Over the last year, the sub⎹div fam has become a tight knit crew of dudes who really… well, we just care way too much about all this dance culture bullshit. We’ve discovered that it’s what keeps us stoked from day to day, night to night. And regardless of how it seems to outsiders, we kinda don’t care – this year each & everyone on the team reaped huge rewards from simply doing shit our own way, in our own style. It’s been fun watching our fam slowly expand to include cats who we see eye to eye with & more importantly, dudes who believe in the music they’re pushing. Cats like Outsider, Patience Automate & the Lighta! crew have all been hugely supportive & inspirational through 2010 – many thanks are in order.
But the fearless embracing of our opportunities (that made our first year seem so renegade!) is in part indebted to the passion & innovation of one Vaughn Robert Squire. You may have known him as Sixtoo. You likely have heard of Megasoid. And we’re amped that you definitely will be dancing to Prison Garde through 2011.
After a few years of steady running MTL at the legendary Turbo Crunk nights, Squire is now located in Vancouver, busying himself with running an art gallery & quietly reinventing himself as Prison Garde. Through 2010, he was an unwavering source of support & inspiration for the sub⎹div fam - and aside from that he cold ROCKED SHOWS for us too. His March debut at sub⎹division was one of our livest parties & when Rob showed up in September for Rifflandia, he casually killed it with A MOTHERFUCKING iPAD, blazing hyphy, 2step & volatile heaterz that annihilated the dance.
Needless to say, we feel blessed to have someone like Rob present amidst our thriving West Coast bass scene. We are MOTHERFUCKING ELATED that he’s got his groove on as Prison Garde. And oh, did we mention Nouveau Palais at all…? Straight up, when it comes to this bass music shit, Prison Garde is a don.
Fuck with him in 2011.
1. “I Know You’re Mine”
3. “New Love / Old Girl”
4. “Nothing Pt.1″
5. “Nothing Pt.2″
6. Hovatron “Gypsy Trader [Prison Garde Remix]”
7. “Tokyo Bullet Train”
Prison Garde: “Oh yes. 2010. You.
The year of the Americana fashion revival.
The year hipsters turned in their AF1s for desert boots.
The year the Vancouver Olympics got sonned by the G20 Riots.
The year Tron got remade (fuck that) &…
The year of Lil B’s twitter feed blew up Kanye (running it ALL day).
I spent my last year settling into a new life in Vancouver (opening a gallery, running a creative agency, making videos, doing pirate radio and throwing some parties)… overall a rewarding, fun and focused year. Thank you 2010 for not sucking as badly as 2009 (and to the Heavens for 2011).
Over the span of the year, I found myself thinking long and hard about my place in music, and what it means to be part of the public that decides to put their own sounds under public scrutiny. A few obvious musings that pop out as solid ideas about my own place in music, and arguments for (and against) being a person that puts things into public view.
My general philosophy this year has been “Fuck it, I’m not releasing shit. If people wanna hear the heat, let them book me“, a sentiment that I think will probably resonate through 2011… (especially if I get robbed another three times! 2010, I’m gonna whoop you school-yard style if I ever see you again). On a side-note, I am officially unbreakable now, Sean P turned Megashawn, Doom killed Zeb Love X shit. My karma is paid in full, and I will be having unprotected sex with dirty money for 2011, on some Old Boy meets New Jack City business.
Ideas in music that held my brain revolved around the conversational reverse-engineering, that between sub and pop-culture, disposability vs. workload, the value of tangible products against the etherial nature of digital music and ultimately what it means to the value of music releasing in either digital or analog format.
My passions in music for the last couple of years have changed from writing and releasing music to writing things specifically for Live P.A. and DJing, the merging of those disciplines, and ultimately the democratization of DJ culture (come debate me in person on that one). I believe in the performance of electronic music as both an artform and celebrated interaction, and am psyched that the technology has caught up with peoples output, allowing literally anyone to be able to make tracks and play them live.
In thinking about the conversation between sub and pop-culture, most forward thinking DJs that I rank just played the best music running.
