Muffled kick drums and filtered snares echo into your auditory field as distant serpent synths weave gently into your awareness. Soon, splashing cymbals and rising sonic tides elevate your ears into an ocean of technical intricacies washed and tumbled by waves of emotionally driven atmospherics. Imagination takes over and you’re launched into the land of Daega Sound. To breath underwater never felt so natural.
Hailing from a forested coastal island in the Strait of Georgia beyond Vancouver, this dynamic pair of Canadian dub producers come together to create an undeniably unique sound. Known for their technically advanced rhythms and dynamic synth work, Daega Sound seamlessly fuses the frequencies that we may commonly refer to as Dubstep, Drum n Bass or Techno. With their strikingly keen ability to navigate the depths through their music, it’s no wonder that these boys literally shared the same womb. If you’ve ever seen these guys perform, one thing is clear… They are brothers.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Daega Sound at Bass Coast in Merrit BC last summer. Unfortunately, shortly after the interview the recordings vanished. Like a long lost treasure which surfaces at the opportune moment, the recording has been recovered, just in time for Bass Coast 6 – Mutiny. #YAR!
Check out the interview below and be sure to tune in to some of the tunes from Daega we’ve included throughout this article. The boys had the opportunity to follow up to share what’s new in the world of Daega Sound since last year. Jump to the end for that, but don’t miss what they had to say about Bass Coast, what’s happening in the world of electronic music, and the bass music scene’s dirty word “Dubstep”.
So tune in, listen up and recognize that no matter how someone may choose to categorize your favorite music, only one phrase fits when describing the music of Ben and Josh Searles. This is Daega Sound.
Check out more from Daega Sound on Facebook and Soundcloud. Also check out their recent releases with Brooklyn bass music label Tuba Records. Lastly, be sure to check back at GANJAOLOGY this coming week for The Lost Tapes Pt. 2 with Michael Red!
See you all at Bass Coast, August 1-4 in Merrit, BC!!
Here’s the interview…
MICK :: Alright, this is Mickey and Nala with Ganjaology and we are here at Bass Coast with Daega Sound. Why don’t you guys just introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about the project?
BEN :: My name is Ben, This is my brother Josh…
JOSH :: Hey
BEN :: And we make bass music, and well…
JOSH :: All kinds of stuff
BEN :: A lot of what we put out is in the 140 dubstep world, although we’ve got a release coming out soon with Loxy and Resa on the Cylon, which is a 170 DnB release.
JOSH :: We come from a pretty diverse background in music. We were trained classically when we were younger. And so as we sort of grew up, we started to thirst for some new sounds and stuff and as we didn’t grow up in the sort of mainstream world of music, we didn’t go pop or mainstream we sort of went underground, deeper and deeper and we never looked back or came out of it.
MICK :: Sweet. So, are you guys Vancouver based?
BEN :: Ya we live just outside of Vancouver, a short ferry ride, about 40 minutes outside of Vancouver. We are some what isolated so we can focus, we’re also close enough to the city that we can stay connected. It’s a perfect kind of balance.
MICK/NALA :: Ya we’re both familiar with that ferry ride into the city, we do it to in Seattle.
JOSH :: Oh no way.
BEN :: Killer…
JOSH :: I love it. It’s the best because you get the best of both worlds. We like to be not distracted… You know and in a place like that it’s like one stop light between you and the grocery store, get like good maximum studio time. In the winter anyways, summer’s ridiculous.
MICK :: Absolutely. Ya so it’s like “underground…” I guess, would you use an other words to describe your music?
BEN :: It’s kind of introspective.
JOSH :: Ya, and it really melodic, soundscape-y.
BEN :: Atmospheric, Soundtrack-y, a lot of people call it deep…
JOSH :: But it’s heavier and headier than “deep”. It’s not slow. It’s pretty syncopated. Ben was a drummer growing up and I played guitar so we kind of had a good thing going with rhythm and melody so there’s always those things are always the mainstays but everything comes from another place. We just do whatever, we’re like conduits.
