Well… another 12 months. Sheesh. Just like last year, we’re hella excited to bring another round of year end recaps to you from a wide swath of musical personalities. 2011 was a great year for the sub|division fam. We grew – musically & physically – and this year saw some serious moves from our core dudes… Longshanks unearthed his Monolithium production guise, Eames made a move to Vancouver & started dropping gritty techno and Rhythmicon cemented his position as Victoria’s most consistent & versatile DJ.
The sub|div fam officially expanded a bit – Outsider & KMT added new sounds to the mix & our beloved media team of Amy Kirtay, Jamie Goyman & Sarah Kim allowed us to focus on the music more than the innernets. Big ups to our local support network, especially That’s Deep & Okibi – dudes are repping Victoria hard, excited to work with them again in 2012.
So to kick things off, we’ve got a recap from our dude Rhythmicon. Through 2011, he teased Victoria with everything under the bass music sun. Leaving the 70/140 gridlock in the dust, Rhythmicon has experimented with the 130 axis with great results. Some of the most writhing sub|division dancefloors have been at the hands of this man. Alongside cats like Outsider, Rhythmicon keeps Victoria’s DJ community watermark high – we’re hella excited for him to play at our 2 year celebration in Vancouver on December 10.
Zed Bias & Omar “Dancing” (Tru Thoughts)
Rhythmicon: 2011 has been great. Personally, early in the year I left a job of several years that had become quite stressful and taken a toll on me. In the time since, I’ve made drastic lifestyle changes including returning to the gym, getting my diet locked down, and keeping a steady diet of reading and zen – all for the better. This has helped me redefine what is important to me (music being atop the list) and refocus my efforts accordingly.
Although I will still play the odd 140bpm jam, chances are if you’ve seen me perform this year it hasn’t been my focus. My staples have been UKFunky, garage, and you might have even see me play a hint of house. Still, no one knows what to call the 130ish bpm movement that has taken the scene by storm, and I don’t think anyone cares anymore, which is cool. UKFunky never blew up over here in the way it did in England, but elements of it certainly crossed over and its influence is certainly present in the “bass” scene. It lost some of its poppy side and picked up a whole lot of edge while maintaining the undeniable rhythms. Seeing garage/future garage gain acceptance and momentum in Victoria has been amazing. It’s been a personal mission for some time and watching dancefloors get down to it is damn satisfying. Artists like Mosca and Champion have been getting a lot of love in my sets. Grime is a big player again too, with labels like Butterz (making Fact’s top 10 labels of 2011) dominating the scene and reinventing the sound.
I’m consistently honoured to play alongside cats like Jacques Greene, Julio Bashmore, Ramadanman, Zed Bias, Kastle and Kingdom. They’ve been a large part of shaping my recent taste and style so being on the same bills is a real treat. On the Surefire Sound tour, watching Zed Bias mix his new collab with Omar “Dancing” and his classic anthem “Neighbourhood” was a highlight for sure. Rifflandia is always incredible and #4 was no exception. All the events were a blast, especially the rinse out with The Big Reds at Phillips Brewery. Machinedrum completely slayed on the last night of the sub|division showcase, I’ve never seen Lucky Bar go so crazy! The man truly knows how to move across tempos and styles and really drive a dancefloor. Seeing Monolithum absolutely explode this year has been massive. With his debut vinyl release, US tour and a hefty spattering of originals and remixes, this has been a good year for him. Serious respect.
I have recently been part of two music related seminars – a solo one I produced for VEMF and a collab with Grasp the Erro from Vancouver. My focus has not been about teaching technical skills, but rather marketing, promotion and productivity concepts. I’ve also started a blog “Sound Movement” that has weekly posts on these topics to give usable tips and ideas to DJs and producers. The response so far has been positive and it’s become clear to me that I really enjoy helping teach. It’s a direction I’m consciously choosing to go in and there are some exciting projects in the works that will roll out next year in a big way.
Absolutely stoked for the sub|division 2 year celebrations, especially the stacked Vancouver event at the Waldorf (Dec. 10th) with Kingdom and all the homies . The return of Mathew & Nathan Jonson (Midnight Operator Live) at Lucky Bar (Dec. 16th) is culturally important I believe. They are one of Victoria’s rare and great success stories and their set is long awaited and highly anticipated to say the least. Two excellent years and counting – let’s get these celebrations started!
Tune of 2011: With a perfect blend of snappy snares, sharp strings and a damn catchy steel drum line, Zed Bias’ “Dancing” owned 2011 for me. Omar nails the seductive r&b style vocals and the additional section from Fox kicks the energy into overdrive. This is a masterpiece for me; I couldn’t wait for this to drop and I still can’t help but move when I listen to it.