Vancouver-based Westwood Recordings celebrates 10 Years of the label’s stunning achievements with a month-long schedule of special releases, starting with ‘10 Years of Westwood Recordings’ – an album that perfectly complements the label’s party-ready but sonically very diverse sound. Featuring tracks from label bosses The Funk Hunters as well as Defunk, Moontricks, K Theory, Stickybuds, Kotek, LIINKS, and SugarBeats, Westwood truly pulls out all the stops for this one. Opening with “Freak” from The Funk Hunters and Defunk, the release kicks off with grimy basslines and serrating synths with catchy distorted vocals. The journey continues with Moontricks’ funky swing-influenced midtempo “Nebulizer” and K Theory’s “Outlaws,” which incorporates Hip-Hop vocals into ethereal bass music melodies. Then over to Stickybuds’ funky organic Electronica “Family Man,” featuring Glen David Andrews, and later onward to Kotek’s Drum & Bass sounds in the form of “Dance With Me.” The album concludes with LIINKS’ balladesque “One Thing About Me” and the closing SugarBeats’ “Wild Cat” for a dark, grimy, and headbanging good time.
Since its creation in 2013 by Nick Middleton – 1/2 of The Funk Hunters – Westwood Recordings has had multiple notable achievements (listed below). With that impressive portfolio, we can only assume that the next few years will be even bigger and better for this one-of-a-kind Canadian imprint.
“Celebrating 10 years of Westwood feels surreal. It is a milestone I’m really proud of. What started as a passion project for our own music has grown into a community of artists, creatives, and like-minded music lovers that has exceeded every expectation I’ve had. This month-long celebration is a showcase of the best of the past, the present, and the future. I can’t wait to see where the next 10 years take us.” — Nick Middleton, Founder & CEO of Westwood Recordings
– Westwood has worked with 200+ artists of varying genres over the past decade
– 2019 & ongoing: Shambhala Music Festival, Canada’s premier and longest-running electronic music festival, joined forces with Westwood Recordings to present a Westwood stage takeover branded “Friday Night in The Fractal Forest” annually since 2019.
– 2020: Westwood launched Westwood Sounds in partnership with Splice, delivering coveted sample packs from their artists
– 2020: The Funk Hunters became the first electronic act to receive the Canadian Independent Music Association’s (CIMA) Road Gold certification
– 2021 & 2022: Westwood joined forces with Monstercat for the fifth and sixth annual Monstercat Compound Event, programming a Westwood stage takeover presented by Pioneer DJ
– 2021: Westwood’s artist So Sus received JUNO nomination for Dancing Recording of the Year for his “Voices EP”
– Westwood has been running annual sold-out events in Vancouver at the legendary Commodore Ballroom in partnership with Live Nation. These include Westwood’s annual Halloween event as well as The Funk Hunters long-standing “Funk The Halls” show that tours across the country and culminates every year the weekend before Christmas with two back-to-back sold-out nights at The Commodore
– Spiderman: Homecoming (trailer) / Sony Pictures (Song: Stickybuds x K+Lab – “Clap Ya Hands Now”)
– Peloton (commercial and socials) / Peloton (Song: The Funk Hunters x Defunk x Akylla “Warn Ya”)
– The White Lotus Ep. 203 / HBO (Song: CITYWALKR “Sabre”)
– Sex Lives of College Girls Ep. 201 / HBO Max (Song: Akylla “Holding On”)
– Just Beyond Ep. 103 / Disney+ (Song: Sparkee x Def3 “Feelin’ Right”)
– One Of Us Is Lying Ep. 205 / Peacock (Songs: KR3TURE x Adrea Castiano “Only One (CVMRN Remix)” + Goddexx “U Down”)
– Valorant Tournament “First Strike” / Riot Games (Song: The Funk Hunters x Stickybuds x Flowdan “Empire”)
– Swiffer Wet Jet 21/22 National Campaign / Swiffer (Song: The Funk Hunters x CMC & Silenta “Tribute”)
– Dollface S2 Ep. 207 / Hulu (Song: Austero x Dub Princess “Humans”)
– 911:Lonestar Ep. 201 / FOX (Song: K+Lab x Melodownz “Good Juju”)
– Ode to Muir (film) / Teton Gravity Research (TGR) (Song: Moontricks “Home”)
– And more on Netflix, Disney+, HBO/Max, Hulu, Sony, National Geographic, YouTube, Facebook, BET, Peacock, Swiffer, Quibi, Sportsnet, FOX Sports, Comedy Central, Peloton, Riot Games, Universal, FOX, MTV, Nickelodeon, Syfy, CBC, NBC, TNT, TBS, Teton.
