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If you were paying attention in our video of Grimes live at SXSW, you’d have noticed her bare-chested bandmate playing MPC. That man is Canadian producer/musician Calvin McElroy aka Kuhrye-oo, who this week released his debut EP on NYC label UNO. It’s headed up by Give In (For The Fame) (listen below), a beautifully faded, 2-step spin on R&B that begs obsessive repeat listens. Ahead of his live debut in London next week (he plays Boiler Room on Tuesday 8th May and Shacklewell Arms on Wednesday 9th May), Kuhrye-oo has kindly made us a Dummy Mix that mines the deepest corners of dance music, from Traxman to Todd Edwards, and No Lay to d’Eon, plus the most haunting edit of Rose Royce’s classic Love Don’t Live Here Anymore I’ve ever heard. Stream Kuhrye-oo’s mix exclusively on Dummy, plus get to know the man below.
Hello Kuhrye-oo, how’s tricks?
Hello, things are good. Just hanging out in New York for the week, working on some new music.
Please could you introduce yourself to Dummy readers?
I’m a producer from Edmonton, Canada although I don’t really live anywhere at the moment. I’m kind of drifting between endless touring and a homeless couch-surfer.
So feeling the Dummy Mix you’ve made for us – you really took it deep. Could you tell me a bit about it?
Deep was the intent, and dramatic. I started it off with all the more intense dance-y stuff and finish it off with the emo. I like it when mixes move through a series of different moods so I wanted this one to do that.
What’s always in your record bag and why?
Lots of shit. I try to take something from all genres, but I always come back to what the Bmore/Jersey club producers are putting out. That stuff is really great to dance too. High Energy. Also lots of grime and rap, juke, jungle, etc.
I really like your EP on UNO, it feels very fresh yet also in conversation with the UK music scene. When and where did you make it and what were you feeling at the time?
I made the song Give In while on tour in the summer (2011). It was just an idea that I was gonna finish later but my laptop (and passport and everything) got stolen in San Francisco. I was pretty devastated to have lost all my work but thank god I uploaded the rough mix of it a day or two before.
Through some friends of friends, Charles from UNO heard the song and wanted to put out an EP but that one song was all I had, everything else I made was lost. So after tour I went to LA for a while and just wrote music. The rest of the songs are from that time. I guess thats why the EP is fairly emotive. I was coming out of a moment of loss but just starting to feel optimistic about music again.
How did you get into music and what drives you to make it?
My dad is a musician and songwriter so I grew up with music around. When I was 13 I started a punk band called No Apparent Reason. Punk is one of those things that you’re kind of in it or you’re not and I was all in. So right off the bat I was totally engulfed in a music lifestyle. Obviously I eventually moved on to other styles but that youthful earnest passion I had still resinates with me. I can’t seem to separate music from the rest of my life. It’s all intertwined.
I hear you play MPC in Grimes’s band. What’s Grimes like to tour with?
The Grimes tour was pretty surreal, it kinda felt like we were in a movie. Never a boring moment. Everything from staying at Patricia Arquette’s house to having ‘Bloods’ in LA come on stage as Claire’s ‘hype men’ to exploring an abandoned 6 flags amusement park in New Orleans. We packed a lot into just over a month. We all got to be really close. And the after parties were pretty crazy too.
What can we expect from your upcoming UK live gigs?
Hopefully some new material. I’ve also rearranged songs from the EP to be more suited for live. It should be a different experience from the record.
And finally, what are your best-kept-secrets tips for Montreal?
Montreal is full of hidden gems but the Jewish bakeries are pretty tops. I’ve made cheese crowns and chocolate bobka my dinner more times than I’d like to admit. There’s also a great loft venue/after hours scene there although the spaces are constantly coming and going. But there’s always some place to party at all hours.