Got style? Rodi Style exclusive ahead of his UK tour
Reported by K8-e
Submitted 21-02-07 22:06
Rodi Style may not be a familiar name to all on this site but for those that love the filthier end of hard house this Canadian producer and dj has definitely been one to watch over the last few years. I downloaded one of his mixes a while ago and was impressed with both the tune selection and the scratching, so it was with great delight I heard he would be touring on our fine shores and kicking off his tour at none other than my home away from home CyberKitten in Northampton. Ahead of this I hooked up with Ben to get you the low down on what makes him tick.
“Had the pleasure of meeting this geezer at the weekend in Calgary, and was stupefied by his technical ability. Some of the stuff I saw this guy do with a CDJ and a DJM 600 is wrong!” — Technikal (UK) (www.tidy.com forum)
“He is one of the best up & coming talents I have seen in a long time. His djing is perfect & his productions are awesome too!” — Ben Stevens (UK) (www.dontstayin.com interview)[/i]
“By far hands down the sickest dj I have ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot of talent but nothing like this. He has got to be the CDJ champion of the world! I don’t think there was one button the cdj he didn’t push! He used just about all effects on the mixer in the sickest ways. Not to mention his mixing and scratching on 3 cdjs was f*ckin phenominal!!!" — Plate Tektoniks (USA) (www.bangingtunes.com forum)
Hello and a big welcome to HarderFaster!!! You aren’t from round these parts, can you tell us bit about where you come from in Canada?
Thanks Katie, it’s a real pleasure to be chatting with you and HarderFaster. I’m currently residing in Calgary. It’s a city in the western parts of Canada and we live in igloos and regularly have to chase scavenger polar bears from our homes with frying pans. Actually Calgary is just a regular city with a population of 1 million, a really kickass hockey team and ridiculously unpredictable weather. One minute we’ll have rain, then one minute of hail, then five minutes of sunshine, and a grand finale of snowy conditions and/or blizzard. At the time I’m writing this right now we’re sitting at –25 celcius with 4 inches of snow (and still snowing). Good times to be had by all.
Rodi Style isn’t you real name… is there a story behind why you chose this?
The inspiration for the “Rodi Style” name came about from a comedy rap by Ti Mi Shu. In the song he thanks someone called “wody style” or “roadie style”. After listening to that song for countless number of times, between me and my friends we referred to “roadie style” as the highest form of style there was as an inside joke. I did some research on whether or not there was someone by the name of either one of those and came up with nothing and when the time came to come up with a DJ name “Rodi Style” was the first that came to my head.
You arrive on our shores on March 2nd to begin a 10 day UK tour, opening at CyberKitten in Northampton. CK’s Yojo Davies is one of the UK’s top female hard dance promoters and also a fellow Canadian, pretty cool you two have hooked up!! How did all that come about and is this your first visit to the UK?
When I was planning out my trip/tour to the UK I had a chat with some of my contacts out in the UK and one of the names consistently brought up was CyberKitten. Everyone that’s mentioned CyberKitten has said that the events they put on are some of the best so I decided to send an email over to Yojo and Colin to see if CyberKitten would be interested in booking me for one of their shows. As luck would have it the dates were perfect. Definitely cool to have the Canadian connection with Yojo. It’s been a really great experience working with Yojo and Col for this date. They’re both courteous, professional and pleasant to work with, and I can really sense how genuine they are about their events. If that’s any indication, March 2nd is going to be a rocking good time! This will be my second visit to the UK, I was over August 2005 but mainly spent my time sightseeing and doing the whole tourist thing, so I’m excited to come over for a proper tour.
What is the hard dance scene like in Canada? Do you have any experiences working in the U.S, if so, what are some of the differences or similarities, if any?
The hard dance scene unfortunately has been in a slump recently. The lack of venues coupled by harsh restrictions set by the city has really cut down on the number of events organized in my city. Five years ago there used to be a 2000+ rave every weekend, and now there’s maybe 2 a year. However there are a few people including myself that are hard at work trying to revive the hard house scene, so hopefully we’ll see a resurgence soon. Not long ago a few Toronto DJs started their own Canadian hard dance website www.thebeatranch.com with downloadable content. It’s exciting to see other Canadian hard dance DJs doing something in our country.
