Joseph Martin almost seemed to come out of nowhere. Re-surfacing in East Vancouver a few years ago, he swooped in and slayed SiGNAL’s DJ competition at The Lotus in 2010. Long-time staples of the scene took notice, and the quiet yet confident Kelowna-native with great skills and thoughtful track selection was suddenly on the Vancouver radar. A little further investigation and we find out that Martin is actually old school rave alumni, having started out attending events on the coast in the mid 90s and then later in the interior where he put together show after show with Liquidbeat, working hard to make way for crews like Footwerk.
But instead of diving in to make a name for himself as a DJ all over again in a new city, Martin took a look around and decided that he’d rather promote himself by promoting others. “I started seeing all this exceptional talent everywhere, but there were still huge pockets of the scene where people were making great music and not really releasing anything. At this point I produce quite a bit more now than I play out, and I thought, where is the avenue to represent what’s going on here in the studios? This scene isn’t just at the clubs. I saw a big hole there, so I decided to start a label.”
So why digital? “Hard copy production and distribution is expensive and puts such a high pressure on everyone to re-coup costs. Digital releases are accessible to a wider variety of artists and is a more efficient way to get more music out there. We do four types of releases: singles, EPs, albums, and compilations. The label handles almost everything for an artist, from the mastering to the art.” His designer/partner Emma has worked out a signature EVD design for each compilation that works the title into a recognizable East Van landmark. This year Joseph made the move towards videos as well, working with Chadio to produce both the song and the video for “Afterturn”, again, chock full of East Van imagery. Chadio’s “Plot Thickens EP” also features collaborations with Vancouver producers Bevvy Swift, DJ Soo, and Eradik. The EP is outnow on Beatport, with a wider digital outlet release slated for Thursday August 2nd.
In just two years, the label has been put to good use as an appreciated contribution to the community. This year, 15 different artists on the Bass Coast line-up now have releases through EVD. It should come as no surprise then that Joseph was into the idea of hosting a contest for up-and-coming producers to get some exposure (not to mention free tickets to the Bass Coast) by remixing tracks from the aforementioned Chadio EP.
After his team of artists and producers listened to all 32 submissions, “in the end, there was a clear and definitive winner, agreed upon by everyone. Like Mind’s Crowfoot Remix of Age Like Wine. The remix was fantastic, a complete stand-out, and original. Also appreciated was the extra effort he put into his submission package, which included a write up on the methodology behind the remix, how had recorded birds with a sound recorder and used them for the track…even the artwork he included. It was a unanimous decision. We also agreed that the winningremix really embodied the feeling of the festival itself,” notes Joseph.
“There were a few more really strong entries that scored highly: Kline, Trapezoid (tracks below), Mike Stew, and Gwil…they will all be featured on the release.”
The final LP will also includes remixes from already established Bass Coast Project performers such as Taal Mala and Korbin Dallaz, along with East Van Digital alumni Ryan Wells & Woodhead.
“It’s really encouraging and exciting to have all this amazing music coming out of Vancouver, and awesome to hear about all the new producers coming up. I’m just glad I can help get it out there.”
Make sure to check out all the East Van Digital artists at the festival:
A-MAC – Bassment Stage, Sunday 5:30pm
BEVVY SWIFT – Slay Bay, Saturday Early Morn, 2:30am
CHADIO – Various Stages / MC
HXDB – Radio Stage, Sunday 11:30pm
ERADIK – Bassment Stage, Sunday 8pm
JOSEPH MARTIN – Slay Bay, 7:00pm
KIR MOKUM – Slay Bay, Saturday Early Morn, 4:30am
LONGWALKSHORTDOCK – Bassment Stage, Friday 9pm
SELF EVIDENT – Bassment Stage, Monday Early Morn, 2am
SHAMIK – Radio Stage, Saturday 6:30pm
THE LIBRARIAN – Bassment Stage, Sunday 11:30pm
TIMOTHY WISDOM – Radio Stage, Sunday Early Morn, 12:30am
WEPA! – Bassment Stage, Saturday Noon
WILLISIST – Radio Stage, Saturday 7:30pm
WOODHEAD – Slay Bay, Monday Early Morn, 4am
Big thanks to everyone who submitted and was involved with the competition, we hope to make it an annual affair!
See you soon!