Michael Red, aka Souns, is a Vancouver based music producer, performer, DJ and event organizer. Michael is the founding member of Lighta! Sound, acting captain of the Low Indigo ship, regular collaborator with Tanya Tagaq and music curator for New Forms Festival.
Together with Lighta! Sound, having played and/or helped organize the majority of Vancouver’s major dubstep events 2005-2009, Michael’s played a pivotal role in shaping the city’s internationally recognized dubstep/bass scene. Taking the lead role in seminal events at the Red Gate, Secret Location events, ‘All Systems Special’, and (together with NFF) the landmark ‘Dubforms’ series. Over the past year Michael has been cultivating a newer sound/movement under the Low Indigo banner. Through ongoing events, a casual blog, DJ mixs and upcoming music releases – Low Indigo stands to make a similar mark in Vancouver’s post-dubstep landscape as Lighta! has within the (still thriving) dubstep/bass scene.
Michael is also known for his continued musical collaboration with acclaimed Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq. Touring internationally with Tanya regularly, Michael plays ableton ‘live’ with several midi-controllers and keyboards, while performing live manipulations and FX on Tanya’s voice. A good portion of the material used for this project was developed from field recordings collected from Tanya’s Arctic home. Rhythms made from wind and ice, bass from the earth and rocks, and melodies made from birds and running water. Michael put together a note worthy solo installation using these altered sounds from the north, set in a room designed to feel nostalgically comfortable, called ‘A Time and a Place’ for Code:Live (Vancouver, 2010).
As a live performer, Michael combines his “sound art” side with his summed DJ experience – blending layered atmospheres, subtle details, and improvised manipulations with a dance floor sensibility. Upfront beats can quickly scatter to polyrhythmic tangents and back again. Nearly untraceable pulses can eventually merge to create fully living and breathing landscapes. Playing more with the tension side of tension-and-release is common theme, along with an ever present dub-wise approach to FX, bass, and overall treatment.
Michael’s bass music sets can vary greatly in tempo and feel – traversing the many modes of dubstep, future and roots dub, heaters, select rap and modern r’n'b cuts, dancehall fusions, post-dubstep and genre-less music in between. Whatever the flavors being played, one almost in-escapable common thread is dub soundsystem mentality. unplanned experiments and risks, echo, delay and space.. deep space.. deep water. it can get as emotional as it can get hype.
As a respected reggae dancehall DJ, Michael was a long time resident at the legendary ‘Bruk Out’ weekly, and is currently a regular at ‘Anza Reggae Madness’ and ‘Thursday Ting’, the city’s longest now-running dancehall weekly.
In previous years, Michael also made solid contributions to Vancouver’s “ambient/etc” music community through event organizing and performances under his ‘Souns’ moniker – of which he is still quite active with. Notable events from that era being the ’Environments’ series, the ‘Fire Light Lullabies’ weekly, and the ’open/inputs’ monthly.