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.
Seattle based mad sound scientists Splatinum rocked the Crocodile Friday night as one part of the sold-out Bassdrop Music event which also included performances by Wildlight and Polish Ambassador. Decked out in their undeniably awesome USA jumpers, this energetic pair of intergalactic musical messengers took the stage by storm, playing an all original set featuring tunes from their upcoming album Funkonology.
Before the show, we had the chance to meet with the boys in the green room to chat a bit about the project, their new release and what’s happening in this heady little bass circuit which we call home. Adam and Andrew, which together make Splatinum, were humble yet hilarious… and artfully playful in their responses.
Check out the interview below, and be sure to cop the new album when it drops in December!
Get your copy of Funkonology here!
Also, be sure to stop by Monkey Loft in Sodo 12.20.13 for the album release party!
Big thanks to Bassdrop Music for putting together the event and getting us connected to do the interview. The evening was purely a success.
Now read on to hear for yourself what Splatinum has to say…
GANJAOLOGY: This is Ganjaology and we’re here with Splatinum at the Crocodile in Seattle where they’ll be opening up for The Polish Ambassador. So why don’t you guys introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about Splatinum.
ADAM: I’m Adam. I’m one half of Splatinum, along with the man sitting right next to me…
ANDREW: And I’m Andrew. I’m the “Splat” in Andrew’s enum. So we started making music officially as Splatinum four years ago and it’s been an awesome ride since then. We both share a lot of the same musical tastes and both came up in the scene in the South East, and then reconnected again here in Seattle. We realized that we were both making the same kind of music and eventually decided to blend it together into one project.
ADAM: Ya it was really about breaks and breakbeat when I first got into it, Adam was already putting out records and I was buying his records. We were both more into this Florida / UK Breaks kind of sound, which evolved into stages of garage and drum n bass for me for a while. It sort of came full circle for me when I came out west to Seattle, I discovered Laptop battle and I got all into this kind of computer music. It was all about making music on a laptop and I thought that was really cool, to make music that sounded like electronic music… It sounded like it was made on a laptop. I felt like this is new, this is something different. This is pioneering technology!
ANDREW: Ya for sure and I think that kinda pushed us into only wanting to do live performances of our own stuff. We both competed in laptop battles which is this great thing which got started in Seattle. It is similar to like a DJ DMC battle, if you’ve ever seen one of those guys, except it’s strictly for laptop musicians who do these three minute rounds. You come out and basically bring out your bangers…
ADAM: Single elimination, three minute rounds, and you get one controller. It’s pretty fun.
ANDREW: Ya they’re great. So doing those, and me having the production background of releasing stuff… I used to do an all hardware Live PA. I used to do that back in the South East for years. And then I got into DJing because I was like, oh I just need like 30 pounds of records instead of a truck full of gear. Now we fit everything in a laptop and like three controllers… and well, it’s nice.
GANJAOLOGY: You touched on some influences, but how would you describe your sound now?
ANDREW: We’ve gotten a little groovier in the recent past for this new album. And a little funkier than we have in the past. I think we started out a little more hard edge and then…
ADAM: You know, it’s funny because the grooves that we’re making now have more space. Sometimes they’re more easy going, but I think in our early days we were just trying to write music that sort of progressed through this story line, and we sort of never let up.
ANDREW: Super dramatic…
ADAM: But now we just use more musical techniques to drive the interest of the song and the direction of the song like verses and choruses and bridges. And chord changes and stuff like that. And I think we’re just more aware of what’s happening with the music. And so, I think that we’ve developed more patience with the groove, which is interesting. I guess, we’re doing more funk influenced stuff too.
ANDREW: This album is one that we’ve put together fully as an album from the beginning. We really tried to write songs for the album, whereas our first album was a collection of all the stuff we had written up until that time. Which was cool, but it was pretty varied. But this one we set out to consciously approach it as an entire album and to have songs that really were interrelated to one another.
