Updated: Oct 26, 2021
Last time the PATCHOULI BROTHERS threw down an O&O Presents Mix, it was the final days leading up to the US Presidential election in November 2020. The boys up North sent a package of uplifting gospel-funk-disco stompers... no doubt it was the right mojo at the right time. The Canadian way is always a beacon of hope for us here at the O&O headquarters in Boston, & these Canadian natives are still the ones to call when we're in need of an uplifting vibe.
It's been a year. & while we're not out of the water, there is reason for optimism. The Brothers from Toronto have been hard at work in their production lab while their home city has remained on pause.
They've steadily churned out releases from powerhouse labels like Defected, Boston orginal Soul Clap Records &, one of our personal favorites, the esteemed British edit label Moton. And they've made a turn towards original productions which is fantastic.
Even with so much of the disco world on hold, the Patchouli Brother's sound remains aimed at the dancefloor. Music you can shake your ass to wherever you're located on the planet (Pro Tip: One of their Moton edits was featured as SumJ's track of the day in May - worth checking out the record & nabbing it if there are still copies... It's an absolute stunner!). We all need to find a way to dance, even if it's not in the club.
I'm in awe of artists like John and Dylaan who have continued to forge a path forward despite the obstacles that have, at times, seemed insurmountable in these past months.
These two friends from small town Canada continue to stay positive & have a big imprint on the world of dance music. And they appear to have some new tricks up their sleeve you'll hear about in the interview. We're stoked to witness it all take shape.
Since the 006 blog was centered on John & Dylan's background as DJ's & producers, I'd figure we'd cut straight to the interview in this round & let them do the talking. Be sure to crank up the tunes here as you read & get beamed up on the Brothers Patchouli soulful disco ride with OVER&OVER, Part Deux. Big love guys ❤️!
BAD LT.: How are you holding up, Brothers?
PATCHOULI BROTHERS: Fine. Not much going on here in terms of our parties, but doing our best to keep learning & growing on the production side of things. We have been getting motivated for the eventual return of our parties. We haven’t DJ’ed for people for about 20 months now, which is very sad!
BL: What’s the flavor & mood up in Toronto at the moment? Do people seem optimistic? Are things happening? What’s cooking?
PB: Patio season is being stretched thin. People are still desperate for any sort of social activity, & parties are popping up a bit more & more every week it seems up here but we are proceeding cautiously.
There are so many restrictions still in place, & capacities are halved for the type of venues we play in. We’ve said we probably won’t be back until you can sweat on a stranger without stressing about it. We both caught Covid at the beginning of all this, so we know how bad it can be.
That probably has influenced our tip-toe back into the world. Our province & city are doing well - the vaccine uptake has been wonderful & we are privileged to have an abundance of it, so there finally seems to be a light at the end of all of this. A lot of variables though. Fingers crossed.
BL: For any of us who haven't been up to Toronto before, what would you recommend on a weekend or day trip?
PB: Kensington Market is a great day time hang. While there, hit Veggie D’Light for takeout lunch & go sit in the park. Carbonic Coffee, which is just outside the market, has the best coffee in town. Bars / Patios - Grape Witches, Blood Brothers Brewery, Paradise Grapevine, Burdock Brewery, Bathurst Local, Hole In The Wall, Bar Isabel, 416 Snack Bar. Baby G is a great live music spot & it’s where we host our Beam Me Up party series.
BL: Best record shops up there?
BL: You guys have been on a production tear! Tell us about your recent releases & what project has brought you the most joy over the past year +!
PB: Getting asked to remix Michael the Lion on Soul Clap was fun. Getting the nod to do the same for the Vision on Defected was also very meaningful & exciting. We found out about that while in Pittsburgh recovering from DJing with Jarrett Tebbets at Hot Mass all night, which was a wonderful weekend. We are still transitioning from straight up editing to remixing, & that has been a really fun challenge. Still lots of learning & work to go!
We are starting our own label, Dodo Records, with a lot of help from Above Board Distribution out of England. That is very exciting & feels like a next step for us. First release is in the works now, so that will be a big moment. We are all sorts of excited!
BL: All of these are killer, and that is super exciting news about the label. Keep it locked people! We saw you guys were featured in your hometown paper. Can you tell us a bit about this - growing up there - & how your musical partnership is influenced by being long time friends?
PB: We immediately bonded over our musical obsessions at around 15/16 years old. We both had large (burnt?) CD collections & I introduced Dylan to a lot of hip-hop & he showed me lots of cool British stuff.
& then we became strictly sixties soul DJs together. But we mainly just hung out a lot, basically inseparable since Y2K, with a few scuffles hear & there - though those have been less frequent since we both decided to leave the Tequila bottles behind the bar, five or six years ago. The long-time friendship does help us tell each other when our ideas are shit, or just missing the mark a bit. We don't need to hold our tongues, & judge each other on our great ideas, not the bad ones. Helps to get to the bottom of things, quicker! & in typical brotherly fashion, we both married our long-time girlfriends in August!
BL: Huge congrats on that! What is coming up in the future for you guys? What do we have to look forward to?
PB: The record label is exciting. We have spent the last few weeks buying gear to complete a modest hardware set-up for our studio, which is hidden in the back of a very charmingly dated Portuguese hair salon. We are looking forward to getting outside of Ableton a bit more & jamming things out.
BL: Tell us about this mix - any highlights or particular records you’d like to shine some light on?
PB: It’s funny doing this sort of thing, because we haven’t played out in so long. Think that’s reflected a bit in the mix - it’s a bit eclectic, a bit messy in parts. The time away from people has actually made us reexamine the music we’ve played/are playing. Sort of making sure when we do play out again (hopefully soon), that each song we play is meaningful to us & makes sense in the context of the night & the party.
We’re obviously massive disco heads, but we’ve been listening to a lot more 90s dance stuff lately & we get into some of that in the mix. Our Fantastic Four edit early on in the mix was supposed to be coming out legitimately, but that didn’t end up happening. Hoping that another of our edits in this mix does come out soon, as a bit of a licensed project we’ve been working on with one of our favourite labels. Will jinx things if we say more, so we’ll keep schtum.