Newer mixture 

New live album, vocals, spell progression for Toronto’s New deal

Who: The New Deal

Where: Garfinkel’s

When: Oct. 18

After playing to a packed house at the Garibaldi Lift Company on April 12, and the World Ski and Snowboard Festival on April 13, it only makes sense that "live" is the defining element of the latest album from the New Deal.

In an interview from Toronto, Darren Shearer, one third of the Toronto-based progressive house and electronica band, says: "We’ve been looking to release a new live disc for a while."

Recorded at NYC’s Bowery Ballroom and part of the Sound and Light Live Series: Volume IV, the new live album will be released sometime in October.

"The album is a great stamp as far as where we are. The NYC crowd is so aggressive. They like a lot of trance like big beat stuff, so it’s a full, dynamic show."

What started as a demo, became a full length album.

"My brother D.J. listened to the recording of the show and came to me and said ‘you sound awesome, you should release it.’"

Live is part of the art of the New Deal, and Shearer says improvisation "is the way we progress as a group without rehearsing.

"It enables us to see what works live, right away."

The audiences may change, but working in sync live on stage, stays the same for the band.

"It’s neat to play different electronica for changing audiences. Some tracks are very beat-based to get the crowd moving," says Shearer.

The band played 150 shows in North America last year.

"(The area) north of Toronto was a different crowd," says band member Jamie Shields.

"South of cottage crowd but north of the city, there were a lot of raver kids," he says.

"Birkfest (the N.Y.-based electronica festival) was such a great festival, very ‘funky jazzy funky’," adds Shields.

"I don’t have a high and mighty view of the audience… music is such a pure form," says Shearer, who says the majority of their shows are contingent upon the vibe of the audience.

With tracks like Glide and Talk Show, the New Deal entices with their continually changing show, where improvisation is at the forefront of the music.

Taking part in electronica festivals, including appearances at the World Electronic Festival in Bobcaygeon, Ontario, and Birkfest in upstate New York, has helped broaden their fan base.

The band has their eye on Europe in 2003, with Denmark a hotbed for progressive house.

Switching things up, Shearer says the band will add some vocals to their next studio album, due for release in the spring of 2003.

"Jamie and Dan (Kurtz) are really the talents in the studio," says Shearer, "and I really love playing live, and really get excited when we find something live (that we can work into a song)."


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