What began as a weekend activity slowly became a way of life...
My first exposure to techno was in 1991 when a friend of mine asked if I would like to go to a rave in Toronto. Being a large fan of Industrial Music (Front 242's Headhunter is still one of my favorite tracks, and Skinny Puppy is still one of my favorite groups), I figured lets check it out. Not knowing what to expect, I went. I must say the music, lights and the scene did not really catch on with me at first. Being from a small town in Ontario, I felt overwhelmed in a strange world. I went to a few other raves and smaller parties over the next three years, but still didn't quite tap into what was going on. It wasn't until I heard Orbital's "Brown Album" on the way home from Guelph, ON that the music left me speechless. It was that album, that had forever changed how I would hear music from then on in. Later that year (1994), Orbital actually came and played at an EROS rave in Toronto. A group of friends and I went and we had one of the best times of our lives. I was hooked on the melodies, the groove and the beat. I was also blown away by the community that existed at these events. My life took on a new course.
Over the next two and a half years, I was out almost every weekend commuting from Guelph and then later Waterloo to Toronto, dancing, laughing and enjoying all sorts of tunes. Jungle, Drum and Bass, Trance, Techno, Acid Trance, Progressive house and so on. But it wasn't till Feb. 1997 at a party called "Not The End" where I heard DJ Hugh Sharpe and Toronto's own Cyber G. I was totally transfixed by what I was hearing through the speakers. This was my first exposure to Goa trance. This was the closest thing I had ever heard to Industrial music since I became a "regular", and some of the most unique forms of music I had ever heard. The way the music let you move via the combination of dark and light, harsh and gentle melodies. It was as if you could chill out to this, or give it your all at the same time. I knew at that point right there that I wanted to start spinning.
Later that year I bought my first CD players, and started to build my collection of Goa and Psy-Trance. I found this music to be quite difficult to mix at first because it lacked any fat basslines like house or trance. I taught myself how to blend tracks together via other forms of "electronica" before moving back to Goa trance. I played at my first party later that year in Dec., and eventually moved to Toronto in May 1998.
The following summer (1998) I attended my last WEMF festival, and the first with a Psy-Trance tent. Once again I was blown away by the variety of the people who enjoyed this style of music. It is a true family affair. Seeing Medicine Drum live was also an absolutely smashing thrill. I left that weekend feeling full and happy.
When I did move to Toronto, I reaquainted myself with a couple of friends from high school who where also living there. They had already started a monthly night called Audio Enforcement before they asked me to play at the third installement. It was quite a treat to be asked to play after only being in Toronto for a short while, to share my hobby with others outside of my group of friends. From there, we moved to a bi-weekly event, with our biggest highlight being our Halloween party-1999, and also enlarged our crew to 7 DJ's and two floors at the We'Ave in the heart of the city. 3 Drum and Bass DJ's, 2 Techno, 1 Nu-Skool Breaks and myself. We continued on for about two years but, as with all good things, they must come to an end. The We'Ave closed down, and we lost our space.
?Thanks to Micheal and Stewart who got the ball rolling in the first place.
At that point , we all went our separate ways. It did not really bother me as I am still a lover and collector of music first, and a DJ second. I played a few events in and outside of Toronto before I moved to Calgary.
?Thanks also to Dan, John, Phink, Alex, Andrew, Jeff, Kenneth and everyone else who gave me an opportunity to share with them my love of this music.
I moved to Calgary in 2002. I literally came on holiday and just never went back. I hooked up with Darvin, Jay and Wes shortly after arriving and talking with Cary from Feroshus. I also met the TeknoCollective and went to a lot of their events and rediscovered the family feeling and PLUR that I thought had long since died. When Wes asked me to be a part of area709, I was extremely excited. Being able to contribute to this group of people, through love of our music and good times, and being given the chance to expand my horizons in a new city has instilled a new sense of purpose in me. Massive, massive thank you's to Wes, Darvin and Jay. Words cannot say how appreciative I am to have met you guys and to be a part of this movement. Thank you's also go out to Byron, Darren, Kevin, Ari, Zach and the rest of the TeknoCollective, James, Matt, Cary, Nicholas, Marshall and Chris, Sarah, Travis and Andrea, Bruce and the rest of the Team Psyence crew and all of the friends that have come my way since moving out here.
My biggest thank you is to the sunshine in my life, Ada. Without you, I would not have pushed to go as far as I have. Thank you for putting up with the constant beat, the late nights and the early mornings, the long travels and the short hikes. Thanks for being there for me always through the highs and lows. I love you always.
So what does this all mean? Through my numerous experiences of both dancing and spinning, I try to play music that is full of emotion and melody, while blended with some minimal flavours, both light and dark, to take the listener through many different landscapes, feelings and visions within my sets. A chance for someone to escape. It has to flow smoothly. I know it is a tired saying, but I strongly believe that my job and duty as a DJ is to partake with the listeners in a journey for the mind, body and soul. If I am the guide on this journey, then it has to be a seamless flow of music, with as few bumps in the road as possible, and I feel the same way if I am being guided by another through his or her set.
What the future holds, only time will tell...
Audio Enforcement - monthly res. in Toronto: Feb. 1999- June 2001
Area 51 Psychedeiic Saturdays: various
Ping Pong: April 2003 (first proper event in Calgary)
Motion Notion (2003,2004,2005)
Burning Man (2006)
NOTED ARTISTS I have had the Pleasure of Performing with:
Cosmosis, Pied Piper Paul, Astral Projection, Beat Bizarre, Treavor Moontribe, Dave Tipper.