Not so long ago, in a land known as The Internet, I was approached by a digital music maverick by the name of Jay. We spoke at lengths about electronic music, remixes, and so forth. The previous time we did this, it resulted in the release of my original production, “Lush,” which was a Good Thing indeed. At the end of this particular conversation, he signed me up to do a remix of Benz & MD. I did two, and they came out on US based Proton Music.
John Morgan and Kevin Shiu have long been good friends, amazing DJs, and producers to boot. I have many fond memories of hanging with them both on Vancouver Island and in the legendary Lotus nightclub in Vancouver’s downtown area. When they offered me the opportunity to participate in a release on Powerplant Music, I jumped at the honour.
The original track is a pretty dark progressive tribal house piece that would not at all sound out of place in a Sasha or John Digweed set. My remix takes the deep, creepy melodic bits and sticks them in a progressive house + breaks adrenaline rush. One of my favourite remixes to work on – so many great parts to work with.
I’ve made this a free download – full quality if you’d like, since it’s no longer for sale. Enjoy it in your car, or at the gym, or just really loud. DO IT!
Oceanography is a really unique atmospheric breaks track. Fractal brings together many different sounds, synths, pads into several melodies, bass-lines and time signatures, all of which flow effortlessly from eachother. Rennie Foster steps in to do some remix work, focussing on the twisted piano from the original track over top of a pretty deadly techno groove. I also get involved under my AFK name and make it a little more dance-floor friendly but keep true to the ethereal nature of the original while slapping in a breakbeat in the middle (as I like to do) and also weaving an Oliver Lieb-inspired arpeggiation in and out of the track. Good times. All innocent and fun times in fact, until Toby Emerson steps in to do his remix and completely knocks it out of the park. Massive electro-prog basslines and synths drive this remix until a really dark breakdown hits. It’s pretty hot stuff. Caution is advised while dropping this one. Overall I feel that this a really solid release – a year in the making – and I’m glad I took the extra time to see this release through to be what it is now. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did putting it together. As usual I did the sleeve art direction seen above etc.
Question for you now – what’s your favorite mix or remix of the bunch? I wont be offended if you don’t say me, so please have at ‘er!
- Fractal – Oceanography (Original mix)
- Fractal – Oceanography (Rennie Foster’s Thousand Fathoms Deep remix)
- Fractal – Oceanography (AFK’s Ucluelet Detour remix)
- Fractal – Oceanography (Toby Emerson remix)
The Desert Dwellers are a couple of guys named DJ Treavor (Moontribe) and Amani. The collective has expanded since they first wrote this track, and some of you may recognize their other work under the names Amani vs Teapot.
The connection here with the people involved is pretty interesting to me. I first read about the Moontribe in XLR8R magazine in the late 90’s. They had a special section in events in the magazine because they threw full moon parties in the California desert. This sounded cool to me, so I decided that I wanted to go to one of their events. I did some more research and then realized that on my college student budget, there was no way I was going to be making this trip. Too bad.
Less a year later I heard that there was a Moontribe party in Victoria. I was pretty certain there was some sort of mistake as these guys threw parties in the desert in California. It was pretty unlikely that they would choose to come to Victoria and hang out. I was wrong. Over the next couple years, I attended several Moontribe parties in Victoria with DJ line ups like DJ Brian (Hardesertrance, Psychotrance, Seed, Ritual Sounds), John Kelley (Funkydesertbreaks), DJ Treavor, Petey and more. It was all pretty surreal and I found myself designing the flyer for one of their bigger events that many people came up from California for. A bit later on myself and DJ Brian shared a residency at the Neptune Soundbar along with a couple other DJ’s. This resulted in us throwing a full moon party ourselves in the middle of the woods. Wild times to be sure.
In any case, work visas ran out and people who had moved up here from California had to move back. Sad but true. As much freedom as we claim to have in Canada and the United States, we are certainly constricted by the working laws of our two countries. Several years later, we have found a way to work together again – Treavor works at Ingrooves (Music aggregation service that distributes music to stores for Pacific Front Recordings) and runs Desert Trax as well as being a founder of the Desert Dwellers, Brian runs Ritual Sounds and records music as Seed, and we have all done remixes of eachother and pushed the music further despite being pretty far away. If you have a listen to these tracks, you’ll hear our distinct sounds from the past all come together in a condensed and very playable way.
