by Johnny Papan
VANCOUVER – “We wanted to make a type of music that is universal. Something a 90 year old and a three year old can both listen to. It has nothing to do with race or age or anything like that, it’s just something that everybody can enjoy.”
Vibe Selektaz are a lo-fi chillhop duo from Vancouver, British Columbia consisting of members Daniel Mihaichuk, known as Dboy in the local electronic scene, and Ontario-native Madison Barna, who produces under the alias: Sizzu. Together for three years, Vibe Selektaz have already dropped two albums that stylistically hit opposing ends of the musical spectrum, transitioning from their aggressive, murky dubstep debut True Lurkaz EP to a chilled ambiance with the jazz-influenced follow-up: 2030.
Also mixing elements of electro-soul, funk, and old school hip-hop, 2030 is an audio journey that continually matures through it’s seven-song progression. The album starts off relaxingly upbeat with “This Is the Place” and “Boolin’” before deepening it’s pace with the loungy “Three Dog,” a track tributed to the Fallout video-game character of the same name. “Geeked” is a phat, hip-hop inspired rinse topped with Biggie Smalls vocal chops.
“It just feels right making tunes like this,” Mihaichuk states. “It feels like we were supposed to be doing this since the beginning, you know? We just had to go through some hardships to get an understanding of what we needed to do.”
While working on 2030, Barna and Mihaichuk spent time drawing inspiration mostly from 1960s and 70s jazz records, sampling sections with a good feel, building tracks by adding their own drums, keyboards and dank g-funk style bass lines. The duo paid visits to a local Value Village, acquiring random-ish wax that spoke to them in a variety of ways.
“Sometimes we just picked a vinyl that looked kinda funny or kinda cool,” Barna explains. “There was this one artist named Lou Rawls who just looked more sly than a mothafucka on his album cover. We immediately knew we had to cop it.”
Lou Rawls’ “Spring Again” was sampled for 2030’s fifth track: “Good Day,” which somewhat blends all the different styles explored earlier in the record. The following tune “Good Night” is, in essence, a summer-vibe smooth-jazz track that would perfectly serve as a morning listen after having a, as the title would suggest, good night.
The album’s final song “Take Care (Of Each Other)” is a powerfully washed-out downtempo outro that takes a snippet from Jim Carrey’s memorable commencement speech at Maharishi University. In a nutshell, Carrey tells students that when faced with fear or love, to choose love. This perfectly encapsulates the Vibe Selektaz message.
“Honestly, we are just trying to spread positivity and love wherever we go. We feel like the world needs that. We feel like there’s so much division and there’s so much hate, like people would rather pick up a gun and kill each other than just love each other, straight up. We just wanna stand for love. Good things will happen with love.”
Vibe Selektaz perform alongside CloZee at the Red Room (Vancouver) on Thursday, May 31.