Hello VILIFY and welcome to Brutal Resonance! I always like starting off with this question. What are three of your favorite albums of all time and why?
VILIFY: Thanks for the warm welcome Brutal Resonance Fam. Always a tough question but let’s see, top three favorite albums are Rage Against the Machine's 1992 self titled album, DJ Shadow's "Entroducing", and Junia-T's "Studio Monk".
Each of the albums reach and influenced me in different way. Rage made me feel something powerful from music that I had not yet experienced. It still to this day (as I continue to drop tracks from this album in DJ sets around the world) ignites a source of energy, power and inspiration. "Endtroducing" introduced me to a vast spectrum of sound that was so fresh and new to my ears. A culmination of different genres and vibe. It really opened my mind up in terms of musical spectrum. Then to fast forward to 2020 with this beast of an album by Junia-T. It seems these days that albums are much more rare than singles, and to have an album come out where every track touches your soul, showcases a huge variety of artists and brings you on a journey of sound and emotion...Damn. I feel blessed to have this piece of art in my collection.
Tell me about your introduction to electronic music. What initially hooked you and what made you want to create it?
VILIFY: I grew up in Toronto which had an incredibly rich DNB / jungle scene. I remember walking into my first jungle rave (way under age) and instantly feeling home. There were weeklies seven nights a week at one point, with so many figure heads keeping the scene vibrant and alive in many different ways. The Toronto electronic music scene influenced me as a person, and my musical tastes to no end. It’s funny because I bought turntables not to "be a DJ" but instead because I wanted to DJ (for myself, at home) and gigs popped up naturally, which led to my full-time job for over a decade now. On the other hand, making music was something I had always been called to do. My mom says I came out of the womb making music. I experimented with different instruments growing up, and was always singing / writing, but once I was set up to create music electronically, with such freedom and an endless spectrum of tools at my fingertips, I knew it was something I would want to do forever.
When did you first start getting recognized in the electronic scene? Was it a bit of a shock to rise to playing in the top clubs of Berlin?
VILIFY: Canada was an amazing start to my musical journey. I would say my reach came alongside the weekly I started and ran for six plus years (which continues today, Bass Drive Wednesdays). Playing across the country, and then eventually across the world, has always felt like such an incredible blessing. Being able to travel the globe and experience new cultures and communities of people just by doing what I love to do, still feels like a dream.
You have a mix series titled “Genre is a Social Construct”. Is that just meant to be a title or do you find further meaning in it?
VILIFY: I’ve always found it somewhat strange (to me) how often artists or scenes, tend to be dedicated to one particular sound. I think throughout history, music has influenced, and given birth to different genres and sub-genres, and the need to package them into their own boxes might hold back or limit the development of sound in general. I think a lot of constructs throughout society are unnecessary and limiting, and that we may benefit from stepping back and witnessing things with a wider perspective and less of a need for labels.
You have a new album coming out titled “Illusion of Self”. Tell me a little about the title of the album. What does it mean to you?
VILIFY: I’m finding it interesting being on this journey of life and witnessing my own evolution (as well as the evolution of my musical tastes and creations). I think in this society we can be so self-focused these days (alongside judgement, pressure and comparison). Life is so short, impermeable, and unpredictable. I think that when we are able to step outside of ourselves and instead operate from a place of collective consciousness, awareness and connection to the planet, and the cosmos at large, we can have a more authentic, free existence, as we are here for the short time we are given on this planet in the physical form.
The cover art is very striking. A dark background with a bright red veil and red lighting decorates it. What is this supposed to represent on the album?
VILIFY: My homies in Montreal (Jeremy Shantz, Jenn Wade, Dan Esteban and Lisa Maria Faria) really smashed this cover - and video coming out with the release). I feel it truly represents the album and the inspiration behind it. This idea of stepping out of the societally imposed beliefs and "history" we’ve been indoctrinated with. The idea that you can free yourself, and create a deeper more authentic experience here if you are brave enough to look beyond your personal existence.
The album contains a ton of influence. Listening through it I found myself staring at elements of IDM, drum’n’bass, ambient electronica, and more. Do you ever find it difficult to balance all of these sounds with one another?
VILIFY: In fact, I find it difficult to do the opposite. Sometimes I think it may be easier from a promotion side, or explanatory side, to be focused in on one particular genre, but this is just not what is aligned with my soul. I think the vast spectrum of sound that I listen to, DJ and create, is what keeps it all exciting and fresh for me. It’s the only way that it all makes sense to my ears (and soul).
Out of all the tracks on the album, which one is your favorite and why?
VILIFY: A tough question, and to be honest is changes with each listen. I think ‘Surrender’ speaks to my soul the most deeply (and if I remember correctly was the first track I did make and set the tone for the rest of the album).
What else do you have planned for 2021 and the near future? DO you have any singles, EPs, albums, or remixes in the works? Any live shows planned?
VILIFY: The strange last year and a half, or so, has allowed me to be where I feel most aligned these days: in the studio creating. I have a lot of new sounds awaiting their release on the world. For now I’m just focused on this album, but you can be sure that 2022 will be a steady release of EPs, singles and another full album.
Lastly, I’d like to thank you for your time. I wish you the best of luck! I leave the space below for you to mention anything I may have missed.
VILIFY: So much gratitude on my end here. Thanks for connecting.
This interview was commissioned through our Ko-fi page.
Aug 28 2021
...on tour you live excessively, faster than real life, you suck it all in and ride the bomb, so to speak, and after the touring is done, you spit it all back out in the studio, however, it has undergone a process of digestion in the meantime, and that is the motivational momentum for me.
KMFDM, Apr 25 2011
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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