Songs like Ciara’s “Ride”, The Dream’s “Love King”, Big Boi’s “Shutterbug” & Ryan Leslie’s “My Addiction” became the influence for a lot underground sounds, and could easily find themselves alongside the deep fringes of club musics, playing seamlessly alongside things like Girl Unit’s – ‘Shade On’, Addison Groove’s ‘Footcrab’, Deadboy’s – “If You Want Me”, Machinedrum’s “Now you Know The Deal” and Jimmy Edgars – ‘Hot, Raw, Sex’ ; all joints I would rank as favourites of 2010, and all songs that I rinsed out.
I think that 2010 was a great year for music because of this type of conversation between genres and tempos, with threads that actually allowed you to play across the genre board with finesse, for the kids on some wildout-dumbshit, to some deep down-grown & sexy sounds.
And don’t get it twisted… I am down to ride for the youth.
Nothing punk happens without kids making it happen.
Kids are burning circles around everyone right now, and making music fun again.
Footwork. Hair Whipping. Dances being Songs. Turfing. All of it.
Sidenote 1: Odd Future is kinda the shit. To all the haters of the youth gang, kids SHOULD be putting drugs in blenders and skateboarding and bleeding out of their eyes, it will not only make them better adults, but better skaters.
Sidenote 2: The return of the 808 was something that I was so happy to get as a DJ. Thank you Roland Corporation. You can’t make a midi controller to save your life, but I am eternally grateful for your ability to have made classic instruments that girls still wanna shake their asses to in 2010.
For the music-hungry, hot songs in every genre had a breakneck turnover. Music flourished with great sounds in every genre, from fringe dubstep to deep techno, to sexy house to commercial rap music and r&b. Some of my best moments playing music were dropping from 140 club shit down to some 70bpm DJ Rashad ‘drop & twerk’ and watching broads just freak it to the floor (at times, laying on the ground… seriously).
It seems like the digital tools for music (and all other facets of digital culture) have finally allowed the output of ideas to emerge at a seamless pace of conversation, and if you had something to add to the conversation, you could.
In 2010 people became less concerned with release dates, shipping of physical product, and the promotion of something that should be allowed to be tried and tested by the people that play it… and the public that listen to it. I am all for it.
I say let the record industry continue to produce music for the select consumer that wants the tangible object, aside from that, let it crumble. People will always support the things they love, but the heavy-handedness within the label infrastructure is something that I believe should just disappear entirely and for the most part is just not needed anymore.
I supported labels that gave back to the people that bought their product. Labels that I supported heavily included Lucky Me, Numbers, Night Slugs, Ghostly, Normrex, Hyperdub, All City, Brainfeeder, Innovative Leisure and Elm & Oak. The short span of physical recording has existed for a little more than 100 years, and in that time the recording industry has come full circle… from playing live, to being recorded, to being recorded in order facilitate the live performance. Personally, I love it. My own mandate has always been to push live performance, and I welcome the impact of 2010′s embracing of live electronic music into 2011 DJ culture as performance.
With those sentiments being pushed, I would like to give a quick shout-out to the following contemporaries that inspired and contributed great things to music this year, that make hot shit, or that don’t suck at life… Jacques Greene, Ango, Lunice, Nautiluss, Egyptrixx, Machinedrum & Praveen (and the percussionlab family), Jimmy Edgar, Jesse Boykins, Mux Mool, Alex B, FlyLo, Lorn, Lazer Sword, SoftWear, Monolithium, Calamalka, Dom & LuckyMe, Eskmo, Gaslamp, Keith and the Portland Fam, Eprom, Lighta! Sound, Mike @ TurboRecords, NosajThing, Xi, Miro, Mike D, Niña Mendoza, CamReed, W2 and Kenny Mac (Megahurtz was fucking rad guys, thank you).
Also, a quick shout out to my Montreal + Gastown family and everyone I had the pleasure of playing music with/for. If you are in Vancouver for N.Y.E. you can find me at The Diamond playing all night.
2011, let’s get it.
Favourite record of the year? Terror Danjah Undeniable
I have included a small mix of unreleased Prison Garde draft material that demonstrates my own love for the 808 in various tempos. All of this material is super-drafty, and not necessarily what you should expect from next years Prison Garde material, which will be much more along the lines of 105-120 warehouse music, never the less, I hope you enjoy.”
Rake It Mane,