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High Season

High Season: get to know the artist

High Season blends the classic driving pulse of 90s techno inspired by his hometown of Clearwater with a natural aesthetic and feel only found in the Pacific Northwest — where he calls home.  The blending of the natural and synthetic worlds is a common theme found throughout High Season’s recorded tracks and live performances. Explore the divide and bridge the gap.

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For fans who don’t know much about you, could you tell us a bit about your music background?

My musical background for most of my youth was a tangential one. I think I’m what most would consider a late bloomer. I grew up in a home filled with all types of music thanks to my mom. We had a decent Kenwood receiver paired with a Sony 6 disc changer and a very decent off-the-shelf Montgomery Ward speaker set-up.

The genres of the CDs she collected ran the full gambit. And with that sound system at my disposal when she was away thus my journey into sound began. The local jazz festival in Clearwater, FL where I grew up, is one of my fondest memories. I even spent a little time playing the trombone when I was a kid. Over the course of the years kind of became a halfway decent drummer when I moved to the PNW in the State of Washington, near the Seattle area in the late 90s.

My understanding of what music really could be, and what it could mean to people started to expand. I continued to be a heavy collector, a voracious consumer of music, and attendee of shows.

I knew in my heart that making music of my own was something I wanted to do, being a part of that wonderfully beautiful moment that you can share as a creative with a consumer of your art, especially in the environment of a live music venue or festival. The Gorge Amphitheater in George, is one of the places that solidified that feeling in my heart and soul. This was a feeling I understood really only from a primal perspective from my time as a career hospitality professional.

As I’ve grown as a person and producer, I’ve come to understand that relationship from an honestly spiritually fulfilling place. I feel so blessed and fortunate to be able to share the skills and talents that make me happy to facilitate the experience and happiness of the people around me and thus in my community.

When did you start DJing/producing – and what or who were your early passions and influences?

One night in 2010 sometime, after presumably a long hot night in the kitchen, I went home and basically quit playing video games, and opened the Garageband App on my iPad2 and dove into what has turned out to be another turning point for me on my sonic journey.

Mostly started out thinking I’d be a rapper of some sort, and I would do my own production. Being absolutely enamoured with the cleanliness of the sound of Dr Dre at the time, it seemed like a logical starting point. There are even a few tracks on my old SoundCloud. I’m sure an enterprising individual could find them.

As I progressed at making actual music my compositions got to the point where they were halfway decent. The prior sentence sums up about a decade of self-taught time just fooling around with Garageband, till I could consistently compose something coherent from an idea or sound that inspired me to make a track. Early in my search for my sound as a producer, and DJ Shadow being a heavy influence, when I had the space for a kit, I would work out rhythm ideas on my Questlove kit.

At a monthly house music night at Chang Thai in North Bend, WA, about 30 miles from Seattle, in the mountains, my life changed forever. This was the moment in early 2019 when the DJ epoch of my musical tale began. ALWAYS SAY YES TO THE AFTERPARTY. Not to yell, but to emphasize being there for yourself.

How would you describe your sound and style?

When I started producing I would emulate the style of producers whose sound I really admire like Dr Dre, DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist, Handsome Boy Modeling School, Daft Punk, both MTV Amp compilations, the soundtrack of the 90’s version of a movie called The Saint with Val Kilmer, a must see by the way.

Also, all those 90’s jams from Eiffel 65’s Blue to Culture Beat’s Mr Vain those were life when I was a kid. We’d walk up and down the strip on the beach with a boombox. I still bump all that stuff now, and thanks to the algorithm I get to hear all the stuff I missed out on when I was a kid. I am also a lover of classical music, more symphony than opera I would say, which I think has been an influence on me as well.

Being keen to convey emotions and feelings with sound and not use words. The same way a chef would with food or a mixologist with a cocktail.

Being keen to convey emotions and feelings with sound and not use words. The same way a chef would with food or a mixologist with a cocktail. As I’ve grown into who I am as a producer, I feel I’ve found a way to put all of who I am into my craft, in a way that grows me as a person. With my sound, I’ve really espoused the thought that, with music, there will always be new avenues to explore the boundaries of sound, noise, and which ones are capable of being both.

My style is heavily influenced by nature, in its fractal infinity. The natural world is limitless in its imagination of life. I was shown the concept of Shoshin by another mentor I hold in high regard, and I incorporate this into my production philosophy as well.

I would say my sets would be most comparable to a vinyl house set because of how my rig is set up for live performances. For which I use Ableton. The  Ableton Push 2 triggers all of my clips, while the Novation Launch Control XL serves as my mixer, with custom midi programming to help me achieve my sound. I also use a Universal Audio Apollo Twin, with a MacBook Air. This rig was the realization of the concept of my friend and mentor Colby and me, without his midi programming mentorship I wouldn’t be here today. The best part was the preservation of my workflow. Which coincidentally is what has given me the sound of a vinyl progressive house set.

What can we expect from the mix you made?

The mix I’m sending will be a progressive house set. That seems to be the style I’m gravitating towards with my live sets. I feel it allows me to cover a more diverse range of bpm, which gives me the ability to convey a wider range of emotions musically.

What is one thing that would make your musical career more successful?

I’m not sure I could put my finger on the one thing that would make my music career more successful. Signing with my label Soda Mountain Records has really given me a big boost and added a layer of authenticity and professionalism to my work that wasn’t there prior. Definitely grateful for them.

I will say I’m just happy to be in the conversation about having a music career and being able to make people dance. Nowadays, it’s all touring and merch. If someone called and wanted to book me for a tour, I would not say no to that. I’ve gotten a few very convincing @‘s from people I’d like to tour with and open for, so we’ll see. I’m a travelling bartender now, so I’ll be ready for the road when the call comes. Which hopefully it does from this wonderful interview.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In 5 years I hope to be fully supporting myself and my son with my music. Whether it’s through touring, merch, or even better a sync deal with a production or software company, living off of my art in a way the helps my son be everything he can be in life.

The rest, the doing of all that, shows, touring, that’s my dream. Not the cheddar. All that is for him. I already know how happy just being there playing a set makes me, I don’t need much beyond that.

What is your absolute favourite track of the moment?

My favourite song of the moment is either, I hope it’s ok I pick 2 or 3, you know DJs, always gotta have another one ready. Zookëper House Phone, or Grace Jones Pull Up to the Bumper, maybe even the Majestic mix of Rasputin.

What makes you happy?

What makes me happy is being able to do the things that make me happy to make other people happy. I just want to be a positive part of that circle.

It matters little whether you are an artist or a visitor, the love for music is the unifying factor.

We are a magazine & record label dedicated to quality underground electronic music. We do not look for just any music or anyone, we are looking for music, and people who create memorable experiences, that inspires and invokes emotion. Let’s create timeless music.