jake and can be found even in his earliest work. In late 2001 he had his first dance floor hit with 'Exploder'. Named after a Toronto garage band featuring the man that got Jake hooked on electronics in the first place, the EP not only showed Jake singing for the first time, but also his growing love for distortion. By the time 'Exploder' was released Jake had already been testing his version of The Stooges 'I Wanna Be Your Dog' out at his live shows. It was released in spring 2002 and showed not only Jake getting more aggressive, but also using the shuffle beat for the first time since his very first 12'. By winter he had started the Joy Division-meets-minimal-techno outfit Uncut with Ian Worang. They released their first single 'Understanding The New Violence' on Dumb-Unit that December. Late last year Jake released 'Octane' on Germany's most celebrated techno label, Kompakt. Octane was a 4/4 monster that sealed the deal for Jake being established as the 'foundation of tech-rock' (De-Bug Magazine).
In September 2004 Jake Fairley will release his first full-length release in over two years. 'Touch Not The Cat' brings together and draws from every project and release from Jake's entire career and takes his music to the next level. Many different ideas and sounds are brought together for the first time to create an album that is extremely catchy, danceable and unmistakably Jake. His trademark straight and dirty beats are pitted against the shuffle riffery of T. Rex, the tense monotone of Lou Reid and the distorted pop of The Misfits.
The production is better than ever - intricate and precise and yet somehow more direct and uncompromised. A review of Jake's 'Boozing and Losing' 12' in XLR8R magazine last year claimed it had 'possibly the fattest bass line I have ever heard'. 'Touch Not The Cat's' first single 'Night Stick' however, will no doubt be known as Jake's loudest track to date.
Fairmont is the semi-famous side project of producer Jake Fairley - his “soft side”. He sings of heartache and lonely nights, making listeners smile or cry depending on how their day is going. Fairmont's mid-tempo live act is deep and danceable, yet friendly and personal - an all out love-fest!
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