Speedboats & Big Explosions (SBBE) is an electronic dance music production duo based in Toronto who’ve made a name for themselves by releasing a slew of free Scotch-Powered Remixes (read: Bootlegs) of popular tunes from the 80’s and 90’s. Along with these cheeky, dancefloor-friendly, funky disco/tech house re-edits they’ve released a number of original productions and remixes on a variety of labels.
I asked SBBE if they’d like to do a mix for the show and since they couldn’t make it in to the studio they provided me with a pre-recorded set that I originally aired last week. As we weren’t able to do the usual on-air Q+A, I met up with Andrew Lagzdin, aka The Bullet, aka DJ Endgame on Vital Radio , and David Akermanis, aka Juan Sanchez, a few days earlier and got to know the men behind the mustaches.
When asked about the name of their group and the whole mustachioed 80’s cop “look”, Andrew replied: “We thought the sound of our first tracks had a bad-ass 80’s retro cop kinda vibe to it and it reminded us of the video from Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage”…so one night we made up the persona names, had some scotch, and then made up the back-story. It’s kind of a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde thing for us… We’re able to become these characters on stage and when we perform: I am the Bullet…” he said while laughing.
Before they became Juan Sanchez and The Bullet, David and Andrew met during a chance encounter at Energy 108 a few years back and connected over their shared interest in electronic music. As David recalls, he was becoming disenchanted with the state of the Progressive House scene in Toronto and it was partly due to Andrew’s influence that he was introduced to the funkier side of House and Nu-Disco which helped cement the foundation of their production partnership.
It’s obvious that they’ve struck on formula for success as their first Scotch-Powered Remix was picked up by Jalapeno House to be included on the Jalapeno House Vol.2 compilation. “We were working on a bootleg of Dr. Rubberfunk’s Trouble Woman and we really liked the final mix so we thought we should try to get the rights to it before we started passing it around,” David explained, “but there were so many parties involved that was going to be a long, complicated process, so we were told to submit the track and -if they liked it – they might include it on an upcoming remix compilation album.”
They were surprised when the label said they wanted to include it especially because they made their remix by simply using the original track with a few embellishments of their own without an official pack of stems and vocals!
Using Ableton Live loaded with VSTs, SBBE has found inspiration for their Scotch-Powered Remixes anytime the radio is on: “a lot of times we’ll be out someplace and a tune comes on and we’re like, ‘yup, that is a great sound! We should rework this thing…Basically we’re into anything that’s catchy and memorable with a wicked hook…”
“We’ll find a track, warp it, cut it up and start playing around with it. You can make a really good bootleg without the stems and vocals,you know? We’ll add some percussion and some strings or something…but nothing too crazy or layered,” said David. “Then” added Andrew, “it’s high-fives and let’s have a scotch!”
Still independent, the duo have worked with several labels on a release by release basis and have yet to find a permanent home. However, that might all change with an upcoming release in the new year. Lookout for SBBE’s soulful rework of “The Music Sounds Better With You” with a sexy diva-like vocal which should be out in time for WMC.
In the meantime, you’ll want to grab their latest “Scotch-Powered” mix of Human League’s Don’t You Want Me:
Below you can expect a 2 hour mix of funky, filtered disco house, tech-house and deep house that’s full of the duos’ bootlegs, mashups and remixes of retro pop tunes, along with their own original productions and remixes.