ADAM: I think the approach to song writing is just a little different. Before whenever we’d make a tune it was as if we had this linear approach to answer the last thing that was just created. But what was cool about collaborating is that in passing it back and forth we could keep this passion and fire going just by answering each other with whatever happened in the tune. But now I think we have this kind of Gestalt view or overview perspective. We have more of a vision when we approach something so it unfolds easier in that regard. Maybe we just know more of the options. It’s not as linear.
ANDREW: All of our stuff, you can kinda follow from the beginning. It’s kind of an on going musical conversation between me and Adam. With a lot of jokes.
ADAM: Yes, a lot of jokes.
GANJAOLOGY: Awesome. So tell me, this upcoming album… It’s called Funkonlology?
ANDREW: Yes, so when we started Funkonology, we realized pretty early on that it’s more than just an album. And that it was highly researched and based on the science of sound, and really is a self improvement tool. So for anyone that wants to come listen to it, it’s full of healing bass waves. It’s really good stuff.
GANJAOLOGY: So you guys seem to be focused on the science behind the music, which now in the digital age is obviously very important. You have to really know what you’re doing with the tools that you’re given. I wonder specifically, are you using any targeted frequencies? You mention healing.
ANDREW: Ya so there’s all sorts of different sacred frequencies that you can work in. For us its’ really an intuitive process. Half science, half intuition. We find what works. I think most of the science comes in with the usage of the tools and mechanisms in the production process.
ADAM: Where it becomes scientific is when you’re exploring the different axes of sound and the limitations and the various dimensions of the software that you’re using.
ANDREW: And psycho acoustics. There’s a difference between the science of the physics going on versus what the human ear can interpret, and the further the human brain… And then deeper than that, the soul.
ADAM: There’s a balance between the visceral component of heavy bass and the psychological component of the harmonics and how they setup the drops or how they build tension and release and all of that. It’s scientific but it’s also emotional.
ANDREW: It’s like you can go out and listen to really hard, angry music all night, and that’s what you’re going to walk away with. For us, we’ve really always wanted to make music that allowed people to have some sort of release, some sort of transformative experience, hopefully a positive one every time.
ADAM: When we sit down to make a tune, we’re just trying to bring to life a fantasy about a dance floor, to inspire movement and to imagine what the peoples’ reactions will be.
GANJAOLOGY: Yes, that’s super cool. I think there’s major benefit in just movement. Let alone what’s actually being ingested, but the response in movement. Let’s talk a little bit about the scene. Is it EDM, dubstep, electronica… How do you guys fit in?
ANDREW: We started out when it was still super underground. Even the large parties that I went to when I was just a wee tike… It might be a 5,000 person party but it will still feel super underground. It would be in some weird converted warehouse space. You couldn’t really play in any clubs. And it’s been awesome seeing this music, which I love, which no one understood for years, to see it now… Finally the stuff that I like is getting some love and excitement around it.
ADAM: Ya, I grew up in North Carolina. It was tough. You had to really dig deep to discover electronic music. I DJ’d empty rooms for years. I think it was partially because it was harder to access. To hear the fresh new music that was just disappearing into someone’s new crate, you had to go to the store and listen to actual records.
ANDREW: You had to call your friend at the record shop and let him know, “Anything you get new in the shop this week, hold it for me. Make sure you don’t sell it.” Everyone would do like 500 white labels, like test pressings of something and then each record store might get like one or two copies of each. So you had to have a good relationship with the guy at the record store so you could get the white label, so that you could get the freshest stuff. Whereas now, it went from there being gatekeepers to it being this internet based thing where it’s less about getting the advance release from an established artist as it is about finding that guy that has two tunes on Soundcloud, and they’re amazing. Then it’s about getting up with him like “Hey, why don’t you send that music to me.” So I think that’s what the DJs are doing now. That’s how they’re crate digging as opposed to going to the stores looking for vinyl.
ADAM: Nowadays, it’s so much easier for someone to decide to learn about electronic music and to go discover it.
ANDREW: It’s perfectly suited for this age. It’s technology based music being spread through fast paced technological channels.
