What do you get when you cross a penchant for history and mysticism with a hemp infuser, an Atari 1040 computer and a TR-808 Roland beatbox? You get The Electrobe, the new electronic-music project helmed by Paul Etch-a freaky, funky excursion inspired by cabalistic scripture, traditional Haitian voodoo chants, the King James version of Revelations and Innu interpretations of European nursery rhymes. Born in New York City's West Village to a Basque father and a Nova Scotian mother, the footloose Etch has been actively involved in music, and by extension innovative and alternative culture, since his teens, when he played bass guitar in various bands. Though his wanderlust and creative opportunities would take him across the North American continent, and indeed the world, Montreal, Quebec is his home, for all intents and purposes. After a stretch in Chicago-playing bass with Tom Smith's band, organizing open-mic poetry jams at the Get Me High Lounge-Etch returned to Montreal in the late '80s. There he signed on with a struggling countercultural newsweekly, the Montreal Mirror. More recently, through his record label Oliver Sudden, Etch has become a noted world-music impresario. Using his keen ear and business savvy, he's made international stars out of three artists who were mere subway buskers when his discovered them-Paraguayan harpist Eralio Gill, Costa Rican flamenco guitarist Juan José Carranza and Chinese ehru virtuoso Lei Qiang (the latter now lives in Las Vegas, performing in the billion-dollar Cirque du Soleil show O). Giving a boost to worthy artists was certainly something to be proud of, but Etch never let go of his own creative ambitions. With help from keyboardist Jean-Pierre Labreche, shakuhachi flutist Alcvin Takegawa Ramos and especially drummers/beatbox operators Marc Sauve and Evens Baptiste, Etch initiated The Electrobe, an opportunity to bring his fancies and fascinations vividly to life. What The Electrobe conjures up isn't always beautiful music. Sometimes it's downright abrasive. At other times, it's viciously witty, dangerously funky and eerily otherworldly. A retro-futuristic expedition into shock and awe on a grand historical, even cosmic, scale, The Electrobe charges headfirst into timeless mysteries without ever compromising fierce political defiance and ferocious humour.