Six Picks: Tess Roby

Written by

Leticia Trandafir
June 10th, 2018

Toronto native Tess Roby is an artist to keep both an eye and an ear out for. Based in Montreal, she’s been involved in the local scene as a musician, DJ and photographer for over three years. Tess has also been hosting a radio show, ‘Distant Rhythms’ on N10.AS radio, sharing her unique selection of dusty pop, melancholic electronic jams and recent discoveries.

Composing and performing under her own name, she is accompanied by her brother, Eliot Roby on guitar. Her music rides the line between classic 80s new-wave and lyric-driven synth pop, conveying both the intimacy of a bedroom studio and an urgency reminiscent of Kate Bush.

Her debut LP Beacon released on the label Italians Do It Better last April, and her recent tour with Carla Dal Forno—playing notably at Moogfest—are sure signs that this year marks an active turn for her. As part of her busy summer tour schedule, Tess Roby will be making a stop at Never Apart, joining us the center’s 3rd year anniversary celebration with a DJ set.

She recently hung out in the NVA Music Room and carefully picked six tracks that caught her ear form our record collection, here they are.

Moby — Move (Volume Remix)

Label: Volume
Origin: UK
Released: 1993

Absolutely loved this one off the ‘Trance Europe Express’ compilation LP from ’93. Such a stark contrast from the original. ‘You make me feel so good’ over and over just sounds so sexy, and perfect for those early hours of the morning after a long night of dancing.

Salt Tank — Jeanie

Label: Hooj Choons ‎
Origin: UK
Released: 1999


Hooj Choons is a label I’ve come to trust (for the most part) – I have a few of their records and each one holds something special. This a really nice track; beautiful warm synth tones and gorgeous cascading riffs. Loved the cover art of this one as well.

Orbital - Semi-Detached

Label: Internal
Origin: UK
Released: 1994

Orbital is a very seminal group for me. They have a real way of creating different environments within their songs–– this one has the feeling of driving through an extended underground tunnel. This was another one from the Trance Europe express comp which obviously I couldn’t get enough of.

Katana — Erotmania

Label: Jinx
Origin: Netherlands
Released: 1993

Tracks like this will get me on the dance floor immediately. Perked up as soon as I heard the opening synth loop, that truly carries the whole track. Would love to hear this one loud as fuck at an outdoor rave.

Satellite Serenade (The Orb’s Transasianexpress Mix) — Suzuki K1

Label: AO Recordings
Origin: UK
Released: 1994

There’s some real ethereal new-age stuff going on in this track for the first five minutes, but as soon as the synth beat kicked in I was hooked. It really feels like a classic.

Carl A. Finlow — Reconcile

Label: Device
Origin: UK
Released: 2002

This one helped me out of the deep trance hole I had dug for myself. Love the layers that build on top of one other here, a surprising treat.

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