Eddie C is a throwback of sorts. In a game now dominated by Juno sales hype, social media posturing and producer-come-DJs, the Canadian selector has become a tenured favourite within the deep house arena on the back of his relentless touring, expansive DJ sets and compelling productions. He’s a regular, but the heads will affirm that he’s not one you’ll ever grow tired of.
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Eddie’s personal and musical connections to hip-hop and dance music have been well documented. Originally a native of Ontario, Eddie came up nerding out on hip-hop and acid house, religiously recording his favorite radio shows before being exposed to dance music in no small part thanks to his geographical proximity to Toronto and Detroit. “Detroit certainly became my music place. What a wild place to have near where you grew up in rural Ontario. It couldn’t have been more opposite from where I grew up”, Eddie recollects.
In fact, the Canadian’s special relationship with the Motor City lives on. His annual Monday morning sets for TV Lounge’s Movement afterparty have a cult following. Eddie shines some light on the backstory of the infamous residency: “we went [to Movement] in 2000 and 2001, and then not again until 2009. Mister Joshooa and Jeremy Kypta were interested in booking The Mole, who’s a good friend of mine here in Berlin, Canadian guy. For whatever reason, he couldn’t do it — thank my lucky stars! — so they got me instead and I’ve basically been a resident since that first party. I’ve been to Detroit every three months for the last ten years. Truly unbelievable to me.”
In the early 2000’s, Eddie moved further west in Canada to the Rocky Mountains, ultimately coinciding with the spark of his current production career. And while many of the labels once associated with the beloved mid-tempo deep disco sound (think Sleazy Beats, Jiscomusic, etc.) have faded, Eddie and his active touring schedule live on. Now in Berlin for the better part of the last decade, the Ontario born man is considered a longstanding veteran within the circuit. He recollects, “while it feels like I’ve been doing this forever, there’s not exactly an instruction manual for a lifestyle like this. You have to learn how to fall asleep on command for example. I think that’s been the greatest challenge. Delicately and unnaturally realigning circadian rhythms.” Speaking of touring, Eddie confirms that he’ll be dialing up North America soon (in May), including the aforementioned Detroit residency.
Moreover, he reveals that he’s gone fully independent for booking purposes; preferring to handle business himself instead of maintaining an agent. “I’ve been agent-free outside of Japan for about a year now”, he says, “it’s not too bad, actually. A heck of a lot of work, but much smoother than I expected.” He doesn’t seem to be missing having someone enforcing things on his behalf, though, “I feel very fortunate. For whatever reason, the type of music or scenes I tend to be involved with are generally filled with quite lovely people. I’ve had a few questionable nights out, but not too many negative surprises in the last ten years.”
Part of the reason for Eddie’s continued appeal, beyond his infectiously amiable personality, is his approach to DJing. We live in a time of tryhards desperate to prove legitimacy by posting photos of their record bags and perpetuating Discogs fetishes. By contrast, Eddie has been doing the damn thing for quite some time and his sets are notoriously and earnestly varied in style and tempo.
“I try not to think too much. Overthinking can be detrimental to the music making process. And I’ve always played records and been lucky enough to live near great record shops with knowledgeable staff and people who have pushed me in the direction of what I would like. It’s my favorite way to enjoy and learn about music and it always has been”, he reflects. And he’s still endearingly old school in his approach, “[…] although I do use it now and then these days, using USB for me is a bit too distracting. There’s too much damn thinking! Vinyl on the other hand is way more visual. It’s like, ‘the purple one, yeah the purple one. That one kills’. ‘B2 is hot on this one! I love B2, man, that’s your best track!’”
That true-school approach bleeds over into his production mindset too. Eddie details, “I’m still heavy into Crate Diggers [the youtube channel]. I’m addicted. I still love it. That’s my favorite way of making music. I just love digging and sampling. Letting the cosmos take over. Pure karma and chance. I really got into digging from 2000-2010, and although I don’t have all those records here, I built all kinds of drum libraries from those records. And I’m still out digging! Still learning from scratch… and literally from Scratch too — the movie. It was a very inspiring film back around 2000. Hip-hop really is responsible for everything in my life. Definitely in regards to my production techniques, and probably much of my DJ style as well.”
Edits and sample-based tracks make up the majority of Eddie C’s discography, both on his own Red Motorbike imprint — which specializes in 45’s — and a variety of other (mostly vinyl) labels. In either case, he’s taking a deliberate approach. Eddie details his mindset, saying, “with Red Motorbike it’s a dig and edit type thing for me. These are all B-sides, tunes perhaps no one paid attention to, album cuts — and just my favorite bits of them. You would rarely want to listen to the original. It’s so strange when people make edits of Chaka Khan or something. Don’t touch that shit! I like working with things that hopefully no one is too familiar with and need some special love.”
When asked about his current work and setup, Eddie teased that he’s been working on slightly “faster” music and waxed poetic, “this has been said a thousand times, but it really doesn’t matter what you use — all of the ideas are in your head. I’ve seen some incredible studios that produce terrible music. You can make the hottest record in the world with virtually nothing. It all comes down to creativity.”
All of this is to say that Eddie C is very much a man of tradition. He’s sustained an impeccable reputation in the scene for his tasteful and versatile selections and dusty-finger inspired productions. Eddie C is a crowd favorite. A scene favorite, even. And he’s probably coming to a city near you soon. Until then, check out his entry into our MIXED BY/ series. Asked to describe the mix in his own words, Eddie chuckles and confesses, “[…] now to be totally hypocritical, [the mix] is mostly new music sent to me from friends and I made it on my laptop in various airports while travelling last month haha […] All new but quite traditional rave music I suppose. Sounds like music I would’ve been out dancing to 25 years ago.”