the tenth (TENTH!) edition of the little city speaker sessions is short and sweet, in that this week’s artist, like a tree, is relatively new to the minimal scene, having only been experimenting with min tech sounds for the past year. kuba kozanecki is a montreal-based producer and DJ, and formerly one half of down tempo dub act, 11:11.
kuba played an integral role in montreal’s experimental dub scene for a few years now, along with his former partner benyam barshi, through a deep, soulful project rooted in intellectual dance music. think spacey versions of burial, ital tek, massive attack meets intense spiritual reconnaissance expressed through organic beats. it came as a bit of a surprise to me that kuba’s new moniker, like a tree, articulates a more upbeat, danceable yet still considered kind of sound. the first time i heard him play – at my best friend’s goodbye party – showed an entirely different musical identity that was somehow still completely attuned to the “kuba” that i’ve known for so long, and it seemed strange that it hadn’t developed sooner. presence that was at once completely new and entirely familiar.
as like a tree, his sound takes a more conceptual approach to minimal; intricate construction that is as thoughtful as kuba is himself. studying to become a homeopath, kuba is the kind of person that seeks to heal in every sense of the word. musically, that energy is present as well. music for the soul. his mix for little city opens languidly with his own production, bodhi (available for free download here), a textural, almost microminimal piece that features vocals from spiritual and social activist, jiddu krishnamurti. the mix eases into similarly dynamic min tech from the likes of nu, kryptic minds, mark henning and sven laux.
“i wanted to include some calm energy with the mix, to keep music mindful yet fun. people can either dance or sit down and introspect” – like a tree
when i asked kuba for some insight into his mix, he answered in the typically pensive way that he seems to approach almost everything, especially music. despite his departure from a previously spiritual sound, his current style hovers in the same thoughtful mindset, pulling in references from many different musical genres. like me, he describes music as an expression of himself, of “something that is already inside”