ADAM: We were discussing this earlier. This build in EDM has been going on for years. It’s been a slow rise, but I don’t think this is some flash in the pan freak occurrence. People love to dance!
All photos seen here were taken by Travis Tigner. Thanks!
If you’re not already a part of the Vancouver bass music scene, you likely aren’t yet privy to the distinct sounds of Self Evident. This BC native is known for his high grade, genre flexing DJ sets and masterful production. Sticking mostly to the heady, subterranean type vibes, Self Evident’s sets move through dubstep, future bass, raw dub, trap, footwork, jungle, juke and other ill defined contemporary frequencies. The bottom line is that the man has a knack for creating sonic landscapes which push the musical envelope and create opportunity for vibrating gyrations of the pelvic kind.
I recently had the chance to catch up with Self Evident when he was performing in Seattle. While kicking back and enjoying some classy beverages, we chatted about everything from birds to bees to bass… Check out the interview below.
Also, I’ve included some essential sounds by Self Evident. Feel free to toggle to your hearts desire. Just today, he is releasing his 8 track album, Rubbaman with Really Good Recordings. Be sure to cop that on Beatport!
In just a few short days, Self Evident will be headed up to Merrit for the weekend to participate in BC’s most bossed up bass music festival… Bass Coast. He will be performing among other superb acts including the whole team from Lighta! Sound, the infamous Librarian, Michael Red, Goth Trad, Machinedrum, HxDB, Om Unit, Dan Solo, Daega Sound, DJ Cure, Neightbour, Mat The Alien, Random Rab, The Fungineers, Alphabets Heaven, Calamalka, and many more. If you’re going, don’t miss Self Evident’s solo set along with the Lighta! Reggae Jam…
Here’s the interview. Big up and many thanks to Ben for his kindness in sharing with us!
GANJAOLOGY: Alright… We are here in Seattle. This is Mickey Mars with Ganjaology. I’m here with Self Evident. He’s from Vancouver BC. So do you want to just tell us a little bit about yourself?
SELF EVIDENT: Self Evident. Vancouver BC. Representing Lighta Sound!.
GANJAOLOGY: Nice. Very nice. Welcome. So ya, this is your first night playing in Seattle?
SELF EVIDENT: Ya
GANJAOLOGY: Nice. Well we are looking forward to checking it out. I hope you are enjoying your time in Seattle so far.
SELF EVIDENT: It’s beautiful here.
GANJAOLOGY: Great! Let’s start with the basics. How did you originally get into music?
SELF EVIDENT: Definitely having older siblings helps, like my brother’s four years older than me, and he got into electronic music pretty early. He introduced me to a lot of seriously old school dance music which gave me sort of that leg up that a lot of those british guys have, as far as knowing about electronic music when they were kids. And then… How did I get into shit?
GANJAOLOGY: Did you play any instruments in school?
SELF EVIDENT: I did, I was a musician. I was in a few bands, like playing guitar and stuff. And I guess Max had DJ’d for a long time, I’ve been producing for a long time. And then we sort of traded off those skills a little bit, so that helped. And then, a huge influence was when my brother did a Tuesday weekly called Grime Sessions out of the back room in Shine Night Club in Vancouver, and that still has such a huge impression on me. I used to go to every Tuesday and get really drunk and dance super hard to grime music, and I still… that’s probably the biggest influence on me besides like, dancehall is pretty big for me. But grime does something deep inside of me that I can’t explain, like more than any other style.
GANJAOLOGY: Nice, that’s funny. Well my next question was what is your biggest inspiration, haha…
SELF EVIDENT: Well I still collect grime on vinyl. It’s like one of my hobbies. I have a pretty serious vinyl grime collection, and also UKG and two step. Still collect that on vinyl.
GANJAOLOGY: Any specific artists?
SELF EVIDENT: Ahhhh… Nope.
GANJAOLOGY: Nice. Perfect. Haha. That’s awesome man, well we’re looking forward to seeing what you play tonight.
