WHAT IS PULSE?

Pulse Music Journal is Saskatchewan’s hub for music indulgers. We ‘eat/sleep/breathe’ the music and entertainment industry – plug into our outlet while we highlight new music, recap live performances, interview the biggest names, connect with local legends, and the newest initiatives surrounding our local music scene. We are honoured to be a leading cultural staple in the Saskatchewan music and entertainment scene.

WE SUPPORT SASKATCHEWAN’S ENTERTAINMENT & MUSIC SCENE

Whether it’s reaching out to a newly released project, musician or creating a spotlight for local talent to be heard on any of our stages, as well as opportunities to be heard opening for larger acts on a full-venue stage. We look forward to assist and launch newest concepts that strongly support the local music in this province. The local music scene is super important to us – we are a small province, but we have big dreams. Let’s grow and support each other – putting Saskatchewan on the map for premium music and entertainment experience.

THE ORIGIN OF ORIGIN OF SPIN

“You are a product of your surroundings” – that saying holds true to Origin of Spin. He invests his time in the music he loves, the people that inspire him to do great things, and the culture that allowed him to be an individual. Origin of Spin is a melting pot. Emcee, Producer, DJ, Musician, and a whole lot more. Early beginnings in music in Saskatchewan had him more involved with his craft. He started to make better beats, upgraded his equipment, learned the science of sound, and formed his artist persona by 2011. In 2012 Origin of Spin had moved to Vancouver. Heavily engulfed in the music scene in Vancouver – working on his craft, seeing his favourite performers live, rapping on stage with Ghostface Killah, networking and mingling with his idols. Vancouver treated him right. Origin of Spin has since moved back to the prairies. He has been reconnected to the scene and has felt the warm welcome with the release of his 14-track album, “Abstract Perception” on October 23rd 2020. The release and Origin of Spin were recognized in 3 Saskatchewan Music Award Categories, and he has big things coming for the future. Welcome back, and please stay.

Origin of Spin takes some time to chat about what influences his way of creating, his upbringing in the Saskatchewan music scene, and how living in Vancouver enhanced his sound. We reflect on how it feels to be back in the prairies, all while being recognized in 3 Saskatchewan Music Award Categories.

We learn how his name came to be, the benefits of having full control of releases, and the differences between Blunt Tape Vol 1 and his latest album, Abstract Perception. Origin of Spin lets us know what’s in store for 2021 including solo releases, collaborations, and so much more.

BLENDING GENRES, INCORPORATING CULTURE, LETTING IT FLOW.

WHEN LISTENING TO AN ORIGIN OF SPIN TRACK YOU GET A GOOD SENSE THAT YOU HAVE QUITE A FEW LAYERS OF INFLUENCE. WHAT DO YOU WANT A FIRST TIME LISTENER TO KNOW PRIOR TO LISTENING TO YOUR MUSIC? AND WHERE DID YOUR NAME ORIGINATE FROM? 

ORIGIN OF SPIN: I want listeners to know that I am a genuine music lover and [Hip-Hop] Head, and all my music is for the Heads and music lovers. I’ve spent countless hours of my life crate-digging, listening to various genres of music and appreciating records that I listened to from front to back. Same with production, I’ve spent years learning how to use different equipment, instruments and programs to craft my sound. My music has a similar aesthetic from these practices. In today’s age of hyper media consumption and shortening attention spans, my goal is to create an experience that listeners can get lost in, and want to hear from the first song to the last song. Hopefully while doing something they enjoy such as creating art, playing sports, relaxing or travelling, which they can attach a memory and moment of their life to my music and make it personal to them. Albums that can withstand the test of time and still be relevant in years to come. Throughout my years of being a music lover, those records which achieved that were the ones that I will never forget, that stuck with me the most and are some of the major blueprints that inspired me to create my music. (Madvillainy by Madvillain, Black Sands by Bonobo, Until the Quiet Comes by Flying Lotus, Donuts by J Dilla & Metaphorical Music by Nujabes). I hope that my music can reach people in that same way, that they can sit back, relax, or get in the zone, and fully appreciate it without skipping through tracks like we are so tempted to do these days. Most of all, I hope that I can inspire others to create and feel something personal and positive through my music.

