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Toronto’s Unsound festival infiltrates an abandoned power plant

June 9, 2016

Unsound recharges the Hearn Generating Station with techno, noise, and drone metal.

Photo: Unsound 2015 (David Leyes)

Toronto’s Richard L. Hearn Generating Station is an ominous industrial structure. Since its decommissioning in 1983, the shadowy corridors, smokestacks, and coal chutes of the Port Lands power plant became a popular destination for urban explorers.

Last year, the Luminato Festival launched an exploration of their own, welcoming the first Toronto edition of Poland’s experimental art, music, and technology festival Unsound to infiltrate its 650 thousand cubic metre space. Now, Unsound Toronto returns to recharge adventurous fans for its second edition.

On Friday, June 10th the dark lords of drone metal Sunn O))) (revisit our primer here) will make their first Canadian appearance in more than a decade. They will be joined by a wide-ranging selection of artists such as British bass excavators The Bug, Montreal’s electronic shape-shifter Kara-Lis Coverdale, and Chicago’s footwork futurist Jlin.

Unsound’s second night on Saturday, June 11th blasts off with analogue explorer Alessandro Cortini (a frequent collaborator of Nine Inch Nails), Tim Hecker dismantling his latest album Love Streams, an immersive team up between Evian Christ and visual artist Emmanuel Baird (billed as “beats, light and laser”) plus late night thumps from Hamilton electronic lifers Orphx.

Unsound Toronto runs from 9 p.m. until the unspecified “late” on June 10th and 11th at the Hearn Generating Station (440 Unwin Avenue). Tickets are $25 per night and can be purchased at the Luminato website.

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