Music by VICE

Zeds Dead’s Label Deadbeats Is Dropping Its First Compilation

Check out the frenetic pixel-trap-grime of Pusher's "Mayweather (ft. Heckz)," and our quick chat with Zeds Dead.

by Rachel Kraus
Feb 9 2017, 9:35pm

Deadbeats, the label created by Toronto's own Zeds Dead to showcase and promote the music from their Canadian hometown, will release its first compilation album on Friday, February 10. Deadbeats Compilation 1 includes songs from Nebbra, Rezz, Megalodon, Memorecks, Pusher, Blount, and Zeds Dead themselves. The compilation marks a progression for DC and Hooks, who released their debut full-length album Northern Lights in October 2016, towards curating and giving shine to other up-and-coming artists.

To celebration the compilation, Deadbeats shared one of our favorite tracks, Pusher's "Mayweather (ft. Heckz)." The Toronto DJ's woozy but frenetic pixel-trap-grime lays a bombastic digital foundation for rapper Heckz' UKG-reminiscent rhymes. Heckz' lines like "Now I Got a Label for the Team / Million AV Raisin the Heat / Fixated on Making My Peak / Until I spend My Days in the Green" seem to revel in the consolidation of a crew, a sound, and a label coming out of Toronto.

We had a quick chat with Zeds Dead's Hooks about how running the label is going, repping the Toronto scene, and more. Check out the track and interview below.

THUMP: We know you told us before that you began your label out of pride in Toronto as a diverse and self-starting, artistic place. Does your latest album + this new compilation reflect Toronto and that larger aim? How did you go about choosing the artists?

Hooks: We def rep some Toronto homies on this compilation. Rezz, Pusher, and Memorecks all have songs on it.

You mention the label's aim of fostering younger artists. Why is this an important value to you? What artists played this role in your life?

Hooks: Well it's not necessarily the age that matters, a 50-year-old mom could start making cool music. It's just about keeping an eye out for new undiscovered artists and giving them a platform to be heard and seeing what we can do to help them grow.

What are you excited about in the Toronto electronic music scene right now? What kinds of sounds can we find on this album?

Hooks: Just the diversity that you hear in the scene, there's so many different styles of electronic music being made in Toronto. From the Toronto artists on this compilation it ranges from techno, to trip hop, to garage, to dubstep.

Are there more compilations in the works? What's next for Zeds Dead and Deadbeats?

Hooks: Yes we want to keep making these. There's some friends that we really wanted on this one but are going to get for the next one so we're excited about that. We've got some releases lined up after this for Deadbeats as well. For us in the near future we're going to keep focussing on our album for a bit by putting out more music videos and remixes.