Rapidly following the cinematic avant-croon of his 'Executioner' single from David “Egyptrixx” Psutka’s Halocline Trance label, polymorphous Hamilton, ON producer Aaron Hutchinson returns with his debut LP, Potion Shop.
This concise eight song collection is aptly named, given the eccentric and intoxicating stylistic concoction it serves to unsuspecting listeners. Ostensibly a vehicle for songs by a diverse cast of guests (spanning everything from ethereal folk to esoteric rhymes, from sunburnt soul to lysergic lullabies), Hutchinson’s distinctive and decidedly psychedelic arrangements tie it all together. Crisp wind arrangements crawl forth from thick synth haze; 808 drums rain down on choruses of birds, and muffled pianos meander past distended, muck-encrusted drum samples.
Potion Shop’s extensive list of collaborators speaks to the wildly varied nature of Hutchinson’s rich musical life. It includes contributions from Hamiltonian vocal protagonist Sarah Good, Benita Whyte of Persons, Doom Squad’s Allie Blumas, pre-eminent MC Emay, celebrated musician and slam poet Ian Keteku, and even Kirk Starkey of classical fusionists Quarteto Gelato. The record will be available on LP, CD, and in digital formats, but visual artist Eccina has also crafted an interactive and thoroughly hallucinatory landscape that can be downloaded to offer listeners complement to the album.
Hutchinson has been a vital contributor to his hometown’s burgeoning underground music community. He co-founded the recently-defunct venue HAVN (Hamilton Audio Visual Node) which was touted by Vice as “the Best DIY Venue in Hamilton” in 2015. He also spearheaded their in-house label whose roster included Eucalyptus whose Kick It Till You Flip It was one of Magnet Magazine’s best Jazz releases of 2019. In addition to winning several local prizes including the Shirley Elford Emerging Artist Prize in Music, Jazz Recording of the year from the Hamilton Music Awards, and an Emerging Artist in New Media (Hamilton Arts Awards), he’s a member of several crucial Hamilton outfits. There’s the FX-mangled free-jazz duo Eschaton, whose Arachnidiscs tape Torus sees them collaborating with Matt Tavares and Leland Whitty of Bad Bad Not Good. Meanwhile in the vibrant jazz-fusion/ hip-hop anomalies Haolin Munk, he acts as drummer and producer. Hutchinson also been heard collaborating with everyone from fried dance music denizen JFM to sleek electro-pop songstress Allie X, not to mention the likes of Lea Bertucci, Ellis, Zoon, YlangYlang, and Daniel Romano.
Pop the cork on Potion Shop and drink it down for an all-too-fleeting trip across a musical terrain that’s disorienting but also warmly familiar.