At this time I’ve only played in the U.S. so I’m not really able to discern any differences between Canada and the U.S. from a promoter’s standpoint. But from what I understand they are going through just about the same situation as us here with stringent city bylaws. However there are people like the guys from Infectious Recordings and HardWired Recordings who are working hard at promoting hard dance in the states.
What’s nice about our scene here is that there’s a nice sense of unity between hard dance artists and promoters in North America. I think this is partially due to the fact that many of us realize how fragile our scene is and how we have to stick together to survive. With that being said, there is still a fairly strong base of clubbers/ravers that are into the harder styles. Hopefully that will grow as well as time progresses.
As a female DJ I’m interested in what the leading ladies in Canada are like? Do you have many females flying the flag for hard dance?
Sadly the female hard dance DJs are hard and few to find. The most prominent one would be Lady Bass in Toronto (www.ladybass.net). She’s a sweet girl, but her sets are fierce and filthy and she’s been known to drop the occasional Grady G track. Trixie Firecracka is another female hard dance DJ over here but those two are about the only two that come to my mind. Our hard dance scene here consists mainly of male DJs.
Let’s get back to the start though, how did you first get into clubbing and DJing? And how would you define your style?
The first event I ever went to was on New Years Eve in 2001 and what an experience that was. To make a long story short, my friends ditched out so I went alone, had an amazing time but no way home so I walked aimlessly until I found a transit station, took the train to the last stop, hopped on a bus, fell asleep on the bus and completely missed my house and had to walk home. I think it took me about 3–4 hours to get home after the event. If I had my own car at that time it would have taken me 15–20 min to drive home.
A year later I saved up some cash with a friend of mine and bought a pair of Gemini turntables and a simple two channel mixer and started the road to becoming a DJ. After much practice I was invited to play at a free outdoor event. I remember shaking in anticipation (and perhaps because it was pretty cold outside).
My sound and style would be in the harder spectrum of hard house/Nrg. My choice tracks would include a big fat bassline and a searing main synth lead.
A lot of DJs are just happy to play the tunes they like and simply mix them but you are renowned for your scratching and trickery with the CDJ 1000. What or who inspired you to take things to the next level and can you share one of your favourite tricks with us (for the DJs to try at home!)
When I first started mixing I noticed that a lot of DJs were just standing there with an extremely bored look on their face mixing from one track to the other and I vowed to myself that I would do something different. I believe being a DJ isn’t just about playing music but putting on a show a well. It’s a performance after all. I also get bored easily so I’ve always gotta be doing something. Over the years I’ve been inspired by DJs such as Eddie Halliwell, Andy K, Mr. C, D.A.V.E. the Drummer and many more who have all contributed, influenced me and inspired me to work on my scratching, cutting and tricks in general. Special thanks go to Andy K, as he has been very kind and has taken the time to help me out with my scratching.
Rodi’s CDJ loop trick tip:
Here’s a looping/buildup trick that can be done with the CDJ1000s hot cues. This trick needs to be setup in your headphones with the track that you’re cueing. First, a hot cue needs to be set where you would like your trick to end/drop.
To set a hot cue, go to the top left corner of your CDJ1000 and press the “record” button which will turn the hot cues to a glowing red. It’s now in record mode so you when you press the A, B or C button while the track is playing, the CDJ will automatically set a marker that you can go back to. When you’re done setting hot cue’s, hit the “record” button again to return the hot cues to their original state and the ones which are glowing green are now activated.
The first hot cue needs to be set at the start of the breakdown, but it’s entirely up to you where you want your trick to end/drop. So let’s assign that cue point to the “A” hot cue button. Now you’re set and can mix the track that’s live with the track you just entered in the hot cue details. Wait until a good moment when you feel it’s time to build things up into the breakdown and set another cue point “B” at the start of a 32 beat measure. This can be done live because it won’t affect your music, but you’ll need a starting point to go back to.