Future plans, to name only a few:
– In 2023 Westwood is expanding their partnerships with Live Nation to take Westwood Halloween across Western Canada with dates also in Calgary, Edmonton, and Victoria
– Westwood continues to feature Westwood-curated stage takeovers at some of Canada’s leading music festivals, including Rifflandia Festival, Shambhala Music Festival, and more.
– The reunion of Chali 2na and Cut Chemist for a full-length LP, two of the founding members of the renowned hip hop group Jurassic 5, due out in 2024
– The Funk Hunters biggest album yet, featuring hi-profile collaborations with artists like Big Gigantic, Dr Fresch, Chali 2na, The Sponges, Kotek, Liinks, and many more, due out in 2024
– On the business expansion side of things, in addition to focusing on more branded events, tours, and Splice sample packs, Westwood will be launching a new music distribution service in 2024, expanding its reach significantly across the music landscape, not just as a boutique highly curated label, but as a distribution arm for independent artists with access to new technology, enhanced accounting services, and the ability to tap into Westwood’s existing sync and licensing networks
– In addition to overseeing Westwood, Nick Middleton will also continue to lead the management of Midnight Agency (with longtime business partner Grant Paley), Canada’s award-winning boutique booking agency now representing over 40 artists. Midnight is focused on building new revenue streams, harnessing new technology, and helping their acts navigate the ever-changing demands of delivering art and shared live music experiences.
– Producer. Engineer. Talent Buyer. Artist Manager. Label and Agency Owner. Nick’s career path is guided by the enduring principal that business can be pleasure.
– He’s produced and engineered remixes for world-class talent like U2 and Imagine Dragons, and built a legacy of independent music, art, and events under his acclaimed imprints and music companies, Westwood Recordings and Midnight Agency.
– Today he’s focused on building forward-thinking organizations and digital platforms tasked with empowering the next generation of artists. He is the current CEO of both Westwood Recordings and Midnight Agency.
– Head Talent Buyer for acclaimed Canadian music festival, Rifflandia where he has booked world-class acts such as Iggy Pop, Lorde, Diplo, Run The Jewels, Shaquuille O’Neal, Charli XCX, Herbie Hancock, Cypress Hill and many more.
– Middleton’s other engineering credits include: Big Gigantic, Dr Fresch, Aloe Blacc, Glass Petals, Elohim, Kota the Friend, and Brasstracks, as well as official remixes for global stars such as U2, Selena Gomez, Imagine Dragons, Gramatik, Haywyre, Opiuo, Dub FX and more.
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Effin Carves Out His Own Destiny With Debut Album ‘Cheap Thrills’
There is something beautiful and courageous about bringing new life to things forgotten. It takes something special to preserve the magic of what was while molding it into something fresh and spectacular. In the world of music today, many artists are merely interested in finding the newest sounds and styles in order to prove their originality. Effin, however, has found that sometimes the road to becoming one-of-a-kind is right under your nose.
With the release of ‘Cheap Thrills,’ Effin takes a deep dive into the ocean of his musical talents. Having taken years to develop his style, the artist was beginning to wonder if he would ever find his place in the industry. To his surprise, the path leading to his success was there all along. Pulling from his roots in Nashville, Tennessee, Effin renders an insanely energetic twist on old classics.
Sampling styles from the 50s and 70s eras, the artist completely revamps timeless tunes into some of the most sophisticated and original tracks to date. Not only does he harness the old-school sounds with integrity, but he channels them into something that is completely his own.
“Cheap Thrills is everything that Effin represents and will represent going forward. It’s an audio collage of hundreds of different sounds, styles, and influences slammed and crunched together. Above all things, it’s a love album. It pulls you in and spits you out, filled with digital nostalgia and distorted fantasies. This one is incredibly special to me and I think that will be obvious from the opening thrill until the final goodbye.” — Effin
Although the album demonstrates the raw talent that exudes from the artist, Effin has not had the easiest journey of finding his niche. Bringing older styles of music to the forefront can be risky, but with the proper attention to detail and dedication to stand out, the possibilities are endless. Effin, like many of the artists he sampled before him, took a chance on creating something eccentric and rooted in originality. Each track is vastly different from the next. Every breakdown brings forth a unique animation. The album brings listeners through decades of music, while continuously reminding them of the future of Effin’s sound. From beginning to end, the collection is a powerful and inspiring ode to the timelessness of music and the fruition of a creative mind.
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Zomboy’s First Single Of 2023, “Monsters,” Featuring Micah Martin
British Bass maestro Zomboy joins forces with the vocalist Micah Martin of The Zealots band for their powerful new single “Monsters,” delivering an unexpected and unique sonic experience that’s about to be the soundtrack to everything from your workouts to your next headbanging session.
