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IMPRINTS: Multi Culti

“There is a dance floor for the morning, a dance floor for the middle aged and a dance floor for your mom who also wants to dance.”

Name: Multi Culti
Vibe: All-inclusive, openness to multiple cultures, refracted through a psychedelic lens.
Founded: 2013
Location: Montreal, Canada and Sydney, Australia

Claim to fame: Thomas Von Party is Tiga's brother and manager at Turbo Records while his partner in crime at Multi Culti is Angus Cruzman aka Gus Da Hoodrat aka Angelo Cruzman, a veteran of the Australian electroclash scene through the Gang Bang and Motorik crews as well as a former Sydney nightclub owner.


Upcoming release: Multi Culti Japan album, two remix packs of singles featuring Axel Boman, Michael Mayer, and Valentine Stip from Nicholas Jaar's label, Other People.

Artists-to-watch: Thomash, Dreems, Xanga, Clarian, Peter Power.

What's the deal?
Multi Culti is a celebration of psychedelic, world music-influenced artists and songs without the intellectualization of where and when a particular sampled beat is coming from. Call it music for music's sake. Or to quote label partner Thomas Von Party, "There's no shame in saying 'I'm going to sample whatever I want to,' as a girl going out will throw on whatever is colourful and makes her feel beautiful."

THUMP: So what is Multi Culti really all about?
Thomas Von Party: I've run Turbo for eight years, Gus has also run labels in Australia, and it's been part of us for years. We wanted to do something a bit different and more open to variety and new ideas. A little more all-inclusive rather than niche. Even at Turbo, there's a fair degree of freedom and flexibility but those types of records wouldn't make sense. There's only so far you can stretch the boundaries, we wanted to set our goal posts very far apart to really do what we want. We can bring it all back to different scenes and settings.

Gus da Hoodrat: It's like setting up a psychedelic platform for our own lives. Making a label that reflects the music and parties we go to every day…

TVP: EVERY DAY OF OUR LIVES! [Laughs] Part of the thinking of the brand was that we wanted this to be an outlet for different types of ideas, trippy thoughts about anything we want. I would never feel comfortable talking about my kind of smoothie, or how to extract DMT properly but on Multi Culti it seems like open season. There's no big other artist or reputation to consider. We can have fun with it and incorporate lots of ideas.


Is this a new trend?
TVP: It really is. I just had Auntie Flo come here and play, and we realized more than ever that we do fit into something. There is this contingent of a lot of people sampling from many other cultural scenes. That's nothing new with afro-house and other tribal elements from the early '90s. But there has most recently been a push for sonic exoticism with entities like Caribou, Daphni's album Jiaolong, Four Tet, or those weird guys that might throw in eastern bells or something like that.

G: When you've already traveled the world, outreach becomes an easy thing to do. With our first releases, we quickly sent the beacon. People get what it's about.

Can you manage Turbo in tandem with Multi Culti?
TVP: What I've learned is that if I tell myself I'm going to sit in the label office all day and every day, then it's a bottomless pit, and I'll spend all my time without accomplishing anything. But if I take two other jobs on, I'll still feel like it's a bottomless pit but I'll prioritize the most important stuff on the label front, and then it's really simple.

The outside world doesn't care how many emails you send trying, all that really matters is did you sign great records, did they come out looking good with some cool remixes and did they get to the hands of the right people. The essence of it is pretty simple. Gus has been picking up a lot of the grunt work of the label, but we've also expanded and hired a new fresh-faced member at Turbo.


What does Multi Culti mean?
TVP: We were thinking about the name for a long time. We knew all along that Multi Culti would be the name; it's been the name of my playlists, even ones like "Multi Culti party," "Multi Culti disco." It's a catchall and a descriptive. To me, it became a kind of a genre. At the risk of sounding racist or something, anything that isn't white bread Judaeo-dance music is Multi Culti [laughs]. I think we stamped something that was out there in the ether.

G: We're pretty literal guys, we're not trying to hide any meaning. We're just happy to have fun. The thing about it is, in terms of 'multicultural,' people have asked me, "hey have you been to Africa or the Middle East?" You know what, no, I haven't been, but the real center of the Multi Culti is for people that have grown up in multicultural cities like London, Toronto or Montreal. If you're living in Nigeria, you're not experiencing Multi Culti.

TVP: What I've seen recently though, is there's so much global crossing stuff like, South African house. These movements have been influenced by electronic music in other parts of the world, that stuff is being exported and then reinterpreted in other places. We live in a postmodern cultural soup. What matters is that people are inspired and excited. However, if there's a danger, it's that people lose the real original meaning of things. The project is about the fact that I don't know exactly what African hat I'm putting on my head means, but it puts me in a good mood and the guy next to me is smiling, so I'm not going to nerd out and cross check my facts before deciding to go out with that hat on.


Is this even dance floor music?
G: It's very embarrassing dance floor music [laughs]. As I develop more as a person, I feel the dance floor has extended.

TVP: There is a dance floor for the morning, a dance floor for the middle aged and a dance floor for your mom who also wants to dance. Gus and I both play long sets, and have old school approaches of DJs taking you on a journey. If I'm playing a five hour set and if there aren't a lot of people there at the beginning, I'm not going to play a fast tempo song. There is a place at parties for really cool, deep and slow songs at 90 BPM. I don't like when things get too boring and you realize, "whoa, nothing has happened here for a long time," and things have flat lined. Its not that we don't have an eye for the dance floor but we're willing to flex what we consider to be suitable, and I'm sure people will find ways to play the tunes.

What's your favourite label that isn't yours?
TVP: We're not sure if they feel the same way but there are a lot of small labels we identify a lot with like Public Possession, African Shakedown, Hippie Dance, and Acid Arab.

@Jesse_Ship is a freelance music journalist and former Juno Juror in the Electronic Music category.

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