The DJ Shine debut CD THINQUE (nice 0007) is out and in
stores now, also available on itunes.
(click the title to preview the mp3)
1.First Snow 2.Stressed Out 3.Coach 4.Hope 5.Monkeys
6.squeeze 7.User 8.Used 9.Radio (ambient mix)
10.Pipi Drumstalker 11.Commerce 12.Squeeze (moto remix)
"Intelligent techno, jazzy house or classic electro, there
isn't really much DJ SHINE can't put his fingers on.
It's a mature and sophisticated work for a debut."
Klublife Magazine Dec. 2001
"…DJ SHINE finds a happy medium between house's lush, clubby
side and the experimental bent of its avant-garde. In his
capable hands, accessibility and intrigue foil each
Eye Weekly Dec 2001
"deep, charismatic and thought provoking…"
(also placed #1 in electronic charts nov+dec 2001)
Urbnet.com Dec 2001
BEST OF 2001 - "First Snow/Hope" 12" listed in Eye Weekly's
'Extended Play' top 10 singles of last year.
DJ Shine & Teknostep had a great time playing live in Austria (and one southern German gig) this past November!
nov 15th - "la boum deluxe" interview + dj set-21:00 FM4 vienna
nov.15th - massiv/vienna
nov.16th - postkutsche/mattsee
nov.17th - rhiz/vienna
nov.18th - radio interview + dj performance on orange, vienna
nov.20th - r'amien/vienna
nov.21st - vipers/graz
nov.22nd - couch club/innsbruck
nov.23rd - boogaloo/pfarrkirchen
As a live performer, Shine blurs the distinction between DJ/Producer, spinning flawless techno and house on three turntables alongside his samplers. He has blown minds at raves and clubs throughout Canada, and has also performed in New York, Texas and Florida.
In 1994 he teamed up with Keram Malicki-Sanchez and Josh Joudrie's band Automated Gardens, and released two albums on Constant Change. The band toured Toronto's club and rave scene extensively for two years, then took a breather as each member pursued different aspects of their musical interests.
In 1997 Jason joined forces with the band Auracle and released music through Hamilton based Switch Recordings, as well as several of his own songs.
In 1998, Jason moved on to produce several tracks at nice+smooth studios for Kinder Atom; working on the bands third full length release, "Mmm" as well as a unique collaboration between the band and Grammy Award winner and former vocalist for Black Uhuru, Michael Rose. Jason also co-produced a sweet drum and bass track for the Metro Breaks '99 compilation with DJ Freedom called 'Pineangel'.
2000 saw Shine's first remix work put to vinyl on the hit nice+smooth 12 inch "Ladies" (Directions Soft Mix), a groovy laid back house flavour that broke big in New York and various cities in Germany.
2001 saw him release his first 12" with prolific producer Stephane Teknostep Vera on the "First Snow/Hope" (nice 0006) single, both of which appear on his debut CD "Thinque" (nice0007). These tracks charted across North America + Europe, gaining attention from top DJ's such as Roy Davis Jr. from Chicago, DJ Garth in San Francisco, and Claus Bachor in Cologne Germany.
2002 starts off with a bang for Shine as the follow up Shine Vs. Teknostep 12" hits stores in late January. "Flip-Flops" (nice 0008) is a fresh, tweaky, jazzy, funky little deep-house groove, while the flipside features the straight-ahead floor-filler remix of "Stressed Out", a track from the "Thinque" cd. Switching it up on track 2 of the b-side is a somber downtempo piano track by Shine entitled "September Day."
Jason completed a series of live shows in Toronto and Montreal to celebrate the new discs, as well as television appearances spinning on Muchmusic's 'Electric Circus' and on the MusiquePlus dance show "Bouge!". His DJ'ing has also brought him to many US cities as well as Germany, Austria, Mexico and The Dominican Republic.
He is currently heavily involved with the vj/dj crossover world, and also programmes with the Nelly Furtado band and will be joining them on their world-tour in summer 2006.
