Hello and welcome to Magazine Sixty Jay. Can we start with your new single (with Modern Ancient): Heart432. Can you talk us through the ten minutes of the Original Mix and where the inspiration came from for the track, and what its title signifies?
I started tuning my music to 423 a few years ago, there is a lot of debate about 432 tuning, there are plenty of conspiracy theories about it, but 1st hand I can tell you that music at 432 gets really amazing responses on the dancefloor. The idea in this track is to target the Heart Chakra, its key is F or F#. The main meanings or functions associated with the heart chakra are:
Love for oneself and others
Ability to grieve and reach peace
Center of awareness, integration of insights
When the heart chakra is open, you may feel being deeply connected, the harmonious exchange of energy with all that is around you, and the appreciation of beauty. However, when there’s a blockage in the heart chakra, you may experience difficulties in your relating with others, such as excessive jealousy, co-dependency, or being closed down, withdrawn, I have felt myself dealing with all these issues being a lifelong artist and DJ, it is cathartic to make things like this.
The idea behind this is for dancefloor healing of that chakra, more chakras will follow on upcoming projects, Modern Ancient came up with this idea, and after research into it we decided to test it out in the studio and it became this project.
Tell us about your relationship with the label Superfreq. And about the choice of Dance Spirit for remixing?
Mr. C and I have been homeys for a very long time, he had me out to London to play at The End and AKA back in the day even before I started playing fabric, he has always been a supporter of my music and my Dj’ing. He started to include me more in the label parties and on the label in the last 5 years and we have a good relationship. I often pick his brain for ideas and inspirations, it was people like him and Eddie Richards and Tyler Stadius that really were there since I started putting out records and supported my work.
Dance Spirit are close friends of mine, I think of them as my little brothers. It has been so awesome to see them grow and develop into what they are today, their hard work and talent has been well received by the world. We often collab on things and they really loved the original so it only made sense for them to do a remix.
The release comes with three original versions. The Meditation Mix and Spirit Tool expand sounds without beats, does that feel freer from restriction?
I don’t care about restriction, or making things people might not get, that has been the basis of my career, it only seemed logical to do these other versions for separate times and places away from the original dancefloor mix. Mr. C does these meditation and visualisation workshops, so having the version for meditations that is meant for opening the Heart Chakra makes it an even more versatile tool.
Which people have had the most influence on you both from within and from outside of electronic music, any particular authors and artists?
My favorite author is Haruki Murakami, I feel he writes the kind of books that David Lynch or Jim Jarmoush should turn into films. One of my favorite artists right now is actually Chris Mohn from Dance Spirit, his works are amazing and now that he is doing all the art for Superfreq its going to look so next level. My early musical influences in the realm of electronic are Kraftwerk, Basic Channel, Dj’s like Mr. C and Doc Martin, Jeno from SF, Tyler Stadius, Evil Eddie Richards, and Dj Three have all been tastemakers from back in the day whos taste and programming sets really showed me how to do things without compromise.
I love a lot of Dub, I listen to Johnny Cash, All Them Witches, Wu Tang Clan, and Lotsa Heavy Metal as well, there are only 2 types of music-good or bad, fuck genres.
What importance do you place on vocals and songs in Dance Music? Can something be equally expressed as effectively though rhythms and sound, or vice-versa?
It depends on the vocal, I don’t like vocals for the point of trying to make a hit, I like words to mean something, to have depth and complexity, not just some fucking hook over and over.
I feel it’s more of a challenge to create emotional content that evokes a feeling from only an instrumental song, but on the flip it has a more universal appeal as language no longer becomes a barrier- everyone speaks music.
I play in a lot of places where people do not speak English and playing songs in English I find borders on arrogance, it’s bad enough I don’t speak the language when I go somewhere to do a gig.
What is your favourite instrument (or piece of software)? Do you own one?
I love my Moog Little Phatty, I wrote a whole song dedicated to it called Brothers of Moogtown on Superfreq. I love old novation gear- I have the K-Station and the Nova, both were actually gifted to me by friends who felt I would make better use from them, I have some fucking awesome friends!
I am currently babysitting the Elektron Rytm and the Analog 4 for my friend, I have wrote a bunch of stuff off them, they are fucking awesome units. The crux of being a true artist who doesn’t have a brain for business is that I made decisions based off the bubble I live in and based on the true integrity of my art. That doesn’t make me a top 20 DJ and therefore I struggle with buying new gear and vinyl. I’m looking at selling plasma to buy the Elektron units lol.
I write everything on Logic 8 actually, one day I will upgrade or someshit, but I wrote shit on an Atari Falcon into the 2000’s till it caught fire, so I’m always doing shit my own way and utilizing the things I have and making it all work, that’s how all the best Detroit records were made.
You recently called Tech-House, Bro-Tech. Can you expand your thinking about that? And does it make great music more special and hard to find, or average formulaic music more the norm?
Tech-Bro!! When we started making these records that later became known as “Tech House” it was based of the style of Dj’ing, we played stripped down house records and more Detroit sounding techno in a set in such a manner that it was best of both worlds. I took that idea and started making my own records fusing both sounds. I never expected one day Tech-House would sound like it does now, it’s fairly cheesy with those big EDM-esq drops. The parties I have checked out are mostly dudes in Vnecks attending and it’s pretty contrived sounding to me, but I’m also decades into this and I like subtleties and nuances in music.
Don’t get me wrong- I do like repetitive stuff but it has to have these small details and I don’t hear it in Bro-tech, it’s just EDM laced Velveeta for people that think they are into “the Underground” whatever the fuck that is hahaha.
And finally. What plans do you have for 2018 and beyond?
I broke my head and neck last year so I was busted up, in a neckbrace and no touring for a while.
My 1st dates back were in November In Oslo, then some dates Romania in December and Hawaii in January, I think people were waiting to see if I had recovered before they started booking me again, but I’m 110% now.
Things are picking back up, on the other side since I have been around Vancouver more I have been in the studio like a beast, got lotsa remixes, releases on vinyl and digital coming up. I joined forces with my friends here who do these parties called UnderG, so I’m working on throwing parties with these guys, and we are starting a vinyl label out of it. The 1st release are some tracks I did with a remix from Nu Zau.
The UnderG thing is all about stripped down underground music, and Im all about that haha.
We have Herodot April 6th at a dope warehouse venue called Open Studios.
I still play at Gorgomish in Vancouver, it’s our version of something like Panorama Bar or fabric room 3-I have been playing there for over a decade since it opened and it’s still rockin.
The injury in itself sucked ass but it did have a silver lining and all the love and support people gave me when I was all fucked up thru the bandcamp album I did kept us from going homeless and really showed me that there are awesome humans out there I felt really loved and was super grateful that people gave a shit. I started revisiting being more part of the scene here in Vancouver again instead of being completely absent and away all the time, when Vancouver parties are on they are FIRE and as good as any legendary city.