Monster Energy Presents: 7 Inches of Pleasure Tour

 With talks of 2017 being the year that vinyl becomes a billion dollar industry, it’s safe to say that vinyl is a bit of a hot commodity again. With how quickly the digital movement took over the music industry in this past decade and how much technology has changed the art of DJing, it’s great to see that before the trending hash tags, there was a group of highly skilled DJs that took to the road armed only with their favourite 7 inch records aka 45s.

2017 will be the 5th time Mat the Alien, Vinyl Ritchie, DJ Illo, DJ Pump and Monster Energy have joined up to bring the “7 Inches of Pleasure Tour” to a nightclub near you. The tour is not just a great party but a bit of a history lesson on where music came from and where it is heading. For most of the tour stops, the guys will also have legendary DJ Scratch of EPMD fame, and for 2 special stops, they will have another legend, DJ Kenny Dope digging into his crates alongside them.

I had the pleasure to speak with Mat the Alien a couple weeks before the start of the tour.

Hi rez Victoria

FREQ: What prompted you guys to start the 7 inches of Pleasure tour?

 MAT: We all came from playing records and we all still collect 12 inch or 45s records. We were doing these events for Monster Energy where it would sometimes be a mixed crowd like a sports event or a corporate event and the 45s would just go down really well because it’s not just banging club music. So we can play some fun music like funk and it makes it authentic being it’s on the format it was originally pressed on. It just evolved and a few of the parties just went really well, and in the coming months we just started doing more and more of them and it just kind of went from there. Seems like the show were getting bigger and bigger and people were enjoying the vibe.

FREQ: What were your first experiences with vinyl?

MAT: My dad opened a record shop in 1978. I grew up hanging out at the record store and seeing people buying records. And being a DJ and playing records, I’m always digging for music. I saw some people would do a vinyl only release and I would keep buying them and the 45s too. It was something we had always done and we just never got out of it.

FREQ: Why the 7 inch single and not just the entire album? What is it about the 45 record?

 MAT: We all just kind of collected them and we would do a few nights that are just 45s and you would show up with a little crate of records. And the format itself would sound great at the club as some of the 45s were made for pressings for the jukeboxes. The Brainfreeze event with DJ Shadow definitely started an interest in 45s. I think it was at that moment a lot of DJs took notice of the 45 and it just evolved from there and people would work them into their set and just started looking for rarer stuff.

FREQ: It’s incredible to think that with the huge database of music we have now, a lot of the music you guys have on 45s probably don’t even exist digitally as a lot of the publishing rights for Motown and funk records have been expired for decades. Are there any holy grails you guys are still chasing?

MAT: We always have our lists that we are digging for. Discogs is a really good site where you put your want list up there and you’ll get an email that someone is selling a record and sometimes it’s expensive and it depends on what you want. Or you can randomly dig in a shop in a dusty crate and find a bunch of stuff. I think every DJ is always looking for something and then there are a lot of people making new 45s with edits or original tracks.

FREQ: I read Nu Mark said that it is difficult to bootleg a live experience. With the world being so digital, what do you think he was talking about and how do you think what you guys are doing fits into that statement?

MAT: Sometimes playing a record on a turntable, it’s not quite perfect, you can hear someone scratching or slowing down or bringing the record in but it gives it a human element and it’s not perfect. I wouldn’t strive to be perfect because you always want to put in a human touch.

FREQ: I feel with CDJs, its just a press play, press stop kind of thing, where with vinyl, you have to manhandle them.

MAT: Digging through your crates and changing your mind even, it’s not like you have a set worked out from beginning to end. You can play a record, look at the crowd and just adapt to the environment and having fun with it too.

 FREQ: What is the legacy of this tour do you think? What did you hope people got from this?

 MAT: Hopefully people heard some good music and some rare music and just people having a good time and some enjoy the technical aspects or dancing. There is a lot to appeal to people.

FREQ: What is the future of the 7 inches of Pleasure tour?

MAT: We have just always played records and we will just keep doing what we are doing. I don’t think anyone is stopping anytime soon.

Hi rez recordland

The Monster Energy 7 Inches of Pleasure Tour starts on January 26th in Vernon, BC and continues through the month of February hitting many stops in BC and Alberta with DJ Scratch and DJ Kenny Dope in Whistler and Vancouver.

The tour hits Hifi Club in Calgary on Friday, February 3, 2017 @ Set it Off with DJ CSIK and Ivan Rankic 

Words: Vinh Hoang

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