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Talk About: House Music!
By: Jessica Grajczyk
Date: 2006-03-10 15:39:34
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Talk About: House Music!

I’m big into urban music, and a bit of everything, really. All I know about house music is that it gives me the urge to shake my booty. I’ve always been curious about it, and the significant house scene in Vancouver. I wanted to know why the people who love it are so incredibly passionate about it, so I sat down with a good friend, and serious house addict, to get to the bottom of it.

What is it about House music that you love?

House music has a lot of different levels of appeal. It steals from every genre of music out there. It’s also non-objective. For example, take any popular music artist, they will write a song that describes a particular feeling or situation, which their audience will identify with, whereas in house music, there are no consistent themes or stories, few lyrics to tell you how to feel. It’s all up to the listener to interpret. I think it’s a more intelligent music form. People dismiss it as basic, repetitive and non-intelligent, but they aren’t really listening. They don’t want or need to listen. The essential elements of house are 4 beats over 4 bars and that’s where the repetition complaint comes from.

Who was the first house DJ you ever saw who made an impact on you?

Andy Clockwork - I’d heard the music before, but he really made me listen. I saw him in an illegal basement after-hours, he played really funky deep house. There were so many sounds mixed together. It sounded cool, pure and simple.

All house music is, is soul and passion...

Who’s the best house DJ in Vancouver right now?

There is more than one. Andy Clockwork, RC Lair, Alison Barth and Jay Tripwire to name a few.

What makes them so good?

Jay is a phenomenon known around the world. All house lovers know exactly who he is. Andy plays breaky, funky, dirty house music and always has fun doing it, from start to finish. Alison is probably the most underrated DJ in Vancouver right now her shit is tight through and through. RC is hands down one of the most educated, talented DJs anywhere... He can mix anything; I just wish he would get back to house basics and over the Electro sound that he brought to Vancouver.

What do you think about the association of drugs with the electronic music scene?

Not to be hypocritical, because I’ve done more than my fair share, it seems to be the way people are first initiated to the music. But now my attitude is that I think it just detracts the fun away from it. If people are going do them and come and dance I don’t want to know about it or share in their drug use. All those people who say they are there for the music and are up for 72 hours straight aren’t in it for the music; they are there for the drugs and maybe the women. I couldn’t live house music for 72 hours straight and I really really like house music. It’s an immature fan of house music that does hard drugs every time they go out to listen and dance. Come for the drugs and stay for the killer beats.

What’s something about the Vancouver house scene that your average club goer wouldn’t know?

What the DJ’s are actually playing or how little these DJ’s get paid to perform every night. I’d be surprised if most were making $100 a night. $200 is probably the going rate for a local headliner.

Who is the most reputable promoter in the house music scene?

The DJ’s who promote themselves. For promoters Alvaro from Blueprint, everyone’s favorite, Steve G and the Deepen Crew. They are really straight up people that love the music and it shows in whom they bring to town, the locals they hire and how they treat their clientele.

I’ve noticed that house music lovers really fucking love their house music. What’s up with that?

House music lovers have listened to and enjoy the best every other genre has to offer, so their standards are already fairly high. It is still predominately underground, you have to want to find it. Even people that love it have a hard time finding information on it. You have to go digging, so you really need to be serious about it. The DJ’s don’t tell you what song they just played; the music doesn’t lend itself to that. Community radio in Vancouver is the only thing that comes close. The Internet helps, DJ’s listing their tracks with the sets they release too.

What are you listening to a lot right now?

Dr. Jones - Smile, Mark Farina Live at Om, Dave Friendly and Amtrak - Cross-town Traffic.

Who haven’t you seen yet that you want to see live?

Francois K, East Coast Boogiemen (one member of the duo is coming to Vancouver in march), Swirl People, and of course Danny Tenaglia, who only plays 10 + hour marathon sets and will probably never get booked in Vancouver. Hint hint.

How would you describe house music to someone who knew nothing about it in a way that persuades them to listen harder and really appreciate it?

All house music is, is soul and passion, I mean it is created mostly with computers so it has to be soul and passion filled. Most DJ’s and Producers will fuse a nice blend of hip-hop, r & b, funk, jazz, techno and rock into their house, whatever you like, it will be there. Make House Music your life but don’t take it too seriously or you have missed the point.
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