BEN :: We used to DJ like drum n bass and techno, so you hear a lot of that drum n bass in there.
JOSH :: The neat thing about that sound, about the 140 “dubstep” sound, at least when we got into it, there were little bits of everything. Like there was DnB elements and there were some techno elements in there. Some dub, well lot’s of dub. We both are huge into like reverb, delay and all this. So it was a good sound for us because we were writing all sorts of stuff and we could kind of coalesce these into one place where we could focus it.
MICK :: And you guys are brothers, is that true? I mean blood brothers?
BEN :: Yes. Yes..
JOSH :: Ya we been doing this a long time. Our mom was a choreographer and a dancer and our dad was a composer…
BEN :: Haha, ya been doing this kinda thing for a little while.
MICK :: Ya, I come from a drummer father and my mom’s a dancer.
JOSH :: Oh cool, ya we spent a lot of time backstage thinking…
BEN :: “Oh.. those are some cool lights and buttons.”
MICK :: Nice. So maybe you guys can talk about any new releases, maybe recent releases that you’ve done or you’re working on.
BEN :: Ya we put our first record out on black box, which is probably one of our biggest releases. It’s a UK label, it’s got acts like Headhunter and Kryptic Minds and Jack Sparrow and a lot of guys that we sort of looked up to for a long time, and still do. And in our sets you hear a lot of those guys.
JOSH :: Ya we’ve played a lot of their stuff and a lot of stuff off their label. And we have another upcoming release with the in the fall. We put some stuff with a newer imprint, Tuba.
BEN :: Well, they’ve been around for a little while actually.
JOSH :: This is our fourth release, I think. So we’ve got another one coming up and then as Ben said the Locksee and Rez, it’s a CX Digital… Our first official drum n bass release. So branching a bit. We’ve had plans for an album, sort of sneaky in the background for a while and we thought we were going to be able to pull all that out this year, but…
BEN :: Ya, it’s gotta take it’s own time.
JOSH :: We’re not a quantity type of couple of producers, we’re more like the Tool. Putting one record out every four years sort of thing. You know, put the time and effort in to make it count.
BEN :: When we’re letting the ideas percolate it’s always nice to spend a summer going and checking out new acts and new sounds and getting new inspiration and you take that energy back into the studio. Get in the shed. It all sort of steeps and it comes out in new ideas.
JOSH :: Were gonna be doing… As far as performance, we’ll be keeping up our writing as we have been. We’ve got ideas to launch a new Daega Sound music store, so we’ll be able to do a lot of our own stuff. But also, as far as performance goes we’re gonna stick to the two by four now, so we have a lot more scope and range as far as DJ sets go… With four decks. And then we’ll be doing a lot more live stuff coming up. We’ve got enough material that it makes it worth it.
MICK :: So you guys run two decks each?
BEN :: Ya, two decks and two mixers.
JOSH :: It’s like a brother thing, you know. Everything has to be shared. He’s got two turntables, I want two turntables.
BEN :: Ya it keeps us from getting bored.
JOSH :: Two deck sets are fun, but you know. You can just do so much more.
MICK :: Well cool. This is a good seg-way into we’re here at Basscoast, so why don’t you give us the scoop on Bass Coast. What’s this gathering all about?
BEN :: This is like a big extended family out here.
JOSH :: Pretty much every level of infrastructure here has got people from our crew.
BEN :: We’ve been around since the first one, so you see the evolution go from like 700 or 800 the first year and there’s thousands this year. The production each year, it’s just grown. And it’s sort of getting into its adolescence now. It’s getting to feel more comfortable with itself and the systems. Its a new site here, so they had to go through a lot of learning curves I’m sure to get on top of everything that goes with getting a new sight, but from the front it’s seamless. It’s been an awesome experience.
JOSH :: It’s kind of like an outdoor Mutek in a way, where you have really high level production sound, lights, and talent – but you’re in an outdoor setting in that way.
MICK :: Cool, so any words of wisdom for up and coming musicians out there?
