(l to r) Jonny White and Kenny Glasgow
Those of you lucky enough to have heard Kenny Glasgow in the 90’s knows this brotha’s got some serious vinyl humping skills. This Canadian icon never ceased to amaze me and my ravemates with his versatile mixing chops. When it came to hard, slamming house, Glasgow was the man. Whether it be full blown raves or spectacular showdowns at Industry, Kenny’s sets always managed to tickle the shit out of our cerebral folds with raw edged nastiness that pounded the living daylights out of our skulls. Some of us were rather disappointed when he switched to industrial in the late 90’s – that harsh, grating sound really wasn’t my thing – but we realized he was evolving as an artist. I remember saying, “Damn he’s so good! – what’s he doing in Toronto? He needs to go somewhere else with that kind of talent.” According to NOW magazine, Kenny relocated to London and recently teamed up with DJ / producer Jonny White to form Art Department. They’ve apparently found success in Europe, which really doesn’t come as much of a surprise (read second page of article for more details). See Kenny? Leaving Toronto was a good idea after all…
Obviously I had some catching up to do, so I scoped out a selection of canvasses in the Art Department. “Without You” has this strange, pathological vibe that sounds like some mean ol vixen chewed up Kenny’s poor little heart and spat it back out in a cube. Imagine a guy’s feelings being reduced to a mere bouillon of morosity to flavour a bubbling stew of discontent – that’s what this track entails, more or less.”Tell me Why” has a slightly more upbeat arrangement, with Kenny’s yearning vocals teetering on the edge of despair. “Living the Life,” a collaboration with Seth Troxler, is more my speed; soulful house augmented with edgy synths. There’s even a jibe about Canadians halfway through the track as Kenny intones with dark humour: “I’m sure to read the book when it comes out…but if you’re like a broad number of Canadians, chances are…NO.” (Yes Kenny, you really hit the nail on the head with that one).
To be honest, I’m not a fan of the commercial sound Art Department has embraced, but it seems to be working wonders for them. Evidently, international success is finally catching up with Kenny. And I’m glad for him and Jonny White who I’ve never heard of til now. Jonny took credit for getting Kenny to step up his game on the production side of things. By the way, if any of you’s got an ol skool mix of Kenny Glasgow’s in mp3, hit me up. I’d love to hear some dutty beats 4 real >>>
For more info on Kenny Glasgow’s involvement in Toronto’s early rave scene, check out the link below:
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