By Hollie McGowan
VANCOUVER — As Vancouver’s music scene continues to flourish, grime and dancehall are two subcultures that have seen significant local growth in recent years. Now with Wind:Up, a new monthly party at the Biltmore Cabaret, the two genres are able to come together for an evening of booming bass that stays true to its origins across the ocean.
Unknown to most, Vancouver has a long history in dancehall and grime thanks in part to Wind:Up resident DJs Tank Gyal and Michael Red. Tank Gyal, a member of Lighta! Sound and head honcho of the long-running dancehall weekly Thursday Ting! has been a cornerstone of the local dancehall scene from the get go. “My knowledge of the dancehall community here [in Vancouver] begins with Brukout!” she recalls. “Prince Sho and the Royal Platoon fam started it at Shine from 2001 till around 2009. That’s where I began going to dancehall nights.”
On the other end of the spectrum, BC’s West Coast has continued to cultivate its own unique identity within the global bass music community and continues to gain an international reputation for its unique sound and vibrancy. A great example of this growth is Michael Red, founder of the legendary DJ crew Lighta! Sound, chief commander of local music label Low Indigo, and resident DJ at Wind:Up.
“Max Ulis, Paul Devro, and Jesse Proudfoot had a night in either 2004 or 2005 called Grime Sessions in the back room of Shine,” he remembers. “To my knowledge, this was the first sighting of vocal grime being played in Vancouver. Memories of that night remain as one the freshest and most exciting energies I’ve ever experienced at a Vancouver club night.”
Since their introduction to the city, both grime and dancehall have gone on to share a history that continues to contribute to Vancouver’s overall bass culture, music, and production style. With Wind:Up, the two genres and their followers are able to come together and unite under one roof. “When Tristan Orchard came up with the idea for the night I was on board right away,” says Tank Gyal. “As far as I know, there’s currently nowhere else in Vancouver where you can hear grime on a regular basis and it’s one of my favourite types of music for sure.”
Wind:Up takes place at the Biltmore Cabaret February 24th.BC, Biltmore Cabaret, British Columbia, dancehall, grime, Wind:Up