Rockin’ the house 

DJ Jelo visits the mountain kids

Who: DJ Jelo

What: Foundation

Where: Garfinkel’s

When: Tuesday, Dec. 21

"I’ve never really conformed to what everyone else is doing. I try to stick to my own guns and do my own thing," says Toronto DJ Jelo.

He’s referring to nine years on his home scene without a local residency, which means he’s often still billed as an "out of towner," but Jelo, a.k.a. Joshua Lorne Obront, says he actually prefers it that way. It keeps things fresh and hasn’t hurt him professionally.

Since bursting onto the scene in 1995, sticking to his own guns has allowed him to jet-set around the world, throwing down high-energy mixes of house, techno, breaks and rock. He’s had the chance to work with DJ/producer luminaries such as Donald Glaude and will soon be appearing on national TV as the wedding DJ for the Scott Thompson-hosted reality show My Fabulous Gay Wedding. You don’t get much more non-conformist than that.

The non-conformist attitude may be why DJ Jelo has taken to Whistler and Whistler to him. The Toronto mix master has made several trips to the area over the past five years and will log another appearance at Foundation this Tuesday.

The "mountain kids" out here hold a special place in his heart and he reciprocates by making sure he always has something new and exciting to show them, delivered with his trademark über-enthusiasm at the decks. His disdain for the aloof, expressionless DJ persona is well known.

Right now he says he’s discovering the new in the old; reinventing tradition as progression by applying more conventional song structure to his electronic grooves.

"Not directly verse-chorus-verse," he clarifies, but less of what he deems the "drug groove," i.e. directionless, "loopy formatted stuff," that can very easily become incessant.

Of course, finding a balance is key.

"I am looking for something that’s linear, but at the same time pushes boundaries," says Jelo, "kind of a meeting. I don’t want to freak people out, just try and have a little of the past while showcasing something that’s happening in the present, and a nod to the future at the same time."

Crossing genres doesn’t intimidate Jelo, who came to the DJ tables from the driving industrial metal scene as opposed to a hip-hop or R&B background.

"I’ve always been a rocker," he asserts proudly. "My drums are more rock. My rhythms are a little bit faster. I’ll sit at about 133 beats per minute during my set, maybe sometimes even notched up to 135, while the average house DJ plays at about 128-130.

"So it’s peppier. Like AC/DC drums. That’s more me."

DJ Jelo rocks the house music at Foundation this Tuesday night at Garfinkel’s. Tickets for the show will be available at the door. For more information call 604-932-3135.

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