Music

DJ Faiith celebrates the inclusiveness of Edmonton’s electronic music scene

// Photo supplied
// Photo supplied

A rhythm that refuses to quit and positive vibes on the dance floor. These are the aspects that local house DJ Faiith—known by some as Ryan Rathjen—strives for in his music. Starting off his musical career as vocalist for a punk rock band called K.I.L.L. and a keyboardist/vocalist for the shoegaze group Vertigo, Rathjen brings something new to the electro house genre.

“I started off in different genres, but I was always really interested in electronic music. When my buddy DJ Audit took me out to Shambhala I sort of breathed it in and decided to really pursue a solo project,” Rathjen says.

Rathjen was also attracted to the experimentation and manipulation of musical timing that is often presented in electronic music, especially with house.

“The cool thing with electronic music is that you can do a variety of different tempos. For instance when I started I was really into future bass and future R&B stuff, but then I started making house tracks for my own stuff that were usually 120 b.p.m. which appealed to me. There’s so much [electronic dance music] stuff out there that just sounds the same so I wanted to kind of drive away from that.”

Much like his musical background, Faiith’s sound dabbles in many different genres. Every song is unique and is heavy on the vocals and usually has darker soundscapes as interludes that drop back into rhythmic danceable grooves.

“I was drawn to rearranging a cappellas of other artists to create cool vocal soundscapes. That probably came from being a vocalist before,” he says. “I like the more heavy drone stuff mixed in with melodies. For me, there needs to be some funkiness feel. I feel like that’s important.”

Faiith has been blessed to play huge electronic music festivals like Driftpile’s Astral Harvest and the more world popular mainstream Shambhala outside of Nelson, BC.

“For me it was a really cool thing to play Shambhala. I’ve been going for close to 15 years so playing it was kind of like my homecoming as an artist.”

Under the name Faiith, Rathjen has gained traction internationally and produced a couple EPs under Australian label Respect Music and Russian label Prospection Records. The labels both approached him via the sound sharing website Soundcloud, where Faiith keeps most of his music. Currently he is talking to a Croatian producing company to create another EP.

At 35, Rathjen has his own clothing brand called Plurwear and has been creating electronic music for close to 16 years. While he has toured Europe, he still believes Edmonton is the perfect environment for a thriving electronic musician.

Actually, the Edmonton DJ scene and its unrivaled acceptance is the reason Faiith exists.

“People stick together here. I found that in the band scene it may be a bit more segregated, but the electronic scene is much more of a collective. You hear so many new young DJs coming out of the woodwork. It’s really exciting.” 

Sat, Oct 8 (2 pm to 9 pm)
Produce in the Park
Beaver Hills Park
Free

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