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Area709 is an electronic music based organization made up of a talented roster of djs and producers from various locations focused within the genres of progressive trance, progressive house, psytrance and downtempo. Within Area709.com each dj and producer maintains their own blogs, downloadable mixes, photo galleries, event listings and booking information. Also included in Area709 are guest dj mixes, dance music industry articles, an online radio station broadcasting 24-7, music forums and much more. Please register with Area709 to enjoy the full benefits of this unique electronic music site.

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Narratives...

Posted on Mar 8, 2013

 

 
While my blog has remained quiet for two months, regular visitors to Area709 may have noticed I've still been hard at work.  I've posted three new mixes since the New Year: "Confessions," a live recording from the SHAH DJ's 'Tables Turned' event in January and "Northern Lights."  These three mixes - alongside  "Green and Blue," another mix I released in September - are part of a significant direction change I committed to in 2012.  To observers-from-afar, I think it may appear that I woke up one morning and abruptly decided to change genres.  Suffice to say, this hasn't actually been the case, and everything that's happening now is the tail end of a gradual shift that started back in 2010.  Change doesn't come about through a single decision made in isolation: it's the sum of many forks in the road.
 
Peoples' reactions to these mixes have varied widely.  Some have quietly admitted to disliking them, while others have had nothing but praise.  Either way, I've come to view Area709 as my personal sketchbook, not a polished portfolio of finished works.  In keeping with this philosophy, I think they all belong here, and I gladly accept them as they are.  One important admission though, with the exception of the recording from the SHAH DJs night, "Green and Blue," "Confessions" and "Northern Lights" were all created as gifts for my partner, Andrea.  My friends have always inspired me to strive for great things, and I consider myself incredibly lucky to have found a partner that brings out the same tendencies.  I'm pretty sure all these people are pretty damn tired of me loudly extolling the virtues of the other party, incessantly, so I'll stop this here. 
 
 
* * *
 
Back in January, Jeff Johnston, Colleen, Jon and I all arrived at the Backstage Lounge on Granville Island on a Saturday night to help set up for the SHAH DJs monthly Drum and Bass night.  Willis (from SHAH) and Colleen had come up with an idea a couple of weeks prior of having DJs from the two crews switch genres: Soundproof DJs would play DnB and the SHAH DJs would play techno.  Even after 7 years, I have what I consider to be a pretty acceptable level of anxiety before a show, but this was a bit different.  During set-up, I asked Willis how he was feeling about the evening.
 
"Fucking unprepared."
 
I've never been so instantly soothed by such a seemingly caustic remark.  Jeff and I made similar comments aloud. 
 
Of course, everything went super well.  We had a full dance floor the whole evening, and everyone played brilliantly.  I've thought back to that evening many a time over the last two months.  Sometimes, hitting the reset button and trying something new is a bit terrifying.  Well, the waiting is terrifying, if you let it get to you.  When the actual moment arrives and you're neck deep, everything is fine.  In fact, usually it's better than fine: it's amazing.  So, as opposed to looking at this period of my life as more impatient waiting, I'm choosing to see more pages of the sketchbook.
 
Stay tuned.  I'll have updates on what the coming year holds, slowly but surely.

Beginnings...

Posted on Jan 4, 2013

 
I brought in the New Year a bit differently this year.  For the last 7 years, New Years Eve has seem me playing at or attending some kind of epic party.  This year, I went to bed well before midnight, woke up around 5am and by 6am was on the road to Squamish.  I met up with a friend and we spent the day ski touring in the backcountry of Callaghan provincial park.  We made good time on the up-track, hitting the sub peak of Rainbow Mountain around 1:00pm before skiing out for the day.  Now, what I lack in skill I've somehow managed to bully past in terms of fitness, but that really only ever gets you so far. 
 
For a variety of reasons, it was really important to me to start the New Year off as a 'beginner' if that makes any sense.  I think it's very normal for people to habituate towards comfort, towards things they already know they're good at and familiar with.  Learning to do something new is exciting, but it's also frustrating and hard on the ego at times.  But, I also think you learn very deep truths about yourself if you're willing to experience beginning new things, every day, and over the last year it seemed that this was sorely missing in my life.
 
