“Hipsters / Stay cool / Unite.” A minute or so after an arpeggiated keys intro, these lines, sung in the unmistakable voice of Billy Corgan, introduce the knotty electronica of Jeff Cancade, aka Devours. It’s a bold intro indeed, but the Vancouver-based composer’s subsequent journey through Dignity proves the reconstructed lines of “Cherub Rock” to be just the starting point of a dense, sample-heavy sound collage.
Devours’ debut EP is self-described by Cancade as being “influenced by every pop culture trend known to man.” And though this is a pretty bold statement as well, each piece is built upon recognizable fragments of music. “Keepsake” obviously borrows from the Beach Boys’ “Caroline, No” but it takes a while to notice the bites of “Hotel California” seeping in and out of the background.
Despite being an eclectic patchwork of older sounds, Dignity feels very current. Cancade’s music reaches in all directions at once. At times, it can feel sporadic, though this is the point. The classics are warped often beyond recognition and placed alongside dubby beats to be reappropriated for our contemporary context. On Dignity, the nostalgia that once brought a sense of comfort and ease is now part of Devours’ reaction to the neurotic, postmodern listening experience. A different pop culture reference aptly sums it up: “Here I’m allowed / Everything all of the time.”