BEN :: The one thing that we’ve always been told and what’s kept us going is perseverence. You just don’t stop.
JOSH :: And to be really honest with what you do. Write the music that moves you, not what you think is gonna… You know, because I think people are receptive to honest music so just let it come naturally and just don’t give up. That’s what we were told.
BEN :: And our older brother Ron is an engineer and he always says… While there’s a lot of music out there right now, more than ever before with the technology that’s available, there’s always room for good music. People will always be ready to hear good stuff, so don’t be afraid.
JOSH :: The other thing is that everything takes its own time.
BEN :: Music is sort of a life long interaction or relationship with the individual that is creating it, or a part of creating it. It’s always been there, it’s always gonna be there. You now, take your time with it.
JOSH :: We like to think of music lasting forever. You know, you think of some of those composers that wrote in the 1500s and it’s still being played today. That’s sustainability. I mean that’s what I classify as timeless.
MICK :: You’re a part of Lighta! is that true?
BEN :: Ya we’re a part of the Lighta! Sound.
JOSH :: Ya, I guess we’ve only been Daega Sound for about 5 years. This is our fifth year now, In 08 so it just kinda got blown there. And that’s when we joined up with the Lighta! guys which is great because they’re a good bunch of guys to roll with. Good inspiration, support.
BEN :: We’ve got some sort of compilation ideas coming along with a whole bunch of us that are making music as well, putting music out. So it kinda makes sense that we do something together like that.
JOSH :: Ya we do events together. It will be nice to see where that goes this year.
MICK :: We recently did an interview with Self Evident where he mentioned you guys and he said that, Daega has been saying that there’s a reimergence of dubstep in it’s truest form. So do you have anything to say on that?
JOSH :: It was Youngsta actually that I remember reading an article on talking about that in Europe because in the UK… Imagine the ripple effect. You drop a stone in the water in the UK and it as it moved out it kinda stopped. But I think theres a whole new generation. I think the young guys that were into the “bro-step” are growing up a bit and searching for stuff thats a little deeper.
BEN :: They’re curious.
JOSH :: They’re curious and there’s bigger numbers now toward that sound. Or it feels that way at least.
BEN :: We’re just at the point where another wave is about to spill over.
JOSH :: It does feel like that. We’re always listening to new music and what’s going on and there was definitely a period where things were kinda quiet.
BEN :: We were talking to Goth Trad earlier and he was saying that there’s a lot of guys doing stuff in the 130 bpm range in the UK now but you see in Holland and Belgium a lot more 140 happening.
JOSH :: It sort of moves around the world like that, that sound.
MICK :: It’s a beautiful culture we got going on.
JOSH :: It’s really fucking cool.
BEN :: It’s a big international family.
MICK :: Cool, well much respect to you guys.
DAEGA SOUND :: Yes, thanks!
GANJAOLOGY :: It’s been a year in the life… What’s changed since last year’s Bass Coast?
DAEGA SOUND :: We’re always refining the sound and how we go about creating and performing it, it’s an ongoing evolution. There’s a bunch of new dubs in the stock pile and tunes coming out including a 12″ up next with NYC’s TUBA imprint. Our Daega Sound Music store will be online soon, excited to see that coming to fruition. Also keep your ears peeled for Daega Sound radio shows in the near future.
Thanks to Vasho Photography, Bass Coast, and Daega Sound for the photos.
The first weekend of this beautiful sun soaked month, the Ganjaology team made our way up to Merritt, BC – the new home of BC’s boutique music festival – Bass Coast. In prior years, the event has been held on native land in Squamish just North of Vancouver. As the event was growing, it became apparent after last year that it was time for a larger, more scaleable venue. With their eyes glistening, and their hearts open, organizers Andrea Graham and Liz Thomson – better known as the Bass Coast Girls – set out to find Bass Coast a new home. When they found themselves nestled in the hills beside the Coldwater River in Merrit BC, they knew that they had struck gold.
