Mutek is Montreal’s legendary multimedia festival that has long been Canada’s home of left-of-centre live electronic art. Held from June 1-5, this year’s lineup boasts an amazing array of electronic artists, as legends like Amon Tobin, Four Tet, Plastikman & Pole line up alongside newcomers like Jacques Greene, Floating Points & Emptyset.
This year, BC’s healthy bass scene is representing huge at Mutek via Vancouver’s renowned New Forms Festival. Curated by Malcolm Levy & Michael Red, Saturday June 4 will see a stellar lineup of West Coast talent take to the Mutek stage; Babe Rainbow, Calamalka, Max Ulis, Daega Sound, MRed & Monolithium will each strut their stuff in the live arena (Mutek has a strong emphasis on live performances over DJ sets).
Calamalka is the lopsided beatsmith of Vancouver’s Lighta! crew. His music has a hefty portion of raw funk coursing through its veins, with angular chunks of rhythm acting as pivoting lynchpins full of maximum headnod factor. His performance at Mutek is timed well; 2011 will see releases from Calamalka arrive via Low Indigo, Aufect & newcomers 10Pin, the label that is the brainchild of Max Ulis & Calgary’s Lorne B.
In a series of pre-Mutek features, we sat down with Calamalka for a peak inside his brain… this guy is headlining subdivision this Friday at Hush.
Please introduce yourself…
Michael Campitelli aka Calamalka aka Mike Pre-Amp aka Ouestluv aka The Abbot of the Lighta! Crew representing Hastings Sunrise, East Vancouver.
Now down to the nitty gritty… with the surplus of new music that is so easily accessible, who are you watching out for? Got anything on repeat?
The latest Erykah Badu has been or serious repeat lately also: Pusha T, SmokeDZA, Kode9, Ceeda, DJ Nate, Frank Ocean, Mount Kimbie, Roc Marciano, Dilla, Mosca, FaltyDL,TV On The Radio, Black Mountain, Mariachi El Bronx, Machine Drum, Fever Ray, Jniero Jarel, Wise Blood, Aurthur Russel, Lil B, Jahtari…
Would you consider yourself someone who is open to all or most genres of music? Guilty pleasures?
For sure. I don’t really have any guilty pleasures as far as music goes, if you mean do I dance around in underwear listening to Katy Perry then NO.
What was the first record you bought?
I think it was Prince Purple Rain.
Would you say that record was/is influential to you? – if your first record is completely off the mark, who do you consider influential to you? -
Yes. I think almost every record I have ever bought (besides dollar store sample joints) has been some what influential to me, that’s the problem.
Obviously your music tastes have evolved since Prince, can you elaborate at all on how you got from A to Z?
When I was in my early teens I started skateboarding and soon discovered punk/hardcore/thrash/hiphop/reggae/dub etc.. etc.., older dudes in the skate scene taught me a lot about music and being open to new styles. I just keep evolving, and hopefully always will. I still love all the old stuff but my musical tastes run a lot deeper than most people.
Is there anyone out there you’d love to collaborate with right now? Why?
Hmm maybe Joaquin Pheonix because he’s such a great rapper.
How did you get involved with Mutek? Anyone you’re keen on seeing there?
Through Michael Red and Malcolm Levy from the New Forms Festival. I don’t know where to begin with the lineup, there’s so many great people playing, especially my dudes.
The music scene in Montreal and Vancouver is blowing up right now, got any thoughts or predictions on where this new wave will go?
Hopefully on a decent tour so we can let the rest of the world know.
What are your thoughts on the current beat/wonk scene? Do any of those thoughts tie into your own relationship with hiphop.
I’m excited about it. Things have been progressing so fast with electronic music hybrids these days it’s crazy. I like to hear how anybody wants to interpret hip hop in a way that’s different or raw. My only concern is that some of the stuff could be classified as “Down Tempo” and that makes me think of music you play in a restaurant not at a party.
There has been a shift in dubstep and it’s been going hard, where do you see the post-dubstep continuum leading us this year?
Typical Dubstep will just keep getting hyped to death and eventually die kinda like Drum & Bass did, people will still be into it but only a handful of true fans. Its mutations are far more interesting anyhow. I think it’s OK that brostep is the new party music of choice for mainstream teenagers. Im not really into it but it’s better than Nickleback.
So, you have a string of releases due out this years with Low Indigo, yes? Have any release dates we can look out for?
Yeah I’m working with Michael Red on a Low Indigo release as well as with Max Ulis and Lorne B’s 10pin label and DJ Cures Aufect Recordings. It’s cool cause they are all my dudes and I know where they live
In three words do your best to describe one of your forthcoming tunes…
fucking. good. beats.
Can you name me one song you put out that never fails to get the crowd going?
“Congo Whoomp” by Debruit.
Now because you’re going to Montreal in less then a month, gotta make sure to check your French – next answer in French please, no cheating with technology; what is one thing if offered to you, you would have no ability to say no to?
Un joint parce que j’aime la défonce…
And lastly for kicks, if you could be any sandwich what kind would you be?
Grilled panini with bocconcini, proscuitto & fresh basil.