Despite being an integral member of the Minus family since 2007, Joel Boychuk very much has his own identity. On a select number of EPs and singles over the years has the Canadian explored his own raw form of techno expressionism: sometimes dark and abstract, others more sample heavy and groove based, it is music for all recesses of both your mind, and the dancefloor.
As a child it was drums and indie bands which interested Joel: formal training in percussion and music theory occupied much of his youth until the mid to late 90s, but then came electronica into his life…
“Once a friend showed me Kraftwerk’s Computer World I quickly shifted my attention to electronica,” says Joel. “I could pick up radio stations from Detroit and it was from there I discovered everything from Plastikman to Jeff Mills to Juan Atkins, all the way over to drum & bass and weirder IDM from labels like Warp.”
From that point on, Joel devoured as much electronic music as possible, though a little helping hand from his mother in gaining a fake ID was what really set him off. With ID in hand, he went on to spend every weekend exploring warehouse parties around Detroit, forever fomenting his own techno tastes and meeting life long friends and colleagues who now tour Europe in their own right.
And so does Joel, with dates in the past at influential clubs like Watergate, Berlin (his first overseas performance, no less) Womb, Tokyo, fabric, London and Rex, Paris as well as festivals like Sonar, Love Parade and Timewarp, constantly channelling those early 90s Detroit influences from the city’s radio stations to its DJs to the famed Untitled party at The Shelter.
A keen proponent of doing his own thing and going his own way, Hobo production gems to date include ‘Failsafe’ and ‘Midnight’ plucked from 2008’s From A to B as well as ‘Symptom’ off his Trackz EP. Most recently, of course, the debut full length Iron Triangle has been a critical success since release in February. The album explores stripped back synth textures, minimal grooves and comes doused in plenty of organic atmosphere, but also marks the closing of a chapter for Hobo…
Having spent a lot of time crafting his album, the man now wants to focus on DJing (after being an almost exclusively live performer for 6 years) and intends to get to work writing some all out dancefloor jams. “I’m really just hoping to have a lot of fun on the road this year” he says. Should you join him at any point on that road, it’s likely you will too.