It is here in Merrit that all the magic happened. With more than a handful of world class music acts, several various types of workshops, a feast of food, the headiest of art vendors and installations, and the freshest of fashion – Bass Coast was a marketplace of imagination.
Three massive stages housed the music acts, each equipped with enough sound to curl your hair. Maybe being around all this bass is what gives The Librarian those tight bouncy curls which she playfully threw around during her set on the Bassment Stage. The backdrop for the Bassment was an awesome array or hexagonal shapes, which when illuminated created an incredible display of geometric intricacies. Other acts to perform on the stage include Machinedrum, Daega Sound, Evy Jane, Justin Martin, Calamalka, Self Evident, Taal Mala, Goth Trad, Lorne B, Grenier, Luciterra and Chris Murdoch, Dark Sky, Sanctums, Natasha Kmeto, and Jets.
Across the way from the Bassment was the infamous Radio Stage which was home to the morning radio show each day. In the evening, the frequencies intensified, allowing for darker, deeper energies to surface. Home to Mat The Alien, Om Unit, Max Ulis, Neighbour, and DJ Cure to name a few, the Radio Stage held space for some of the most radical of music acts. Others to perform on this pulchritudinous platform include Funk Hunters, Barisone, Little Dinosaur, Kir Mokem, Erica Dee, The Fungineers, Adam Shaikh, Willisist, Desert Dwellers, Westerly, Sweet Anomaly, Tor, Paul Brooks, JPod, Humans, Longwalkshortdock, Nautilus, Jimmy Edgar, and Spilt Milk.
Finally, one of my personal favorite stages, was the Slay Bay. Nestled in the trees by the calm flowing river, Slay Bay provided a respite from the high energy, sun soaked spirit of the other stages. Standout acts included Michael Red and Random Rab, with their monday morning close out sets. Other highlights from this zone include the Lighta! Reggae Jam, Philth kids, Alphabets Heaven, Dan Solo, Wax Romeo, Mama Miche, HxDB, Woodhead, Isis Graham, Tank Gyal and Mandai, JF Killah, and Ryan Wells.
When we weren’t raging near the subs, snuggled in a hammock, cooling off in the water, or simply listening… One might find us at the smaller, alternative stages which hosted an incredible array of music and workshops. The Bigger Brain and Alter Stages housed these more intimate gatherings. While enjoying yoga, meditation and breathing, or delving into the magical world of alchemy and spice – whether transfixed by the science of Mantra, engaged in contact improvisation dance, jumping in on the freestyle cypher, or twirling yourself with Sacred Circus – these spaces held fast for participants to… Well yes, to participate. Big up to Michael Red and Gabriel Soloman of Chambers and Ydna Murd, the 8 limbed DnB drummer for turning my world inside out from deep within the Bigger Brain.
All in all, I must say… Bass Coast was bigger, badder and busier than ever this year. I simply loved it. From the music and art to the workshops and water sports, Bass Coast participants had their hands and hearts full of enlivening experience to create a wonder filled weekend. We look forward to another rendezvous in the forest this time again next year. Until then, we will be buzzing, building and abounding with positivity… basically bursting at the seems with anticipation for the next installment by the Bass Coast Girls. Big thanks to all that had a hand in the creation of this simply stunning event.
Bravo y’all. Much love and appreciation…
PS. Big Thanks to Cody Puckett for all of the spectacular photos seen here.
More from Cody at his website!
Be sure to check back for the Bass Coast Residual Frequencies Interview Series here at Ganjaology… Stay tuned!
More info about the Bass Coast Project here:
Polish artist Marek Bogdansky aka Dread Squad brings us some fire on this summer release with Superfly Studios! Featuring four full bodied remixes of Dread Squad tunes by various artists, this EP is definitely worth checking out. Gotta love that future dub, space ragga sound.
– Artwork by Superfly Design –
More from Dreadsquad here.
