Sitting down with 2 foundation DJ's and scene builders to talk about their newest venture. Grab the free download above and read on.
1. Both of you have a rich history deep in the foundation of the rave scene in our city, and across North America. It is fair to say you are most well known for Drum n Bass, however Inner City Dance is straying a little beyond that. Tell us a bit on what drove you to launch a label not specifically focused on the genre of music you are most known for.
the main reason is that we are both simply lovers of underground music across the board. We were both finding in the last few years that in addition to all the good DnB that we were loving and wanted to play that there was also tons of great music at other tempos that we were excited about. Be it House or Funky or Dubstep or Rap or all the cool stuff that has morphed out of all of that. This whole "bass music" thing. We started Channel One based on that idea as an outlet for us to showcase that as DJ's. Marcus makes music at all of these tempos and we felt that he needed an outlet to start releasing this music under one umbrella where we retained control throughout the whole process. Inner City Dance is the label side of the idea we started with Channel One.
.To be honest, there will be loads of Jungle Dnb on the label but we wanted to be as diverse as possible for the launch to let people know that the label is all about quality bass music regardless of genre. We have 3 or 4 dnb singles forthcoming in the fall as well as my ragga jungle material.
2. While the rave scene started being very free in terms of genres of music played, to very specific (in the late 90's very very few DJ's dared go outside 174bpm in the Jungle Arena), the current climate of electronic music seems to be more open to genre diversification, and you have both showcased that in your sets, dipping up and down BPM and Genres, and crowds are eating it up.
Do you foresee this being a lasting change in the way electronic music is presented?
At the moment that's what's happening but it will change with time. I'm enjoying the diversity right now. We really just play to suit each individual event.
For me personally its a permanent change in the way I DJ. If i love a tune and it feels right for the vibe or the crowd in front of me, I'm playing it.
3. Lush, Jungle at 124, 140 and 174 bpm. Explain that
This is actually a very deep personal statement for me that I find most people don't quite understand. For me Jungle music is not about a tempo. It's about a feeling and a vibe. I hear the same set of influences in a Maya Jane Coles tune that I do in a Redlight tune that I hear in a S.P.Y. tune. It all comes from the same melting pot of influences that first got me into Hardcore and Jungle 20 years ago. It's all apart of the Hardcore continum which both myself and Marcus have grown out of. I get just as excited about a new release on Crosstown Rebels as I do for Swamp 81 or for something new on Virus or Ram.
4. How does the studio dynamic work? Do you both have input in the tunes, is there a specific vision on what you want to showcase on Inner City Dance?
Studio dynamic? LMAO. Marcus sits in the studio in his shorts all day making music while I run around doing a thousand things at once to make sure our stuff is released, promoted and administered properly. Not a bad deal eh? The only button I push in the studio is the light switch.
To be fair.. Lush gives me vibes and inspiration to make tracks that I wouldn't necessarily make on my own. If you hear a juicy j or rick ross sample then you know Lush has been raiding my fridge that day!
His track record speaks for itself, he doesn't need my help in the studio.
5. what is the goal for the future, in terms of artists on the label, its musical direction ?
The musical direction for Inner City Dance is simple: Are we both into and excited about this record? If we are then its going out.
Shockout's first single is available now and we are looking forward to more material from him. Project 88's Dirty Acid EP is also out now and we are both very happy with that release because it's fresh take on the current acid house sound.
This week sees the release of a split twelve from Marcus and Shockout on a 140 Bpm carnival tip. Marcus hasn't released any of his sub soca since the Carib LP so we are generating a lot of interest in this release so much so that we are putting out a free download of one of his most sought after Sub soca dubplates to coincide with it. Go and grab "Tek Awf Sumin" from our soundcloud page.
Good Vibes will be out July 30th featuring a Toronto singer named Keon Love. The single will drop just in time for Toronto and Nottinghill Carnival. This track was made with the summer in mind. I'm hoping to record more material with Keon in the near future. Reggae Jungle lovers are in for a real treat!
From there we have signed a really cool tune from Gremlinz & Friske. There are also some 130 Bpm stompers from a new artist we've signed named Sky Juice. We also have some very cold DnB rollers in the pipeline that we are loving at the moment. Loads of surprises to come before Christmas!
6. Outside of ICD, as we mentioned, you both have a very well decorated history in our city, spanning right back to the start. We have seen many trends and waves come and go, and we have also seen popularity constantly go up and down through the years. Seems right now we are on the highest of highs. Thoughts on Toronto's current rise in popularity, not just from the fans in our city attending the events in record breaking numbers, but also all the amazing talent our city harvest, in every genre, that has worldwide impact.
The ups and downs are simply fueled by weather or not new kids are getting into the music and the scene behind it or not. I can say with out question that the Dubstep/Electro boom is what has brought all these new people and new DJ's/Producers into the culture. From there these kids are exposed to things like DnB and House and Techno and Bass music and populate those individual scenes off the back of that.
Toronto has always had amazingly talented Dj's but the producers are really starting to gain confidence and break through worldwide. I think it has alot to do with access to technology. There are all sorts of music schools and courses that are affordable and accessible to new artists on top of the knowledge you can gain on the internet. There are more kids saying "I can do that". It's amazing to see how many of our Toronto artists are touring worldwide and making a name for themselves at the moment. The confidence is there because of the access to technology. It's taken 20 years for us to begin to catch up to the u.k. I think the next 20 years will be very exciting for Toronto as a city!
7. Its 4:30am, just finished a gig, where do you go for that late night meal?
I go to Marcus's house and hope that his girlfriend cooks.
I agree fully. Michelle cooks it up nice and we both make a point of eating healthy!
8. Shouts, mentions, disses, etc etc etc ?
Big up my Digital Soundboy, High Culture, Necessary Mayhem and Liondub family. Big thanks to all of my Toronto and worldwide supporters. I'm thankful that I've been able to make music my living and I owe that to everyone who buys my music and comes to my events! I feel like I'm just getting started!
Big thanks to every single person who has ever came out to hear me play, downloaded my mixes or listened to me on the radio. Thanks to anybody that has ever given me music and any promoter that has asked me to play for them.
ICD 003 release: