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.