My name originally comes from Nassim Haramein’s paper called “The Origin of Spin” which is a play on Charles Darwin’s “The Origin of Species”. This paper goes into detail about his unified field theory of physics and really inspired me in 2012 when I was learning about metaphysics, spirituality and quantum physics. It also has three other meanings. One is a play on vinyl records and music history, as in where the vinyl, sounds, or artists I listen to originated from and where they are now while their music is spinning on my turntables in my studio or at my live shows. I believe music is a universal language that transcends time, territory and culture, and it’s fascinating to listen to those relics of past artists and draw inspiration from their work and their stories, and of course, sample them.

Another is the aspect of our origin in life, where we were born, and how we travel out into the world from our center point of origin, and spiral outwards or “spin” around in various different places and times in our lives, ultimately to learn our lessons and grow from them. I was born in Pakistan, and my family moved to Canada when I was 4 years old, so this aspect hits home for me.

The third encompasses everything we know in our existence, alluding to the origin of space and time, as our planetary systems spin and spiral around stars and black holes at the center of our galaxy and universe.

“ALTHOUGH SOMETIMES, LESS IS MORE. YOU CAN GET LOST IN ADDING ELEMENTS.”

– ORIGIN OF SPIN

BEING APART OF THE SASKATCHEWAN MUSIC SCENE DURING YOUR ‘COME UP’.

AFTER 6 YEARS OF CREATING AND LIVING IN VANCOUVER, HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE BACK HOME IN SK? WHAT DID YOU TAKE AWAY FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE IN BC? TELL US ABOUT YOUR UPBRINGING AS A MUSICIAN IN SASKATCHEWAN.

ORIGIN OF SPIN: It feels great to be back in SK. This is where I grew up and started making music. I studied everything I could about Hip-Hop in high school through every 90’s golden age album I could find and listen to. (I often joke that I learned more through Hip-Hop from emcee’s like NaS and “the teacher” KRS-One than my actual school teachers). I also learned about being a true artist from Saskatchewan artists like Merky Waters, Def 3, Info Red and the 11 Hooks Crew helmed by WizWon and Dave Loran, all of whom were some of the first people to give me a chance, a track on their album to rap, or a venue for me to bring my turntables and DJ shows, parties and rap cyphers. The inspiration they provided to me was crucial in my formative years. Back then, I was releasing music for fun, producing, rapping and making videos with my good friend Malfunction, who now goes by Sport Mathews and is living in Toronto. (Our creative connection was almost like J Dilla and Madlib, I don’t think I’ve met someone on that level since). I didn’t really know the science of production such as mixing or recording techniques. I was making my first beats on a cracked version of FL Studio, plugged the mic in hot, recorded, bounced and released it. We did it all for fun, made videos and rocked shows for the hell of it, and it was dope. Through those experiences I started getting nicer chops in my beats, rhyming better, and learned to scratch on my first Numark turntable I bought used for a hundred bucks. I then started upgrading my studio equipment, learning the science of sound, recording and music production and forming my artist persona in 2011, before I moved to BC in 2012.

After going out to BC and experiencing some extremely crazy Jazz and Electronic based Hip-Hop, my mind was blown, and has never been the same since. Coming back to SK has really solidified a return to my Boom-Bap roots, but I can’t help sprinkling those elements of inspiration I received from Vancouver on top of my ideas.

Vancouver was amazing, but it’s very busy and hectic at times. I really felt a sense of relief and relaxation when I got back to the prairies, where its quiet and calm and the city isn’t as huge and always moving, but I will always miss the huge scene and shows in Van City. A few things I took away from my experience in BC were inspiration from my favorite artists I saw perform live. I saw almost all my big Hip-Hop and Electronic influences and met them personally in random encounters after the show such as Thundercat, Flying Lotus, Raekwon, Mos Def, DJ Premier, Com Truise, Hiatus Kaiyote, Ab-Soul, Souls of Mischief, Gaslamp Killer, The Pharcyde, Illa J, Blackalicious, Zion I, DJ Numark and the list goes on… I even rapped on stage with Ghostface Killah. It was wild. Along with that was the drive that all the artists out there had, all the time. There are SO many talented people in BC working their asses off to make timeless, interesting and amazing music and it really inspires me to have gotten to know them. (AstroLogical & Nick Wisdom – Potatohead People, Clear Mortifee, ARO, Kapok, Jonny Tobin, Moka Only and the Chapel Sound crew, to name a few). I feel extremely grateful to have networked with so many amazing artists out there. My memories, experiences, connections and growth in Vancouver fuel my output as an artist today.

Click image to listen to ‘Abstract Perception‘ – Released on Oct 23rd 2020
Features: Nate Drobner, Truman Schaefer, Ava Wild, Mike Tulloch, Tom Kelly
Album Artwork by Matt Andres, Janielle O. Design

YOU HAVE FULL CONTROL IN THE STUDIO.

