Techno has a reputation for coldness and sharp edges, even brutality. But it doesn't have to be that way, and Montreal's Pheek (Jean-Patrice Rémillard to his mother) is living proof. He delivers a warm, inviting strain of techno that defies the stereotypes without abandoning the foundations. While still embracing the style's abstract electronics and mechanized rhythms, Pheek manages to inject a playfulness and humanity into even the most austere tracks. That may be the result of his largely improvisational approach, or perhaps he's just possessed of an unusual ability to coax soul from machines. Whatever the source of his power, he's put it to good use on a huge number of releases, both for his own label, Archipel, and for labels such as Minus and Tic Tac Toe — not to mention at clubs and festivals around the world. Hear him this Saturday, April 10, at Theory + Practice (738 Santa Fe).