SELF EVIDENT: I guess hip-hop is a huge influence on me too. Gangster stuff. I remember, I think, that my brother bought this NWA tape, “Hundred Miles and Runnin'” And back then you actually had to be of a certain age to buy a thing that was explicit material. I remember him buying that. I couldn’t have bought it at the time. And listening to it. That was a big influence for sure. Lot’s of hip hop. Big influence.
GANJAOLOGY: My mom made me return the Cash Money Millionaires, Juvenile album.
SELF EVIDENT: Oh my god, hahaha. Hilarious.
GANJAOLOGY: Right!? Anyway, I’ve seen you perform a couple times. Always in Canada. I gotta say Canada is unbelievable. The bass scene up there is pretty awesome. Vancouver primarily, but Canada in general. So what can you say about that?
SELF EVIDENT: Ya, I feel really blessed with what’s going on in Vancouver right now. We’ll even get headliners in from London who are like… The scene is even more into the music than in England. You know what I mean, like really dedicated fans. And not only that but fans that know their shit. Like I learn shit from my fans. “You need to check out this” or “you need to check out that” They’re on to it. And their really… Maybe a lot of conditioning from the early Dub Forms parties, but people are open to hear something that they never heard before. They’re almost expecting that from me and from other DJs, you know. They’re ready to give me the fucking, “What the fuck is that shit stuff”
GANJAOLOGY: Ya that’s awesome! So ya, we spoke a little bit about your brother, but I have to ask. Obviously you guys are connected. I’ve seen you at the same events, doing the same shows, stuff like that. You came out with the Eastsiders EP last year, which was awesome! That one track has been echoing in my head all summer.
SELF EVIDENT: “Numba One Stunna?”
SELF EVIDENT: Oh Nice
GANJAOLOGY: “Move ya, Move, Move…” Like aaahhhh. So do you guys have any new releases that you’ve been working on together?
SELF EVIDENT: Working on lots of stuff with my bro. He’s very meticulous about what he puts out so don’t know when that stuff will surface. Really stoked for my collabos with Subcorr. Double Intention is our R&B one, and Blockout is the grime one that we’re working on. Those are going along really well.
GANJAOLOGY: Nice. Are those going to be EPs or full length?
SELF EVIDENT: We have a whole album produced with the R&B one. We’re just working with a vocalist right now to write some songs. And then the Blockout one, we have about five or six tunes just about done. Just about to start chopping them to labels. Grime with a little bit of dubstep with a future kind of influence.
GANJAOLOGY: Nice that’s awesome. Ya I think one of the things that has majorly impressed me personally is your ability to transition between different genres, and really to just bring a certain level of play. It’s like your sound, but yet you’re moving through a lot of different stuff. I wanted to ask specifically about the Wepa! album. I heard that and it’s just way different, and super cool. So would you tell us a little bit about that one.
SELF EVIDENT: Ya, I met this guy Will Eede from Argentina, and my buddy Dustin (Gameboy) spent a little time in Mexico. And they kinda had a history with Cumbia music and they introduced me to Cumbia, and it was really intersting. Anytime I hear something that’s like so out of the pallet that I know, it’s always like wow. There’s something I can take from that. Whenever I hear something super fresh, I instantly have to go and make something with that influence right away. Anyway, through working with them got super influenced by a lot of the Latin artists. Chancha Via Circuito, Super Guachin, Black Mandingo. But right now kinda working on a little bit of a druggy, trippy sort of indiginious music influenced thing with Will Eede. And then, with Gameboy, we’re hopefully gonna be doing a project with Lido Pimienta who’s out of Toronto. Really, really talented singer who’s originally out of Columbia. So that’s on the horizon for that.
GANJAOLOGY: Cool, Nice.
SELF EVIDENT: And if possible, I’d like to mention my co-lab with Yan Zombie that we’re working on right now. It’s like some mad Dr. Dre Chronic shit meets future bass. Really, really excited for that. That man is a king on the keyboards. Which kinda gives me that thing which I don’t have quite yet, which is that live keyboard playing.