THINQUE CD REVIEWS
dj shine - thinque - nice and smooth
what a pleasant surprise this was. from the cover, i thought this would be another trance dj. but boy was my face cracked when i got sucked into the deepness of the first track "first snow". severe tech beats and excellent chords blend together to make the dreamiest of dancefloor jams to rock too. he cruises his way to solid jumpy numbers like the superb "hope". just listen to it, the bassline will kill you. shines technique is so on point that he put the atmosphere back in tech house and made it more melodic than ever before. literally every cut on here is butter. other highlights go to "used", "user" and "pipidrumstalker", these are solid on the floor dance cuts that will move the house. overall, i take my hat off too dj shine. it is something new and fresh too me, so i'm sure it will be the same for you.
5 stars - the undah-dub
DJ Shine Thinque (Nice+Smooth)Cat No: nice 0007
He might not be well know outside of his native Canada, however if this album is anything to go by, then it's time the world learned about Jason Spanu aka DJ Shine. This is his first long player, after a couple of vinyl outing distributed through the legendary Stickman label. It is time he was considered equal alongside the big names in House. First Snow is a vision of beauty, courtesy of a pointed break, icy cool keys, a delicious travelling bass, swishing cymbals and a trumpet that makes you sit up and take notice. Hope is an optimistic cut, with sky blue clear keys, an approachable bass, digitised thoughtful strings and reassuring percussion. Used shows the darker side of Jason's nature, as stiletto percussion, confusing leaning stabs, a slithering bass and anxious keys combine. M.O.T.O's remix of squeeze•takes rasta-type vocal appreciations, a slovenly sax, abrasive bleeps and gangly percussion on a weird and wonderful journey. Excellent.
Jon Freer - littleplanet.net
DJ Shine Thinque (Nice + Smooth)
Toronto native Jason Spanu has been cooking up tracks since 1994 and acting as head engineer at Nice + Smooth label headquarters (along with label head Gerald Belanger's Kinder Atom crew) since 1998. Thinque, his debut full-length for the label, is an interesting and varied collection of house and tech-house tunes that echo his admiration for production mavericks like Richie Hawtin and Carl Craig. On "Hope," co-produced with Toronto's Teknostep, Spanu experiments with lush, rolling keys over Detroit-inspired drums, while on "User" and "Used," he goes for sub-bass and minimal beats. His strength, though, lies in his affinity for the ambient.
7.5/10 (Krista) - Montreal Mirror
DJ SHINE *** Thinque Nice+Smooth
Geographically speaking, the halfway point between New York and Cologne is somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic, but sonically it's right about here, as Shine finds a happy medium between house's lush clubby side and the experimental bent of its avant-garde. Tranquil keyboard touches, diva vocals, warm basslines and other genre staples intermingle with alien sounds and textures (scraped from the Mille Plateaux catalogue, no doubt) to form the core of Thinque, but even when Shine strays from that combination, he scores with the interplanetary, Orbesque dub of "Monkeys" and the luminescent ambience of "Radio." In Shine's capable hands, accessibility and intrigue foil each other nicely.
Ryan Watson - Eye Weekly
DJ Shine Thinque - Nice+Smooth
Jason Spanu aka DJ Shine has accomplished a lot in this year alone just recently releasing his vs. EP with Teknostep with First Snow/Hope. Doing Live PA and DJ'ing creates a bundle of aspirations and it is followed up with this collective CD of deep charismatic and also thought provoking abstract and almost electro sounds. Still finding time to teach at Studio Hideaway and complete new tracks with mates Kinder Atom, this is a worthy product. Go see him live and pick up the CD on the way to the show.
(also placed #1 in electronic charts nov+dec 2001)
Perhaps this may seem like a shameless plug for those of you that know that Jason Spanu is our DJ Technolgy columnist here at Klublife Magazine, and was our music editor a couple years ago. Let me just say this: It's about $#@*! time you got off your ass and made this album! We'd witness Jason's musical mind at work on a daily basis and a short while later, his computer would be filled with more than 2 hours of music he'd produced, so this is only a small sample of what's to come. Things are off to a promising start as the album's opener "First Snow" and "Hope" has received support from Roy Davis Jr., Steve "Silk" Hurley, Boo Williams, Glen Underground and DJ Garth. Intelligent techno, jazzy house or classic electro, there really isn't much Jason can't put his fingers on. It's a mature and sophisticated work for a debut.