YOU PRODUCED, RECORDED, MIXED AND MASTERED ALL OF THE TRACKS ON THE ALBUM, ABSTRACT PERCEPTION. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HAVE FULL CONTROL WHILE USING ALL OF YOUR ABILITIES? ARTISTS WILL OFTEN ‘SHIP IT OUT’ TO BE MASTERED, DOES THIS ALLOW YOU TO REFINE THE FINAL PRODUCT? OR DO YOU FEEL LIKE IT SPEEDS THINGS UP? TELL US ABOUT YOUR PRODUCTION ROUTINE AND WHAT IT TAKES FOR A TRACK TO COMPLETE FROM START TO THE FINAL PRODUCT.

ORIGIN OF SPIN: I produce and mix all my tracks. As far as mastering goes, I’ve been doing it myself mostly because I’m an independent artist right now, and I have the experience after going to school at Pacific Audio-Visual Institute in Vancouver for audio engineering and music production. It feels good to have full control, and not have to wait for a mix that might sound completely different from how you imagined it or wanted it to sound. These days everything is clean, cut and polished to perfection with our technology and doing it all “in the box” (computer). However, I had the privilege of mixing on a legendary NEVE console at PAVI and learned about analog recording and mixing techniques and how it differs from digital methods. (We even learned about recording on tape, which was seriously cool). I mostly use analog samplers and mixing techniques that make things sound gritty, or push the levels on purpose, to get that raw, Hip-Hop sound that you hear from golden age, while still maintaining some elements in the box and clean sounds where I want them. Sometimes this sets me back though, as I can spend more time mixing and mastering than actually creating, and it becomes weeks of mixing songs for an album I just want to finish and release. This also happens when I’m in the production chair and I have an artist over to record. It’s like I’m the sound scientist and can’t really be the artist. Sometimes I go to other producer’s studios so that they can sit in the chair, and I can be the artist, free to rap or play keys and get in a creative headspace without thinking about the program, mixing and everything else. Although I often find myself hearing what the “beat should sound like” and end up spending time on arranging the producers beat to flow better. I’ve always enjoyed and had an ear for listening to other people’s music and providing constructive critiques which boosts their final product. I would like to find a balance in the work load and focus mainly on creating and producing, a little mixing, and eventually start sending it off for mastering.

My production routine varies, it can start from finding a sample I like and layering drums and keys around it to create a track, or starting with a drum beat that I layer with synths, keys and whatever sounds I hear in my head that I can bring to life through my gear. A lot of the time I hear sounds, progressions, drum beats and songs in my head and work hard to pull them off in the studio through my instruments and machines. I try not to be limited in just sampling or just keys and synths though. After the skeleton of the track is sounding alright, I try and fill it out with what I feel is missing, and then arrange it. Although sometimes, less is more. You can get lost in adding elements and feeling like it “needs something more”. I usually have to force myself to consolidate my idea, cut the beat and export it, otherwise I would be sitting on it for years. (Believe me, I have hundreds of project files and beats that are stuck at this point, and I’m sure many artists can relate to that!)

THE 14-TRACK ALBUM, ABSTRACT PERCEPTION WAS RELEASED IN 2020.

THE ALBUM IS SEAMLESS, YOU ELEGANTLY JUMP LISTENERS FROM TRACK TO TRACK WHILE SWITCHING UP TEMPO AND OVERALL GENRE INFLUENCE. WHAT HAS CHANGED FOR YOUR SOUND FROM THE ALBUM ‘BLUNT TAPE VOL. 1’ TO ‘ABSTRACT PERCEPTION’? TELL US ABOUT WHAT YOU WERE GOING FOR WHILE ‘ABSTRACT PERCEPTION’ WAS BEING PRODUCED.

