Here’s a funky az Double A track right off the bat to set the tone!
With the lengthening of days & increasing solar rays, there always comes the need for summer music. You know the kind- unabashedly upbeat & bubbly, celebrating the teeming life and vibrance of the season. Double A (known as Aaron Sieger in the ‘real’ world) has an abundance of these type of tunes to help amplify the summer vibes. Stumbling across a song of Double A’s on Soundcloud, I was immediately blown away by the quality of his productions, and chanced some correspondence with him.
It is with high stoke level that I present to you CapturingCapacity’s first Artist Interview of sorts with Double A!! Aaron was kind enough to take time out of his schedule and answer some questions and pass along some other morsels of interest. But enough preamble, lets get into the questions and more of Double A’s party breaks!
CC: What music was playing as you grew up? What did your parents expose you to? Did this have an effect on your musical taste?
DA: This is going to be a long answer… I grew up in a house with my mom mostly, and she was into everything, pretty much. We had Bob Marley records, Jackson Browne, Fleetwood Mac, Bryan Ferry, Sly Stone, Steely Dan, The Rolling Stones, and all kinds of stuff like that around. I remember she had the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack too, which was my first exposure to Disco(ish) stuff…I can sing along to just about any 70’s classic rock / “Adult Contemporary” jam you can think of. It’s funny though, I think the biggest influence on what I play out today as a dj is really the late 80s and early 90s hip-hop I grew up listening to. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was getting a great education through that stuff about funk and soul, through the samples… I was always waaaaaaaay more into the beats than the lyrics. The Hip hop stuff led me to Drum & Bass in 1992 while I was living in Spain and England. Actually I met an English dude by the name of Guy Roberts in Madrid in 92 through skateboarding, who’s best bud happened to run AWOL at the Paradise Club in Islington. He gave me tapes of Grooverider, Johnny L, Slipmatt, Fabio, Randall, and a bunch more, all playing early sort of proto-drum & bass. I’ll never, ever forget the first time I heard that stuff… It was literally like, “ok, sweet, now I know what I’m going to do for the foreseeable future”. Anyway, I started DJing D&B in 92 (very, very poorly) and eventually started producing D&B a couple of years later, under the name Dune (not the cheezy Euro-Trance guys)… In my search for D&B samples, I ended up starting to collect funk and soul and hip hop records, and revisiting the stuff I grew up on. By 2002, I kind of needed a break from D&B, so I started to play out the records I’d been collecting for producing… I was also around a lot of rad house music, living in Montreal at the time, so I’d been collecting some of that stuff too, which of course leads you to disco… It’s like pulling at a thread in a sweater…
Below you’ll find Double A’s re-tweak of Paul Simon’s “Me & Julio”; a tune that may have been a favorite in Aaron’s younger days.
CC: What were some of the first tapes/albums you purchased?
DA: Oh man, this one’s easy… First album was Supertramp, Breakfast in America… I was in grade three, so, you know… First 45 was Trio, Da Da Da… Weirdo German electronic stuff that for some reason was a sort of hit in “America”, and then ended up in a Volkswagen ad a couple of years ago, I think… I also got tapes of early rap stuff in grade 4-5-6 from a friend’s older brother, who had a friend from Windsor, who would record stuff from Detroit radio. My first rap album purchased was LL Cool J, Bad, I think.
Bonus video of Trio’s bizarre 1984 single ‘DaDaDa’ :
CC: Favorite Live shows/festivals you have been to over the past few years?
DA: Good question… I was at Osheaga a few years back to see my friend Tiga play… we had “VIP” passes for that because my old D&B partner is his manager now, so that was kind of cool…God, that’s so lame… Anyway… Any time I can see Jazzy Jeff, I’m pretty much in heaven, and same with my man Skratch Bastid… It’s sort of insane how good those two dudes are… Honestly though, this might seem like a lame answer, but, I’ve always preferred small venues to large ones, so, I don’t get too psyched for big festivals… That being said, now that I live right across the river from Detroit, I have some old friends from my Montreal and D&B days coming through for DEMF (or whatever it’s called now) and for the Mad Decent Block Party (assuming it’s coming through Detroit again this year), so, I’ll definitely be hitting those up just to see some old buds.
Here’s a masterfuly crafted super love-child from elements sourced from Daft Punk, Busta Rhymes, and a funk classic, reflecting the vast range of Double A’s library.
CC: What is your favorite piece of equipment you use to produce your creations?
DA: Easy! I use Ableton Live 9 on a Macbook Pro, with Maschine… Done.. I started with Cubase on an Atari in the 90s, and I can say with 100% confidence that this is a much better setup. (lol)
CC: Do you believe there is a relation between personality traits and genres of preferred musical genres in people?
DA: Wow… I’ve done a few interviews in my day, but no one has ever asked me this before… I gotta say no, because I’ve encountered all kinds of different people in my years in the music biz, with all kinds of different personalities, making and playing all kinds of different types of music. I will say this though, heavy-duty identification with one particular style of music can sometimes produce certain weird sorts of common behaviors. Like, I used to pretty frequently encounter D&B kids who would talk like they were from Kingston, Jamaica, but they were from uber-Suburban Toronto… that was so weird. I never got the whole “It’s a way of life” thing with music, either. I just like playing and making it, but, I mean, I really like a lot of other stuff too, like reading books, and teaching, and pugs… I love pugs… for real…
DA: Photek, Pharell, DJ AM, The Mizell Brothers, Prince Paul, The Shocklee Brothers, and any of the Studio One dudes… But if you were ask me again tomorrow, I’d probably come up with an entirely different list. Like, that list needs some women… Let’s put Lady Saw, and Gwen McRae up there too…
CC: Do you play any instruments?
DA: Dude… I wish… so bad… I mean, I’ve taught myself the basics of music theory… I understand how chords work and stuff like that, obviously, but it takes some pretty serious doing on my part to get what’s in my head into Ableton… Sometimes that creates happy accidents, and sometimes it makes me want to launch my laptop out of my window… I learned how to speak French as an adult, so I should probably just take piano lessons.
Many, many thanks to Senyor Double A for participating in the initial CapturingCapacity Artist interview. Below you’ll find a photo of the magician himself, along with his Soundcloud page, facebook, a few more jamz, and links to some of his early D&B creations. As you may have seen many of his tracks are gifted to the world, so be sure to show him some love if you end up downloading any :} Thanks for tuning in!!!
Click here for Double A’s Soundcloud to hear many more beauties and follow his future releases
Click here for Double A’s Facebook.
A few more tracks for the road:
Links to Double A’s older D&B creations
Aaron is also a very talented graphic designer. I swear he could (and should) make an excellent coffee table book featuring all of the poster / ad designs he made for the many many dj nights that he did in Halifax in the mid-2000’s, etc. I have bugged him about this before, and felt the need to mention it again. Much respect Aaron!
Hell yeah! Where can you view some of his graphic work?