It’s normally rather quiet in the West Kootenay town of Salmo, but every second weekend in August, the beat goes up to 11 and to all hours of the night.
That’s when one of the largest electronic music festivals in North America takes over a rural ranch just outside of the town.
A small sampling of the Shambhala Music Festival is coming to Vernon for Christmas when 13th Floor Entertainment presents Jingle Bass at Monashees Bar and Grill Friday night.
The show’s headliner is Shambhala regular JPOD (the beat chef), who is a passionate and talented DJ known for his unique flavour as well as having precise musical and technical skills.
He’ll be joined by fellow Vernon DJs Dee Bass and The Electrofunkers, who plan to have patrons dancing until the wee hours of the morning, at least until the place shuts down at 2 a.m.
Known for his beat-heavy style, including glitch-hop, nu-funk, hip-hop, dancehall, world fusion and breaks, all live-mashed together with samples and a cappella, JPOD (real name Jason Danielson) grew up in Vernon and attended BX Elementary School, graduating from Vernon Secondary in 1998.
“It should be fun to play in my hometown over the holidays,” said Danielson. “Some of my family plans to come out and support the show. I’ve also recently finished my debut solo album, which is set to release Jan. 1 and I will be playing some of the music from it on Friday. I hope people come out expecting to hear and dance to something fresh from someone who is proud to have grown up here.”
A seven-year staple in the Fractal Forest at Shambhala, JPOD has seen and played it all, but one moment that stands out for him is when he went out into the crowd while DJing with his iPhone and gave the audience a more interactive performance. (A full video of the 2010 performance is available on his website at jpodtbc.com)
“Shambhala has been an amazing experience for sure. Playing seven years in a row is something many can only dream of, so I always try to remember how fortunate I am and not take it for granted,” he said.
Danielson’s life has always been rooted in music. Raised on piano lessons and jazz, he naturally began experimentally producing at the age of 15. Inspired by turntables, he taught himself the movements of scratching even before touching a crossfader (part of a DJ’s tool kit used in audio mixing.)
At 19, he began DJing and instantly adapted his musical ear to mixing.
Taking on the moniker of JPOD the beat chef, Danielson later made the transition from turntables to Ableton Live, a loop-based software music sequencer and digital audio workstation, in an effort to continue growing his DJ skills. His style now fully encompasses live remixing, effects and beat creation while maintaining that unique flavour he has always had.
“This project is based on the belief that the future of DJing is edits, remixes and live remixing and that the necessary tools should be more readily available,” he said.
JPOD has also made countless tracks and remixes on his own label, Swing Set Sounds, and also held a residency at Kelowna’s Higher Ground night club.
Also hailing from Vernon, Daryll Antonishak, better known as Dee Bass, will bring his own deck to Monashees, and says his colleague JPOD is one of the world’s best producer talents, with many charting releases and his own signature half-step sound.
“This is truly going to be a musical treat for Vernon residents as the level of DJ talent is top notch –– a night of great tunes sure to get people dancing all night long.”
Dee Bass recently returned to the Okanagan and has been DJing for a dozen or so years, headlining many of the local and regional outdoor electronic music festival.
It was in Montreal that he started getting notice with appearances on radio and at club nights. That was followed by a string of releases under the name Momenta on the U.S. label Kick It Recordings, and also the smash hit Chronic Bass on the respected Born Idle Records label.
Also the creator and owner of Bassbong Records, which showcases a lot of local and international producer talent, Dee Bass has reached across the globe for the last three years with his weekly Royal Canadian Mounted Breaks radio show on iBreaks.co.uk, which is aired out of London. He is the first Canadian DJ to play on the U.K. station, and has gained fans all over the world.
“I just moved back to Vernon actually after living in Montreal, Vancouver and more recently Kelowna. It’s an adjustment, but I really like the realness of people here. They seem to more genuine than the city folk,” he said.
Friday’s DJ event also features The Electrofunkers, who have been DJing and throwing parties in Vernon and area for more than a decade.
Featuring DJs Funkycharms (Jason Dyck) and Sarah Lacroix, the Electrofunkers always bring their fun, funky groovy bassline sound through house, electro and breaks.
The Jingle Bass Christmas Party starts at 10 p.m. at Monashees. Pre-sale tickets are $6, available at Monashees and the Downtown Internet Lounge in Vernon beside the Towne Cinema, or pay $10 at the door.