And yes, goddamn it's fun.  I'm actually enjoying the gruelling work of up-track more than the skiing out at the end of the day.  I'm still at that stage where skiing is more akin to controlled falling than a measured and graceful set of linked turns.  In time... in time!
 
Now, along the same vein, this Saturday I get to practice being a beginner once again at a show on Granville Island, at the Backstage Lounge.  The SHAH DJs are an incredibly talented group of drum and bass performers that have been throwing events in Vancouver for the last 5 years.  I've had many a great night at their events.  A couple of the SHAH and Soundproof DJs are playing at a night called 'Tables Turned' where we'll be experimenting with playing a different genre of music than we normally do.  Kir Mokum and Willisist (from SHAH) will be playing techno, while Jeff Johnston and I will playing drum and bass.
 
I'm incredibly psyched for this evening, and it will be really interesting to everyone's interpretation of a genre they don't usually play.  From my end, I don't really have the depth of scope to play a whole hour of DnB, so my set with consist of some music I suppose I could classify as 'breakbeat-oriented.'  The style of music and concept as a whole is definitely outside of my comfort zone, but... well, sometimes pretty amazing things happen when you let yourself begin, and begin again.
 
Welcome to 2013!  

Afterglow, the Anza, Disco-tech...

Posted on Dec 13, 2012

Hey Folks,
 
Thanks again for everyone that came out to "Afterglow," the regional Burning Man decompression event held in Squamish at the end of November.  Andrea and I had already planned a trip that week in Vancouver, well in advance of either of us knowing about the party.  So, that weekend ended up being a Burning Man reunion of sorts for both of the camps we went down with, which was a great surprise.  I had submitted my name to the organizers for consideration to perform on the main stage, but honestly didn't have any great expectations about being picked.  I was surprised - and immensely grateful - when the organizers offered me the closing spot for the event.  Being the closer for an event is always a huge honor, and it definitely brought the best out in me. 
 
I'm indebted to the organizers and everyone that came out and stayed the duration of the night... that's definitely one of the best party weekends I've had in a long, long time!  The event space was a railway heritage museum, complete with several train cars and engines in the venue itself.  Add large-scale piece of Burning Man art, about 450 people running around in costume and the standard Playa combination of lasers, lights and fire illuminating everything, and you have quite the production!  Obviously, the most special part of the weekend was having Andrea down from Whitehorse, and about a dozen of my friends running around chaperoning us, all equally overstimulated and excited from the spectacle. 
 
* * *
 
While I did play one more event in December, "Afterglow" definitely felt like my last performance of 2012.  On Saturday, December 1, Soundproof had another one of its club nights upstairs at the Anza Club.  However, for this night I intentionally chose to play an opening time slot.  I'll devote a full blog entry to this at another time, but suffice to say I've really come to value a lot of the under-the-radar talent in Vancouver.  So, my last performance for 2012 was to play a very restrained opening set so Alexander Hamilton, Clint Hanson and  John Tennant could throw down.  And, well, damn... that they did!  John actually rented an extra sub to give the Anza's sound system an extra kick for the evening.  It sounded amazing and they all played super brilliant sets.  Guys, thank you for the inspiring performances!
 
 
* * *
 
Wait, did I just write, "my last performance for 2012" up above?  Indeed, I did.  But, isn't there one more Soundproof party in 2012?  There is, and it's happening this Saturday, so get your tickets!  This time around, we are *not* going to be selling tickets in advance, so if you're planning on coming to "Disco-tech" then get a ticket at one of the following drop-points:
 
(***look for the orange dinosaur***)


Thursday December 13, 12:30-1:30pm
Blenz Coffee, 338 Helmcken St (@ Hamilton)

Friday December 14, 6-7pm
Blenz Coffee, 338 Helmcken St (@ Hamilton)

Saturday December 15, 12-1pm
Blenz Coffee, 338 Helmcken St (@ Hamilton)
 
 
More details are available off the Soundproof website: www.soundproof.ca
 
 
While I'm not performing, I'll be there to help set up, tear down and will likely be the one greeting you at the door when you arrive.  See you this weekend!
 
Cheers
- Evan

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