May 31, 2012
Hey guys and welcome back to The Breakdown. I hope you all have been enjoying nicer weather than we have in Winnipeg the past week. We’ve had nothing but drizzling, cold temperatures and grey skies! Good thing we’ve got some fresh hot beats to warm you up if you’re feeling chilly! Today we’re going through a couple genres that I have yet to include in my posts. Damn Kids‘ new Yema EP gets our support, The Dirty Tees are back with another unique remix, Aaron Olson receives a warm Trance Family welcome to The Breakdown.
Stephane Deschenes a.k.a. Damn Kids has just released his new Yema EP on Provoke and it’s quite different and creative. Migrating from Quebec at the young age of five … the now-Toronto-native has been featured here twice (1)(2) since The Breakdown started back in early February and he continues to impress me with each production, by staying true to himself and his uniquely defined sound. Like many young kids growing up in the 90s, Damn Kids was a fan of rap and punk, thanks to the spoon-fed programming of MTV. Also like many other kids, Stephane had his heart set on being in a band. However, he quickly realized his skills at guitar and bass were lacking and just simply couldn’t afford a drum kit. His dream of being in a band quickly died.
At the ripe age of 16, Damn Kids got his first taste of electronic music and a whole new dream was born. Ironically, this new dream was born on Stephane‘s first day of school, where he was enrolled in a graphic design course. He walked out of classes that day and enrolled in Harbourside Institute of Technology in Vancouver, B.C., where he completed his Audio Engineering and Music Production certificate.
Fast forward to today and Stephane is slowly but surely building his loyal fan base. His career is young and his list of achievements may still be short, but he’s already got the most important bit down … having a unique sound! I hate hearing the same old sounds recycled and reused in electronic music today. Damn Kids offers a set of fresh, clean and refreshing tunes with his new Yema EP.
Check out each track below and then head over to Beatport to pick up your copy!
As I’m writing this, the title track, Yema, is currently sitting at #35 in the Electronica :: Top 100 on Beatport and I don’t doubt if it makes it’s way all the way into the Top 10. If I had to sum up Yema in one word, it would be fun. The drum arrangements and patterns in this track are outstanding and ever changing. The first drop is full of vocal samples and bassy synths whereas the second drop gets a bit of a kicker with the addition of a rolling synth line behind it.
Damn Kids drum work is spot on and utterly fantastic. While a straight up 4×4 drum beat is nothing to scoff at … Stephane‘s arrangements are something to strive for. As far as complexity goes, Totem may seem fairly simple to most ears, but it’s yet another example of what Damn Kids is capable of when it comes to a beat. With an upbeat opening and classic house samples and sounds, this track has big room written all over. If you’ve ever been to a big festival or party, chances are you’ve heard someone with a whistle that you wanted to hit in the mouth. Totem has completely changed my whole outlook on the whistle and I challenge you to also embrace the whistle. One thing I really admire with Stephane‘s work is the fact that he kicks it up for the second drop in nearly every one of his productions. Why not, right? I’ve always felt that everyone should be doing this … with Damn Kids leading the forefront. The whistle gets crazy!
Buti is the combined efforts of Damn Kids and Caruzo. The boys dug down for this one and brought out some dark and deep vibes. That clap they’ve used in the second phrase just before the first break is so strong and maybe even sounds like a firearm going off? Deep bass and ominous vocal sampling give this one a spaced-out airy feel. Staying true to his usual production style, Damn Kids spices up the last drop with the addition of a simple, yet rattling drum beat over top of everything.
The Dirty Tees are here for their second (1) appearance on The Breakdown, with another free download! This one is quite different than anything I’ve shared with you guys before, but I’m really diggin’ the vibes. If you don’t remember who these boys are, let me jog your memory. Ryan Freeman and Grant Peters began their Tees project in their first year of study at the University of Western Ontario. The producer/songwriting duo, originally hailing from Toronto, Ont., are now based in Los Angeles, Calif., where they are signed to Natasha Bedingfield’s production company. Ryan and Grant quickly made a name for themselves on the blogosphere and all over the web. Masters of remixing the indie rock/pop sound, they’ve got a bunch of radio ready remixes available on their SoundCloud for free download. With a unique style and sound that can’t be matched, these boys continue to give their fans nothing but top-notch quailty productions.
They’ve just recently finished their official remix of Wildcat! Wildcat!’s – Mr. Quiche and it’s definitely way different than anything I’ve posted before – and that’s such a good thing! This one’s got summer and feel-good vibes all over it. Even though they’re singing about a lonely day, lol. The Tees really turn this remix into a journey of sound. The track opens out with a very laid back drum pattern, pulsing synths and the beautiful vocals from Wildcat! Wildcat!. This remix initially has somewhat of a dubstep feel to it until you meet the break, where some big room/trance styled synths enter. You’re quickly hit by a heavy dose of bass, with a beautiful synth top-line. Following the last short break, they kick up the tempo and energy right to the end, rearranging the drums and chopping up the bass.
Have a listen below and make sure you take advantage of the free download!
