Best of bands 2015: Gabriel Savage

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      After doing time in straightahead rock bands like the Niche earlier in his career, Gabriel Savage has made a seemingly effortless transition into the role of electro-savvy producer. On the released-this-summer single “Rain”, we get a slice of moody heaven that sounds as indebted to the sauve elegance of early Bryan Ferry as to Vancouver’s legendary Sonar nightclub during its late-’90s glory years. No less stellar is “RefleX”, where strobe-lit bass drops and hypnotically torqued synths suggest Savage would be a no-brainer for next year’s Bass Camp rager at the Pemberton Music Festival. Watch for the producer to release a reimagined version of Chris Isaak’s classic “Wicked Game” later this year.

      Best local release other than yours: “I really enjoyed the solo EP release, Ulysses, that came from Ulysses Coppard, who is one half of the PEAK Performance finalists Smash Boom Pow. Also, the new songs from Trevor Hoffmann have been rad—I really like the recent work he’s done with Gabriela Geneva on ‘Me or You’. That girl’s got talent. I’d love to work with her in the near future.”

      The year’s best gig: “I see a lot of live music, so that’s difficult to narrow down. Steve Hill is very talented—I saw him when he was in town at the Railway Club [on June 26] and am stoked to hear he’ll be back in town soon. Also, the New York experimental rock duo Ratatat had an awesome music and light show at the Vogue in July. In terms of locals, though, I love the energy that Eric Campbell & the Dirt bring to their shows.”

      Best album ever: “That’s tough, because my tastes are all over the map. I grew up listening to a lot of early Elvis, Sinatra, and Cash, but I don’t think I can choose just one album from either. I guess I’d have to say the [self-titled] debut album from the Doors; you can really hear the raw intensity of the band and how they feed off of each other. I’ve also read that it only took them six days to produce it, so that alone makes it take the cake, in my opinion. Although if I had to choose a more recent album, I’d have to say Motion from Calvin Harris.”

      Francesco Aquilini’s paying—Where’s dinner? “Gotham Steakhouse [615 Seymour Street]. They’ve got great food and a superb cocktail menu. I’m all about a good cocktail.”

      In the spirit of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “I Really Like You”, who do you really, really like? “Chersea, without a doubt! She has such a great talent and it’s only just being discovered. Plus, she’s a babe, so it’s music to the ears and eyes!”

      You won Lotto Max. Where’s your club opening up? “I’ve always thought that the Penthouse [1019 Seymour Street] would make an awesome music venue and nightclub, but after attending the Jonathan Fluevog Jr. wedding at the John Fluevog Shoes store in Gastown [65 Water Street], I realize that it has such great potential for social events. I’d really like to try throwing some parties there one day, with John’s permission, of course. However, if that weren’t an option, I’d totally go with the Penthouse—and I wouldn’t change it much, either. I’d just revamp their sound system and get a permit for the top floor.”