i With the definition of the word "DJ" continually expanding, iNSiDEaMiND (Prof. Fingers & Steptone) emerges from Toronto as a two man scratch band, further stretching artistic boundaries by performing live original compositions with vinyl. The "scratch musicians", as they call themselves, bring forth a unique angle to what a pair of DJs/Producers armed with instruments called turntables can create. By developing outside the often limiting battle oriented mind frame that scratching is too often associated with, the crew is bringing new life to this ever evolving artform.
Eye Weekly's Denise Benson describes their eclectic character as reminding her of the "excitement [she] felt at hearing DJ Shadow's 'What Does Your Soul Look Like?' EP in 1994, taking collage to the next level." The duo's orchestrations rise and fall in tempo and vary in percussive orientation. They move from straight up natural kick/snare break beats to sounds resembling digitized pots and pans banging out assorted time signatures in the back alleyway. Their percussive diversity is complimented by the wide range of record samples that they select from; nothing from the last 60+/- years is off limits. They'll blend melodies from jazz trumpets and opera vocals with squeaky door hinges and growling cartoon narratives, but what accentuates the unique character of their sound is that it's all improvised. Furthermore, the sounds are maneuvered and contorted to an extent that a trumpet for instance, becomes a brand new instrument. By mastering the art of manipulating the recorded medium, the original sound takes on a completely new character. iNSiDEaMiND hones in on small segments of sound and interprets them through inflective hand movements known to everyone as "scratching".
Since the recorded sound travels through the filter of the turntable musician's imagination, what comes out on the otherside is varied and always interesting. The artists can, in a sense, go back through time and play the recorded instrument itself, but interpret the sound through a set of technical principles inherent specifically to the turntable. By making music through the creative framework of a turntable, iNSiDEaMiND brings to life an auditory aesthetic that juxtaposes qualities from two instruments in different time periods and combined with 2 counts of boundless imagination takes sound play to a totally new place. Apart from traditional instruments, many of the sounds that they select are not at all recognizable. Large segments of their performances are in fact quite "experimental" using occasional vocal samples to orient the listener through a deep haze of ambient space atmospherics. By applying echoes, fx, and quick pitch adjustments they can transform crunchy bass sounds into bursts of droning extraterrestrial gibberish. The combination of open creative exploration and precise technical prowess allows InsideAmind to move smoothly from lush dream state soundscapes into calculated rhythmic developments. To accentuate the improvisational approach, often times they allow for audience members to select the vinyl that they play from. With the addition of similarly improvisational visual displays, the live performance is never the same twice.
Public Transit Recordings Inc. 3096 Danforth Ave, Unit 1, Suite 342, Toronto, Ontario M1L 1B1 Canada +1-416-410-3475 info(at)ptrmusic.com