THE BASSMENT, VOLUME THIRTY-EIGHT: THE FRESHEST DJS

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The Bassment is a weekly article bringing you coverage of the best in Hip Hop and Electronic music from around Vancouver. Weekly interviews, event coverage, album and concert reviews that show how awesome our city’s electronic and hip hop scene really is.If you think there is someone or something that needs coverage in this city in regards to the Hip Hop / Electronic community then get in touch with us.

If you are from Vancouver and listen to hip hop then you probably know this week’s guests well. The Freshest are a 4 piece DJ crew that includes DJs Kutcorners, Rico Uno, Seko, and Marvel. As far back as I can remember going out in Vancouver these guys have been playing the go-to spots for hip hop. Nights such as Lucy Mae Browns and Re-Up are still talked about and referenced as formative events in regards to shaping the current scene. This past year has seen these artists move into a bigger spotlight with many new opportunities available. One of these opportunities was to play a set with all four members at the Redbull Threestyle Championships that took place in December. They are also creating a bigger audience for themselves by producing Live-Set music videos. The first of which has now been released starring Marvel and Kutcorners. I got to ask them a few questions about what they do.

Photo: Courtesy of Artsts

DJing has most popularly been known as a solo act. Explain the idea behind The Freshest Crew.

We were all regulars at hip-hop shows and parties in Vancouver and quickly became friends through a common love of music.  From there it was only natural for us to want to work on music and throw parties together.  It was clear that with the four of us we would have a bigger reach when we threw our first weekly party, Higher Ground.  Each of us had complimentary specialties around and beyond our hip-hop backgrounds making it an easy fit for us to come together musically.

How did you all meet each other?

Aside from seeing each other at shows around the city, we all would gather at Beat Street Records (shout out to Avi Shack!) during the past days of mandatory record-buying.  At the time (around 2005) Seko and Marvel were deejaying together at Get Up Get Down Fridays at Tokyo Lounge while Kutcorners was deejaying the front room with Paul Devro at Get Some Fridays at Shine.  Rico was the new guy who worked at the record store, did a radio show called Rhymes and Reasons on CITR 101.9FM and sometimes deejayed with a weird program called Serato.  We would all play basketball at False Creek together a couple times a week, and it all just grew from there.

What was it like for you playing the Redbull Threestyle World Finals event with the whole crew?

It was awesome! We definitely wanted to challenge ourselves and raise the bar of our performance to match the magnitude of the week-long event. Our ideas during rehearsals at the School of Mix laid the groundwork for what would become the live sets.  Also, it felt great to play for such a receptive audience while representing Vancouver for an international event of that scale.

How did the live set video come into the making?

The live set video was an extension of the showcase we prepared for the Red Bull Thre3style competition.  It started out as jamming on synthesizers, drum machines, and turntables at Marvel’s studio and quickly turned into an exercise in developing a new approach to deejaying and performance.

Any other videos planned? Ideas for future videos?

We’ve got a new one in the works right now, details soon…

What is the arrangement you have with Aritzia? How did it start? and tell us about the newest release you will put out with them.

Our relationship with Aritzia started in 2008 with Rico Uno playing in-store sets at the Robson location and fashion shows.  He would release one of the first in their mix series, Whirly Pop and later Re-Up 4 Aritzia.  In February 2011 the Aritzia team was in NYC to open their SoHo location when they came to Brooklyn where our whole Freshest crew was playing at The Rub .  This naturally led to our first crew mix for Aritzia, released last week, called Spring Fling.  This new mix includes our original production and artists such as Breakbot, A$ap Rocky, Cassie, and Gang of Four.

Who are your favourite Vancouverites?

Michael J. Fox, Gman & Rizk, Vikram Vij, Ken Lum, Sincerely Hana, Chris and Gary Bone / Livestock family, U-Tern, Rhek, Mark Brand, Martini (Dipt), Hedspin, David Suzuki, Calen Knauf, Rodney Graham, M!G!H!, Devro Bros, Kildare, Niña Mendoza, Dan Climan, Cam Macleod, Jeff Wall, Jay Swing, Kemo, Flipout, Tyler Fedchuck, Brian Hill

Why Vancouver? 

Vancouver’s diversity is so important to what we do musically and how we came together as a group. Obviously Vancouver is one of the most beautiful places in the world and we are so lucky to have people here that are receptive and supportive of what we do as a crew.

Also if you want to send a list of everyone’s weekly sets I can post that.

Friday – HousexGuest
Thursday – Skate Night At Garfs (Whistler) (Monthly)


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