Toronto label nice+smooth ultramedia are pleased to introduce a slice of manic, futuristic funkiness with Stéphane Vera‘s wonderfully ambitious album Different Shapes + Sizes (Square the Circle). Although he’s never said it outright, Stéphane could be a musical genius, a modest one, whose pioneering work has made significant contributions to the expansive world of future music and sound science. His intelligent insight and years of experience in musical experimentation and production could fill pages, not posts. Highlights of his activities include being lead composer at computational music company waveDNA, scoring music for the Emoti-chair, a device that allows the deaf to experience music, and creating ringtones and music for Microsoft. Stéphane has also collaborated with the likes of ill.Gates & Si Begg, Peter Primiani (83 West), jazz great Laila Biali, Roy Davis Jr., and DJ Romain on various recordings. His sound is that of an electronic music you can’t quite put your finger on, such as afro-funk over a glitchy beat to effervescent house teased with trip hop. It seems to cross an invisible bridge between London garage-flavoured house and Brazilian electro-jazz to meet at a genre Stéphane Vera has whimsically termed ‘Teknostep’ (coined from one of his production aliases).
As a prolific producer and session player Stéphane Vera’s new album is bursting at the seams with boundless energy and bright ideas. The music is full of complex syncopated rhythms, virtuosic keyboard work and truly exciting space-funk. The sixteen track release of Different Shapes + Sizes (Square the Circle) features a number of banging collaborations with world artists like Japan’s IDM powerhouse Coppe’, Canada’s R&B diva Ivana Santilli, jazz great Laila Biali, plus two bonus remixes from UK’s Si Begg and Germany’s Noah Pred.
Sunshine Jones (Dubtribe) - “Beautifully busy.”
Tensnake - “Looking forward to the album as the songs I’ve heard are very nice.”
DJ Rocca (Ajello) - “Very interesting and fresh stuff. ‘Dynarec’ is amazing.”
Nick Holder - “This is sick!”
Richard Hardcastle (Solid State) - “This is the s**t! All tracks interesting, unusual, brilliantly produced and playable.”
[sic] (mu-sic, Fnoob Radio) - “Great collection of quirky and offbeat electronica. ‘Tokyosick’ is the stand-out track for me.”
Mark Reynolds (Just Chillin Radio Show) - “It’s like getting lost in a beautiful circuit board!”
DJ Schugar (The Infusion Project) - “Wow! Jazzytech in the house! Love this release!”
Pointbender (Harmonious Discord) - “I’m digging the weirdness of this album … I haven’t heard much else like this.”
Johnny Luv (Across The Board Radio Show) - “All great tracks covering different bases. An almost garage-esqe ‘Dynarec’ morphs to a monstrous, twisted electronic jazz funk groove of a tune … I love it!”
DJ Firefly (WRCT FM, Pittsburgh) - “There are some producers who are creative and some producers who are groovy, but Stephane Vera is one of a rare breed that’s got both! These tunes are catchy right from the start and also have the kind of depth that makes them get even better with multiple plays. Very well done!”