Violca [Mansion] (left) and Barletta [Mansion] are trading air raid sirens and motocross bass lines for major-key piano riffs and uplifting soul sounds.
MANSION with VANESKA, ST. MANDREW, NASTY NAV, SYNTONICS and MERK MENY at the Bright Pearl (346-348 Spadina), Friday (September 26). $10. pinkmafia.ca.
The new rules for success in underground dance music go something like this: pick a hot track of the minute, throw together a banging remix, leak it to blogs and cross your fingers. If all goes well, your bootleg will blow up, and suddenly you'll get tour offers and legitimate remix work, neatly bypassing the years of paying dues behind the scenes that used to be the norm.
This isn't to suggest that local production duo Mansion took this calculated approach to their piano-fuelled classic house reworking of MSTRKRFT's Bounce. Mansion are Violca [Mansion] (aka Violca Yryku) and Barletta [Mansion] (aka Hans Edquist), and if things work out, the pair will reap the rewards sooner rather than later.
The remix (which is officially sanctioned by the MSTRKRFT boys) has already received lots of blog love, not to mention club play, leading listeners to check out their original material, which they cheerfully describe as "stadium house."
"I've heard the Bounce remix played at some downtown clubs, and when I went up to the DJ they had no idea that I was the one who did it," laughs Yryku over pints at a west-end bar.
Eschewing the hard-driving, distorted sound that's ruled the clubs over the past couple of years, Mansion focus on writing upbeat melody-driven anthems, unashamed of their love of traditional house music.
"Electronic music is totally taking a turn right now. Everyone is sick of that whole chainsaw synth, motocross bass, heavy metal electro. That stuff is great, but there's just too much of it. People seem to be going back to old-school house and disco roots, using live instrumentation again instead of soft synths. I'm a big disco head, so I love where things seem to be going."
"It's been really interesting adapting to this style, learning about how house music started and bringing it back to vocal- and melody-driven tracks," Edquist interjects.
Yryku's partnership with Edquist is still quite new, but they've been blessed with immediate chemistry. Yryku had been DJing for years, but only dabbled in production here and there between gigs with her former band, Fritz Helder and the Phantoms (with whom she has amicably parted ways to concentrate on DJing and producing), while Edquist was mainly a producer and had little experience in front of crowds.
"I met Barletta at the end of June and we hit it off right away," recalls Yryku. "I went away on a DJ tour, and when I came back we talked about some song ideas and started making music. Since then, we've put out about a track every week. Mansion is a newborn baby, with the goo still all over its face."