Friday, May 1, 2009
DZ - The Fireman / Right About Now Sounds
1. The Fireman
2. Right About Now Sounds
Sean Harten, aka DZ, was born in December 1977 in Ottawa, Canada. At the age of 2, his parents would separate and he was placed in his grandmother's care in the small farming community of Russell, Ontario. At the age of 7, his aunt bought him his first cassette tape, Run-DMC's seminal “Raising Hell”, and after continuous listens he searched out his grandmother's vinyl collection, grabbed his fisher-price turntable and began trying to re-create the sounds that he was hearing...
In the spring of 1995, he recorded his first demo mixtape under the moniker “Fah-Q”. It was an assortment of old hip hop instrumentals, trip hop singles and various breaks laden with cuts and samples from Eddie Murphy's “Delirious”, Beastie Boys' “License to Ill” & “Paul's Boutique” and the “Star Wars” soundtrack. Armed with 30 copies, he hit every record store, clothing shop and tattoo parlor in the city eager to get some feedback on the mix and a chance to flex on a rig. Within a few days, a local promoter who was given one of the tapes contacted him and booked him to DJ at his Sunday breakbeat night, providing he came up with a better name. After his set he was immediately offered a weekly residency that lasted for almost 2 years at the now legendary and defunct, “The Well”, in the Nation's Capital of Ottawa, Canada, spinning old school hip hop and electro, breaks, hardcore and house.
From 1995 to 1998 he performed at numerous shows and raves in Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto, and often found himself sharing a stage with a local up and coming jungle/drum and bass DJ, Threesixty. They became very close friends over the years and in the winter of 1998, the pair put together the idea of “Badman Press”, which would be their own record label to release their own music.
In early 1999 DZ became a father and DJ'ing & producing took a back seat, but he continued to take the occasional local gig when he could. In 2001, he started producing drum and bass with longtime friend Threesixty, and performed at a handful of events in 2001/02 with the former under the moniker “Badman Press”.
In November 2007, DZ performed for the first time in over 4 years, headlining the massive “Dubforms6” dubstep dance in Vancouver alongside DeVille (UK) and Swytch (CAN/US). Since then he has played in numerous Canadian cities including Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Edmonton, Calgary, Kelowna and Vancouver.
In 2008 he toured the US twice, performing in LA, San Diego, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Sacramento, Portland, Seattle, Cincinnati, Denver, Chicago and Scranton. A late 2009 US tour is in the discussion stages at the moment, and any booking inquiries should be directed to Surefire Agency
On December 31, 2009, DZ performed alongside Diplo, Jesse Rose, Ghislain Poirier, Plastician, Kromestar, MRK1, Antiserum, Sub Swara and Hookerz & Blow at “Revolution” in San Francisco, playing both the dubstep room and the main room alongside Kromestar and MRK1. Then on January 28th, 2009, he performed alongside Mary-Anne Hobbs in San Francisco as part of her 2 day SF/LA special showcase “West Coast Rocks!”
On September 17 2007, Hotflush Recordings released what would be the last record in the “Scuba” series (scuba010) by a then-unknown producer from Canada, DZ, entitled “Slums Dub / Strong on Ya”. Although he was already well known on dubstepforum.com for time due to almost weekly uploads in their 'dubs' forum, it was his remix of Morcheeba's “World Looking In” released by LoDubs Recordings (losbod1208004) and his “Just Rolling / Leviathan ft. Bowzer” released by Black Acre Recordings (acre002) that put his name on the map in the dubstep world.
2008 was a massive year for DZ with no shortage of releases bearing his name, and even though he builds new material incessantly, forever chasing new sounds, arrangements, techniques and styles, he has maintained a core sound that continues to appeal to listeners worldwide. From “the speaker-popping drop of the year” (phonica) on High Deaf's “The Boss” (OffRoad off001), to the “no-nonsense slice of dancehall murder balladry” (forced exposure) of “Old Timers” (Black Acre acre006), down to his “truck-sized steppy 4x4 floor packer” (phonica) remix of Bobby Caldwell's “What You Won't Do For Love” (Slit Jockey sj002), to the 1 selling dubstep track of 2008 on beatport (www.beatport.com) in “Down” (True Tiger ttr013), you would be hard-pressed to find a dubstep mix in 2008 without at least one of his tracks on it. Even house DJ's have been playing his releases and dubs, from Diplo naming “Down” his 1 track of the month in XLR8R's October 2008 issue, to Herve playing his remix of Jokers of the Scene's “Baggy Bottom Boys” on his Radio1 Essential Mix, to Jack Beats battering his dub “AWOL” and the hundreds of mixes posted online featuring (and most opening with) his Bobby Caldwell remix.
With 2 new labels to showcase not just his sounds but those of other up & coming North American artists as well in "Badman Press" & "Badman Digital", it looks like 2009 is going to be a busy one indeed...www.myspace.com