The variation in his style of music is endless. What makes him so different from the rest? A unique ability to spin everything from deep house vocals that have much depth and meaning to us all in some way, to his funky tribal Bass lines mixed with threads of acid, his passive collection of classics rare records that are only to be heard at his gigs. Doc Martin has developed the respect as a house DJ that so many of us admire. It is this respect that keeps him constantly touring; from New York to London, Japan, and everywhere in between.
He has frequently played and was a resident at such clubs as, Fabric (London),Panorama Bar (Berlin),Womb (Tokyo), Sunset Junction (Street Fair Los Feliz), Romania La Mania, Romania DJ Music Awards, DEEP (LA), Telaviv Fetish, Mi Casa Su Casa (Playa Del Carmen), Monster Massive (Los Angeles),Supper Club (SF/Los Angeles), Un Mute (Circo Loco WMC), Sneak Beats WMC, BPM Sutra Sounds WMC, Festival (Playa Del Carmen) Buddha Fest (Los Angeles), Harumi Audio Festival (Tokyo), Funktion (Seoul), World, (Kyoto, Japan), Tao (Las Vegas), Holic (London), I am (Manchester), East Village (Jack), 11: 11 (Istanbul), Second Sunday (Mission Rock), Love (New York), Club Heaven (Seoul), Ovum 15yr Anniversary WMC Miami, The Faith 10 Year Anniversary (Garden Festival), Ministry (London), Trouw (Amsterdam),Beta (Denver) , Secret Sundaze (London),Full Circle, Egg (London), East Village (London), Republik (Waterford , Ireland), Mighty (SF), Back to Basics (England Leeds), The End (London) Cielo (New York), Yellow (Japan), Ghost Bar / Sound Bar (Las Vegas), Club 5 (DC), How Sweet it is (Los Angeles), Nocturnal Wonderland (Los Angeles), JuJu beats (Los Angeles), Club 5 (Washington DC), Daisy carnival(Los Angeles),Ecco (Hollywood) Focus (Costa Mesa), On Broadway (San Diego),Temple (San Francisco), Twilo (New York), Get Down (Denver), MNS (Hollywood), The Park Ultra Lounge (Sacramento) Sound Bar (Chicago), Zentra (Chicago), Sublevel (Los Angeles), Café Del Mar (San Francisco), The Love Parade (San Francisco), Remedy (San Francisco),Seven (Australia) as well as The Basement Jaxx & Daft Punk tour and countless other shows.
There’s something happening on the west coast. Whether it’s in the air, the water, or the drugs, a pool of talent has formed around the notion that you can have your pop and eat it too, with brainy, prog-influenced weird-beards like Bend Sinister and arcane psycho-confectioners Mother Mother demonstrating that musical complexity can still be hummable. Commercial, even.
Throw the Zolas into the picture and dammit – you might even call it a scene! Not that it’s ever been a concern to long-term musical partners Zach Gray and Tom Dobrzanski, who established their gifts for intricate songcraft three years ago under the name Lotus Child.
Since then, the duo has finessed its formula into something even busier yet no less direct, filling their new album Tic Toc Tic with hairpin turns, schizoid tonal shifts, multiple parts, and a sort of cabaret strut.
Guitarist-vocalist Gray hits on the twin poles that define Tic Toc Tic when he reveals an equal passion for the visceral Scandinavian dream pop of Mew, whose influence is obvious, and the classic music hall rag of the Kinks, whose influence is anything but. Not on first listen, anyway, though the presence of Ray Davies is felt in Gray’s lyrics. Particularly when he turns his attention to the mundane, like the character in “You’re Too Cool” who wrestles with his vulnerability at Vancouver’s hipster HQ the Biltmore. Or the confessional “Body Ash”, which documents a relationship on the ropes. The directness of its sentiment echoes what Gray describes as Davies’ “populism”.
“The first words in ‘Body Ash’ are ‘my balls’,” he laughs. “Literally. I’m not hiding behind any metaphors.” Soundwise, Gray says he was aiming for “self-conscious Jeff Buckley”, which also goes some way towards describing a lot of the music on Tic Toc Tic.
