VND/LSM with JDH, VANESKA, VIVI DIAMOND, BOYTECH, NIKKI AWESOME and many more, at Circa (126 John), Friday (February 15). www.circatoronto.com. Rating: NNNNN
Behind the scenes in Toronto’s electro-house community, there’s a real sense that this city is about to blow up in a big way. International DJs have long known this is a great spot to party, but suddenly the rest of the world is dancing to T.O.’s beats for a change.
The strangest thing is that most of the new buzzed-about producers don’t even have official releases out but are touring the world on the strength of bootleg remixes posted to blogs.
The overnight success of VND/LSM in the past year is a perfect example. They’ve jumped from playing small local bars to headlining big parties all over North America, mainly due to their aggressive speaker-shredding reworking of Rihanna’s Umbrella that came to international attention after being included in Diplo’s Pitchfork mix last summer.
“I think we might actually be meeting Rihanna at Circa this Friday, because she’s in town for Fashion Week,” claims LSM, aka the Legendary Sweaty Murphy. “We’ll see what happens. I actually just found out yesterday in Montreal that her stylist or publicist played her the remix recently, so apparently we’re on her radar.
“Getting the hype train rolling is easier when you’re using songs that are already good to begin with. Using someone else’s talent to your benefit can create a snowball effect. As soon as Umbrella came out, we knew it was going to be massive, so we cranked something out super-quick in a couple of hours.”
Making a career out of bootlegs is risky business from a legal standpoint, but since none of them are actually for sale, there’s not much to sue for. VND/LSM have since started doing more officially sanctioned remixes and have an EP of originals in the works.
But in the meantime, they’ve had to deal with a different kind of cease-and-desist order from an Australian electro group called Vandalism, whose similar name led to widespread mislabelling of tracks all over the Internet.
“We’re actually meeting Vandalism from Australia for the first time at WMC in Miami. I think we’ve dodged the legal bullet at this point. We put a slash in the middle to distance ourselves from the word Vandalism.”
The name is actually an acronym for the duo’s DJ names, Very Nice Dave and the Legendary Sweaty Murphy, and most online fans are now aware of the difference between the two outfits. As far as the bootleg remixes go, it seems that staying outside the label system has its advantages.
“Because we don’t really have a contact address, I think we’ve been able to avoid a lot of C&Ds.”