First heard this song back at Snowbombing in April, and have been dying to hear songs off their upcoming album. After re-listening to All Night over and over again for the past day or so, I can only say that I am even more excited to see what new material they have in store. My favorite aspect of this song, which has been oddly controversial, is the so called ‘anti-drop’. Although artists like Enei, Mefjus, and Emperor have been dabbling with this form of drop in the Techstep DnB world, I haven’t heard much of it in the melodic stuff that Camo & Krooked are quite well know for. So have a listen, and deeeefinitely keep your eyes peeled for any new C&K stuff!
UK dub heavyweight, Congo Natty aka Rebel MC is gearing up for a massive release next month through Big Dada Records. The album features ten tracks of pure energy from this pioneer of Jungle Music. Incorporating Roots Reggae, DnB, and contemporary bass music – Jungle Revolution is music to spark inspiration, to fuel the fire of revolution, and to engage the masses to create positive change. The label Big Dada, to which Congo Natty was recently signed, is a sort of independent segment of UK based giant, Ninja Tune.
Check out the teaser film along with the music video for the tune “Revolution” below, and be sure to show your support by purchasing directly from Big Dada Records. Also, don’t miss the Machinedrum remix of the tune “UK Allstars”, featured by Fact Magazine. Peep it here.
If you don’t know already UK drum & bass powerhouse dBridge absolutely crushes. We caught this man last year on the infamous Main Stage at Bass Coast. The pressure with which dBridge can suspend an audience is truly exhilarating.
Check this set from the Boiler Room and see for yourself.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THLZqobSruU]
Haven’t posted up one from these guys in a while, but if you haven’t been keeping up to date with them, get on that!! As always Savage Rehab smashes it with a blend of old school sounds and the latest of DnB. Neck Funk has a very upbeat vibe to it, and is perfect for brightening up your day if you’re still experiencing gray weather like we are here in Cleveland. Step Inside on the other hand brings a bouncy sound that is sure to get you moving. Both of these will be out hopefully soon on their Saxxon EP on V Recordings. As always, big up to Savage Rehab!!
This one gives me goosebumps everytime I listen to it. Sub Focus has blessed us with yet another crisply produced banger. I love how the tune has a different feel in each drop with the half time to start and double time to finish. I could talk about the production end of this tune for paragraphs, I think its better to just listen though. Check it!
Big one coming from The Upbeats (AKA Crushington)! Wasn’t sure the path that this track would take when I first heard it building, but I couldn’t have been more satisfied with it as it broke down into an incredibly smooth yet intense vibe. Diffused has been getting a ton of support from the likes of Noisia, Drum & Bass Arena, UKFDnB, and many others so when it gets released next week it will definitely be getting plays by your local Drum & Bass DJ’s left and right. Check out the music video above, and make sure to grab it next week off Beatport!
By no means is this a new tune, but it is probably one of my favorite DnB tracks from the late 90’s. Moving Fusion has been around for quite a while now, and has been releasing some immense tracks on RAM such as one of my personal favorites, Makosa. Turbulence just has that classic Drum & Bass vibe to it, from its crisp snares to its deep and distorted basslines. Hope you guys enjoy this one, and lastly, happy belated thanksgiving!
God I’m behind, I have been finding so many tunes that I had been waiting for have just been released. This one really blindsided me though, and I couldn’t be happier to finally have it. Cyantific has been absolutely killing the DnB scene lately with collaborations with Dimension as well as his solo releases. After playing one of his newer tunes, Detroit, nearly every day pf the past month, I have been dying to get his Liberty EP. With school keeping me busy, I have lost track of when a lot of releases were happening, but sure enough, I checked Beatport and there it was. Each track ties in Cyantific’s unique, old school, and melodic sound, and you can really pick up on the care that went into each track. Grab this one if you’ve got the money, I know I’ll be saving to grab it on vinyl. Enjoy this one and keep your eyes peeled for more releases on Cyantific Music!
