EXCURSION 006: PATCHOULI BROTHERS
November 6, 2020
At the time of writing, Americans are glued to their TV’s and devices, manically checking for updates, awaiting any news that could provide closure on one of the darkest eras in American history. For many of us here, it seems like the fate of our world is in the balance. While the election is not exactly what we’d hoped for, the results have brought hope of removing the orange stain from the White House so we can begin to repair our damaged Republic.
In these anxiety provoking days, it seems only right we look to our friends north of the border for some positive vibes and a departure from the turmoil. The dj duo of Dylan-Thomas Childs and John McLeod, better known to the world as the Patchouli Brothers, are the perfect men for the mission. If you've experienced the euphoria of a peaktime disco moment over the past several years, it’s likely it was one of their edits sending you to the moon.
Some years ago the Brothers Patchouli started a party in their hometown of Toronto called “Beam Me Up”. The night quickly gained an underground following for its authentic, sweaty, no-rules feel. As the Brothers have said, “(Beam Me Up) began as a venue for us to play some of our favourite underrated disco music”. It started with good music and took off from there. Focused on the unifying and uplifting nature of dance, the night encourages party goers to liberate themselves in any way they see fit.
Soon after Beam Me Up grew in notoriety, the Brothers extended the party's reach to Montreal. They'd been rocking both cities before Covid hit and had just leaned into their first tour of Europe. We won’t ask them to pick favorites, but it's safe to say, holding down residencies in two of Canada’s biggest dance hubs is an accomplishment in itself. We have no doubt that when dance floors reopen in 2021, the Patchouli Brothers will continue spreading their authentic groove all over the globe while keeping their local fans happy with new productions and parties.
With their parties temporarily on hold, the duo continues to light up the boogie & disco edit game. The Patchouli’s edits and productions seem to capture the same eclectic feel of their parties, tapping into the primal spirits of funk, disco, soul and house. All Patchouli Brothers productions are known for consistent floor-filler quality. They are a fixture of Chicago’s Star Creature Universal Vibrations Tugboat edits series, contributors to several other respected labels from around the globe such as GAMM, Soundway, Defected and BBE, and are becoming one of the most sough-after pair of producers for all types of edits.
We were excited to invite the Patchouli Brothers to join our EXCURSIONS series and we weren’t surprised when they delivered an expertly mixed, upbeat set of gospel disco, eclectic, international jazz funk and a few of their own productions. Turn up your speakers, and be swept away from the madness through the soulful power of Patchouli music.
In our little studio in Toronto. It's a tiny little room with wall to wall carpet in a space made up of small studios and rehearsal rooms. Recorded digitally. We buy and rip vinyl, but tend not to DJ with records, as we end up wanting to play a lot of our own remixes and edits.
Where does the Patchouli Brothers moniker come from?
We are as close as it gets to being brothers, though we don’t share blood. Just two friends who have spent way too much time together since childhood. We’re from a very small town, so it was only natural that weirdos like us would find each other. The “patchouli” comes from a DJ trip to NYC to play with our pal DJ Bruce/Club Lonely/Planet B, Brooklyn’s finest. We shared this natural hippie deodorant over a few days, and it was heavily dominated by patchouli. The name began as a joke and just kind of stuck (unlike the aforementioned deodorant).
We’ve only played in the UK outside of Canada and America, so not sure we can give a definite answer. We love Toronto and have an amazing group that comes to our Beam Me Up weekly party (pre-covid), but the spirit of people in Montreal (which we have a monthly party in) can’t really be beat. They’re so free and so open to all types of music. They don’t take any convincing to dance, which can’t really be said about Toronto - though we do have an amazing pocket of people at our Toronto Beam Me Up that are the exception to this. We were actually on our first tour in Europe in March when COVID kicked off, but we only managed to play one party (in Southport, UK called Audio Book) before we had to cancel and come home. Audio Book was one of the best nights we’ve experienced, though. Such a soulful crowd!
Favorite Beam Me Up memory or party memory from the past few years?
At this point, not having thrown a party since March, all memories feel surreal! We were supposed to have our eight year anniversary party in September, but obviously none of that happened. Our anniversary parties were always our favourites. Everyone came out of the woodwork for them - from every week sort of regulars to people who’d only come out for the special events. They always had the best energy. Our first party back will probably be our best one of those eight years and we’re clinging on to that idea!
Favorite track on the mix?
That’s not an easy question to answer! Maybe the Eddie Holman? The Sipho 'Hotstix' Mabuse tune is probably the closest sound to what we’ve been listening to/playing in a time where we aren’t out DJing to people in real life. Home listening.
Plans for the near future?
Stepping up our own productions. We’ve been remixing a lot more over the past few months, and have plans to release our own music next year. That’s very much a work in progress, but we have plans to really dig in to that over the winter.
Theme for the mix / message for your fans?
Fans? Don’t think we have those! Haha. Just a few fellow weirdos that obsess over the same sort of things we like. No real theme or story. Just full of stuff that we love… mainly stuff that hasn’t had a lot of shine over time. We always like playing things that we feel has been slept on a bit. Doesn’t have to be rare or hard to find. We love an album cut or a b-side!
It's Bandcamp Friday! Go out and support the Patchoui Brothers by buying their latest release on Star Creature Universal Vibration!