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Five bands I loved at OIMC

By Jean McLernon on June 8, 2015

The Ottawa International Music Conference (OIMC) wasn’t just about incredible panels given by industry diehards, it also had some of the best music you’ve likely never heard of. Luckily we’ve got a break down of the top five artists you may have missed, and what you can look forward to from them.

French musician and music producer Rone was a notable favourite over the weekend. Rone is an electronic DJ that often has intensely engaging visual effects accompanying his music, best exemplified in his music video for Bye Bye Macadam. “We are very excited to have Rone; he’s a rising-star DJ on his second north American tour. He is recognized by his peers all across Europe and got an exhibit in one of the major art centres in France,” Caroline Guespin, the Event Coordinator and Artists Liaison for the conference said. Rone’s exhibit Creatures & Cie was featured in Palais De Tokyo’s gallery back in April. Part album release and part installation, his newest album Creatures was released alongside illustrations and a digital installation called Pac-Rone. You can check out the new album here, and stay up to speed with his North American tour via Twitter and Facebook.

“There is an audience in Ottawa which is willing to have artists that usually perform in Montreal and Toronto,” Guespin says, “In the same spirit, we’re very glad we have Kenny Dope, Tortured Soul and KAZE.” KAZE is the part Japanese part French jazz quartet that combines the improvised sound of drummer Peter Orins and trumpeter Christian Pruvost’s duo Mussix with pianist Satoko Fujii and trumpeter Natsuki Tamura’s sound. This abstract sound is powerful and moving, and unlike any jazz you’re likely to see anywhere else. They played Saturday night at Mercury Lounge, and if you missed them you can keep up with them on their website.

K-Dope closed down the conference at Maker Space North Sunday night alongside other Brooklynites Tortured Soul. Kenny Dope is a New York record producer and DJ that often performs under his moniker ‘K-Dope’. His collaboration and personal project list is extensive, and the man hasn’t slowed down since first performing at block parties in 1985. His house music sound is very Brooklyn, New York and has elements of Funk and Hip-Hop in every track.

Tortured Soul is the kind of upbeat Funk band that K-Dope incorporates in his music, but with a little more Disco. It’s hard not to feel good after listening to just a few tracks, and its perfect background music to any sunny day activity. Tortured Soul also put on a mid-afternoon show with local Dj Memetic at Maker Space North for the participants of the conference.

By day Memetic is mild mannered City of Ottawa worker Kwande Kefentse, a Cultural Developer who moved from Toronto to pursue creating music with those who matched his passion. Apt613 recently showcased him for their on-going Ottawa Creatives feature, and he’s set to release some vinyl alongside Timekode late this fall.

So if you didn’t get a chance to see these artists live and in person last weekend, check out some of their music and expand your collection. All of the artists that performed were spectacular and hand picked by the staff of OIMC, which is praise not to be taken lightly; A healthy combination of international artists were present for the conference. “The Ottawa music scene is changing, vibrant and we feel a need of being a player to structure it.” Guespin says, “This is the first edition, but we sure have a long term vision that is to put Ottawa in the international music map.”