It’s Movement Detroit month so we found it appropriate to welcome one of the guests of our Octopus Recordings Label Showcase in Detroit to the Global Vibe Radio decks.
This week’s soundtrack comes courtesy of Toronto’s Shelley Johannson, a resident and mainstay of Sian’s celebrated label.
Enjoy the mix below, read on for our exclusive chat with Shelley and head here to secure yourself a spot at this year’s Octopus label showcase in Detroit, also featuring the World Debut of Marsian Live (Sian and Marc Houle), Carlo Lio, Lee K, Juheun Live and Michelle Sparks!
Hi Shelley, how is Toronto treating you this week?
Hey! We are finally headed towards summer here, it’s absolutely gorgeous!
Thank you for the mix by the way? What was going through your head when putting it together?
You’re most welcome! I always approach my mixes with the idea of storytelling. I start off by collecting the pieces of the story about 50 tracks that gel well together or have a similar vibe. From there I’ll get on my CDJs, hit record and mix the playlist.
This results in a mix that is unexpected and organic.
Needless to say when people read and think of Shelley Johannson they instantly also think of Octopus. How did your relationship with Sian and the label begin?
My relationship with Sian and the label began a couple years back. Sian was playing at a club here in Toronto and I approached him to pass on some of my music. The rest is, as they say, is history.
What does Octopus represent to you as an artist and as a person?
I’ve been following the Octopus label for sometime and when I started spinning and producing techno music, their catalog was a staple in my record collection. I’ve always felt very synergistic with their music and brand image, and now I’m proud to call the label home.
I have come to notice the family spirit and camaraderie within the inner-core members/residents at the label. How would you describe what goes on at Octopus to an outsider?
(Laughs) Yes that’s very true, there is a family sort of spirit with the inner core members. From the outside it definitely looks like a very tight-knit crew but to try and describe it to a person is somewhat difficult. The core members at the label are professional, courteous, and very passionate about music. We all love that what we do and we have fun doing it and our parties are always a good time.
You’re about to release a compilation… can you tell us a little bit about it?
The compilation is titled Pattern Recognition and features new and exclusive tracks from the Octopus family. The idea behind the compilation is the merging of both technology and music through innovative technological advancements and giving it a human experience. In addition to new music from the home label, there are also a few new records from me which I’ve written exclusively for this compilation.
At the end of the month you’re back in Detroit for the Octopus Label Showcase. How has that party been in previous years?
I cannot wait for Detroit. I played the showcase last year and it was such a great time! The energy in the room was infectious and the people were definitely ready to throw down to some dirty techno. Detroit is one of the cities I really look forward to playing in.
What do you think attendees can expect for this coming fourth edition?
As usual, great energy and vibe. This year I’m bringing a lot of new music with me, so definitely make sure you check out my set to see what I’ve been up to! The lineup is strong and diverse, so you can expect to have all of your techno bases covered.
Let’s set music to the side for a bit. What do you like to get up to outside of the studio?
Wait, there is an outside?!
(Laughs) No I’m just kidding, or am I?
Toronto is a very happening city. Do you get to party yourself every once in a while? What are your to-go spots?
Whenever I’m not in the studio or traveling, you’ll often catch me at Coda, supporting my peers. It has that perfect mixture of rave and underground, fueled by a steady lineup of some of the best techno artists around.
Toronto is a very big and cultured city, you’ll find that there’s something for everyone here.
What’s your favorite restaurant there?
There are so many great restaurants that it’s hard to pick just one, but there is a restaurant down the street that I really love going to. The owners are extremely kind, and the food is always prepared with love and care. It’s called Guu Izakaya.
I have never been to Toronto. What are the top three things I should do and check out for my first visit?
Check out the cherry blossoms in High Park. The Distillery District which is the oldest part of the city and Toronto Island.
One last Q: I was saddened when I happened to notice a couple of sexist/negative comments on your recent IG videos, something I can only imagine you’ve had to deal with a fair bit in your career. What is the mentality you adopt as a DJ and producer in order to not let that kind of bullshit get to you?
Honestly, the negative and sexist comments don’t happen often. I don’t let it get to me. It’s important not to dwell
on negative things!
WORK by 6AM and Obscure present the 4th annual Octopus Recordings showcase in Detroit during Movement weekend: Marsian Live (World Debut) (Sian & Marc Houle), Carlo Lio, Lee K, Juheun (live), Shelley Johannson, Michelle Sparks.
Tickets via RA: https://www.residentadvisor.net/events/1065618