Now here’s the tricky part. Let the track play out for 32 beats, but at the very last beat tap your loop in and loop out quickly. That will loop the last sound causing the sound to stutter. Then hit your hot cue point “B” to bring it back to the beginning of the 32 beats and the track will automatically continue on from there. This part (loop in -> loop out -> hot cue B) has to be done within the space of 1 beat so it has to be done very quickly for it to sound good.
From there you can repeat this process while shortening when you do the stutter effect until you’re tapping (loop in -> loop out -> hot cue B repeat) without stopping. When you feel it’s time to finish the trick, tap your last loop in -> loop out and then tap loop out one more time and move your CDJ platter counterclockwise to shorten the loop faster and faster until you’ve got 1 single note. Then hit your hot cue A to bring everything to the beginning of the breakdown or whichever point you set while cueing things up in your headphones (before you mixed in the track).
Here’s the audio sample of what I’m talking about. http://www.djrodistyle.com/looptrick.mp3
There are variations and other tricks you can throw into the equation but I will leave that up to you.
As well as DJing you’ve tried your hand at promoting via Litte Productions Ltd. bringing top international DJs to Calgary. Are you still promoting and what have you got planned?
I’m still promoting these days although a lot less frequently and focused than before when I ran Litte Productions Ltd. We had some very good times though and we’ve had the pleasure of bringing in some DJs, including Cosmic Gate, Dumonde, Johan Gielen, Guyver, the Thrillseekers and Caroline Banx. But after three years, we decided it was time to shut down Litte Productions and move on because the stress of organizing 2000+ events was getting to us as well as the unreasonable demands of the city hurting our events and basically dictating what we could or could not do. At the time of our end there was and still is a lack of venues suited to these events.
I am still organizing a one off event at a local club called Hard House Revolution which is an idea I’ve had in my mind for quite some time. Backed by The Warehouse Nightclub I’m able to bring in good solid hard house DJs to Calgary with less risk, because the club has a good reputation. The brand Hard House Revolution is slowly becoming imprinted into people’s minds as a guaranteed fun time. Our marketing strategy is to keep our promotional print materials within a recognizable look so there is no mistaking any one of the shows in the series. If people enjoyed the last event they may look a the next one and think to themselves: “Hey, Hard House Revolution vol. X was fun so vol. Y should be good as well!”
The next “Hard House Revolution” event is on May 4th with a first ever North American appearance by Defective Audio Live, which is exciting and hopefully he will be as well received here as he would back in the UK.
I’ve also teamed up with new production crew that’s starting up in Calgary Adrenaline Music Canada and we plan on organizing a few smaller shows, so 2007 is shaping up to be a very interesting year.
There are also future plans in the promotion realm for me as I have been invited to work with Yojo when she takes CyberKitten to Toronto. I know she’s had it in mind to do this since she began CK in England. The timing couldn’t be better. It should be a lot of fun so I’m very excited at the prospect of working with Yojo, Colin and the rest of the CyberKitten team both in the UK and Canada.
And as well as all that you are a highly rated nu-breed producer to boot. 2005 saw you win the Vicious Circle competition with your track ‘Crazy’ and you’ve gone on to release tunes on Hard Sounds, Passion, X-Tension to name a few and remix tracks for Operation 9. What new productions do you have in the pipeline and any remixes we should be looking out for?
Haha I think partly one of the reasons why I won that competition was the fact that most of the entrants were submitting reggae and other forms of music that weren’t quite suited to VC’s style. An internet radio show Netmixradio (USA) ran the competition and I don’t think many of the people who submitted tracks really realized what VC was all about so I feel I had an advantage. Regardless, I was fortunate to be placed onto the VC mailing list for a year so I got to feel special for a little while haha.
Anyhow, I’m extremely happy and fortunate with the way things are going with my productions at the moment. Toolbox recently signed one of my tracks “Mood Killer” which is a huge accomplishment for me as I’ve been following and playing the track’s on the label from my early bedroom DJ days. I’ve also got a few other tracks slated for release this year that I’m very excited about including ‘Burn It’ (Flashpoint Digital), “Brain Crackin’ (Xtension Records), ‘Back Off’ (Infectious Recordings), ‘Heatstroke’ (Arktik Records) and a few others.