ORIGIN OF SPIN: The differences in both albums comes from my versatility in what I produce. Sometimes I make Hip-Hop beats, other times I make trippy synth-based beats. Blunt Tape Vol. 1 is a strictly Hip-Hop beat tape series which is a compilation of Boom-Bap and Lo-Fi beats I created during a leg injury, and I will continue to keep that theme throughout future volumes. Abstract Perception is what I like to call a “concept album”, where I get more experimental with my sounds and track arrangements, and there is a message or theme behind it. Less sample based Hip-Hop and more synth based, experimental Trip-Hop and Electronic sounds. The name Abstract Perception comes from my abstract approach to beatmaking, and my perception of reality during the time I was creating this concept album. Abstract Perception is a compilation of all my favorite beats I produced while living in Vancouver. I wanted to release them and show the diversity in my sound and who I worked with at the time. That my music is not limited to just Lo-Fi or Hip-Hop, it can be something more, and something interesting to listeners beyond just a beat to rap on. I am very proud of the collaborations on that album and how it turned out. I have another concept album in the works and this next one is going to be way more electronic, bouncy and fun. I’m going to continue to release a concept album between each Blunt Tape to showcase the sonic worlds I like to live in and experiment with. I don’t want to be restricted to just one genre and want to explore new ideas while I create all the sounds I like to produce, whether it’s Hip-Hop, Jazz or Electronic, kind of like Kaytranada and Flying Lotus do. Blunt Tapes are for the heads who want to freestyle, and concept albums are for the listeners who want to have a trippy experience and hopefully after this next one, to dance and vibe out.

Click image to listen to ‘BLVNT TAPE VOL 1’ – Released on Sept 21st 2020
Features: Jonny Tobin, Tom Kelly
Album Artwork by Bad Larry, Janielle O. Design

Introducing Bohemian – Brewed in Canada in the tradition of Czech style lagers since 1926, this beer has both taste and balance. Originally independently brewed in Saskatchewan, now brewed in British Columbia. It pours a clear medium gold colour, has low carbonation and a light floral hop aroma mingled with sweet rain smells. Bohemian has a smooth taste, that makes for an easy-drinking beer. Now proudly brewed by Molson Coors Canada with the same tradition of using no preservatives in the original recipe.

A Saskatchewan Tradition – 5% alcohol.

TALK ABOUT A “WELCOME HOME” TOUR!

YOU WERE NOMINATED FOR 3 SASKATCHEWAN MUSIC AWARDS. BEST ALBUM IN SASKATCHEWAN, ELECTRONIC ARTIST OF THE YEAR, AND HIP HOP ARTIST OF THE YEAR. HOW DID IT FEEL TO RECEIVE SUCH A WARM ‘WELCOME BACK’ FROM THE PROVINCE?

ORIGIN OF SPIN: It honestly feels amazing to have had such a warm reception coming back to Saskatchewan. I feel like I’ve evolved as an artist and a person, and can contribute way more to the music scene as a producer and emcee than I was able to before I left. Since my return, I’ve had the opportunity to host a few Hip-Hop shows at The Mercury, had a bi-weekly DJ residency at Bodega, DJ’d all vinyl nights at The Capitol, opened for MYKA 9 & Factor as well as opening for Def 3, K+Lab and Neon Steve at Vic’s Tavern Block Party. I’ve also had lots of local artists seeking me out for mixing/mastering their projects and buying beats. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, my Abstract Perception album release show was cancelled last minute, but I was able to redirect it online to a Twitch stream that had a solid attendance and reception. I don’t know if this will be the norm from now on, I hope not, because I really miss hearing live music and performing!

I was beyond honored to receive the nominations for the Sask Music Awards in 2020 and am excited to contribute my future work to the vibrant Saskatchewan music scene. (You best believe I’m aiming to win that award for 2021.)

“THIS IS WHERE I GREW UP AND STARTED TO MAKE MUSIC”

– ORIGIN OF SPIN

2020 WAS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO FOCUS ON ARTIST GROWTH, ONGOING PROJECTS AND SCHEME FOR FUTURE GOALS.

 WHAT DOES ORIGIN OF SPIN HAVE ON THE LOADING DOCK FOR 2021?

ORIGIN OF SPIN: I’m currently working on ‘Blunt Tape Vol. 2 and 3’, my second concept album ‘S Y N C’, a joint EP with singer/songwriter Ava Wild and a new album with my band People of the Sun, which I’m a part of as an emcee. Some of these records might be put on hold due to record label interests, but as of right now I’m still independent and releasing them myself. Hopefully when Blunt Tape Vol. 2 is ready to release this summer, concert restrictions will have passed and we can have a dope release show for it! Until then, bump those albums and check out my socials to see previews of new ideas and beats that I’m working on. Peace !

All photos inside article supplied by artist.

*hover over photo for issued credit.

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ORIGIN OF SPIN, CLICK HERE

UPCOMING EVENTS

WHAT EVENTS WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO…

March 6th

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May 4th

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July 30th

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Oct 21st

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LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT’S TO COME…