There is no doubting the longevity of Drum n Bass in Toronto. We have spoken at length about its constant pulse in the nightlife of our city. An example of this solid foundation comes with Junglist Movement, 15 years of pushing the sound to the most loyal underground crowd.
We sit down with head honcho Marcus Visionary to speak briefly about JM, its history, and what he has been up to.
[TJ] If memory serves us correctly, the first Junglist Movement took place inside Industry Nightclub. What spawned Junglist Movement at that period in the city, and how does the climate of Drum n Bass back then compare to how it is now?
The first few Junglist Movements I did were with Rob Lisi from Syrous and they were held at Industry nightclub.
The very first event was Sept 1999. Drum & Bass in Toronto was at it's peak in terms of attendance. I remember flyering the lineup for a Science center event for the very first party.
People were craving the Oldschool Jungle sounds so I decided to launch Junglist Movement to focus specifically on all aspects of Oldschool Jungle, Ragga, DnB.
Drum n Bass has always been, and continues to be the foundation of the underground electronic movement in Toronto.
While other genres float in and out of popularity, DnB has continued for 20 years to have a home deep in hearts of the most dedicated and passionate fans.
With the current EDM boom, how do you see the story playing out?
I believe EDM is just a way for corporates to lump all genres of electronic music under one umbrella so that it's easier for them to create trends and sell underground music to a pop audience.
So far they have pretty much ignored the existence of Jungle & DnB outside of a very small few acts. I think as long as the music stays strong in the U.K there will always be an underground.
The best music has always come from the underground scenes anyway. At the moment EDM is winning in terms of attendance but it's ripping thru trends and treating genres like they are disposable.
Hopefully punters will start to see through this and start digging on their own again. The U.K doesn't really support the use of the term EDM because they can see that it's just a way for corporates, booking agencies to control what they don't understand.
I'm happy their sticking to their guns and keeping control of their own music industry.
You have taken to the road a lot more, with the past year seeing you headline shows all over over europe. north america and hawaii. How do other cultures receive you in comparison to Toronto? How receptive are they to your sets, and how much do you change your sets depending on where you play?
I've been on tour more this year than I've been home. I started with a Canadian tour then Europe then the U.S. When I travel I get to play more of the music I've produced and also music from my fellow artists that are on the same labels.
This years been a great year for me. The highlights would have to be playing Outlook in Croatia for the first time. Bumped into our hometown hero Rene Lavice and the whole 40 hz crew which was fun! I was also fortunate enough to play Boomtown Festival in the U.K for my second year and I'm lucky to say that I'm heading back this year. Hawaii was one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.
My new U.S booking agent is based in Hawaii so I'm hoping I'll get to visit again soon. Respect in L.A & Stamina in San Fran in the U.S are always vibes! When I play around the world I play Jungle and Jungle inspired DnB mainly but I make sure to have everything and read the crowds as every place differs in taste. I've been home for about a month now and I'm happy to be home.
I'm looking forward to helping to make our current scene stronger. RUN RED is now a weekly Thursday night event at Thymeless that I'm trying to build by having guests out on a regular basis. We'll be celebrating our Junglist Movement 15 Year on Boxing Day which is exciting!
If you could colab with one artist, alive or dead, who would it be?
I'm going to cheat and say a few.. Beres Hammond, Bitty Mclean, Stylo G. Supercat
After a gig in Toronto, best spot to grab some food?
New Sky on Spadina. 7 West for a healthier choice. Bartons on Queen.
Best gig of 2013?
Best gig of 2013 was Outlook Festival in Croatia.
Best record of 2013?
You've stumped me!
Best mastering tip?
Your song will only sound as clean as your source materials. You can't polish a turd!
What's in the pipeline production wise?
I have an LP forthcoming on Curtis Lynch's Necessary Bass imprint out of the U.K featuring: Mr. Williamz, Cutty Ranks, Tarrus Riley, Shola Ama, Ny & Sizzla, Macka B, Papa Levy and more. Loads of new releases forthcoming on Liondub International with the next being a remix of Jah Cure's 'Never Find'. I'm also working on an LP with Canada's Reggae & Dub ambassador Dubmatix which will be coming out on Inner City Dance in 2014. Remixes forthcoming on Chopstick and Irish Moss.
Last word: Articles saying that 'Jungle is cool again'. It never stopped being cool! If you haven't come out to a Jungle DnB event lately get your ass out on Boxing day for the Junglist Movement 15 Year! We don't follow trends.. We create them. THE ORIGINAL BLUEPRINT!
Junglist Movement - Boxing Day 2013 - 15 Year Anniversary