What’s your sequencer of choice? Your favourite plug-ins and do you use any hardware?
I’m all about Cubase and my favorite plugins at the moment include Vanguard, Polysix, V-station, z3ta, battery and Kontakt. I haven’t much experience with hardware besides my Roland Alpha Juno 2 and sadly I’ve not used it much other than as a midi controller. Come to think of it now, had I known more about production when I first started I would have just saved myself some cash and bought a small midi controller. I pretty much bought the Juno 2 because everyone said it was the hoover machine and I was all about the hoovers back then.
What are your thoughts on Ableton and playing live?
I think Ableton is an amazing program and I’ve heard some amazing things from some producers’ live PAs. At this time though my only plans involving Ableton would be for a live PA trance set as Leung & Wan. But for the time being I’d like to keep my Rodi Style alias focused on DJ sets, as I feel I can put on a better show as a DJ in this style rather than as a live pa set.
After all that is said and done though… I have no idea how to use Ableton right now so it’s all just ideas I’m toying with for the future.
You are also one half of Leung & Wan (www.leungandwan.ca); tell me more about this outlet for your trancier side?
Leung & Wan is a project I started about two years ago with my best friend Chris Wan (www.djstatuswan.com). We both grew up with classical music and trance was the style that first got us into the electronica scene, so we’ve always had a soft spot for a good “hands in the air” breakdown and melody. We’ve been very fortunate to have been given a helping hand by Michael Parsberg (producer behind Safri Duo) when he offered to remix one of our tracks after listening to it. His remix as well as our original and another one of our tracks ‘Memories’ feat. Jessica Chung was signed and released on Tunnel Records (Germany) and has been included in 8 compilations now.
After that release though, we went quiet for about a year. It wasn’t because we had no time, but rather we’re both lazy slackers who would rather play video games or watch movies. We’ve gone back into the studio now to work on some more tracks and we plan on sending them out to labels within the following months along with a redesigned website, so hopefully you’ll see more of Leung & Wan in the upcoming months.
What’s in your box at the moment? What can we expect in a Rodi Style set at the moment?
1. Rodi Style — ‘Beat Goes On’ (CD-R)
2. Karim — ‘Begonia’ (the Tone Ranger remix) (CD-R)
3. Karl Davis & Dave Owens — ‘Proton’ (Pure NRG)
4. Tom Parr & Mark Howard — ‘Fuck Monster’ (Flashpoint Digital)
5. Rodi Style & DJ Pseudo — ‘Pistol Packing’ (Rodi’s 2007 remix) (CD-R)
6. Sasha V — ‘U Wanna Rock’ (Equinox remix) (Volatile whites)
7. Rodi Style — ‘Mood Killer’ (Toolbox)
8. Ben Stevens — ‘The Business’ (Spin Hard)
9. Karl Davis — ‘Technique’ (Dynamic Intervention remix) (Pure NRG)
10. Beatnerf & The Greek vs Jon BW — ‘Drug War’ (Toolbox)
That’s my current top ten at the moment in my box and you can expect some no nonsense hard house/nrg sets while I’m over. If I’m really feeling the moment I may even bust out the running man.
Your UK tour at CyberKitten in Northampton sees you playing alongside Hard Sounds/Pure NRG boss Karl Davis. How did your Hard Sounds connection come about?
Karl’s Hard Sounds label signed my very first track ‘Messing with your Mind’ and as sort of a celebration for my first record release, I flew Karl in for one of my Hard House Revolution events, which included a 2nd gig in the city of Edmonton (3 hrs away). It was a riot and a half staying in this ghetto hotel in Edmonton, Karl got a rash from his bedsheets and I got extremely sick after the trip. The hotel is officially known as The Rash Hotel now!
Karl also asked me to be their international resident for Hard Sounds/Pure NRG so that is a great honor for me and I’m very happy to be part of the family.
As this is a versus party between CK Hardline lads with PureNrg, I imagine it will be a full on stormer, can you tell us a bit about what you have in store for the CK faithful?
A full on stormer is correct! I’m very excited for the opportunity to play to a crowd that’s educated in this style of music and I’ve got some special things planned! One of which is a 2007 remix of ‘Pistol Packing’ which I will be debuting at CyberKitten.
