MSTRKRFT at the Crofoot Ballroom

THURSDAY NOVEMBER 5, 2009
doors at 8PM
tickets: $20 in advance (buy tickets)

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Launched in October of 2004, MSTRKRFT is the project of Toronto musician Jesse F. Keeler (JFK) and studio wizard Al-P, two music-loving dudes who’ve been itching to make people dance as hard as they’ve made them rock. The pair has been collaborating, on and off, since 1998 with Al recording several of Jesse’s previous bands, including Death From Above 1979. From the release of their first remix, MSTRKRFT developed both an immediate following, and a lengthy list of artists looking for their remix interpretation: Justice, Usher, Wolfmother, The Crystal Method, and Nine Inch Nails, to name a few.

The Toronto-based duo of Keeler and production partner Al-P won fans worldwide with its 2006 debut “The Looks” (Last Gang), a bombastic blend of electro, pop and high-energy noise, which was pushed onto dance floors by adventurous DJs like Aoki. Last Gang will continue to release MSTRKRFT’s music in Canada. “We just wanted to try different options for America, and I don’t think there’s anyone in the States who’s been a better supporter of us than Steve Aoki, championing our stuff,” says Keeler. “So when he approached us it just seemed like it made a lot of sense.”

MSTRKRFT tested the waters with Dim Mak in October via the single “Bounce,” a collaboration with reggaeton star N.O.R.E., which will be included on “God.” The album’s other guests include Ghostface Killah, E-40, Freeway, Lil’ Mo, and John Legend — a definitive move to a different sound that Keeler admits “we thought would alienate some people.”

“We wanted to make a record that was more ideologically like a throwback to when rap and R&B production was old school; the line between that and dance was very blurry,” he says. “We knew people were gonna hate, because idiots don’t like music because they like listening to it. They use it as a way of defining who they are. When it changes, it leaves them in a tough spot — ‘I can’t use this to create my identity anymore’ — and their reaction is negative.”

“It’s the same as when the Strokes came out: rock music returning to what it was born from,” says Al-P. “When you get back to the essence of things, sometimes cool stuff happens.”

 

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