With the breakneck pace of technological and informational development, at times it feels like we’ve created a disposable society. For me, this entire decade feels like a throwback to the 1980s, when many of us got our first dose of en masse throwaway culture. But moving past all the cheap glitz and the trashy glamour, when you dig a little deeper into the ‘80s, you’ll find that the same decade that gave us ‘futuristic’ life improvements – neon lights, bad fashion and even worse hair – also birthed post-punk, hip-hop and house.

In similar fashion, amidst constantly changing musical trends, low quality mp3s and the garbage of this decade we’re also seeing artists and labels that are steadfast in their values, pushing physical releases that are expensive to manufacture, while showcasing sounds rarely accepted in the Top 40 mainstream. These artists and labels know full well that they will never see fat stacks of Billboard money, nor do they care. These are artists and labels doing what is hard instead of what is easy, and in doing so, are creating an alternative community.

One such artist firmly rooted in creating a musical product of value is Croatia’s master of dubs, Egoless. His performance alias seems to fit his artistry and principles perfectly. The connotation of calling oneself “egoless” evokes images of humility, strength and purpose. “I’m still in a process of discovering the meaning behind Egoless,” he says when I ask about his chosen moniker. “It is impossible to be 100% egoless in this world, in terms of human nature and defense mechanisms. But in the music scene I’m part of, by travelling around and meeting a bunch of likeminded people, promoters, labels and enthusiasts I have a feeling of being very thankful and respectful to be a part of this small wonderful commune of people sharing the same vibe and idea,” he says.

Egoless came up as a multi-instrumentalist punk rocker, travelling around with only a broken skateboard and a Marshall amp to his name, sleeping wherever possible (once in an abandoned jail)—a solid 10/10 when it comes to embodying punk rock. These times cemented his DIY values, and certainly played a role in his artistic development

Preferring to sell his music on vinyl, Egoless will still give away his music periodically in a digital format to fans. Regardless of money, Egoless is more concerned with one thing: the quality of releases hitting the shelves. “In the end, good music is good music whether it’s released on vinyl or digital—but funny enough, a vinyl medium, which is old and very fragile in a way, lasts more than lots of digital releases,” he says. He goes on to explain, “[…] With digital, you can basically release whatever, and [you] don’t suffer major financial consequences if the release doesn’t sell well.”

You could probably presume at this point, this means Egoless is pretty unlikely to DJ in a digital format. That is true, but in fact, he doesn’t DJ at all. “I’m still only doing live acts, and will continue and develop that approach to performing. I was never a DJ; it’s just not my thing. As a musician, I create, play and produce music and want to be able to do it live as much as I can, whether with a band or solo,” he says.

This doesn’t mean Egoless does not appreciate DJing as a medium—“I fully respect the art of DJing as a hugely important part of this music, but sometimes feel some producers are doing it just because they have to, not because they love it. I would definitely encourage those people to go more in the ‘live’ approach of performing and leave the DJing to people who love and are very enthusiastic about it.” He finishes his thought, “unfortunately in the dubstep scene I’m one of rare people taking the ‘live’ approach, and I would love to see more people doing it so we could learn [from one another], and also have some healthy competition going on, which would make us all progress more.”

As we evolve as a society, things will likely continue trending towards convenience. But this doesn’t mean we can’t stick to principles while still being successful at our chosen paths. Egoless proves there is an alternative way.

Egoless will be making his second Canadian appearance at Bass Coast festival this summer, July 7-10 2017

By: Kayla Graham

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