God I’m excited for this release. The first time I heard this was in Audio’s set with Optical on the Program Showcase on Drum & Bass Arena, and from the moment it dropped I couldn’t stop listening to it. I haven’t been finding too many dark and energetic tracks lately, it seems that most of the popular DnB releases lately have been more geared to the liquid scene, which of course is noteworthy, but not the same. Since Loadstar’s Bomber was released I have been really trying to build my library of the darker side of DnB, and this tune will definitely be getting plays for years to come. Headroom has this somewhat bouncy sound to it, which really seems to be pulling in some funk influences, while adding the very noteworthy, distorted, and techy basslines. So give this tune a listen, and if you’ve got any details on the release, feel free to leave a comment.
Golly I really need to start posting more, got way too many tunes to share with you folks. Anyways, it’s likely that many of you have heard this tune, since it went straight to the top of the charts when it was release a couple weeks ago. Sub Zero’s absolutely immense remix of Danny Byrd’s latest, Blaze The Fire, has been getting plays by almost all of the biggest names in the DnB scene. Crissy Criss has dropped it several times on his show, and of course all the other DJ’s out there haven’t stopped playing it either. This tune really reminds me of the pounding basslines of some of Sub Zero’s other tracks like, one of my personal favorites, Your Flex, but it also brings the upbeat vocals of General Levy. Gotta get back to the homework grind, but make sure you grab this one ASAP. Big up big up big up Sub Zero.
If I could have one tune released early right now it would for sure be this one. DnB heavyweights, The Prototypes, always put out such huge tunes, and this is a perfect example of their talent. Bad Signal starts up with a very melodic intro but quickly moves into a super energetic build. It retains it’s melodic qualities throughout the song, but delivers such heavy bass lines that are sure to get people moving. If you go to any DnB shows in the next little while, I’m sure you’ll hear this one get dropped, and on a side note if you get the chance to see The Prototypes live, do not pass up that chance. Big up to the UK based production/dj duo, can’t wait to hear what else they have in store for the rest of 2012.
Cleveland based, LA spaced producer, Zere brings us some true vibes to set off your morning right. If you’re into it, be sure to give your support via Soundcloud and big up this up and coming sound boy!
Huge things comin’ from this Bolivian based Drum & Bass/Jungle producer! I’ve gone through a bunch of his mixes up on his soundcloud and I seriously can’t get enough of em’. Each mix has such a good flow to it, and it really demonstrates the versatility of Te Wa as a DJ. He always brings different sounds into the mix that are always really unique and off the beaten path of popular Drum & Bass. His song selection might not always be the most popular stuff, and it won’t come as a surprise if you don’t know every song, but each tune is perfectly selected and molded into the mixes flawlessly. Check a couple of his mixes below and hit up his soundcloud right here!
Seeeeriously can’t wait to grab this one from our friends Savage Rehab! A few of the tunes off the album have been around for a little while now such as The Drums which I wrote up a little bit ago, so it’ll be nice to finally have it! This EP really covers each area of dnb, from the smoother liquid sounds of The Drums, to the more old school feel of Desire. This EP really is worth each penny due to the wide variety of sounds that Savage Rehab brings to the table. So happy to get my hands on more of their tunes, and you can preview each tune as well as pre-order the EP right here off the D&B Arena site! Big up to Savage Rehab, pre-order now or grab it on June 11th!!
Oh my god, I really don’t even know what to say. This album is seriously flawless. Optiv & BTK have been killing the dnb scene for years now and they are not slowing down one bit. Every single song off the new album, Dirty Tricks, is flat out amazing. No tune is repetitive and each one brings it’s own flavor into the mix. I could seriously spend days explaining each aspect of the album, so I’ll just tell you that of all the releases this year, this is the one to buy. Check a minimix of the album below and make sure to grab em on Beatport now!
Huuuuuge one comin from Coda, bout to be featured alongside Savage Rehab on the Hydra EP which is out tomorrow on Audio Danger!! Shodan is packed with driving basslines, eerie synths, and some very dark vocal samples. Very dark vibes comin from this one, can’t wait to grab it! Hit up Coda’s soundcloud for more tunes of his!