Frivolous aka Daniel Gardner (Karloff, Background, Epsilonlab) is a Canadian stoking the fires of the (still) burgeoning Montreal electronic scene. Hailing from the suburbs of Vancouver originally, the young producer now lives in Montreal; the formative suburban years still informing his recent productions (Somewhere in the Suburbs
, Karloff, 2005).
Gardner had years of classical piano training as a child, experimented with rock/punk bands at a tender age, and had a mediocre academic record until finding success in a progressive course at his school which pitched him onto honour roles: electronic music composition. In 1995 he set up his own basement studio and started exploring production, and by ‘96 the sixteen year old had his first residency at a downtown Vancouver club. At eighteen, his demo was picked up by Andy Vaz and his debut EP, Crankkongestion, was released on Background. Since 2002 he has released a series of 12” EPs and a full length on Background and Karloff (Sub-Static), has appeared at the Mutek festival, and has toured Europe.
Gardner’s work represents a unique take on tech-house, with its playful irreverent edges, Minimal house lines and a Canadian cut up aesthetic, pranky, quirky, and off-kilter. Samples from styles as disparate as easy listening and country are bound together in dirty rhythms creating strong distortions. Vintage vocal samples and found sounds are layered, looped, sliced and spliced, stretched and shrunk over deep beats.
An eccentric live performer, his shows are rumoured to revolve around kitchen implements; luring listeners into bubbles of playful electronic experimentation. His Mutek performance in 2004 featured the artist in a chef’s uniform dishing out sounds via a sandwich maker. European audiences have also had their share of Frivolous props and pranks.
As well as his Frivolous life, Gardner is also an artist and web developer.