- Desert Dwellers – Musiki Ukabili (Original mix)
- Desert Dwellers – Musiki Ukabili (Phokus and Seed remix)
- Desert Dwellers – Musiki Ukabili (AFK’s Moon Over Myakka remix)
Myakka has nothing to do with the Moontribe or the desert, but rather is a pretty inspiring Florida State Park that Krishen took me to around the time that I did this remix.
My first memory of Dope Ride is when Charles played it for me when it was 90% done. My second memory of Dope Ride is when he finished it and played it for me – at this point I literally begged and pleaded for him to sign it to Pacific Front. I don’t think the begging or pleading was necessary but this track is that damn good. My third memory of Dope Ride was cruising around in Miami during WMC with Krishen last year, blasting it out of the car and grinning at everyone. That was pretty awesome, I’m not going to lie. My fourth memory of Dope Ride was Charles playing it live at VEMF 2006 at the Jungle Room. Mass destroyage, people, maaaass destroyage. My fifth memory of Dope Ride was the reviews that came into Pacific Front for it. This is a huge track, and it’s been coupled with another original c79 track that will flip you on your side – Dollface. Justin (Formulate) did a remix of it that we started our VEMF 2006 set with, and myself and Anand did a breakbeat remix under our Tiebreaker guise, named after the van our parents own, The Green Machine. In the photo you can see the Green Machine Mark II, which is not a van, but is still green and still a machine. I took the photo up on Triangle Mountain late at night. I have no idea whose house that is but it looks creepy as can be in this time exposure. Even with the effects off it still looks creepy, maybe creepier because it appears that much more real. Anyway it’s real and so is this release, and so are you.
- c79 – Dope Ride (Original mix)
- c79 – Dope Ride (Tiebreaker’s Green Machine remix)
- c79 – Dope Ride (Formulate remix)
- c79 – Dollface (Original mix)
This full EP from c79 has two very original tracks with inverted naming. This is arguably Pacific Front’s biggest release to date. We ended up licensing Silent Violence (Original mix) to Paul Oakenfold’s Perfecto label for a Sandra Collins compilation. Kan Shinomura did a smooth tech remix and I did an atmospheric breaks remix to round out the package. I took the photo for this release at Luminara in 2006. This monster was wandering through the forest in Beacon Hill Park and I caught him with my telephoto before he ran away.
- c79 – Silent Violence (Original mix)
- c79 – Silent Violence (Kan Shinomura remix)
- c79 – Violent Silence (Original mix)
- c79 – Violent Silence (AFK’s Passive Aggressive remix)
One of my favorite tracks by Micah (from Calgary) is Capable Space. It’s got a bit of funk, a bit of eeriness, and some truly great moments. Justin agreed, and we had Micah on Pacific Front with this release. Jarius Miller actually did two remixes of this, the other one of which can be found on the Storm Warning 002 EP. I did a half breaks, half progressive remix (because you know I love that half and half versatility in a set) that I recently remastered and put in a Pacific Front Sessions show.
- Micah – Capable Space (Original mix)
- Micah – Capable Space (AFK’s Chehalis Space Station remix)
- Micah – Capable Space (Jarius Miller’s Headverb remix)
Charles (Obakeh, c79, Chompers) had these Peter Tosh samples and made a very cool dub tech-house track out of them and a number of other sounds that he put together. Habersham stepped in and did a fabulous tech dub which does the business on the dance floor. I did a progressive breaks remix that sampled the original drums and voices, but stepped in a slightly different and slightly epic breaks direction. The sleeve art is Charles himself making some statues on Mt. Doug in Victoria at sunset. I can’t remember when we were up there, but it was a while ago, maybe even before Pacific Front existed. I also did an ambient remix that we might put out some day as a PFR-X release, or maybe as part of a Storm Warning EP. Only time will tell..
- Obakeh – Ghosted (Original mix)
- Obakeh – Ghosted (Habersham’s Tech-Phunked Up Dub)
- Obakeh – Ghosted (AFK’s Fully Spooked remix)
Hard to believe this track is around 4 years old now. I remember hearing it for the first time when Justin (Formulate) played a set at a Willis Point fire hall party. It thumped big time so I asked to do a remix when the time came. Listening to it now I hear a lot of things I would do differently but it’s a pretty good snapshot of where we were around that time. Speaking of snapshots, I was working in North Vancouver when I took this photo. It was around 2005 and I was walking up the Capilano River, looking for the dam. I never made it to the dam, and looking at Google Earth recently revealed that it would have taken a very long time for me to get there. I did get to this bridge, though..
- Formulate – Rising Edge (Original mix)
- Formulate – Rising Edge (AFK remix)