Remember, you have to express the mood you want to suggest and the emotions you want to convey on your song. So let me talk a little bit about the Hardware side. It was the culmination of a formula I have been working on over my last few mixes.
Do you remember the fresh smell of the Florida air and the sweet sting of the wind through your hair while speeding down the interstate, windows down, blasting the baddess-ass Breakz track noone’s ever heard at 1AM- your crew in the back seat rolling their asses off, while you all knew you were about to entirely “make” the vibe of the party?
So let me talk a little bit about the Hardware side. By Hardware I mean physical Drum Machines, Samplers and Keyboards/Workstations that you touch and play with your hands. I first started out with a DR-660 drum machine about 18 years ago. This was my first piece of “real” studio equipment. Before then I was just using breakbeat records on turntables and recording over a home stereo. This drum machine had stocks sounds that could be manipulated with effects like reverb and flange but you could not add sounds. You could however record patterns and then arrange those patterns into songs. I was able to learn a lot by using that drum machine and it was good to be able to play the pads to hear and record the sounds.
The decor at Dazzling on King street was abuzz just the same with it’s pastel cream friezes alight with ethereal but ebulliant colours emanating from stealthily stowed colourful LED lights. I spoke to the promoter of the night, entitled “Sake and Soul”, an energetic guy named “Ace” who exclaimed “this will be good, every single table has been booked.” The house band played on. “Sake and Soul”, a reference to the 70’s soul covers typically twisted by the house band into a modern pallette of mash-ups while patrons dine from a menu of pan-asian fusion dishes has been an ongoing fixture of Toronto’s King street scene for over a year now.
I remember the popular slogan, “One Drug, One love”- which summed up in a nutshell that only ecstasy could help you hear this music correctly, and any other drug was not only unnecessary- but shunned. Other slogans began to turn up in later years, as more dangerous drugs creeped into the underground. “Together we stand- Divided we fall OUT”- explained that if we didn’t watch each other, the scene would not only collapse, but you may end up in the hospital.
Drum and bass branched off from the rave scene during the 1980s and since then, multiple elements have been incorporated into it. Jazz, rock, trance, metal, house, hip hop, and many other genres fused into the bass beats to give each track a unique feel.
Later on I was able to get my hands on a Roland XP-60 Workstation and a Roland MV-8000 Sampler/Sequencer. Again this is physical hardware that you are able to play. The XP-60 had stock sounds but could you not add sounds. However, the MV-8000 which is a sampler/sequencer was able to add sounds and sample. This really opened the door for creativity being able to import new sounds and sample new things.
Eventually, the idea of the “vibe” became more widespread, encompassing everything- the music, the people, the overall feeling of the party. Almost everyone believed in it now. Ravers believed that this entity could appear out of nowhere, much like the “Holy Spirit”, coming down upon the party and blessing it with good times.
If hard and punk rock isn’t the right tune for Sunday evening, then head down the street to The Five Spot to hear some New Orleans-bred funk! Water Seed is putting together an awesome show to highlight their soulful and funky ways at the best spot for funk concerts. Opening up for this band will be Kev Choice, emcee and pianist with a jazz and soul influence, and another New Orleans native Casme’ providing some fun and soulful tunes.