GANJAOLOGY: Great. So I’ve seen you a couple festivals as well as clubs. Do you have a specific favorite place to play or general vibe that you like?
SELF EVIDENT: Ya, my brother’s night’s at Open Studios are pretty legendary. Just such a good vibe there. He always puts together a great lineup. Michael Red of course used to put on the Dub Forms parties there in the really early dubstep days, bringing all the early dubstep innovators before people were on to that shit. So that space is amazing. Obviously I have my monthly at the Astoria which is a little more grubby gangsta style.
GANJAOLOGY: What’s the name of that night?
SELF EVIDENT: That’s a good question. I’ve been doing it for over a year now and I still don’t have a name for my monthly. Haha, I actually thought about one while laying in bed last night… And I forgot it. I though it was the one though. It will come back to me. Thinking of a name for something is hard!
GANJAOLOGY: Any big plans for the summer, plans for the year? Anything you are particularly excited about?
SELF EVIDENT: Well Bass Coast Festival of course. Probably… As far as like, for real heads, future heads… I don’t see another lineup in all of North America which has that much quality at the top of it. You know what I mean? Like, not just… I don’t want to name names, but not just shit that the masses are into or know about. You know, like stuff that the real heads wanna see super bad. It’s just a massive lineup, in that sense. Andrea, her taste in music… To have someone picking all the music like that, it’s awesome.
GANJAOLOGY: Yes. Very excited. We’ll be there for sure.
SELF EVIDENT: It’s weird. It’s the only festival I’m playing this year though. I go five last year so…
GANJAOLOGY: You’re pushing the production then, huh?
SELF EVIDENT: Working on it, ya. Oh for sure. Working on a whole album right now. It’s kinda grime, dubstep, kinda thing. It’s weird, there’s a wickid resurgence in dubstep right now. Proper dubstep is coming back. People like Kahn obviously. He’s a big part of why this is coming about. A lot of people are like, “Oh shit. I wanna hear this again” Daega has been saying it to me for a couple months, or even longer than that. I just played in New York City for a guy that does a monthly called Reconstruct, They have a serious following for proper dubstep in NYC right now. Their shows are selling out and they’re bringing all those big names again, and they’re doing it proper.
GANJAOLOGY: Anything you care to share that you haven’t said already?
SELF EVIDENT: August 23rd I’m doing a show at the Astoria with Monolithium from Victoria, and Bevvy Swift from Montreal, and Crusha who just got a release on Mad Decent! And Kimmy K, it will be one of her first sets. She’ll be opening up. Should be good. I think that’s it. And shout out to HxDB, everyone in Lighta! of course, Librarian… Who else should I shout out? Oh my god, they’ll hate me. Ok that’s about it.
GANJAOLOGY: Awesome. Thanks!
When it comes to music that resonates your soul as deeply as it rattles your speakers, the frequencies radiating from Vancouver native Bevvy Swift are truly turned up and tuned in. Since his start as a DJ and producer in 2004, Bevvy has focused primarily on creating hip hop influenced bass music. Incorporating sounds from the future into rhythms of the past, Bevvy’s compositions are as deep rooted as they are high tech.
His work with DJ partner Shaun Galaugher and their duo Glitchy & Scratchy has been a platform for which Mr. Swift has been able to turn up the dial on his musical output. Together, through a combination of in depth studio work and many club and festival dates across Canada, the pair has an impressive resume of both performance and production. We had the distinct pleasure of catching these two together for the first time at a NYE after-after-house-party on New Years Day in Vancouver in 2011.
Though much of his creations may be dance focused, siding on the glitchy trip hop – Bevvy Swift is by no means a man of shallow ears. His mix series Feelings, which we are featuring here, can attest to his deep knowledge of the power of sensitivity, emotion and love when incorporated into music. The three part series features songs which paint emotional landscapes for the listener. With an intimate connection to each tune, Bevvy has moved from DJ to story teller with this series. Let these sounds sink in as they wash over you, and pay attention to what you feel. Are you too, moved by this music?
