Inside The Track w/ Demuir
Toronto DJ/producer Demuir is synonymous with underground music. His eclectic house sound exudes funky, sexy and soulful beats that are consistently recognized and sought by artists and house fans around the world. His DJ and production career has propelled him into a range of various house based genres, which has also led to being featured on many respectable labels including Great Lakes Audio (GLA), IAHG (I Am A House Gangster), Guesthouse Music, DNH, Fogbank, Farris Wheel and Doin’ Work to name a few. Demuir even extends his musical range and also dabbles in hip hop and even samba as an extension of his musicianship, whilst also playing a wide range of live instruments.
Demuir has received international nods and receiving play from DJ elites including Mark Farina, Derrick Carter, Nick Holder, J Sneak, Doc Martin, J. Paul Getto, and Darius Syrossian.
We ask, Demuir answers
Congratulations on your new album. How is it being received in your sets and how are other club DJs responding to the release?
Thank you so much! The reception of the album has been great with stand out tracks being ‘A Woman’s Worth’ and ‘Acid Lines’. I don’t think people expected an acid track from me, but that was the whole intention of the record; to show diversity in my production and not limit myself to just jackin’ house.
I’ve been lucky to see Mark Farina throw down a few of my tracks recently at a gig in Toronto, along with direct feedback from artists like Detroit Swindle, who included ‘A Woman’s Worth’ in their July mix for DJ Mag and DJ Sneak who has been supportive. Outside of this, I’ve seen fantastic feedback from DJs with radio shows and respectable residencies from UK, Spain, and Ibiza. Quite overwhelming to be honest.
Tell us more about the album. What was the main inspiration behind it and what prompted the musical direction on this?
The album borrows its title from Ronnie Foster’s ‘Two Headed Freap’, which was sampled by A Tribe Called Quest for ‘Electric Relaxation’. I was so enthralled by the sample and the fact that it was a 3 bar loop. After finding Ronnie Foster’s record, I learned just how diverse he was as a musician, arranger and composer, along with his tight relationship with George Benson.
This inspired me to make a record that represents each genre I produce; there by leading to the title of ’6 Headed Freap’ with each head representing the genres I produce in. I typically produce jackin’ house, but I also do tech, afro, deep, techno, samba and hip hop.
The album does not capture samba and hip hop, but the first installment of my samba album has been signed to Nick Holder’s DNH Records and is due out later this year, though I’m still working through my latest hip hop joints.
Production wise, what is it about the album that makes it work?
I believe what makes this record work is the extensive use of samples and musicianship. I dig for vinyl regularly in search of new sounds. I find a lot of today’s productions feature extensive use of sample packs. There’s nothing wrong with that, other than the fact that a lot of records sound the same, especially if the sounds are not tweaked to the specific project. So by digging for original sounds and beats, things sound much different and are punched up with live instruments to keep things interesting. This record offers that.
What is the one machine, program, sound or technique that characterises your sound?
Sorry it’s more than one for me! The first would be Native Instrument Maschine and a deep use of my Minibrute by Arturia for basslines. I use this quite a bit and on remixes for different texture; I love the analog components in it. The longer it’s on, the warmer it sounds. You just can’t get that with a plug-in.
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What is the one piece of kit you simply cannot do without?
I have to go with Native Instrument’s Maschine here. I program most of my drums and love how this kit allows you to be hands on with production and offering an opportunity to import and tweak sounds on the fly. So much flexibility when used with your DAW too.
Any advice for your fans on how to make it in today’s faced pace game?
• 1) March to your own beat. Part of making great music is figuring out ways to push things outside of the norm, which requires one to not necessarily worry about on what other people think. Your creativity and view are what matter.
• 2) Be careful who you listen to. A lot of people will show up at your door and tell you what you should do, but the irony is that most of these guys have never done anything material or have boxed themselves into a corner as they destroyed opportunities through their own ignorance sometimes. Best thing to do is carefully filter what is being said and observe.