The head of Rott N’ Roll Records artfully fuses angsty vocals that bring to mind Hardcore Rock of the early aughts with Drum & Bass production, complete with rapid-fire breakbeats, dark synths, and distorted basslines. The overall effect is an energetic, cathartically aggressive record that brings the listeners’ inner “Monsters” to the surface to be slayed and will appeal to fans of Heavy Metal, Bass music, and beyond as a track that is truly unbound by any genre.
It also serves as a follow-up to Zomboy’s ‘Dead Man Walking Pt. 1’ EP and his earlier collaboration with Micah – “Flatlined,” both from 2022. Read on for the artist’s inspiration behind “Monsters,” which represents Zomboy’s sonic exploration and sets the tone for future experimentation with Bass music.
“I am beyond excited to put ‘Monsters’ out into the world along with my amazingly talented friend Micah Martin. Not only has this song been absolutely destroying the dance ﬂoor, but it will forever symbolize a very difficult yet positive part of my life. Everyone deals with their ups and downs in different ways, and I am just so glad I could call on Micah to help me vocalize these feelings and emotions. I really hope everyone enjoys my first real step into drum & bass, something I’ve wanted to do for a long, long time.” — Zomboy
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Defunk Releases 5th Studio Album, 1st In Almost A Decade, ‘The Voyage’
Canadian DJ and producer Defunk releases his brand new 14-track body of work ‘The Voyage,’ his 1st in almost a decade and 5th in overall, and it is a true journey through the genre-bending soundscapes that have established him as a pioneer of bass-influenced music throughout his long career. It is also a deeply personal body of work for him, which serves as a testament to his journey both as an artist and as a man as he navigated both the global pandemic and becoming a father. From the opening notes of “The Departure,” Defunk makes it clear that the voyage the listener is about to embark on is not for the faint of heart, as the piano melodies and ethereal vocals fuse into the deep basslines and serrating synths of “Blast Off.” Each track melts into the next with liquid sophistication as Defunk expertly steers through the groovy tech-house beats of “Coming In Hot” to the headbanging, drum & bass-oriented synths of “Waves” and the hip-hop vocal bass of “All Your Love.” Wrapping up with the sparkling notes and futuresque drops of “Sunrise,” the album displays Defunk’s impressive versatility in a sprawling range of bass-focused gems and it’s clear that there’s heart and soul in every track. The album’s drop also launches Defunk’s “The Voyage Tour” across North America, which begins in September and spans across Detroit, Vancouver, Minneapolis, Portland, Kelowna, Las Vegas, and more till November.
“I can finally release my first full-length album in almost 10 years. I’ve never worked so hard on such a large project, with so much of my heart poured into every song. ‘The Voyage’ is a very personal 14-song concept album that tells the story of my evolution, both personal and musically, through the pandemic and into my new role as a parent. The voyage will be released on Westwood Recordings, and I couldn’t be more excited to share it with you.” — Defunk
Canadian-born Logan Anderson, known as Defunk, has made a distinct name for himself in the electronic music scene with his dirty, funky, bass music. Defunk’s unique fusion of funk, hip-hop, electro, and heavy bass music allows him to be a true connoisseur of genre-blending. His innovative style has paved the path for fans of all genres to venture into the bass music scene and a niche that has left him virtually untouched. He constantly pushes the boundaries of what bass music can be with live performances that captivate audiences all over. The versatility Defunk delivers in his sets, and live performances has caught the attention of Pretty Lights, GRiZ, Gramatik, LSDream, and others across the bass music scene. He’s played at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado, Insomniac’s Electric Forest Festival, Canada’s Shambhala Festival and toured internationally for 10 years. Equipped with constantly changing sets and a rapidly expanding discography, Defunk constructs each performance to the brim with allure and absolute magic.
Defunk’s “The Voyage” Tour (tickets):
Sep 08 – Galaxie – Louisville, KY
Sep 09 – Unison Festival – Aztek, MN
Sep 15 – Tangent Gallery – Detroit, MI
Sep 16 – The Stache – Grand Rapids, MI
Sep 23 – The Red Room – Vancouver, BC
Sep 30 – Pryes Brewing Co. – Minneapolis, MN
Oct 05 – The Get Down – Portland, OR
Oct 07 – Waverly Hotel – Cumberland, BC
Oct 20 – Distrikt – Kelowna, BC
Oct 21 – Five Mile Hall – Grande Prairie, AB
Nov 04 – Arkadia Festival – Las Vegas, NV
Nov 09 – Summit Music Hall – Columbus, OH