Recommended: DIVA – NK38 EP

For all the labels that shroud themselves in secrecy nowadays, none of them seem to keep themselves off the map quite as well as New Kanada Recordings. The label has put out nearly 40 releases over the past six years, but trying to find much more information than that is nearly impossible. Each release posted on its Soundcloud account contains a cryptic quote and the same all-caps Latin phrase – HCSVNTDRACONES – translating roughly to “here be dragons.” The phrase refers to the medieval practice of placing dragons and other mythical creatures on the uncharted territories of maps and it no doubt fits nicely with New Kanada’s desire to push the boundaries of contemporary dance music.

DIVA is a forthcoming project on New Kanada drawing inspiration from vocalists such as Loletta Halloway and Jocelyn Brown to explore the outer reaches of techno. By again distorting the histrionic vocals of generations past, DIVA harks back to the fluid roots of dance music. A-side “Paris Stabbing” sees DIVA mixing Detroit house elements to dizzying effect and creating something distinctly new. Bringing the tempo down just a tad on the flip side, “But I’ve Never…” pairs a droning siren with SP-1200 percussion to spawn a spooky, industrial vibe. There’s also “Paris Stabbing (Beats)” which sees the track pared down into something more tranquil than the original. Almost as if to confuse you, New Kanada has included an eerie passage from Toronto poet Robert Priest’s “The Lesser Shadows,” detailing the assassination of a president. Though it’s not immediately clear what that symbolizes, it is clear that New Kanada have placed a dragon on the map with DIVA, one that should be reckoned with.

Stream: DIVA – NK38 EP (New Kanada Recordings)

DIVA’s “NK38” EP is out on December the 12th exclusively on vinyl via New Kanada Recordings.

Tim Willis

In a Beautiful Place Out in the Country, twitter @timwill_is, personal: