Introducing the dynamic and always engaging, Deep City Culture. I’m sure that many of you have been at an electronic show while dismally noticing that the DJ looks like they just hit the play button and are constantly checking their email, without adding any live elements or exuberating any production skills. Luckily there are artists like Deep City Culture that will destroy that DJ dismay with one of their sets by filling it with an ever-changing smorgasbord of styles, cultured roots, and a symbiotic exchange between the three producers, hard at work behind their gear. Deep City Culture is made up of producers, Auganism, OrkidZ, and My Pet Monster, who came together to bring their differing tastes forward for a pleasant array of sounds that transgress through sub-genres of trap, future bass, glitch, hip-hop and all things swag, to get you excited about collaborative music. Their first release on Street Ritual, Take It Off, features heavy synths, guitar riffs, and massive build-ups and drops, all while turning the 808s up. Make sure to check out DCC at the upcoming Emissions Festival from May 17-20th in Belden, CA. Also scope their latest heady sounds, and great artist interview below.
How would you describe the combined sounds of Deep City Culture?
Auganism: Django Reinhardt having drugged-up sex with Fela Kuti. Plus airhorns and shit.
OrkidZ: Pretty much, could not have said it better myself.
My Pet Monster: Like that 80s movie… 3 Men and a Baby
What made all three of you; Auganism, OrkidZ, and My Pet Monster, come together to work on this new project?
Auganism: Orkidz and I were brought together by a mutual friend, a musical cupid if you will. He heard what I was doing, and told me I had to check out Orkidz. We got together and by the time the smoke cleared we knew we had a connection. A few months later MPM shows up with the idea for DCC, and voila.
OrkidZ: Things happened very naturally, we had a good time sharing tunes and talking about our work process, things just worked out from then on.
My Pet Monster: All three of us met thru a mutual friend. We crossed-paths on a few occasions and would bullshit about music. I started kickin it with OrkidZ before I really got to know Auganism. At that time, OrkidZ was running all hardware, which was something that really intrigued me. One day, I think I had the idea to get OrkidZ, Auganism, myself, and our buddy, Noel Vaughn, into the same room to work on a track. We wrenched away on a few things and that’s the day that we had the idea to form a music collective. We all had our own solo projects, but we liked working together. Since we all pull from various backgrounds, we weren’t really going for anything in particular. We were just experimenting with different sounds and seeing what happened. We all have played in bands for 10+ years, so I think the idea of “jamming” came natural. As soon as that happened, I had the realization that there were plenty of people producing electronic music collectively, but very few of them were actually incorporating a live element into their onstage performances. Sure, people were playing their music out, but very few artists that I saw were actually delving into Live PA. At that time, I was really into The Glitch Mob and STS9 and I had just been turned onto the San Francisco group, LoveTech, which was hosting events that showcased all sorts of Bay Area artists who were fusing music with technology. I had never really seen anything like that before and I thought to myself, “Hmmm… I think there might be something to this whole controllerism thing.” Everyone else in the group was already on that tip, so ultimately that’s what Deep City Culture came to encompass – a collective of artists who produced and performed whatever the hell they felt like through new and innovative ways. Our live setup is still a process that we’re developing everyday, but I think it’s at the core of what we’re trying to accomplish thru our music as well as our live performances.
I love the name Deep City Culture. Is there any city or culture in particular you feel your music represents?
Auganism: We come from places thousands of miles apart. To me, ‘deep city’ evokes a place, a sort of underground metropolis where people from completely different surface cities come together. That’s the culture I represent. Think of it like the Earth: you can start anywhere, and if you go deep enough, you’ll find the same core. That’s where the deep city is.
OrkidZ: Yeah, I have lived in many cities throughout my life, the streets may have looked different but they all seemed to share a common pulse.To me we are telling the tales of a city that combines all of our collective experiences, the cities we have been and the cities we want to go to.
My Pet Monster: I don’t know what the hell these guys are talking about… I’m just the kid from Kansas.
How do you start producing together, when you each have your own different musical backgrounds, styles, and tastes? Do you conceptualize an idea first, or let your process unfold more organically?
Auganism: DCC’s music is a pretty even split between tracks that we all write from the beginning in the same room, and tracks that we individually bring that are 80% there but are just missing that special something that makes you go “yeah, that’s a tune.” Sometimes DCC just adds that last 20%; a lot of times we just skull-fuck it into something completely different. By now we’ve been making music together long enough that I can hear when something I’m working on for myself is going in DCC’s direction. We also talk about our music a lot as we’re writing, we’re very good communicators so we tend to know where we all stand on things pretty well. We never hit an impasse with a tune, we always find a way to get everyone’s ideas represented.
OrkidZ: Yeah,we have show-and-tell sessions where we talk about the tracks we are working on and get each other’s input, often times we would select tracks during those sessions and work on them collectively.
My Pet Monster: It really depends. Our tracks are all over the place. Some tracks have been formed from an idea that one member has already been developing, while other tracks have come about from someone just picking up a guitar or playing a random chord progression on the piano.
How did it feel to have your Take It Off EP to be one of Additech.com‘s top new releases?
Auganism: Like a penguin finding a bottle of vodka in the desert. Penguins probably prefer gin though. Maybe we’re the gin and YOU’RE the penguin. Either way, you ain’t got no tonic because why would you you’re a fucking penguin.
OrkidZ: It was a very pleasant surprise, especially for our very first official release on Addictech.
My Pet Monster: Like I just had sex with the prom queen.
Take It Off has electronic ranging from glitch to gangsta hip-hop, to trap, and everything in between. Where do you pull your mix of swag sounds from?
Auganism: Orkidz likes to use live instruments, I like to build synths, and MPM has this one snare he sneaks into every track
OrkidZ: yeah we kinda threw sounds together and played around until something good came out of it. We used very little sampling on this EP, we created most of the sounds from scratch.
My Pet Monster: We all have our own flavor, but I would say that there is a decent amount of crossover. OrkidZ is definitely the one who brings the worldly hip-hop vibe to the table. He likes to program beats and prefers to use instruments with a more organic sound. Auganism enjoys synthesis – he is usually the one responsible for the pretty, melodic stuff. And I am the weird, asshole that inserts subliminal messages into all of our songs and insists that every bassline could be much crunchier and every buildup/breakdown could be way more epic. I have a knack for audio/midi effects, field recordings, and sampling. I like my bass fat and my music weird. I also enjoy Fruit Roll-Ups and have a severe case of ADHD.
It was recently announced that you will be on the bill for Emissions Festival this year in Belden, Ca. Have any of you attended Emissions before and if not, what are you expecting?
Auganism: I am expecting blackjack, hookers, and LSD suspended in Hennessy in the dunk tank, which should be named the Crunk Tank. Crunk Drank. It definitely should NOT be named Cunt Stank.
OrkidZ: MPM and I played at Emissions last year, it was a good time. We are also excited to see all the other artists playing this year!
My Pet Monster: I have performed at Emissions the last three years in a row – the first two years under my solo project, My Pet Monster, and last year with OrkidZ as Deep City Culture. I am expecting to have a damn good time as per usual, but there will probably be some-sort of ridiculous obstacle that we must overcome at some point in the weekend which will not only test our strength as men but also the very essence of what separates us from primates. The first year that I performed at Emissions, the power went out 8 times during my set. Later that day, my best friend in a psychedelic induced rage decided to destroy my tent – breaking all of the poles, shredding it into pieces, then dragging the remains (with all of my stuff inside) about 40 yards away where he proceeded to throw it into a water-filled ditch. My girlfriend and I slept on a cot under the stars for the rest of the weekend. The second year that I performed at Emissions, the weather went from 85 degrees and sunny to 20 degrees and 6 inches of snow in the span of about 4-6 hours after a severe flash-flood. Last year, I locked all of our gear in my car then proceeded to lose the keys – finding them 8 hours later, just in time to play our set in 100 degree weather with about 80% humidity. Long-story short, when I found out that Emissions was at Belden this year, I about creamed myself. I have already purchased my water-wings and inner-tube and I am ready to sit on that river and drink cold beer with all my friends. Odds are… I’m probably going to drown.
What’s next for Deep City Culture?
Auganism: Club hip-hop remixes of afrobeat staples. We will be officially changing our name to Fellate Kid Kuti next year. Stay tuned!
OrkidZ: We want to keep things interesting for us and for the people listening to our music. The idea is to continue experimenting with new sounds, different instruments and continue improving our production. It’s a constant learning process.
My Pet Monster: More releases and collaborations with other artists as well as beefing up our live setup.
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