Thanks for taking time to speak with me Ben, look forward to meeting you at CK and having you in the UK this March. Just give us a quick low down on where else we can catch you while you are here:
Anytime Kate, it’s been a real pleasure and I’m very excited about my trip over!
CyberKitten @ Fever, Northampton Fri March 2nd
AE @ the Lockup, Hereford Sat March 3rd
Clubbed Up Radio, Fri March 9th
Storm @ the Emporium, Coalville on Sat March 10th
Photos courtesy of Rodi Style. Not to be reproduced without permission.
Catch Rodi Style, Karl Davis, Steve Gillen, Nasty Neil E, Matt Pickup and Andy Rise at CyberKitten HardLine vs Pure NRG on March 2nd @ Fever, Northampton:
CyberKitten HARDLINE vs PURE NRG
Friday 2nd March
22:00 - 04:00
£6/8 £5 nus
At door on nite.
Advance - 07849375534
Hey sexy party people - check out this beauty!
We're thrilled to announce this month's CyberKitten! In the main arena ..
Witness HARDLINE vs PURE NRG - a collaboration of international dj fire-power aimed at liberating yer senses an' sky rocketing you into blissful energy over-drive! Certainly not for the faint-hearted!
Hard goods are delivered by CK's outrageous HardLine lads Steve Gillen,
Nasty Neil E, Andy Rise, Matt Pickup and John Vyse. Featured are very special guests - Irelands Pure NRG/Hard Sounds label maestro, Karl Davis and thrilling Canadian dj/producer whiz-kid Rodi Style!!
Expect a sterling night showcasing the awesome dexterious talents of a few our scene's fiercest mix-masters an' scratch titans - bar none!
Simply - NOT TO BE MISSED
DirtyFlirty holds court in the yard hosting an extra special celebration in honour of the Break Fast Bros (Simon Vegas and Justin Normus). These groovers are one of the fastest rising breaks duo in the scene. Smashing up dancefloors from South to North and consistently (come rain or shine) serving up crowd thrilling killah sets at CK/DF ..
We're chuffed - capital C - as we invite the BFB on board as official DirtyFlirty residents. Joining the lads is resident rude-ster Kid Lopez - the legend that is Haydn Haydn an' CK's ressie Lucy Fur who unleashes her formidable talents to electro house - dishing up another kind of filth. Oh yes! The yards got the groove muscle ..
.. just the ways we kittens likes it ..
Stormin' CK dancers! Full on party shananingins! Nu-rave party loons! Sexy chargers! Beautiful groovers!
CK's definately one of the friendliest club nights in the UK ;-)
So! What are you waiting for gorgeous ?!
LET'S GET READY TO PARTY !!!!
* * * * * * * * *
" .. CyberKitten was consistently rocking all night with an authentic vibe and atmosphere that most people thought just didn’t exist in club land anymore .. "
4clubbers review (nov 06)
" What would the scene be without the tireless energy and hard work from people like Yojo and Colin? It’d be crap! I salute you guys .. "
Ed Real - HF (dec 06)
" CyberKitten .. fantastically enjoyable .. as long as they keep throwing bashes like this they have a glowing future .."
Mixmag Big 3 Review (feb 07)
" Regular appearances at Frantic and Storm, plus some high-profile shows at huge one-offs such as Helter Skelter, Heat, Sundissential and Polysexual have taken CyberKitten to a deservedly strong position in the hard dance world. Injecting the scene with much-needed energy and sexiness ... Cyberkitten also bring an energy to their distinctively informal parties, which some of the more established names frankly gave up on a long time ago .. "
Guardian – Saturday ‘Guide’ (apr 06)
Share this :: : : :
Follow HarderFaster ::
Other Features By K8-e:
The One and Only Eddie Halliwell
PunchFunk & Geushky Presents "Let's Make Rave" with Ian Void & Chris Vaux
Cream @ Amnesia - Ibiza 2010 - Reviewed
Pure Gold: Interview with Will Gold
Turning the Corner - Interview with IAMX
The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.