The Monolithic sound of Canada 02.03.2011

pic by Charlotte Dobre

For introduction, please let us who's Monolithium and where you from.

I’m a DJ/producer/promoter based out of Victoria BC, Canada. Fan of Wu-Tang Clan, Erykah Badu, Aphex Twin, Leonard Cohen, Dabrye, Godflesh, Sa-Ra, Ricardo Villalobos and J Dilla. Most people know me as Longshanks. I run the swaggest party in town, a future music monthly called sub|division (see above). I’ve been scheming on my own productions for a minute. Monolithium is the sound of years of Hip Hop obsession mixed with the future sound continuum that has blossomed over the last couple of years.

Sounds like you are a busy man. What is Canada like, for bass music? Is there a ‘beat scene’ or something? Any hot names on your watchlist we should be aware of?
In terms of talent, Canada is really repping right now. Lunice and Jacques Greene from Montreal are on fire this year, Stacker Upper by Lunice is just too dope. Everyone needs to peep their homie Ango as well; he has a release due on LuckyMe soon that will blow minds. Vancouver’s scene is packed with dudes who are adventuring through the Post-Dubstep landscape, Michael Red and Taal Mala especially, the whole Lighta! crew in Vancouver is top notch. Locally in Victoria, Rhythmicon & Eames are a couple of fly-as-fuck DJs; with them I run sub|division. We throw everything in the mix; beats, House, Post-Dubstep, Garage, Trap Rap, dope visuals...they are the type of parties that if I wasn’t throwing them, I would definitely be going to hear the music.

The man everyone should be watching right now is Rob Squire a.k.a. Prison Garde a.k.a. Megasoid. Prison Garde is simple, it’s basically analog synths and 808 drums. His jam I Know You’re Mine is grind-worthy smooth-ass shit, a perfect mid-set heater. A lot of the current dialog amongst the movers & shakers seems to be around bringing back a bit of sensuality to the dancefloor, which is likely a reaction against how masculine, aggressive and repetitive the heavy Dubstep sound has become. Rob really brought a sexual sensibility with his new sound and it’s inspiring how the dude can reinvent himself so fully formed. Everybody should be clocking Prison Garde... like yesterday.

Talking about influences, do you consider your Monolithium music Hip Hop? Naming the Wu, Dabrye and Dilla as formative it seems like you tend to be sympathic with the US blend of bass music rather than UKs manifold step styles...
 Ironically I’m pretty geeked on much of the UK scene. Ramadanman, Dark Sky and Mount Kimbie totally hold my attention for sure. But I’ve had a MASSIVE Rap revitalization over the last year on two fronts; primarily, I’ve been revisiting much of the 90s East Coast classics that shaped me in my teens, a lot of Premier, Wu and Pete Rock. But I’ve also been wiling out to a lot of the bigger mainstream releases; Drake, Kanye, Rick Ross etc. So yeah, ostensibly I’m channelling more than 15 years of being a Hip Hop geek into my own modern take on bass music.

                                                                                                                                by Rumon Carter

Why a remix of Ricardo Villalobos? Ain’t that pretty much 2004?
Easy Lee was the first Villalobos tune I ever heard and remember immediately just being like ‘Whoa, what the fuck is this?!’. Ricardo is a guy who takes risks, he still plays vinyl and he pushes and pulls his fans, much like Autechre. To me, one of the shortcomings of the modern beat/ post-genre scene is its hyper-short attention span - the music that seems to suffer the most is the music from just a few years ago. People just have no time for something that they perceive as being ‘over’. So I loved the idea of taking a tune that really is not THAT old and twerking it with the current colour.

What made you hook up with the EB fam? What will your EP Simon and G-Funk sound like?
Definitely been feeling Pixelord and Montgomery Clunk over the last year. Man, there are some tunes from those cats that I rinse every time I play. Monty’s Heat is just THE anthem! EBs’ aesthetic and philosophy of ‘Basically it’s Hip Hop’ really struck a chord with me.
The EP? Well, it’s Hip Hop, it’s Funk and it’s bass music I guess. I bought a DX7 a while back so that is all over the EP. Simon & G-Funk is pretty sexy. All of these tunes were made with the dancefloor in mind, so that is where they will come to life. But there is a big ‘rolling in your whip’-vibe with my music as well, because I like driving and banging out loud-ass beats. It’s definitely on some head-nod shit.

Download the Monolithium re-crunk of Easy Lee.

Simon & G-Funk will be released soon on Error Broadcast.