AZ - Klublife Magazine
DJ Shine - Thinque/ Canada - 2002
Jason Spanu aka Dj Shine, Dj i producer iz Toronta(Kanada) nam dolazi sa njegovim najnovijim albumom "Thinque". Album predstavlja mesavinu Deep House, Jazzy House, Intelligent Techno i Electro zvukova. U mnogim numerama se odmah, pri prvom slusanju primecuje odredjena doza experimentalnosti. Od svih numera na albumu izdvojio bih par koji posvecuju malo vise paznje, a to su prva stvar koja je ustvari jazzy deep house; treca- pomalo cudna techno numera sa malo experimentisanja i nekim uvrnutim vokalima. Zatim izdvojio bih sedmu i osmu stvar. One su dosta slicne s tim sto je sedma vise deep house/techno sa dosta mracnom tematikom, dok osma opet vise vuce na intelligent techno sa cudnim semplovima. Pored ovih numera, za kraj bih izdvojio desetu, koja je za razliku od ostalih groove techno. Ostale stvari su sve manje vise electro, medjutim dosta monotone i ne izdvajaju se nesto preterano od ostalih. Sve u svemu, zajedno gledano, ceo album nije nista extra, jedino ga cini zanimljivim upravo taj pokusaj da se uradi nesto malo drugacije i experimentalnije.
Eye Weekly, Thursday Nov 15, 2001
Thinque CD release party with DJs Stephane Vera, Jonathan David and G. Money. Thursday, Nov. 15. Aria, 457 Richmond W. Free before 11:30pm, $8 after.
BY DENISE BENSON
The results of last week's eye dance-music industry poll --
which zoomed in on the "most influential" people in
Toronto's scene -- got me thinking. While I want to
thank all those who voted to recognize me as one of
these people, I've also been pondering the very notion
of "influence." What qualities, histories and talents
make someone worthy of this rather subjective title?
My personal definition has nothing to do with money or power, and everything to do with teaching and sharing. I am a huge believer in sharing knowledge to help move people -- or a scene -- forward. Good teachers add much to our lives, every step of the way. Twenty-five-year-old Jason Spanu, a.k.a. DJ Shine, knows this only too well. The Toronto producer/engineer recently adopted a job title he could not have seen coming. "I never wanted to be a teacher because my mom is," says the man now instructing a wide array of students in MIDI and DJ skills at a "school" dubbed Studio Hideaway. Maybe so, but this comes as little surprise when one
hears highlights of Spanu's life history. He readily admits to influencing and being influenced, with his passion for music originally sparked by a Grade 2 teacher who taught recorder. "We weren't supposed to learn that stuff until Grade 6," recalls Shine, "but he bought recorders for his whole class! I got totally attached to it."
Spanu went on to play clarinet and sax, growing increasingly attracted to electronic music, particularly after getting his hands on MIDI gear for a Grade 10 project. At 16, he became friends with an older musician who had a studio. Shine was hooked, soon getting a job at a local gas station, renting $900 worth of gear monthly and teaching himself different sounds and skills. Initially, artists like Erasure, Depeche Mode, Utah Saints and Eon were major influences.
"And I made really bad music for a long time," he offers. Until he started going to local gigs and learning, particularly from Algorithm. "Around that same time, I was a bad DJ too," Spanu laughs. "The bad music and bad DJing started to change when I focused on what everyone else was doing, and Algorithm was the person I wanted to be like. He was doing this crazy shit, and hearing the kinds of music he played started to shape what I would try and mimic. It was about ideas that would go a little deeper than 'Point, click and record.' For me, it became 'Point, click, record, think think think think.'" Shine "grew up in the rave scene," doing tech work for Chemistry and Destiny, and playing at the first 17 Destiny raves. In the mid-'90s, he worked with Blue Dog Pict's Keram Malicki-Sanchez as Automated Gardens. In '97 he recorded as part of Auracle. Later still, Spanu expanded on his engineering skills and collaborated with the likes of Kinder Atom, DJ Freedom, Jelo and St. Pete. There were also stints as music editor at Klublife magazine, co-host and programmer with Deadley Headley of a show on 1Groove.com and as a co-founder of the band Directions.
