I've been a member of Soundproof, a Vancouver-based DJ collective that's built a reputation for throwing high quality, underground, all-night events for the last 17 years. Soundproof graciously offered me a home behind the decks in 2006, and for 8 years, the whole crew actively supported me regardless of the style of music I found myself inclined to play.
I think it goes without saying that this is a rare thing. These days, i think of myself as an auxiliary member. In August 2014, I stepped away from the core supporting role I played with Soundproof to focus on other endeavors. I still craftmixes and DJ parties locally on occassion; I'm just not helping drive the proverbial bus anymore.
Why the shift? Well, I feel cultures often grow the strongest and become the most interesting when they depart from the mental confines of the people that helped make them awesome in the first place. It's a paradox in some ways. So, what is it exactly that's so awesome about a Soundproof gig anyway?
Soundproof events are intentionally small and intimate, advertised primarily through word of mouth and deliver a range of music that is best described as 'hard but friendly.' The audience is a bit older than your typical club crowd, primarily composed of people in their late to 20s and 30s.
Soundproof's success isn't narrowly defined by selling every single ticket before the doors open, having the dance floor packed for the whole night, or even throwing events with any reliable regularity. Things that do matter: getting attendees on a first-name basis with everyone that surrounds them, engineering spectacularly overlooked props and visuals, allowing space for each performer to do their own thing.
Well, the list of what matters is substantially longer than this, and that's why I stayed for so long. And that's why I still enjoy dropping into the parties. I've found the crew and the crowd remarkably accepting when it comes to musical leanings, a fact I severely under-appreciated and underestimated in my earlier days. I can't think of any other place that would have welcomed so many changes from me, musical and personal sensibilities, over the years.
I cut my teeth as a self-professed bookend at Soundproof parties for years, responsible for events' musical beginnings and endings. For a time after this, I was one of the culprits responsible for delivering big room tunes during the peak time hours of 1 to 3am. These days, I'm quietly re-exploring various genres of broken beats, especially drum & bass.
Examples of these ever-changing musical sensibilities are available in my 'music' section here on Area709: "Archives" is a good representation of my melodic, introspective sensibilities; the live recordings from "Trancemission 14" captures my louder, extroverted side; "Green & Blue" and a live recording from the SHAH DJ's "Tables Turned" event are where the most recent iteration of my current explorations began.
Most recently, "Night Colours," shows you where I've ended up in 2015.
Once or twice a month - usually on a Tuesday - and for special comps or charity events, it's a sure bet you'll find me behind the decks at the Hive Bouldering Gym, in Vancouver. If you've liked what you've heard above, stop by for a session, or just to say hi.