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Megasoid: Party-In-A-Box

To date, Megasoid is still on the loose. Comprised of Sixtoo’s Rob Squire and Wolf Parade’s Hadji Bakara, Megasoid has been running amok in Montreal with a turbo-crunk collaboration that started off as a monthly night (which has included stops in Toronto and New York), but has quickly expanded into spontaneous block parties throughout the city (often broadcast, soundsystem-style, from a rundown minivan). Aside from some unwanted police attention, and banishment from one Toronto venue, the two-man posse has been blasting its live-remix party late into the night with much street-level acclaim.

“You know that if you’re coming out to a Megasoid night, chances are you’ll either get hit by a dude swinging another dude over his head, or 2,000 watts of feedback, or some really rock-solid digital-crunk shit,” Squire says.

To be fair, most “producer” shows straight up suck–a sentiment Squire shares–but one might be forgiven for assuming the opposite after a Megasoid party, considering the gargantuan synths, miles of wire, and other archaic gear that he and Bakara haul around.

In fact, it was their mutual love of synths that brought the two together. “The first time I borrowed a synthesizer off of [Bakara], I blew it up,” Squire says, laughing about the pair’s bonding moment.

While Wolf Parade’s frantic indie rock somewhat resembles the energy of a Megasoid show, Squire’s intricately produced hip-hop records as Sixtoo are its very antithesis. His recent Jackals and Vipers in Envy of Man (Ninja Tune) is a slow-paced album of lumbering, slightly off-kilter beats and sinister atmospheres; like 2004’s Chewing on Glass and Other Miracle Cures, it rummages through the detritus of hip-hop, combining samples and loops with microprogramming and other digital effects to create a record of subdued but elaborate majesty.

“Megasoid isn’t super dance-y, but it’s not Sixtoo stuff either,” Squire offers. Instead, the side-project takes its cues from everywhere–from French techno to Southern bounce–and smashes them together. “It’s gone everywhere from Mouse on Mars albums to literally destroyed records found in trash bins,” he continues. Of course, the influences stretch beyond even those parameters, and into Mighty Morphin’ Power Ranger territory, too. “I was throwing around futuristic-sounding names,” says Squire, “and Hadji was like, ‘There’s no fucking way we are naming it anything but Megasoid.’”

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