Underground electronica surfaces at SquareWaves Electronic Music Festival and Modular Synthesis Symposium

With 14 separate sets planned for two evening concerts at Blim (115 East Pender Street) on Friday and Saturday (December 10 and 11), the SquareWaves Electronic Music Festival offers a great chance to catch up on what’s happening in Vancouver’s growing electronic underground scene. If you’re looking for a closer encounter with modular-synth technology, however, you’ll want to head to the Waldorf Hotel (1489 East Hastings Street) on Saturday afternoon for the Modular Synthesis Symposium, where festival participants will be demonstrating everything from a vintage EMS Synthi (Brian Eno’s favourite noisemaker) to a $15,000 Buchla system.

“None of the music stores in Vancouver, or even in Canada, sell this sort of thing—it’s all done by mail order,” said festival organizer Andrew Short, who’ll be showing off his Scottish-made, Moog-inspired MacBeth modular gear. “So this is a chance to see things that you would normally never get to see in real life.”