The Dirty Tees new logo, designed by Charlie Anderson
Keeping it different than the rest, The Tees have recently teamed up with painter Charlie Anderson, from Edinburgh, U.K., to push the arts and combine two different mediums; music and paint. Since graduating in 2009, Charlie has made quite a few enemies as well as won himself quite a few awards. His work explores contemporary culture through the sampling of imagery taken from advertising, political campaigns and the music industry. His works reflect the weathered and layered effect of outdoor billboards, which he re-creates through the sole use of paint.
The Tees met Charlie Anderson in L.A. a few months back and decided it would be super cool to work with each other in some way. So … Charlie went to work. He recently had himself filmed while he created a massive mural of Ryan and Grant on the inside of an abandoned warehouse in Scotland and the finished result is amazing. Ryan and Grant said that they were “so excited to have Charlie on board for all of our future artwork!” I’ve included the video of Charlie painting below and with that video The Tees have included another free download! These two are just too generous. The track in the video is titled Maestro which is an upcoming track off of their debut album. Keep in mind this is only a leaked version of what they want us to hear … Needless to say, I’m way excited for their album and I’ll guarantee you will be too!
Maestro leads you to believe you’re listening to a beautiful progressive house gem with strong synth lines and soft vocals … which for a good portion of this track, you are. But … it has a dark side. The drop on this track is unreal … glitched out bass and intrusive synth stabs guaranteed to get the floor jumping. They pull a complete 180° on the feel of the track and it totally pays off.
Watch Charlie do his thing below, enjoy the new banger The Tees have laid on us and don’t forget to grab the free download!
To finish up today’s post, I present to you Aaron Olson‘s Moon & Moon EP set to be released on June 5 to Global State Recordings. I’m not normally a fan of trance, except for live at a festival, but I particularly enjoyed listening to this EP. Teaming up with Jamie D to cover Bat For Lashes‘ Moon & Moon, Aaron Olson delivers yet another breathtaking release. Currently located in Vancouver B.C., Aaron remains a massive role in developing the electronic music scene out west.
Aaron first began ‘DJing’ in high school, with perfectly cut mix tapes that he compiled himself. These mix tapes included a wide variety of sound. From the dark and disturbing Marilyn Manson to the electronic bounce of 2 Unlimited, Aaron has dabbled in it all! In 1998, Aaron started DJing at various after-hours clubs in and around the Saskatoon area, thanks to a local hip hop legend, and his career quickly took off. His mixes gained him massive support and exposure. At one point, a Molson Canadian rep was in discussion with Aaron about mixing a CD that would be distributed in 18 pack cases of beer.
After travelling across the country destroying dance floors and making bodies move, Aaron finally settled back down and dove head-first into production. His first single, Subversion, was quickly snapped up by BK’s label manager, Scott Attrill, and released a few months later. It landed in the top 10 trance charts on Trackitdown.net for eight weeks alongside pioneers Armin van Buuren, Ferry Corsten and Nick Sentience.
Since then, nearly all of Aaron‘s releases have landed in one or more charts on Beatport, Trackitdown or JunoDownload. In fact, his second EP, Equilibrium, was hailed by Beatport as, “… one of the best packages of mixes ever to grace Traffic Records …” He has also had constant radio play in the U.K. including BBC’s Radio 1!
Now that he has relocated to Vancouver, B.C., Aaron Olson will be continually pursuing all forms of his first love, music. With gigs and releases ranging from hard tech-trance to progressive house straight through to dirty electro, he will not be pigeon-holed and accepts any challenge that awaits him. When he’s not bouncing around to electronic music, Aaron is composing film scores alongside recording partner, Devon Quelch, for various drama and action films. Aaron‘s creativity, it would seem, knows no bounds as he also spends time creating logos, websites, posters and various other odds and ends for companies, both large and small.
Check out each track below and then mark your calendars for June 5 when this beautiful EP gets it’s release!
The Original Mix of Moon & Moon is up first. A slick blend of fast-paced drums, rolling bass lines and chilling vocals provided by Jamie D. There’s a little pan flute bit in their that just absolutely completes this track and captures the uplifting feel-good essence of the track.
Ollie Jaye‘s Global State remix is up next. This one is drawing particular attention as it’s the first remix Ollie Jaye has done in eight years. Ollie made it ‘famous’ in the early 2000’s. This one starts out with a bit of a deeper and darker feeling than the original mix. Ollie lengthens the break a bit, adding a more melodic top line, bringing back that uplifting feel we felt in the original. This one’s already got the label’s inbox blowing up with requests for advance copies.
Lastly, the Dirty Tech Mix kicks up the energy and takes us into a much different, harder direction … with a buzzing bass line and an almost grainy feel to it. This one is perfect for peak time in a dark room!
KEEP THOSE SUBMISSIONS COMING IN … if you know some Canadian talent that you think deserves to be featured on The Breakdown, LET US KNOW by contacting thebreakdown(at)djmag(dot)ca! Tell your friends! We love to hear from you guys!
See you next week!
– MAKE SMILES
A little shameless self promotion … on Sunday I finished my newest mix, which is a 30-minute demo mix that I’m sending out in hopes of landing a spot at a community stage at WEMF 2012!
It’s a free download, so if you like what you hear … grab a copy! 14 tracks in just over 29 minutes. The tracklisting is on my SoundCloud for those interested! <3