We had a chance to speak with Bevvy about the Feelings mix series, giving him the opportunity to provide his own account of the project. We also touched on his recent endeavors, upcoming projects and plans for 2013. Let’s here what he had to say!
GANJAOLOGY : What’s up. Let’s start with what’s your name, where you from? Any musical affiliations to note, labels, partnerships, etc.
BEVVY : Bevan Marco Ruebsaat Bartlett, born march 3rd, 1986, Grace Hospital, Vancouver BC. I’ve been going by Bevvy Swift since I started DJing in 2004, while Glitchy & Scratchy came about a few years later. I’ve released music with San Francisco’s Muti Music; Vancouver-based label East Van Digital; and GlitchHopForum.com’s sister label, Woofercookers.
GANJAOLOGY : How long have you been involved in music? Tell us a bit about your roots.
BEVVY : My parents were traveling folk singer/teachers before they settled down to have kids – so needless to say music has been a huge part of my life since day one. I started collecting records at age 5 (the beatles mostly), and started playing guitar at 13. Around the same time I fell in love with hip hop, and was lucky enough to be in a high school that was just starting a digital music composition program. I wanted to make beats for lyrics, but most of the rappers in my school either sucked or wanted some mainstream ass beats or both, so production at that phase was not taken too seriously. I was experimenting with sounds and having a great time doing it. Once I got out of high school I got my first job, and turntables were the first thing I bought. I spent the next couple of years gigging around vancouver’s rave scene mostly, playing breakbeats, hip-hop, and drum n bass. During that time I met and befriended DJ Global (aka El Mongoose, aka the Greenskeeper, aka the other half of Glitchy & Scratchy) and he lit a little fire under my ass to get writing beats again. Our idea was to take the elements we liked from the rave stuff (big bass, punchy drums, blippy, drippy synths) and write hip-hop beats for the future. Once we realized that someone, somewhere might actually want to hear what we were doing, it was game on!
GANJAOLOGY : Your bio says, “Bevvy draws from the electronic sounds of the past to make the hip hop of the future.” Tell us about some of these influences.
BEVVY : Videogames and sci-fi mostly. I grew up without TV, and thus found myself very susceptible to its influence when exposed. I was deeply intrigued by people in the past speculating about what the future was going to be like. Games like Metroid, Contra, Chrono Trigger; movies like Dune, Star Wars, Total Recall… It was like this beautiful marriage of nostalgia and possibility, and i think those are two things that influence my music more than most.
GANJAOLOGY : Tell us about your involvement in the BC Bass scene. What makes the culture so rich?
BEVVY : As soon as I started going to raves around age 16, I knew I wanted to get my hands dirty. I used to help promoter friends flyer, that kind of thing; started DJing very soon after that. I didn’t put on any shows of my own until 2007, when Global and I teamed up with fellow glitch hop producers J.Me.J and Application to form the Integrated Grime Unit, whose purpose was to make sure everyone in Vancouver knew about this awesome new style of music… haha, and then the world! At that time, the old guards of broken beat – DnB & breakbeats – were fast losing peoples interest, and dubstep was just catching hold of vancouver’s underground. It is much thanks to other local sound pioneers (namely vancouver’s “Lighta!” boys), and the musical open-mindedness of the day that we were able to reach anybody.
GANJAOLOGY : I caught your sets at Bass Coast and Shambhala this past year. What other festivals did you play? 2012 highlights?
BEVVY : In 2012 I played at Loki Music Festival, Diversity, Sync, as well as Basscoast and Shambles… hope i’m not missing any. Diversity was my fave time this summer i think. So low key and relaxed, only getting ravey when called for. Shambles & Basscoast are always a good time too, no surprises there. I love driving long distances – and post-festival driving, when everyone else is passed out. It’s one of my favorite times to be alive!
GANJAOLOGY : Today we are listening to your Feelings mix series. The selections are a bit more deep and lovey than what you usually play. Any words to go along with the sounds?
