(Video to Van Helden’s Funk Phenomena 2k which was referenced by Ryan)
Three years ago, three producers with over a decade of experience in the music industry came together to form The Angry Kids. Beckstein (Jeff Beck), Tom Da Bomb (Tommy Causevski) and ry2 (Ryan Wilock) have worked in production, engineering, and The group is currently signed to deals with labels across the globe. Recently versions of their song have poked up on various forums on the web. When I contacted ry2K about posting his hot new track on our site he was apprehensive. After checking out the site he not only agreed to allow us an exclusive post of the song in its Ultimix form, but to answer some questions on the industry he loves and the city he is from.
Here is the Interview:
StSH: How do you feel the Internet is helping the music industry? How do you feel it is hurting the industry?
ry2K: The music industry and major labels in particular really dropped the ball, and under estimated the power of the internet back in the 90’s.Â They continued to waste money on archaic methods- and created the problems they face today themselves.Â They could have easily embraced technology- created their own digital streams or even alternative avenues…instead, all the major conglomerates thought they were impervious to it.
In that sense, the Internet has really hurt the industry.
On the flip side, the internet has helped broaden the area an artist can cover- you can reach the entire world within seconds, can have your music heard by trillions, and begin your path to stardom using it as your main means of promotion.Â Before promotion used to cost more money than anyone can imagine- right now the artist can make a serious impact on his or her own.
StSH: How do you think the electronic music scene in Toronto compares to other parts of North America (NY, LA, MTL etc)? The world (UK, France, German, Europe Australia, etc)? What can be done to help it grow?
ry2K: The electronic scene in Toronto was bustling in the late 90’s and even into turn of the millennium.Â Then it took a serious decline- it is barely a blip when compared to what it was, never mind comparing it to other places.
When I look at the rest of the world, and in particular the UK, there is something that Toronto does not have- a wide spread sense of camaraderie.Â Until that changes, and everyone working in the industry start to look out for one another (rather than running around acting like a bunch of school kids trying to work against one another) the scene will be a mere figment of everyone’s imagination.Â In my opinion, “the scene” barely exists right now.
StSH: What trends have you noticed internationally that you predict will take off in North America over the next year?
ry2K: That’s a tough one.Â When I was in the UK recently, dub-step, and UK hardcore (155-160+ BPM) were all the rage in one area, and another was more on the tech side of things.Â The one thing I did find that was common though- was that allot of it was song based.Â Not just a bunch of grinding electro influenced synth lines with some drums and a couple vocal stabs- vocals, hooks, and strong leads were all present.Â Maybe the chart success of electronic sounding artists like Lady Gaga will lead to something positive other than a song you can’t get out of your head.
StSH: You have clearly invested a lot into this project, clearing various samples including Mr. Brown as well as Marvin Gaye and other prolific artists. Do you feel that your productions are an update of these artists’ works or a something new that incorporates the old? What gave you the idea to sample these artists in particular?
ry2K: First- you can never make what is already great better.Â I have some great business partners that allow us the opportunity to work with these artists of this magnitude.Â When I first had the idea to start this project- everyone thought I was insane.Â Now, three years later- we are on our way, and seeing the plan come to fruition is both rewarding, and satisfying at the same time.
I like to think of what we are doing all of these great songs as interpretive.Â Not trying to be coy, but the way these ideas were thought of….it was exactly that, the ideas came to us.Â We went with them, but without the belief of everyone involved none of this would have ever happened.
StSH: I recently commented that a lot of remixes tend to be sloppy these days so artists can release their remix as soon as possible in order to ‘get their first’ so to speak. Clearly you have taken a lot of time and care in producing Mr. Brown. What do you feel are the flaws and benefits of this culture that has been blossoming over the course of your career?
ry2K: First of all you have to realize that allot of the remixes out there are being done by people just to throw out there.Â They are not authorized, they are just done.Â There are no individual parts, no stems, nothing.Â That in itself sets you back 2 steps in trying to make a record sound big and clean, forget rushing and releasing something incomplete.Â They are not original ideas that are being made to make an impact, in a sense they become disposable.
Beckstein, TDB, and myself spent about 12 months getting the original version of Mr. Brown right.Â In the end, I think there were no less than 4 versions nearly completed that ended up completely aborted and started over.Â We wanted what we did to sound right, and knew that nobody else was doing it the way we were, I don’t see the point in rushing things.
It’s not like the 500 Internet remixes of Love Lockdown – everyone trying to get it up on the net first- have some pride!Â Next thing you know some fool will try to re-sing the vocal and release their version of that (Love Lockdown) as an original idea….trying to make themselves look like some sort of genius.
StSH: On that note why do you feel hip hop songs that sample are considered “original” beats while in electronic music the same practice is often known as a remix?
ry2K: I would use the term original loosely.Â The main difference rests in the fact that hip hop has traditionally been based on sampling- a sound, a few bars, a hook.Â On the other side there have been cheesy dance covers of past, present, and classic tracks for years.Â Some well done, and some very poorly done.Â It is the poor ones that make the electronic genre lose allot of the respect it has tried so hard to gain.Â To take it a step further, when dance records use a mere sample, it usually seems to slip through without being noticed.Â How many people have realized that Armand van Helden’s Funk Phenomena in fact samples Method Man & Red Man’s hit How High???
StSH: Girl talk fan?
ry2K: I think what they do is novel- couple cuts on my iPod currently.
StSH: What inspired you to get involved in the music industry? To what do you credit your lengthy career in the music industry? What do you believe to be your greatest achievement thus far?
ry2K: I have been surrounded by the business of music my entire life, it just seemed like a natural fit to me, and credit the length of my career to the many facets of it I have been able to learn over the years.Â My greatest achievement- that is yet to come, but when it does, y’all will be sure to know about it.
ry2K has been in the industry for 15 years, his most notable accomplishment was signing the group Eiffel 65.
Other than the original my favorites include Agent X’s mix and the Love Assassins remix with an awesome breakdown into the original by Bob. I am not a big fan of the Ian Carey Mix. I am sure Ryan and the rest of the Angry Kids would love to hear your feedback![audio:Bob Marley and Angry Kids – Mr Brown (Ultimix).mp3]
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Angry Kids – Mr. Brown (Ian Carey Remix)
Angry Kids – Mr. Brown (Agent X Vocal Mix)
Angry Kids – Mr. Brown (Pablo Deconders Kill Mix)
Angry Kids – Mr. Brown (Love Assassins Remix)