Three Kickass DJs You May Not Know are from Canada

I have a dirty little secret, one that I share with selected friends or strangers with whom I feel an immediate musical connection. At times, people appreciate this dirty secret of mine, while others sorta shrug it off because they already know about it and are not enlightened by my revelation. This dirty secret is my musical source. It’s much like IndieShuffle as it is also a music “blog,” however it’s got 10x the volume of music and remixes you find on IndieShuffle and other blogs….if that gives you a hint:P Anyway, the point is, thanks to this music source in addition to the Song of the Day music emails sent to me by my good friend Khaled B., I constantly have my ear to the ground.

And lately this ear has been very pleased with the moody electronic remixes coming from one Canadian DJ in particular. Therefore, I decided to write an ode to Canadian DJs so as to feature him as well as show my love for music from the country I grew up in and which has helped nurture my tastes.

To date, there are many Canadian artists who have already made the international circuit and developed their names. Even so, I meet a lot of people who don’t recognize Canada as integral to the world music map. They cough up names like Drake, Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Alanis Morrissette, and ask who has produced good quality music from here.  It is at these points that I enjoy bombarding people with Canadian music references like Arcade Fire, Feist, K-Os, Junior Boys, Esthero, Tegan and Sara, the Weeknd, Broken Social Scene, The Dears and others. Nevermind that Toronto has been having a “Seattle moment,” as suggested by the NYTimes a year ago. Or that Montreal band Arcade Fire was one of the first indie rock acts to perform at the Grammys, specifically the 2011 Grammys where they also won album of the year and beat out major label artists like Eminem and Lady Gaga.

That’s right. So Canadian music is on the map…we’re just very humble about it. Cough. Till now. Here’s my little ode to some of Canada’s kickass DJs.

Deadmau5

Yea, that scrawny kid who hides behind a mouse mask, uses a 5 in his stage name and overshares on social media is in fact from Niagara Falls, Ontario. Deadmau5 has quickly become one of the most well known names in electronic dance music, having toured around the world to massive shows full of people who just wanna dance, while consistently ranking in the upper echelons of top DJ lists from the likes of DJ Magazine and Beatport. Although I’m not the biggest fan of deadmau5’s music, I still like hearing it once in awhile. My favourite song from him is this remix of Morgan Page and Lissie, “The Longest Road.”

Le Track: The Longest Road, Morgan Page ft. Lissie (Deadmau5 remix)

A-Trak

A-Trak is a DJ and the founder Fool’s Gold, a label  responsible for several DJs and producers you may already be familiar with such as Kid Cudi, Flosstradamus and Laidback Luke. In terms of showing off his own skills, he’s collaborated with and worked alongside the likes of Kanye West, Armand Van Helden and Travis Barker. Apparently he was also somewhat of a teenage prodigy with the turntables and used to win DMC awards in the 90s…which I don’t know much about since I haven’t really been following the DJ scene that far back. A-Trak hails from Montreal but now lives in New York, and is also the brother of David Macklovitch from Chromeo. Talented family, eh? I really dig A-Trak’s collaboration last year with Kimbra and Mark Foster, Warrior. I also recommend checking out his remix of Robyn’s “Indestructible” and his remix of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Heads Will Roll.”

Le Track: Warrior – A-Trak, Kimbra and Mark Foster

Cyril Hahn

Maybe it’s a bit premature to include Vancouver DJ Cyril Hahn on this list. I mean, I’ve only heard his stuff start popping up around the web in the past few months. But oh, if I could only tell you how much I’ve heard! He remixes the R&B and hip hop songs we all know well and brings them back with an electronic dance music feeling. I’ve never been a fan of Destiny’s Child but his reinvention of Say My Name has made me appreciate the pop trio’s music more than I thought possible. There’s something very emotional about his remixes, bringing to each song a dreamy echo and classic house bass line that helps him live up to the title of bedroom producer. I can’t really put my finger on a genre for Hahn—somehow his music can fit in anywhere for me, from the r&b electronica we’ve been hearing by the Weeknd and Frank Ocean, to myriad deep house productions I hear at 360. It’s Cyril Hahn who spurred me to write this entry and at this point I’d like to share three of his remixes. Keep your eye on this guy, I have a feeling we’re gonna hear a lot more of him!

Les Trackz:

Sweet Talk (Jessie Ware remix) http://soundcloud.com/jessieware/sweet-talk-cyril-hahn-rmx-sd

Please Don’t Say You Love Me (Gabrielle Aplin remix) http://soundcloud.com/cyrilhahn/gabrielle-aplin-please-dont

Touch My Body (Mariah Carey remix) http://soundcloud.com/cyrilhahn/mariah-carey-touch-my-body

The last song in particular is pure love and ecstacy. 

Awesome Canadian maple leaf header photo courtesy of Dvice. And though I know it’s meant to symbolize music piracy in Canada, I’m reinterpreting this art and gonna just say Canadian musicians are badass pirates decked in headphones. 

 

3 Comments

  1. Article.

  2. Great.

Leave a Reply