JPOD loves getting lost in the European crowd 

Beat chef performs at Tommy Africa's on Nov. 27

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - Music maker JPOD made his first tour of Europe in October.
  • Photo submitted
  • Music maker JPOD made his first tour of Europe in October.

Vernon beat chef JPOD spent the whole of October in Europe, his first trip as man and musician.

He says he enjoyed his style getting a little lost in the crowded electronic music scene over there.

"It was really good. There was a little curiosity and trepidation about what it was going to be like and what the response to my music was going to be. It started with a lot of questions, but it quickly became a very awesome time," JPOD says. "The hospitality was above and beyond what was expected and I got to have a good collection of special moments that felt like 'I'm actually in Europe right now.'"

Known for his digital label — Swing Set Sounds — JPOD has released several EPs, his debut album Halfsteppin and two remix albums using bluegrass, gospel and folk rock.

He performed in Norway, Germany, Britain and Holland before dipping south to Israel to perform in Tel Aviv.

With the electronic music scene hugely successful in Europe, was the experience more about gigging or learning?

"I would say what I mostly got out of it was the friends that I made there. I was definitely excited to go because the U.K., as far as I'm concerned, has been the hub of electronic music for so many years," JPOD says.

"It still is, but now there are different styles of electronic music that are coming from other parts of the world. Basically, we have electronic music in the pop charts of North America now, which is not something I ever thought would happen.

"For a long time it seemed like the U.K. would be the only place where it would get into the charts. I did want to experience it for that reason alone."

Each country has its own tradition. JPOD found Israel especially interesting.

"Their music scene is dominated by dark psy trance. Every single Israeli party person has heard a lot of it and it was interesting to see how I would do. My music is very different — more a positive, uplifting thing and I wondered how it would go over."

But he need not have worried.

"A lot of people are tired of (psy trance) and really happy to hear something different," JPOD says.

"In the last little while, I'd say I've been starting to change my style a bit. It's going towards something that I think is more accessible to Europeans. The experience there confirmed my direction.

"I've always done what I liked anyway, so it's not necessarily for other people that I am changing my style but more to keep my own brain stimulated and interested."

Since coming back, he has been playing a series of smaller gigs close to home. JPOD performs with Jamanji and Phroh at Tommy Africa's in Whistler on Thursday, Nov. 27 at 9 p.m.

He is off to Australia in the new year.

JPOD concentrates on making music his full-time concern and the push doesn't leave a lot of time for other things.

"I would have to actively turn down remixing offers that come my way if I wanted more spare time, though probably not shows," he says.

But it is a form of creativity that makes other aspects of his work possible.

"There is good exposure. A lot of the time the offers are good ones, for projects I can easily get excited about."

Speaking of Tommy Africa's

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