Local electronic DJ and production team, the unfortunately-titled Livingstone and Canosis, knew they had to change their name if they wanted to build on their increased exposure in 2012.
“This radio station in New Zealand was saying that our name sounded like a law firm,” said Dave Rollie, better known around town as DJ Canosis. “It’s too long, and we knew that. It’s like 55 syllables.”
Rollie and his musical partner-in-crime, Tim Livingstone, wanted to change their name but didn’t know to what. Enter their friend, producer and turntablist Timothy Wisdom, who took it upon himself to give the guys a new, more geographically-appropriate name: SkiiTour.
“Timothy Wisdom was complaining about our name being too long and unmemorable,” said Rollie. “He said ‘You guys need to be some sort of ski thing.’”
Not sold on the idea, the boys continued playing under their marble-mouthed moniker until their performance at last summer’s legendary Shambhala Music Festival near Salmo.
“Tim was playing after us and he took the microphone near the end of our set, and said ‘Who here thinks these guys’ name is too long? People were just hammered and yelling,” said Rollie. “Everyone was like ‘Whoo!’ We were just laughing and (Wisdom) said ‘That’s it, your name is changed!’”
The new title is appropriate for Livingstone and Rollie, who’ve called Whistler home for more than five years and admitted they are heavily influenced by the resort town, although it occasionally hampers their productivity in the studio.
“Whistler’s awesome, I love it,” said Rollie, who hails from Auckland. “You can bust out in the studio for a while and then you can go snowboarding. In the summertime, it’s not the greatest place to be, because it’s so hard to stay inside; you just wanna be out everyday. We dread sunny days and love it when it rains.”
The newly-minted SkiiTour have had a busy 2012, working with their regular bass-obsessed co-conspirators The Funk Hunters to produce a new three-track EP, Fully Loaded Vol.4, set for release on Monday (Jan. 21).
The Funk Hunters’ Nick Middleton and Duncan Smith will be joining SkiiTour for the record release party at the GLC on Wednesday (Jan. 23), where fans can hear one of the summer’s biggest electronic tracks, The Plan, a bass-wobbling dancefloor-packing jam that’s been played by DJs all over the world.
“It was really cool seeing it get dropped at Shambhala at the Fractal Forest stage. Several DJs were dropping it so it was awesome,” said Livingstone.
Confirming that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Rollie said the track has been ripped off by electronic producers from all over, especially since it became the top song on dance music website, Juno Download.
Vancouver’s Funk Hunters, whose live set includes everything from hip hop, drum and bass, funk and house, have been teaming up with SkiiTour since Livingstone booked them to play a show in town two years ago.
“We just got talking about producing music and decided that we should maybe collaborate on some tracks. Nick really has the production skills down since he’s been at it for a little longer than us,” said Livingstone.
This collaborative approach seems to be paying off, with joint SkiiTour and Funk Hunter shows regularly selling out.
“It’s really good to watch a song transform once we give it to them,” said Rollie.
“If I had started something then I’ll send it to Nick to see, because he’s a really good critic as well.”
Another popular song the guys’ worked on together for Fully Loaded is a thumping remix of the classic Led Zeppelin song Whole Lotta Love that would have never seen the light of day if it weren’t for Middleton.
“That Whole Lotta Love remix on that EP was one of the first tracks (Rollie and I) ever started together and we got halfway through it and abandoned it, then Nick heard it and resurrected it,” said Livingstone.
Despite their complimentary styles, SkiiTour tends to delve into a wider variety of sounds than The Funk Hunters, who Rollie said have perfected “these big booming songs they get into.”
With a background in hip hop and a knack for finding old samples, Rollie said SkiiTour are just as comfortable producing club smashers as they are chilled-out, laidback songs.
“You sort of wanna make tracks that are timeless. I mean you need the bangers to get people hyped, but we make a lot of real down tempo, beautiful hip-hop-styled stuff too,” said Livingstone.
Catch SkiiTour and The Funk Hunters at the GLC Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. Advance tickets are $10, available at the GLC. Tickets are $15 at the door.