I have known Wade Anderson, aka Prospero, for years now and seem to bump into the man everywhere. I've seen him freak out on a dance floor to Covenant's "Call the Ship's to Port" and I also know that he loves noise and tribal rhythms. I"ve seen him dancing to the hardest EBM tracks at Savage Garden as well as take in one of Displacer's lovely IDM performances in Montreal. If there is someone who enjoys the variety the scene offers, it's Wade.
That is what's so great about his new album, Folie à Deux; Wade's influences are everywhere and the name of the game is variety. I hear the hammering EBM beat on "The World That I See," and I remember Wade on the dancefloor, at Savage Garden, jumping around to Grendel. I hear his smashing cover of Malhavoc's classic track "Discipline" complete with vocals by Jennifer Parkin of Ayria and think could anything possibly be more Toronto? Malhavoc, Ayria, Prospero makes an ex-pat Torontonian teary eyed!
The album opens with "The Elements" suite, four tracks of tribal, rhythmic, experimental music, and that, too, is 100% Wade. It's also 100% great music, a perfect opening to an album from one of Toronto's great musicians. Following this is "The Madness," the second half of the album and a change in musical direction that shows the dance-floor side of Prospero. There's the techno glitch of "Techno Zombies" and the fire-breathing collaboration with Battery Cage and Terrorfakt on "Let the Planet Burn" that will have you hitting repeat on your iPod. The album closes with another Toronto act: a collaboration with It-Clings that leaves you raging against political brutality.
There is something special about releasing an album by someone you've known for so long. It's not the personal touch, though that sure is great. It's not even the ability to talk frankly together, or have a beer together, or enjoy each other's conversation from time to time. When you know someone, their art changes, and you gain something from the experience that would otherwise have been lost. There's something awesome about that. Released on Artoffact Records and available June 24th, 2008.