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Video: 2econd Class Citizen – Be Together

Taken from the album “Unlearn” (Equinox Records, 2022).

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with David Vangel

David Vangel, a.k.a. "Vangel", is a Toronto based producer & live performer. Since embarking on his own musical journey in 2005, Vangel has released a string of instrumental EPs that have confused and amazed music lovers and muddled the boundaries between such genres as electronic, hip hop, jazz, rock, and folk.

All his talents were unleashed with his debut LP, Breadth Control, on the (recently closed) Berlin’s Equinox Records. A mind altering affair loaded with emotive melodies, explosive dynamics, and savage gauntlets of fierce drum programming, Breadth Control moves listeners with orchestral string arrangements and an overall cinematic quality that creates abstract visions ranging from optimism to melancholy.

We caught up with Vangel to talk about his new 4-track EP, BNAPTH, his musical influences, and his future plans. Read our interview below and make sure to buy his latest release here (or digitally here). The EP is also available from 5&1/4 Records in 50 limited edition Coloured Floppies (!) with custom stickers as encasing for CDs, available exclusively from vangelmusic.com/shop.

A story contains but few words… Born. Walked. Kept walking…

Zac: What is your background? Tell us how you first got into electronic music.

David: I’m assuming you mean musical background? I first started playing music in Junior school: band, strings quartet, symphony orchestra. I thought I was a rapper in high school and even through the first few years in university. My first serious independent musical venture was djing. I think after that, I was hooked. After a while I got into production and songwriting. I’ve kept same that focus up until now…..

Zac: Can you tell us a few things about your latest release? 

David: BNAPTH is the newest release. People seemed to be confused by the title. It’s Bath + Nap. B-NAP-eTH. It’s a Jazz/HipHop affair, instrumental, with some vocal chops. It’s on iTunes and available as a Limited CD encased in a vintage 5&1/4 floppy courtesy of 5&1/4 Records. It was mixed more as a hiphop release than any of earlier releases, less moody, and I believe slightly more giving to the average "hiphop head".

Zac: How many floppies do you own?

David: Too many! For a while, when I was more involved with 5&1/4, we had a recycling program with a local school board that was sending us boxes of thousands on a weekly basis. The weekly deliveries eventually slowed down, but obviously that had to stop. After a bit, the issue became storage. We have enough in storage to support the label’s releases for the next ten years and beyond.

Zac: How did you come into working with film team Primitive Replica? How do you see today’s consumerism?

David: I met Henry through work; we are both work in Education in Toronto; then I met Sean through Henry. They are the main brain of Primitive Replica. They were really supportive during the Breadth Control release with Equinox, and ended making a stellar Video for "Split Visionary" about a year after the official release. They just did the newest Video for "DumDum" off BNAPTH. These guys are dope; I know nothing bout film, colour, framing; but they’re teaching me.

I see today’s consumerism as a reflection of what we believe life to be, or be about. We live to buy; we buy to live. This is a obviously a uniquely North American and "1st world" phenomenon; as the rest of the world is simply trying figure out how to survive off the marginalization we are feeding them. Sadly, consumerism seems to be one of the strongest intersections for cultures to interact within in modern times. It’s ok though, cheer up; Christmas is around the corner.

Zac: Any thoughts about the closure of Equinox Records?

David: A million, but I think I shared most of thoughts concisely here: http://www.vangelmusic.com/2013/08/31/eqx-records-a-retrospective/. Huge shout out to DJ Scientist and the EQX family.

Zac: Which is the ideal place to listen to your music?

David: Depends. I guess it would be on a song-to-song basis. I would consider most of what I have released thus far as "listening" music; so as to say, "it’s not for the club". I think most of it is appropriate for hanging around your apartment cooking, painting, reading, doodling, stretching. The apartment is not necessary though. Works just as well with an mp3 player in the streets.

Zac: HipHop, Jazz, or a mixture? What is your source of inspiration?

David: I’s have to say a mixture, although, admittedly, I’ve been listening to nothing but older Jazz for the last 6 months. HipHop is the lil sister of Jazz anyway, so it’s all Jazz really. Some things I revisited recently were put in this guest Mix I did for Laid Back: http://www.mixcloud.com/LaidBackRadio/david-vangel-jazz-kneads/.

Zac: Which are your favorite tracks/artists at the moment?

David: Good ones.

Zac: What is your favorite sound?

David: True silence. A thousand times over; the single best sound.

Zac: How do you chill out?

David: Chilling for me usually involves getting away from the studio and moving. Skating, swimming, family, walking, sleeps, baths, naps, food, friends, laundry, cook, clean, eat, & stretch. Never in that order, though.

Zac: What are you most excited about right now?

David: ….im most excited about turning everything I’ve done upside down, shaking it violently, and re-envisioning how the mess falls out. And by that I mean: I’m excited to try new things, ignore any rule or maxim I’ve discovered, and re-enter the musical artist realm with a fresh hat on. The brim will be stiff, and the tag, still attached.

Zac: What are your plans for the future?

David: Lots of music, eat, sleep, & work. Simple.

David Vangel’s new BNAPTH EP is out now. Stream and order below.

Video: David Vangel – I Heard You Sing

This is the official video for David Vangel‘s “I Heard You Sing”, taken from the Equinox 10 Year Anniversary release “Counter Future — A Sound Exposure Vol. 3“. Shot & Edited by Rahoul Mitsa. More info about the release right here.