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- Posted on Mar 9th 2010 7:50AM by Jesse Ship
Ottawa, Canada's capital, is often known as the most politically correct place on earth. So, it comes as a surprise to many that it has given birth to some of the most serious party-rocking DJs and remixers in the country. Jokers of the Scene have come of age with their early '90s techno-influenced DJing style, graduating from local loft party throwers to remixers for big name artists like Congorock, Kid Cudi, Passion Pit, Muscles and many more. They were also one of the very first acts signed to A-Trak and Nick Catchdub's club banging, Fool's Gold label. Not a bad way to start off your international DJ career.
Can you describe your sound in your own words?
I supposed its rooted in techno music but not limited to that. Our sound was mainly born out of parties that we used to throw. We started initially with club edits, and were approached early by A-Trak and Nick Catchdubs who run the Fool's Gold label. We go all over the place, but our backbone is rooted in the old '80s Detroit techno sound and early rave music. We don't just listen to dance music; we listen to all sorts of things. If we're working on a club remix, it will obviously have that kind of approach, but we are moving into band remixes as well, so our perspective changes every time we sit down in the studio.
How were you discovered by Fool's Gold?
We were friends with Nick Catchdubs from years ago when we were doing a monthly Ottawa party called 'Disorganized' which ran for 6 1/2 years. We used to trade music on the net and play at his parties in New York, too. We were one of the first people they approached when the label formed in 2007 and we've been part of the family ever since. Our third Fool's Gold EP is coming out in April.
How did you start DJing together?
My DJ partner Linus had a record store in Ottawa called 'Organized Sound' and I used to go buy records there. It wasn't long before we realized we had very similar taste in music. We were both DJing independently around the city when Linus approached me about the monthly. It started as a small loft thing and blew into a full club event back in 2003. The production aspect came about when we got together in the studio and everything just started snowballing from there.
Can you talk about your musical influences?
We've both always liked older techno and house music from the golden days of the '80s and '90s but we both listen to anything you can think of. Stuff like, My Bloody Valentine to obscure Italo-disco, lots of metal. We both played in punk and metal bands as teens so I think that also has a big influence. I like anything with a bit of a darker undertone, anything we make has a bit of that in it, but it's not really a conscious thing.
Where does the name come from?
The club scene in Ottawa was very fragmented when we first started the 'Disorganized' parties, with only one sound in each club. Nobody took us very seriously, so we sort of were given the name by other DJs. They thought we were jokes, so we took the name on ourselves.
What's in your festival survival kit?
Clean underwear, T-shirts, socks, not much else. We pack very light. We spent the better part of last year touring the world and realized that lugging shit around was not very good for travelling. We make sure that we have our music, laptops... and each other!
What are some of your favourite remixes?
So many! We become very attached to whatever we are working on at the time, so it's hard to narrow down our favourites. There have been particular projects that have been very memorable like an ambient musical score to an outdoor art installation that happened at Nuit Blanche in Toronto, which was connected to the lights on the CN tower. It was a lot of fun because it was so out of context to what we usually work on. We've started getting into remixing bands. It's more of a challenge for us to make the crossover into them getting club play.
What is your biggest vice?
We probably drink too much, but I think we're getting better at that as we get older. I smoke a lot of weed when I have downtime at home or in the studio. We're pretty plain, there's nothing too creepy about us.
Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?
Not really but when I was growing up, I was always a huge Prince fan. But not the stuff everybody knows, more the unreleased stuff. Prince was always a big 'studio' guy, so I think that's had an influence on me. I also think some pop songs are terrific.
What's the last thing you listen to before you go to bed?
That varies, but lately I've been listening to a lot of weird ambient headphone music like Boards of Canada. Linus likes to fall asleep to YouTube videos and that probably has an influence on the short-attention span of our music.
What's the craziest thing you've seen or experienced on tour?
This one time after a show in Dundee, Scotland, we got invited to play at this house party and a guy there tried to pick a fight with us. I almost had bottle of Gray Goose smashed over my head. I guess he didn't like us because he thought we were American or something. But overall, the craziest part is getting up and playing at the shows themselves.