UPDATE: The Hybridity Music anniversary party on Feb. 7 was originally going to take place at the Fox Cabaret. The event’s venue has since been changed to Open Studios. Paragraphs in this story mentioning the Fox Cabaret have since been removed to reflect this venue change. We apologize for any confusion that this may have caused.

In the current incarnation of what was once a much more neatly segmented music industry, it seems as though the number of independent record labels will stop growing only when it matches the number of artists. It takes a certain commitment and particular vision to thrive in this environment, both of which are fully exemplified by Hybridity Music, who are celebrating their two-year anniversary this month at Open Studios, with performances from Sabota, Nautiluss, 8PRN, Thomas Cade and Heartbeat(s). Part of the larger Hybridity concept, the label focuses on “showcasing artists working in the cross-pollination of performance, music, art and technology.”

With no specific allusion to a particular genre, their roster of artists ranges from the indie electronic dynamics of Humans to the alternative R&B of Michael Brock, as well as including the more bass-centric Calamalka and the analog-heavy acid-tinged music of The Passenger. It is a testament to the strength of the Hybridity concept that they are able to pull together artists who may seem very different musically, yet provide cohesion in their forward-thinking aesthetic. BeatRoute was able to chat to Malcolm Levy, director of Hybridity Music, about the upcoming anniversary show, some future releases and the experience of starting a record label in today’s fragmented music industry.

“It was almost a contrarian decision. This is a time when people say you don’t want to be getting involved in the music industry or anything like that, and you know, I tend to be a contrarian with regards to a lot of these philosophies, or how you do them, or what that might mean, et cetera; so because people were saying that it wasn’t a good time, we felt that that really was a good indication that it was. It’s a very challenging time to have a label, but also it’s a very good time to rethink that. I feel like in today’s context or situation, within labels it’s also allowing a lot more freedom because there’s not as much a push around specific industry needs. Especially in independent music there’s no specific expectations, and there’s no specific way that you go about doing anything. You analyze it on a case-by-case basis and almost create your own way.”

The anniversary party will also mark Hybridity’s first release of the year – a double vinyl compilation, free to each attendee. From here, 2014 looks to be a busy year for the label, with releases from Sabota, 8PRN, Michael Brock and The Passenger to follow.

“Then there’s a few more things that are in the works through the summer,” states Malcolm. “I’ll just say that Humans have been working with Nick Kozub from Shout Out Out Out Out on a new album and they’re in the studio right now working on that. The other thing we’re really excited about right now is Generate. We’re building this interactive app that is sort of the culmination of all the things that Hybridity is doing. It’s one of, or is the first audio reactive A/V apps that’s ever been done, and there’s a number of different filters that come across the screen, so you’ll be able to play with it and you’ll be able to use it with different music, and so on and so forth. At the anniversary there’ll be some previews of Generate and people will be able to use it at the party in some interesting ways.”

SCION SESSIONS PRESENTS the Hybridity Music Two-Year Anniversary Party. Takes place on Friday, February 7th at Open Studios. Click here to see the event’s Facebook page. You may register at rsvp@beatroute.ca.

By Andy Soloman

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