Hrdvsion, Prison Garde, En Noir, and Trans1ent
When: Friday, 10 p.m.
Where: Lucky Bar
Tickets: $8 at Ditch Records and Lyle’s Place; $10 at the door
The ties that bind producer and performer Nathan Jonson to Victoria are long and intertwined.
Over the course of the next week, Johnson’s musical attachment to the city will develop further.
Jonson, who performs under the Hrdvsion moniker, is booked to return to his former home base on Friday for one of his annual Lucky Bar performances, this time in celebration of the third anniversary of the club’s monthly sub/division showcase.
“When he comes back [home], people come out to see him as a person, but he also puts on an amazing live show,” said Chris Long, the sub/division co-creator and Jonson’s longtime friend.
Johnson, 32, was born in Penticton but raised in Victoria along with his older brother, Mathew Jonson, also a celebrated electronic music producer and performer.
The brothers both live in Berlin and perform together occasionally as the duo Midnight Operator, but Jonson is taking the stage solo Friday night, armed with a few tech tricks to keep things interesting.
The set is called “live” for technical reasons, Jonson said. “It’s described as ‘;live’ because I’m performing my own music with my computer and a handful of other electronic instruments. It’s just a nice way to say, ‘;I’m not DJ-ing — please don’t request other people’s music.’ ”
His journey into the world of electronic music began at the age of eight, while living with his family in the Fort Nelson area of northern B.C.
At the time, both Jonson brothers were studying piano, a trend that continued once the family relocated to Victoria for the second time. It was at this point that the long-term concept of Hrdvsion began to take shape, Jonson said.
“When we moved back to Victoria in 1991, we started to use computers more and more,” he said.
“While Mat moved toward external equipment, I stayed in the computer learning to program and work the software more extensively. Because I felt very out of place in Victoria, I pressed harder instead of trying to satisfy anyone, resulting in something more abstract and experimental.”
A decade into his career, Jonson isn’t any more stylistically settled than before.
He has, however, found a niche in Berlin. “I went on tour through the U.K., Germany and Switzerland and realized through those two months I needed to move there,” he said of his decision to relocate four years ago.
“The obvious choice to me was Berlin because my brother had already moved over one year earlier. I really enjoy playing in Berlin, but the main reason to live there is because it’s incredibly cheap and is very central and easy to get to other countries for other gigs.”
Free from the constraints of the often segregated North American electronic music scene, Jonson feels almost no pressure to conform.
As a result, his music runs the gamut from classic techno to dance-floor-influenced jams.
That much is evident on Hrdvsion’s acclaimed 2010 recording Where Did You Just Go? and his popular 2012 single Prettier Than That, both of which were released on his brother’s Wagon Repair imprint.
“He has a lot of albums of material he can draw from, but he’s always making new music,” Long said. “When he plays live, he combines the two in a way that will have the dance floor packed.”
Talk about your happy homecomings.