Sunday, April 26, 2009

Vancity Funky Style Magic

This guy makes me drive fast, and if I'm not driving, he makes me want to move. And he's got some serious style. I'm talking about Joel Armstrong, resident DJ at Vancouver's Red Room and creator of Dot Dot Records. His original tracks, like Vancity Magic and Crazy featuring Marcie, have been earning their way up my iPod playlist. I caught up with this talented electronica artist to get him to strike a pose, as well as to learn some jungle survival techniques.

Tell me about the single you’re working on.
It’s a melodic tech house number, groovy with a sparse but memorable hook. Sort of a less is more approach to writing music on this one.

What motivates you? What are you inspired by?
Sunshine, depression, happy moments, bland solid colors with bright highlights, good friends, Bon’s Off Broadway, music, art that really shows the artist’s soul, comfort, change and when someone smiles at me while on the sidewalk.

Your music makes me drive fast. Is that your intention?
Of course, however with me it has the opposite effect; I’m pretty much a grandma behind the wheel, just with quicker reflexes hahaha.

Where do you get your duds? How would you describe your style?
I get my duds at various places. Specifically: American Apparel for their T-Shirts, H&M for their colorful underwear, RW & Co. for their plain, affordable, collared T’s, Vasanji for unique jeans, Target for cheap shoes, La Senza for silk thongs, Value Village for cool things I can’t find anywhere else, Buffalo Exchange (in Portland) for awesome deals on pants, jeans (I think over the last year I’ve bought 4 pairs there), and shirts/sweaters, True Value Vintage, and Urban Outfitters for everything in between.

My style is ... super wicked awesome to the max, just without the arrogance haha.

Why do you love Bons off Broadway so much?
$2.95 breakfast all day. Awesome burgers. It feels like home there. Bon is cool and so is the security officer dressed coffee pouring guy with the fake irish/scottish accent (its sort of like a cross between the two if that’s even possible). You also need to see all the sweet B-Movie posters on the walls.

If money were no object, you would….?
Buy a sailboat, and bring all my friends with me to sail the Greek Islands. Open a lazy café/bar on the coast, somewhere in South East Asia, maybe Thailand or Malaysia. Do something with underprivileged kids, something related to music, the arts and life skills, that I could do anywhere.

Since you grew up in the Indonesian jungle, can you give us jungle-city dwellers any advice on how to survive in the bush?
Haha, um...well if you see a funky colored snake, avoid it. Bathing in rivers after dark attracts leaches. Bamboo shoots are a good veggie source (and there’s usually tons), don’t drink unfiltered water unless you have no other option (even rain water, always boil it for at least 15-20 minutes), most fruit you’ll find is edible and delicious, don’t walk around without shoes or sandals as many weird/odd parasites can enter under toe-nails and if you get a cut in the jungle, it’s quite difficult to keep wounds clean in the jungle.

Your current iphone/pod/touch playlist:

Blossom Dearie – Manhattan
Blonde Redhead – Dr. Strangeluv
Bitter:Sweet – Dirty Laundry
Bobby Darin – Cute
Bush – Letting Cables Sleep (Nightmares On Wax Remix)
Everything But The Girl – Missing
Gotan Project – Vuelvo al Sur
Groove Armada – Your Song (Tim “love” Lee’s Semi Bearded Mix)
The Herbaliser – Sensual Woman
Ian Pooley – Sundowner
Joel Armstrong – Vancity Magic
St. Germain – Sure Thing
Looptroop – Fort Europa
Morcheeba – Sao Paulo
Oasis – Champagne Supernova
Parov Stelar – Chambermaid Swing
PM Dawn – Set Adrift On Memory Bliss
Radiohead – Nude
Royksopp – Poor Leno
Tycho – The Disconnect

Joel will be in and around town over the next couple of months, doing local and international shows. You can catch Joel at the Red Room on May 9, as well as the Lotus Sound Lounge on June 26.


grace said...

heh funny we cant just ask about an ipod playlist anymore- we have to include the entire apple line!

great interview

Kelsey said...

Love those photos!