Text Chunk is a young Canadian powerhouse producer out of Edmonton, Alberta whose tracks speak for themselves. This phrase is uttered so much it's become a cliche, but in Text Chunk's case, it's quite literal. There aren't fawning profiles, or a busy schedule of gigs. Rather, a burgeoning discography of cuts that effortlessly combine footwork, jungle, IDM, vaporwave and many other bleeding-edge electronic variants. Despite DIY, internet-aided distribution, these tracks have been championed by the likes of Hudson Mohawke, Modeselektor to Skee Mask and caned in clubs and festivals worldwide. Text Chunk, meanwhile, quietly innovates from a Canadian home base far from the madding crowd.
Smith, like most of us, is a child of the internet. His parents were avid Soulseek and Limewire users who introduced him to AFX, Warp's Artificial Intelligence compilation & other essential IDM releases at a startlingly young age. With this background, it's no surprise that as a teen, Smith took to using various softwares to try his hand at production. In a seminal moment that would determine his next decade of creative output, he discovered demos from Sven K on SoundCloud and reached out; It was at this point they quickly realized they were neighbors, rare appreciators of leftfield music both based in Edmonton. They'd launch a label, Kudatah, with another friend, Carter Booth, that would serve as an outlet for their creativity while establishing important inroads with a global network of influential genre-agnostic producers.
Smith had a hand in launching the Kudatah label before he even turned 18. The label's first compilation displays a prescient taste, gathering key tracks from underground electronica innovators２８１４, outre Japanese footwork producer foodman and the Canadian braindance enthusiast Ex-Terrestrial, to name just a few. Amidst this heady milieu, Smith's own production took on a boundless quality, first as Trends, then under his current alias, Text Chunk.
His first album, 2018's No Fun, kicks off with "Liquid," a track which combines the lonely corporate lobby ambience of vaporwave with intricate, Rephlex-indebted drum programming. The closing cut, "Counterintuitive," fuses widescreen Detroit-style pads with a gabber rhythm section. On releases such as the We See Them As We Are EP, as well as collaboration cuts with the likes of Hood Joplin & Sven K, Smith demonstrates an equal facility breakneck tempos of juke, jungle and footwork and bittersweet ambient textures. It's this push-and-pull—between high-tempo, intricate drum programming and sweeping elegance—that distinguishes the Text Chunk discography. The third Kudatah comp, released in 2020, included an ambient collaboration between Sven K, Skee Mask & Text Chunk, made on a trip to Munich that saw the Kudatah co-founders holing up for two weeks recording at the Ilian Tape mainstay's studio. Smith would then explore beatless soundscapes on You Say Time Is A Waste, a mini-LP collaboration with UK producer Sangam that dropped in 2022.
These ambient cuts were the calm before the storm, setting the stage for Text Chunk's stunningndebut for Trickfinger and Aura T-09's Evar Records. The five, club-ready cuts on the New Reality EP were culled from dozens made between 2017 and 2020, and represent a clear progression in Smith's novel efforts to combine footwork, jungle and retrofuturistic IDM ambience. The essential Text Chunk release to date, it brings Smith closer to his simple, yet ambitious, goals.
"I think the main goal is to tap into a little bit of everything," he says. "All sorts of genres andinfluences, from gabber to ambient to IDM and club music. I want to craft these influences into a cohesive package and expand on what I know."