Toronto’s Basic Soul Unit becomes the latest producer to start their own label with the announcement of the Lab.our imprint.
It’s surprising to note how long Stuart Li has been plying his trade as Basic Soul Unit. The Toronto-based producer has been quite the nomadic artist, rarely appearing on a label more than once in some ten years of releasing tough, loud slabs of analogue house music, making it hard to keep a firm grip on just how busy he has been at any one time.
Still Music will release Motional Response, the debut album from Canadian producer Basic Soul Unit, next month.
Boddika’s Nonplus imprint has revealed details of forthcoming releases from Basic Soul Unit and Skudge.
Stuart Li has been doggedly hammering away on his studio set up for many moons now, quietly issuing forth his own vision for jacking house dynamics married to emotional depth. Based in Toronto, the artist has managed to operate relatively under the radar with his Basic Soul Unit alias, a name so seemingly non specific as to evade the memory the first few times you hear it. However the profile of Canada’s second city is steadily rising, with the likes of Art Department, Kevin McPhee and Egyptrixx all drawing attention to the sprawling metropolis of East Canada.
Fine Art Recordings chief Nitzan Hermon clearly has a sharp eye for concepts. One of his most intriguing ideas to date was the 2009 MVSICA project – pronounced ‘musica’ – a CD compilation of downtempo music from producers known primarily for their 4/4 techno output. The CD, a collaboration with Sawdust studio, was released on a special ‘scratch off’ surface on hard laminated paper, meaning that the cover would evolve over time – much like the music contained within. Those who bought one of the 200 copies made could either keep it in pristine condition or subject it to the rigours of regular use and thus earn something genuinely unique.
Toronto based producer and DJ extraordinaire Basic Soul Unit aka Stuart Li has enjoyed a fine 2010 to date, with one exceptional release in the shape of his Tuff Love EP for the Crème Organization and the introduction of a production style that touches on dubstep as Herman. Combine this with some heavyweight Detroit and Chicago leaning releases for the likes of Ostgut Ton, Philpot, Left Of The Dial, Versatile, Mule Electronic and Mathematics Recordings and it’s not hard to see why Li is considered a talent on the rise. Stuart has already graced the pages of Juno Plus in a very interesting interview back in June so we decided to quiz him again,this time on the tracks that are standards in a Basic Soul Unit DJ set right now.
Born in Hong Kong but raised and based in Toronto, Basic Soul Unit is Stuart Li, a producer and DJ who’s been honing his craft since 2003. Gaining increasing widespread attention, particularly in Europe, Li is definitely one to watch. His releases have appeared on a plethora of well-respected labels: Ostgut Ton, Philpot, Left Of The Dial, Versatile, Mule Electronic, Mathematics Recordings, and Creme Organization. Sure, we all know that early Chicago and Detroit house and techno helped to shape his sound, but did you know that jazz, soul and Latin do as well? Juno Plus contributors Helen Luu and Steve Phillips caught up with this underrated producer to find out more.
Featured DJ Chart: Matt Walsh
It’s been a watershed year for Londoner Matt Walsh, with the release of the debut Clouded Vision EP on his own imprint, some fine remixes on esteemed labels Turbo and XL and a slew of DJ slots at festivals and clubs across the UK and Europe. He’s a man with a finger very much on the pulse of electronic music – a connoisseur of everything from deep techno to peak time disco. He guided us through his top 12″s for November (plus a CD or two).