"Yeah, it's all completely unpredictable," Spanu admits. "Everyone is trying to run around and control things, like sitting in university for seven years to make sure that they can end up doing this stuff. People would have a lot more fun if they just woke up every day, walked around and did something they didn't expect to." Like teaching others how to become a DJ or an engineer/producer. A phone call out of the blue led Shine to do just that at the now one-year-strong Studio Hideaway, where more than 150 people have already absorbed 12-hour, one-on-one "courses." "All my students get DJing in the sixth hour," Shine explains. "I've taught 12-year-old kids, I've taught 50-year-old gay fire captains -- that's your spectrum. And they all get it. Essentially, we teach problem-solving and help accelerate people's learning curves."
DJ Shine's own learning curve has stepped up of late, as his years of growing have culminated in a debut CD, Thinque. Its leadoff single, a collaboration with Stephane "Teknostep" Vera entitled "First Snow," has garnered praise and play from the likes of Chicago's Roy Davis Jr., Glenn Underground and Gene Hunt.
"I just like making music," says Shine of his aspirations. "I wake up every day and make a new song. I am so addicted to this that if I make a million dollars or not, it doesn't make a difference. Ultimately, I don't need money. I've got gear, I'm making music every day, I'm learning -- and that's money in the bank."
Montreal Gazette - Thursday, December 20, 2001
Thinquing out loud
Jason Spanu, aka DJ Shine, is happy about his debut CD, but believes he has a lot to learn.
I love being shown that I'm an idiot," says Jason Spanu,
aka DJ Shine. What the 25-year-old Toronto native means
is that he loves to be humbled, specifically by hearing
great music made by others. Case in point: the new
Squarepusher album, which left him suitably impressed.
Spanu has just released his debut CD, Thinque, and while
he is quite happy with the outcome, he readily admits he
has lots to learn. Thinque is his eclectic excursion into
the land of electronica. Centred in cushy house beats and
flavoured with elements of dub, jazz and soul, it dabbles
in electro and, briefly, minimal techno. Somehow it all holds
together and emerges as a quite enjoyable listen.
"It may never get played loud in someone's car," he says, "but it might be music to make toast to." Spanu is a self-professed music nerd. He rarely goes out to clubs or buys new music any more. He began his education 10 years ago, when his parents would drop him off at raves - at which he would volunteer - and pick him up by midnight. After informing Mom and Dad that he had been sneaking back out after they brought him home, Spanu convinced the folks that everything was OK, that he was a good kid and, somehow, that it was a necessary part of his coming of age to rave all night long. Smart kid. Around the same time, he befriended Gerald Belanger, then owner of a record store where Spanu shopped and now head of Nice + Smooth, the label that released Thinque. Spanu began helping Belanger in the studio and getting essential hands-on production and engineering experience. I didn't worry about whether I had money for the new PlayStation. I was like, 'I want a disc for my sampler.' " Smart kid.
A series of fortuitous circumstances, including chance meetings with John Acquaviva (who passed him a stack of records from his minimal techno label Plus 8 when Spanu was just starting out), Moby, The Orb and Aphex Twin (when they were in T.O. for a tour) and a stint helping out at New York's New Music Seminar (where he ended up assisting Acquaviva) provided ample confirmation that he was on the right path. But talk shop with Spanu and he is realistic. He knows Thinque is hardly pop-chart material. "If I had handed this (album) to a major label, they would have shot me. I'm enjoying my freedom. The next step is to just keep doing the same kind of stuff and stay as free as I want." With one eye, at least, on the market. "I did think, 'What's going to sell?'" he says, explaining why he leaned toward Thinque's loungey house sounds and not in some other direction. "I could have made this all tech-house," he explains. "But no, I put a bit of this, a bit of that." Spanu is host of a weekly radio show, Hollow Deck, on Toronto radio station 89.5 FM, the Global Groove Network.
- DJ Shine launches his CD Thinque tomorrow at 10 p.m. at Jingxi, 410 Rachel St. E. He also performs on the MusiquePlus show Bouge tomorrow evening. For more information, go to www.nicesmooth.com.
For bookings or more information contact nice+smooth: