session #086 – Basic Soul Unit


Khotin – Fever Loop [Pacific Rhythm]
Ciel – Rain Dance [Peach Disk]
Nicholas – The Answer [Church]
Funkadelic – Get Off Your Ass And Jam (Marcelus Pittman Remix) [Westbound]
Hanna – Stranger [Waella’s Choice]
Kalk – Thank you Larry (DJ GJ Edit) [Running Back]
Steven Julien – Kingdom [Apron]
Daniel Jacques – Mind Your Step [ÆX]
Peter Van Hoesen – Fox Tactics [Time To Express]
Dona – You Better Not Take The Metro [Ilian Tape]
Skee Mask – Kappelberg [Ilian Tape]
XI – Housekeys [New Kanada]
Dario Zenker – Koraimer Bro [Ilian Tape]
Basic Soul Unit – Escape Velocity [Jaunt]
Shawn Rudiman – Ultrafrequey [Pittsburgh Tracks]
Smersh – Sideways (JTC Remix) [Dark Entries]
The Cyclist – Forest Surge [Hypercolour]

Steffi – All Living Things [Ostgut Ton]
Lost Trax – The Sequel [Delsin]
Serena Butler – Deep Sea Dive [Konstrukt]
Cass – Red Atlantic [Throne of Blood]

More Basic Soul Unit:

Propelling his audience to alternate levels of mood and space; Basic Soul Unit lays the essentials of selection through textured versatility of choice, blending people and music on our latest anniversary session.

Based in Toronto, the Hong-Kong born dj and producer made himself heard through releases on labels such as Iwanai Music, Ostgut Ton, Crème Organization; taking as early as from ‘03, and went on a full streak of productions over the following decade.

Being ever-evolving, he launches his own label Lab.our some years back along with co-founder Jason Ulrich; with productions dedicated to deeper electronic and with what their minds and creative rosters hail.

Where and How was this mix recorded?

At home in my basement. Though I usually use CDJs and vinyl on the road, this mix was done on Serato (on account of me not having CDJs at home).

Wow! all of your sets we’ve been listening to up until date, you’ve always pulled a high-note on textures and of contrasting, yet harmonious, rhythms all the way through. What’s your perspective, or mindset, when selecting tracks and fuelling such atmosphere?

I’ve always tried to have variety in my sets. I like sets that have flow while bringing the listener and dancer to different places and different moods. Though I think I’m competent technically speaking, I tend to focus more on what next track is going to work with the one I’m playing and where I want to bring the crowd over the next 15 min or in the next hour.

Shoutout to the releases on Lab.our music! Can you share with us the turning point that first led you into setting up your own label?

I was always interested in producing but didn’t really have the resources and money to start my own label. Luckily I was able to release music on a lot of labels that I respected and looked up to. Eventually when I had made a decent enough name with my work I thought it was time to start the label (which I did with my long time friend Jason Ulrich in 2013). Having your own label allows you more creative control and release the music you like that other labels might not pick up.

Your productions seem to be on another scope from your Dj sets, like it’s all about the core of electronic music itself; how would you briefly describe the contrast?

I guess the main difference is that I make the music for my own creative fullfillment while DJing for me is more a give and take between myself and the crowd. As a DJ, I bring my taste in music to the crowd but also try to see what they want and I can work with. Another thing is that Djing is in the moment while making a track usually happens over a few sessions over time. Musically speaking as a producer, I focus on electronic music because I am not musically trained, so kind of doing what I can with what I got. I also really like the exploratory nature of sound design with electronic music.

How is the scene around you? and which are those venues where your music flows big, in terms of reach and emotion, between you and the audience?

Toronto is a big enough city that things are happening any given week. That said the momentum goes up and down due to the pressures of gentrification and politics. There are a number of good small venues. The one I play at quite often is Bambi’s. It literally only fits about 100 people but has a banging sound system and the crowd is usually open and appreciative, At the moment we don’t really have a proper mid or larger size underground club. However, the promoters are dedicated and do find ways to make it work. There are a number of cool warehouse and loft spaces that are being utilized for parties.

Which music do you recall to be surrounded with, when first emerging as an artist?

I had been collecting and DJing dance music much longer than producing. I probably bought my first dance records around the late 80’s. Around that time I first heard House and Hip Hop. By the time I started producing I had been listening to anything from House and Techno to Jazz, Broken Beat, Funk or Soul. At that point the Nujazz and Broken scene was really jumping in Toronto but I was also being drawn back to House and Techno via artists like Theo Parrish and Moodymann.

Being prominent and as a heavy-discography producer, what makes another producer good for you?

There is a difference between a producer’s music that I like and one that I think is good. What I like is subjective but I can appreciate a producer and call him or her good even if I don’t necessarily like their music. What makes them good to me is that the personality and soul of the person comes through in their productions. Basically that the sound is unique to them and something that they consciously worked at finding.