Über Chilly Gonzales
Jason Charles Beck is so multitalented that he makes other polymaths look like simple equations. Best known as Gonzales, his musical career has included arty alt-pop, conceptual hip-hop (in the guise of Chilly Gonzales, Jewish supervillain) and a critically acclaimed album of solo piano compositions. In fact, he holds a Guinness record for the world's longest continuous solo piano performance, knocking out over 27 hours of pop standards and improvisations. Throughout his travels, relocating first to Berlin and then Paris, the Toronto native has collaborated widely, including Jamie Lidell, Jane Birkin and fellow Canadians Peaches, Mocky and Feist, whose album The Reminder he cowrote and coproduced. And when he isn't doing any of that, Gonzales also happens to be a skilled chess player. In 2010, he wrote and directed Ivory Tower, a feature film starring himself as a tortured, competitive pawn-pusher who invents a movement he calls "jazz chess." Naturally, he recorded the soundtrack as well; the eponymous album was produced by Berlin techno producer Boys Noize, but from its quirks to its chords, it's Gonzales through and through.