BEVVY : Big personal paradigm shift for me this year, further in the direction of disclosure and honesty. Disclosure as in saying what you truly feel, and honesty, as in truly meaning what you say. The tunes included in the series are all very close to my heart, so much so that if asked, I could tie a specific emotional experience to each one… but don’t ask. My first few weeks in montreal left me listening to my “on repeat” playlist and steeping in all these feelings, and it felt like i needed to do something to release – to get it out there – so i could move forward, musically and personally. I never thought recording mixes would take so much out of me, but i am infinitely glad it did. If we dont let music affect us, what’s the point in listening? And by the same token, if we don’t let life affect us, what is the point in being alive? Open that heart thingy. You’d be surprised what finds its way in.
GANJAOLOGY : The wisdom creeps in. This is very true. Any upcoming events or festivals on the horizon?
BEVVY : Late march will see me open for NASTYNASTY in Montreal; all night, secret location! That same week I’ll be playing at a graffiti battle. I had a chance to play at the last graff event my first week here, and was blown away. Montreal has a really diverse arts scene, one I wish I had more time to get deeper involved in. As for summer 2013, only time will tell…
GANJAOLOGY : Surely it will. You have an upcoming release, want to talk about that?
BEVVY : Sure! on March 12th, Muti Music (home of Herobust, ill-Esha, Mimosa, Ill Gates, R/D…) is putting out an EP of remixes from my first album, Monochrome. On the release are diverse re-workings from label boss Dov, BC future music homies HxDB (who is going to be here in MTL soon), and the Philthkids, with a leftfield/dancefloor hybrid from cali native, Hypha. as i said, its pretty diverse for a four track ep, but thats the true beauty of remixes.
I also have a remix for the homey Mylesaway coming early summer on Mat the Alien’s imprint, Really Good Recordings. Myles goes deep and dark with this release, and my remix of his Badman Drone is probably one of the heaviest tunes ive ever written – so much so, that i was considering releasing it under one of my many yet-imaginary aliases.
GANJAOLOGY : Looking forward to hearing all that! What more can we expect in 2013?
BEVVY : My next album for muti is in the works, keep an eye out for that later this year. Chunky drums, neck-snap rhythms, and funky ass basslines. Future retro shit. I also have a couple of side projects on the go, which may at some point this year become front projects. Late night stuff, vocal stuff. Late night vocal stuff.
Big Shout to Bevvy for all his hard work and willingness to share his thoughts.
Today he celebrates his 27th birthday.
Happy Birthday Bevvy!
Much love and respect from the whole team here at…
FEELINGS (a love story) full tracklisting:
AND THEN IT WAS OVER….
Lift You Up………………………………………ViLLΛGE
Another Girl [Machinedrum rmx]…………Jacques Greene
Pyramids (epic ass video version)…………Frank Ocean
Bottle Service [ft. Shlomo]…………………..Groundislava
See You In The Morning……………………..Anxious Forbes
Alone [Kastle rmx]…………………………….JMSN
Columbia Clock & Dagger Pt. 2……………Aalo Guha
I’m God…………………………………………..Clams Casino
PT. 2 – OVER (& over & over)
3rd Soul…………………………………………Jim-E Stack
Nothing Between Us…………………………ViLLΛGE
Roll With The Punches………………………Peverelist
Forgive Me (for messin’ up)……………….Two Inch Punch
On My Roost……………………………………Shoulda
Ol’ Lady Love Songs………………………….Imaginations Treetrunk
PT. 3 – HEAD (over heels)
Ode to Bear……………………………………Mount Kimbie
Fifth Ave………………………………………..Gold Panda
Right on Time…………………………………B.Bravo
Trying to Get Over…………………………..Prison Garde
Pad Kontrol…………………………………….Georgia Anne Muldrow
Orbit162………………………………………..Decepticon Bootleg Machine
Get Free……………………………………..Major Lazer ft. Amber
Bay Area Dub group, Fog Dub is moving the dance with their recently released album, Vessel. Featuring six musicians and a sound man, Fog Dub’s vision for contemporary dub music is exciting and original, while clearly crafted in the style of real roots dub.
