Eddie C Lets His Mind Be Free

Over the past two years Canadian DJ and producer Eddie Currelly – AKA Eddie C – has been responsible for some of the best examples of why the edit is far from a lost cause. But he’s been DJing and tinkering with records for much longer than that, and over the years he’s been able to gather together a stockpile of musical knowledge that has fed back into releases on labels from all around the world, including Jiscomusic, Endless Flight, and Kolour.

Overall he’s a great example of the slower, dubbed out edits (see The Revenge, Cottam, et al) that John and I (and everyone else under the sun) have acquired a taste for over the last few years. His first release on Jiscomusic is still my favourite – so much so you’ve probably heard me play a track off it if you’ve seen me DJ at all over the last 12 months.

I tracked Eddie down via email to his ski-resort HQ in Banff, Alberta, to find out a bit more about what makes a ski-fanatic-cum-DJ tick, and he also put together a great mix to go with the interview which you can download below!

Full disclosure – this interview and mix were originally done for Warm Music, for whom I (that’s Ollie) work. You can check it out in its original form here.


Your first release was on Jiscomusic, which, looking back, seems to have really kick-started the edit renaissance here in the UK over the last couple of years. How did you hook up with the label?

Jisco was great to me for sure! I was a big fan, since Mark E’s “Scared”. I was really feeling the stuff Mark was putting out. I think I just sent him a few tunes and he passed them on. I’ve done very little self-promotion. I like to send music to people I find inspiring. It’s a blessing that people are feeling it! I’m just trying to communicate what I’ve learned over the years.

What sort of music were you into growing up?

My mom was into disco in the late 70s. She used to dance with me to Saturday Night Fever and the Bee Gees and all that when I was just a child. There was always dance music in my life, but I think it was sometime in the mid ’80s when it became very interesting to me.

I had friends who were into Rap music and friends who were into New Wave, but around ’87 I started listening to the radio on my own, staying up late on weekends doing some home taping 😉 I still have all my old tapes from then. I grew up near Toronto and in the late ’80s, late night Toronto radio was incredible! It wasn’t exactly Mojo or anything like they had in Detroit but there were still tons of extended mixes and rare versions of dance tunes being played on the air. It was so interesting to me! I loved the idea that a tune could be taken apart and presented differently. It was fascinating to me! I was also heavily into Rap music and scratching and anything that had drum loops and samples.

Throughout the ’90s I was into all different kinds of music. Whatever was happening at the time caught my interest. Everything man. Detroit stuff, Chicago stuff, New York stuff, UK stuff, Jamaican stuff, German stuff. All kinds of different music but mostly electronic. It wasn’t until around ’99 that I started to buy older records. And only recently that I started buying new ones again!!

You grew up in Port Hope, Ontario, which seems like a pretty small place – where did you go if you wanted to go out and catch DJs? Was there a good scene in Toronto? Did you often make the trip down to Detroit?

Port Hope yeah! A great town to grow up in. Toronto had a great warehouse party scene in the early ’90s and my friends and I used to go all the time. Such an inspiring time! I moved to Kitchener/Waterloo in ’95 for school which is in between Toronto and Detroit. It had an incredible scene as well. Half inspired by Toronto’s British influence and half by Detroit. Actually, more so by Detroit. I was very much into Techno while living there and had a radio show at the University.

I DJ’d quite a bit around town too, mostly at Mike Shannon’s club night that he did. But there were all kinds of interesting concept parties going on all over the place. We used to go check out Richie Hawtin’s parties as much as possible. I have been to Detroit a number of times. Many of those experiences I will never ever forget. It was very very intense!

When did you start DJing and producing music?

I’ve been buying records since around ’87. It’s hard to say when I started DJing. It feels like forever. I played at my junior high school dance once. My friends and I used to throw small parties in Port Hope all the time! That was a great town to grow up in man. I was so lucky and so was everyone else that was a teenager in the early 90s there. There were so many people that were into music. We’d throw parties where there would be a punk rock band, a death metal band, a hard techno DJ, a rap band and then a jazz band. All over the place musically. It’s not like that anymore I don’t think. But a lot of key figures from then are moving back to town. My wife and I will end up back there one day.

I was always writing music. But my high school really helped expand my love for writing electronic music. The music department was great there at the time. They even had a Midi course you could take. We had a Roland JV-30, a Yamaha DX-7 and a friend of mine had an Ensoniq EPS and we used Cubase. Not to mention all kinds of other live instruments. It was a great time to experiment in music as a teenager.

Do you DJ much in the area around where you live now?

I used to! It goes in waves. Sometimes I’m playing five nights a week. Sometimes not at all. Banff has been great to me over the years though. It’s a great spot to check out if you’re ever in Western Canada. I’m hoping to get this great gig back I had last summer playing reggae out on a sunny patio. Paradise 😉

A lot of your material is clearly grounded in sampling, do you think you’ll move away from that gradually? The release on Endless Flight this year seemed to be less sample-based…

I love sampling! I always have, but it’s the idea and in which way you use it that makes it interesting. People that do sampling correctly make it their own and you can tell. I can’t say that I can do it even close to those who are the best at it. I love original music as well of course and I have written quite a bit. A future release I have on Home Taping is ‘mostly’ all original hehe… I really enjoy sitting in my room full of records and pulling random stuff for samples though. It’s a very fun way to make music.

What sort of equipment do you use for your productions?

Really cheap stuff. Anything that is really affordable

You’ve released on quite a (geographically) varied selection of labels now. Jiscomusic in the UK, Kolour from Detroit, Endless Flight in Japan… how do these connections come about?

I have no idea! I don’t find them, they find me!

What artists are you excited about right now?

Move D, Dam-Funk, Cottam, Omar S, Theo Parrish, Kenny Dixon, Harvey, Kenji Takimi, Carl Craig, Social Disco Club, Anton Zap, Ray Mang, Ashley Beedle… the usual suspects 🙂

What do you get up to when you’re not DJing or producing? A fair bit of skiing right?

Yeah man! You have to have balance with your interests in life. I’m almost as into skiing as much as I am into music. Actually when the snow is good it’s the best thing in the world. Around here especially!

What are your plans for 2010? What releases do you have coming up?

I have a remix on Future Classic coming out this week. New 7 Inches of Love are coming this summer and they’re hot!! An EP on Home Taping is Killing Music, a 12″ with Cole Medina on Whiskey Disco, a track on the new Sleazy Beats record, a remix on Crue:L, a couple of other remixes I think… It’s all very exciting and rather surreal!

I was just in Detroit for the festival and played an afternoon at TV Bar which was killer! I love that city, it was so good to go back. I got to meet Theo and Kenny and Harvey and give out some records! In a couple of weeks I’m doing a couple of nights in Japan with Kenji Takimi. He sent me some records and some live mixes of his… outstanding! I’m very excited to go there!


Grab Eddie’s mix here:

Eddie C – Warmer than Canada Mix by warmhq


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