Meanwhile, “You Better Watch Out” has Gray anguishing over a cute girl on a bus while cascading piano arpeggios and Aidan Knight’s hyperactive bass push his suffering to operatic levels of high drama. “Queen of Relax” is featherlite prog, and “Cab Driver” somehow contrives to be both the most straightforward number on Tic Toc Tic, and the most demanding. “It’s the most fun to play,” says Dobrzanski, who caps the song with a libidinous boogie-woogie throwdown sizzling enough to give “Honky Cat” era Elton a case of pianist envy. “It’s a rock-out,” he continues. “I like the athleticism involved in parts of it. It’s actually work.”
In truth, Tic Toc Tic is a little out there from bar one to its closing outburst of unbound inspiration. Perhaps it has something to do with the duo’s seasoned friendship – they met as choirboys in Grade 9 – or a working relationship that begins with Gray broadstroking ideas and passing them along to Dobrzanski, his classical musically inclined “details guy”.
Whatever alchemical thing lies beneath the sparkling progressive pop of Tic Toc Tic, the partnership has made its great leap forward. It’s our job to catch up. And we should consider it a pleasure.
He is a commanding presence on stage – able to hold the crowd in silent rapture as he drops an introspective piece that draws heavily from spoken word, only to suddenly flip it and incite a sea of thrusting hands with a rapid fire set of punchline-laden lyrical flows. Able to deliver a seamless blend of rapping, singing and harmonizing, the North Vancouver, BC native’s larynx is a potent stash of varied lyrical weapons.
On a roadtrip to New York City with Prevail from Swollen Members, the aspiring MC/actor/poet was compelled to lengthen his stay in hip hop’s Mecca. Studying theatre at HB Studios in Greenwich Village, hitting monthly rap battles anywhere in NYC and participating in poetry slams at the Nuyorican Poetry Cafe, the young artist was learning amongst the most reputed craftsman and developing his trade amongst them. Winning a poetry slam with a controversial spoken word piece “Hate,” Kyprios headed back to his hometown of North Vancouver to transfer his education into practice. Kyprios released the independent EP “Mic Tease” that would be the catalyst to get him performing numerous club shows and begin to host a weekly open mic poetry series dubbed “Come With It” in Vancouver.
During this period, Kyprios was also a founding member of the two time Juno-nominated Sweatshop Union. While working within the group, Kyp maintained his solo identity and continued to write and record his own material. This output included three tracks featured on the Local 604 album, which was released by BattleAxe Records. BattleAxe also selected Kyp’s song “Master” for inclusion on their Lyrics Of Fury compilation.
Kyprios’ solo work caught the attention of Sony Music Canada when he sent the company a package containing some tracks and a video of the slam winning, spoken word piece “Hate.” Kyp signed with the label and began a tumultuous period trying to do the impossible: make commercially viable underground music satisfying a record label and his core fans. He also offered outside help on Sweatshop Union’s juno nominated “Natural Progression” from Toronto at this time. His solo effort resulted in the two time, Juno nominated “Say Something,” featuring production from Saukrates (Kardinal Offishall, Method Man), Billy Mann (Pink, Kelly Rowland), Rob The Viking (Swollen Members) and good friend Tawgs (Lights, K’Naan). With the unfortunate timing of the industry’s changing climate, Sony Canada was merged into BMG and Kyprios’ solo record was shelved but his career was not.
Kyprios moved back to Vancouver, re-joined Sweatshop Union to begin a rigorous touring schedule and put out the Juno nominated “United We Fall,” and the critically acclaimed “Water Street” albums. He recently released a new solo offering entitled “12:12″ which propelled him into a radio competition for one hundred thousand dollars in Vancouver, through the Peak radio station called the Peak Performance Project. Kyprios eventually went on to win this prestigious competition and recognizes this experience as the most informative/beneficial of his career.
Kyprios has toured all over North America solo and as part of Sweatshop Union with the likes of The Black Eyed Peas, Busta Rhymes, Wyclef Jean, The Roots, Rakim, Living Legends, Swollen Members and Jurassic Five to name a few. He has made numerous appearances in television and film and is one of the voices for Michael Jordan’s website jumpman23.com. Kyp has won a Jesse for his musical work in a play called “Cranked”, has licensed music to MTV’s “The Buried Life” and continues to write for/with many artists. He still writes poetry and is eagerly anticipating the release of his next major project “The Midnight Sun.” He is currently working on the music for a new play with Greenthumb entitled “Ash Rizin.’”