For those that don’t know, the term ‘dub’ refers to a subgenre of reggae music surfacing in the 1960s. This started with the introduction of the technique called overdubbing in which already produced tracks were stripped down, paired off and fine tuned with the addition of electronic after effects to create a new set of sounds, aptly titled – DUB. Among the most well known original dub musicians are Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and King Tubby, both of whom were noted for their influence on the Fog Dub project.
Fog Dub features an incredible collective of musicians. With no shortage of brass, the band is fronted by foghorns Liz Larson (Aphrodesia) and Kelsey Howard (Groundation) on trombones, with Patrick Byers (Albino!) on baritone saxophone. The group is then anchored by a boss riddim section including Michael Bello (Albino!) on Bass, Chris Mulhauser (Aphrodesia) on guitar, and James Stafford (Steve Pile Band) on drums. Let’s not leave out the sound man responsible for all live effects, delays, echoes and overdubbing!
The album itself features two beautiful sets of sounds – the six original instrumental tracks, plus six dub versions which include after effects and some additional studio work. The originals are smooth and sexy, while deep and bellowing. In contrast, the dub tracks really bring the outer space flavor!
We had the distinct pleasure to meet with Pat Byers, leader of Fob Dub for an interview.
Check it out after hitting play!
GANJAOLOGY : This is Ganjaology and we are here with Pat Byers, band leader of Fog Dub – San Francisco based dub group. Pat, why don’t you tell us a little about the group.
FOG DUB : Well, we’re six musicians based mostly out of San Francisco and Oakland. It’s kind of an old family collective of a bunch of people that were really close to me. We wanted to start a band and do something that was a little different. You know reggae is huge these days and everything else and with what’s happening right now with the resurgence of dub in the zombie form of dubstep… A good friend of mine, Elizabeth Larson (one of the trombonists) and I are really long time fans of dub and We were like… “sweet, let’s put this together and make it happen.”
Through a couple years of evolution, member changes, composition and recording and everything, we got ourselves a really good group of people that understand the music and the tradition of the roots dub… not the modern dance music, but the original bass music from Jamaica in the ’70s.
GANJAOLOGY : What kind of instruments are you using?
FOG DUB : We are fronted by two trombones, and then I play baritone saxophone and auxiliary instruments – melodica, guitar and what not. And then it’s guitar, bass and drums. And then we have a sound man that is kinda the seventh member of the band and he is responsible for all of the effects, the delays and reverb and what not that you would hear on an actual dub recording… he does that all live, running a soundboard. He’s got pedals and different delays that he’s working. So the producer after effects which makes it what it is and not just instrumental reggae is being executed live!
GANJAOLOGY : You guys just released an album, Let’s hear a little about that and the process.
FOG DUB : Yes, Vessel. It’s kind of a double EP. The idea was to get something down on tape quickly and get it out to the world and we did that. We wrote six songs, learned them really quickly, but throughout that process, we started going through the editing and I just heard it being dubbed out more. And so with Robin Livingston, a good producer friend of mine, he and I kinda attacked it and made remixes, dubs, of every track. It’s kinda like a two sided CD. You listen to the first half and its all the original songs, the horn lines in full, and the musicians playing as they played in the studio that day and the second half is the dub, the darkness and the effects… and the surreal outerspace-ness that people come to expect. It sounds much more modern in some ways, because of the effects and some of the delays we use are modern. So you know it’s like the balance… The yin and yang of dub and instrumental reggae.
GANJAOLOGY : Cool, you guys are well on your way. What can we expect from Fog Dub this coming year?
FOG DUB: Yes, the album just got finished, we did a couple CD release shows and now we’re revamping and putting together some new music. We want to get back in the studio to record a couple singles, We’ve got a single that’s about ready to come out right now, that’s not on the album. And then the booking… the booking is starting to roll in. And ya there’s gonna be a lot coming up in the future so stay tuned!
Big thanks to Pat for the interview and much love to Fog Dub for seductive sounds.