Beat Drop at Sled Island 2017

Beat Drop joins forces with Sled Island for another year

Calgary’s only electronic music school continues to bolster community

Back for its eleventh iteration, Calgary’s world-famous Sled Island festival continues to dazzle locals and tourists alike with a world-class selection of music and arts.

As but one of the many budding partnerships Sled has fostered since its inception, Beat Drop is excited to announce that it’s joining forces with the festival for another year.

Beat Drop is partnering this year with Music Calgary for their Soundoff Summit series at Sled Island, hosting three events – a workshop on producing great video content with Mitch Lee & Carson Gant of One  Drum vids, followed by a Music Marketing 101 seminar with Bass Coast director of communications Paul Brooks and the Alberta Electronic Music Conference’s mixer.

“When we were first involved in the festival in 2014, we were fortunate enough to host [Run The Jewels member] Killer Mike and [Portland vocalist] Natasha Kmeto for workshops and Q&A sessions.” explains Mitch Lee, Beat Drop’s director.

“The reputation Sled Island has around the world is incredible, and it’s a privilege for us to be involved with a festival of this caliber.”

Offering a veritable wealth of options for those looking to introduce themselves to, or deepen an understanding of electronic music and its myriad facets, Beat Drop is a one-stop shop for music scholars of all stripes. Whether you’re looking to refine one area of your portfolio – synthesis, DJing, using Ableton – or for a comprehensive education, Beat Drop has you covered.

While this partnership is still very much in its youth, Beat Drop and Sled Island have teamed up this year to bring attendees a sampling of what the school’s graduates and faculty can do. Featuring sets from Beat Drop teachers and TAs, there are opportunities for those of all tastes to sample what this partnership has to offer.

TAs OAKK and Kloves are slated for sets at the HiFi Club on June 21st. OAKK is a future-facing beatsmith steeped in hip-hop tradition with bass music accouterments, while Kloves has been making waves in the techno scene, garnering support from tastemakers such as Scuba.

Drum & Bass luminary Sinistarr will be joining OAKK and Kloves at HiFi on the 21st, serving up all sorts of bass-laced weirdness from the fringes. Red Bull Thre3style alumni DJ C-Sik will also be playing the HiFi on the 23rd alongside other hip-hop tastemakers such as Lou Phelps and StarRo.

 Lee is optimistic about what the future holds. “Beat Drop isn’t quite a cornerstone on the same level as Sled – we’re a school. We still have a fairly small footprint, but we’re starting to see artists graduate from here and make a living from their art, and that’s really humbling for us.”

“Our goal is to be a hub for existing artists, and an incubator for newcomers.” he explains.

That community-centered approach is a big part of what has allowed Beat Drop to endure for years. And Lee has correspondingly ambitious plans for the school. “People used to go to record stores to hang out. We want to be the new record store.” he finishes.

Music Calgary's Soundoff Summit at Sled Island Event Link

DJ C-Sik will be playing at the HiFi Club on June 23rd.
OAKK will be playing on June 21st at Commonwealth Bar and Stage, and on the 22nd at the HiFi Club.
KLOVES will be playing on June 21st at the HiFi Club.
Sinistarr will be playing on June 21st at the HiFi Club.

 Words by Max Foley

Dan Murray