Archives by Month - August 2010

Get Down 2010

6:30 PM August 24, 2010
Bonjour mes amis! It's been quite a while since I've updated this blog with anything other than a DJ podcast mix. There are a few reasons for that, but rather than list them all (they don't really matter) I'm just going to go ahead and update the site now, finally. My friend Michinaga recently wrote me asking why I haven't been posting things about my life to the blog. Specifically he said: "Don't you think about your life at all? Go deep it up a notch, guy". Ok, well here I am now Michi, I'll try to deep it up for you, guy! :)

This summer has been pretty crazy so far. I've been getting out a lot and enjoying things that I haven't done for a long while. I've been longboarding around town lately and loving the speed of getting around that way (although I injured my wrist and shoulder pretty badly 2 days ago after a big bail - par for the course I guess). Last month I went camping for the first time in probably 10 years, and it was awesome. Steve, Dee and I went to Pender Island for a long weekend and enjoyed the outdoors, some hiking, some disc golf, some bocce ball, and generally just having fun relaxing and chilling away from the city. I have a ton of photos to sort through and post from that trip, and will be doing so a bit later. But that trip reminded me of how much I enjoy camping and getting away from civilization every so often. I can't wait to do some more camping soon.

Last week I went to Get Down 2010 in Vancouver. This was a Hip Hop and Funk Dance workshop in Vancouver with teachers who are considered pioneers of the art forms of popping, boogaloo, locking and more. I've been into popping for just over 10 years now, but have always been a casual and passive dancer who goes out to groove for fun. I had never previously taken a class or dedicated myself to it as anything more than a casual hobby. I've always been interested in the foundations and history of this type of dancing, and have researched both before, but having finally had the opportunity to meet and discuss this sort of stuff with some of my idols last week was mind opening. These guys, Mr. Wiggles and Suga Pop, both members of the Electric Boogaloos, have amazing knowledge and depth to share about these forms of dance and Hip Hop in general. And the fact that they are now around 50 years old but can still get down with more agility and grace than any 20 year old blows my mind. I came away from 2 days of that workshop with a lot of inspiration and drive, as well as a few new pointers to help branch out my dance growth.

Meeting some of my long time idols was incredible, but something else hit me much stronger during that trip, and that's how amazing the Hip Hop scene is in Vancouver compared to Victoria. Victoria is a relatively small city and so its Hip Hop scene is equally tiny. There has been a fairly good, though small, bboy/bgirl community through the years here. I've attended some great breaker battles here, but they are few and far apart. And there has never been any events purely for the funk styles of dance like popping because that community is even smaller (if you even consider it to exist at all in Victoria). My friend Adam and I have been skimming around this Victoria Hip Hop scene for around 10 years now and as far as we know we're 2 of the only poppers who might consider themselves serious about building up that scene in this city. I've met a few other people that pop here in the city, but they appear just as casual as I was, and without a vibrant scene to grip onto and help push us along, that's all we'll ever be. In order for us to improve as dancers we need to get out and dance more. Dancing is a social activity and it needs to be shared and practiced with others. Sure, at its heart it's about the dancer and his/her grooving and feeling to music, but the social aspect of this art form is what really pushes us to try harder, improvise, branch out and improve. And having a community to support you is a necessary tool to help ensure you learn a proper foundation and keep at it.

So what is so great about the Vancouver dance scene compared to here? It's not just that Vancouver is a bigger city with a larger pool of dancers (although that is part of it). Mostly it's the community and resources that the dancers have build up for themselves. On any given night, you can walk down to Robson Street Square and find groups of people practicing dance (likely all night). This outdoor area is covered, lighted, has electricity for plugging in music, a smooth ground for dancing on, and it's a magnet for dedicated dancers. There is security at night, and the dancers have worked out a deal that allows them to use the space freely. I went there one night and there were 2 groups of breakers, a hip hop dancer, some lockers and some poppers. And everyone was welcoming and friendly. People there are all about sharing and growing the dance community, and boy does it appear to have worked well. People also teach dance classes down there on certain nights, and there are numerous dance studios around the city where you can practice and learn more. This is the type of community Adam and I want to build up here in Victoria for funk style dancing. With some dedication and effort I'm sure we can start finding equally interested dancers who will come and help build and support such a community here. I know there are more dancers out there, we just need to get together and make a community.

There was a time years ago that Adam, myself and some other friends would go out to the bandstand in Beacon Hill park and plug in a ghettoblaster and dance all day. It was a great space and we spent a few awesome summers doing this. But eventually the park locked up the bandstand and removed access to it for the public unless you had some pre-arranged event and booking with the city. Ever since then we've been unable to find a suitable location to keep up our dancing, and so our interest faded and the opportunity to build anything was stifled. But now Adam and I have some new found inspiration and dedication, and we are determined to try and really get this community started. We are making plans to start jam sessions in Centennial Square, in Fernwood, in the Inner Harbour and anywhere else that might work. Eventually we want to get others coming out and jamming with us, and build a community of dancers that can keep a weekly jam session going. By next summer, our goal is to be able to approach the city and request access to the Beacon Hill bandstand for a given time period every week, when we know there will always be someone showing up to dance. We're starting with baby steps, but I think once things get rolling we can get in a good direction and start growing a more vibrant Hip Hop scene here in Victoria, similar to what the hard working dancers in Vancouver have accomplished. We will be creating a Facebook Group for this purpose soon, and looking at other ways to get things rolling.

So, this summer has been busy and my focus has been shifting (as it often does). I have more drive and dedication for my hobby of dancing, and some real goals to try and accomplish in helping contribute and build our scene here in Victoria. I've also met a bunch of incredible people here and in Vancouver these last few months. And I'm sure I'll be meeting plenty more interesting individuals as the time passes and the community grows. Things are getting exciting again :).

Home with House ep30 - Summer Nights

8:24 PM August 9, 2010
This month's Home with House podcast is another mix full of deep and progressive tracks. Mixed with a vibe intended for hot summer evenings spent under the stars, episode 30 is smooth and uplifting. Inspired by warm breezes and fun spent with friends, this mix should be a great backdrop for your summer nights.

Episode 30 is called "Summer Nights".

1. EDX - Hoover (Original Mix)
2. Evren Ulusoy - Believe (Original Mix)
3. Alex Parks - Mad World (Claes Rosen Remix)
4. Ross Couch - The Sound Barrier (Original Mix)
5. Arthur Deep - Remember The Summer (Dinka Remix)
6. Arthur Deep - In Motion (Original Mix)
7. EDX - Party Of Politics (Original Club Mix)
8. Seamus Haji - Good Times (Original Mix)
9. Super8 & TAB feat. Anton Sonin - Black Is The New Yellow (Original Mix)
10. Davidson, Sebastian/edwin/Ferdy - The Zound Of Muzik (Evren Ulusoy Sound Of Cosmos Remix)
11. Nieghel & Retroid - Outset (Arthur Deep Remix)
12. J Axel & Astrid Suryanto - Roam (Highway 73 Remix)

Download Episode 30:
Title: Home with House ep30 - Summer Nights
Vibe: Deep House, Progressive House, Uplifting House, Vocal House
Date Recorded: August 2010
Length: 69:12 min
Quality: 192 kbps - 97 Mb

Download:  (Right-click and Save As)
  •  CD Cover
  •  Tracklist

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