By Summer Swanson-Slotiuk
VANCOUVER — The homogenization of electronic music may be a tired topic, but that hasn’t made the end result any more palatable. With the repetitiously over-thought and over-processed crap in our SoundCloud feeds these days de rigueur, it’s stimulating to find material that goes in a new direction and is presented in a refreshingly tongue-in-cheek fashion. Luckily for us, there’s Greazu$.
“Our whole thing is, we fuck with people. We like to have fun, we’re practical jokers,” says HxdB (a.k.a. Severine Erickson), one half of the duo, while the other half, DJ Cure (a.k.a. Yung Vangelis, Dr. Chubb, and Patrik Cure) finishes a bite of pizza before agreeing: “We’re ultimate trolls.” With a post-postmodernist visual presence relying heavily on provocation and Photoshop as well as their beloved weed, beer, coffee and pizza, any potential audience would be quick to recognize that this is a group who doesn’t take themselves or their listeners too seriously. HxdB sums it up by saying, “It’s about poking fun at the things that are so ridiculous that we see every day. What we like to tell people with the Greazu$ act is, lighten the fuck up!”
Individually successful and well-established producers for many years, the two have a long history together, having worked side by side on Cure’s label Aufect Recordings (HxdB handles A&R) as well as the production of last year’s Shambhala remix contest tune, “Sound The Alarm” featuring MC ThinkTank. While only official for the past four months or so, commitment to the Greazu$ project was a natural progression for both after seeing a diversion of interest from their solo projects. HxdB explains it simply: “We figured out how to make fucking magic in the studio. When Cure and I sit down together and start writing music, it’s special. You can just tell when you start writing music with somebody and you have that connection on that level…I just felt this real sense of excitement and power going into Greazu$, and to be able to focus my intent on it without guilt and without reservation, it was fucking liberating actually. We realized right away, fuck casual – this is something special.” Cure adds, “We were writing a track in a day, sometimes in four hours, and what was making it easy was partly that the fun was back in it again.” With “Ride The Lighting” and “Safety First” getting play on Ivy Lab’s Rinse FM show last month and additional support from Om Unit, Sam Binga, Stray and Celestial Trax, that fun seems to have paid off. The two have also identified a clever approach to co-production, mirroring their Ableton workspaces, plug-ins and sample banks identically, which permits both maximum efficiency and the ability to tweak in a way that feels “comfortable, there’s no guesswork.”
Above all, the intent is to never be pigeonholed, as Cure puts it. “I feel like my creativity has no boundary – why would I want to stick to one thing? I get excited by new stuff, new sounds – it’s probably the ADD in me. That’s what turns me on though, I wanna hear who’s innovating. We get definitely influenced by that shit.” HxdB adds, “That’s a big part of what made Greazu$ happen. We want to move, we want to innovate and come up with new sounds; we also wanna pay homage to the past, because that’s a large part of where we came from. Drum ’n’ bass and hip hop [are] a huge part of what we’re doing, but we also want to incorporate modern sounds and production techniques with these classic elements as well.” Count on each of those elements factoring into the debut of the duo’s live PA show this year at both BassCoast and Shambhala.
Greazu$ perform on May 8 at Open Studios, as part of Falseoween VIII.BC, British Columbia, Greazu$, Open Studios