BEATBURRITO
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BEATBURRITO

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"Beat Burrito - Serving you fresh beats all wrapped up!"

By: Tasha Pavlovic
October 09, 2009

It’s a cool Monday night when I meet with Dan Haid of the DJ duo band, Beat Burritio. We find a small Vietnamese place on Queen Street West and divulge in our pad thai and conversation. Beat Burrito, comprised of long time friends Haid and Peter Huang, formed about six months ago in Waterloo, Ontario. The two have known each other since ninth grade and have always shared a passion for music. It wasn’t until after university that their paths crossed again when they discovered they were both interested in mixing dance music.


Before coming to this interview, I must admit I didn’t really know too much about the dance music scene. As Haid and I talk, we both agree that rock music seems to be the mainstream for most people in Ontario, but Toronto is one Ontario city that has a popular dance following. Haid describes the difficulties in getting gigs in his hometown of Waterloo because there isn’t much of a dance scene. “In Waterloo, it’s impossible to get a show, but Toronto has such a huge music scene, this is where dance music lives,” he explained.

A music major from Wilfrid Laurier University, DJing was something Haid and Huang sort of fell into. What started as a hobby eventually turned into a passion. When Haid was in university, he started his own campus radio show where he DJ’d jazz music. After watching his peers at the station spin Hip Hop and dance tracks, he became fond of the style and learned from the other DJs how to mix.

Haid is no stranger to the music scene and comes from a very musical background. He played guitar in high school and piano in university, and is used to composing his own music. When I ask him why he never pursued these musical paths, he said guitar and piano are too mainstream. “It’s hard to be the best,” he said. He says dance is a perfect niche for him and his personality. Haid is strongly influenced by a fellow Canadian DJ, Deadmau5 as well as Daft Punk.

Huang, a film major from Sheridan College, started DJing as a hobby. When he isn’t busy writing screenplays, he’s mixing up beats on his laptop. “It’s (film) pretty exhausting creatively and it is nice to change gears during the day,” he explained about balancing between film work and DJing. “Mixing is a bit of a cathartic process for me and so you could say that the entire idea of Djing started as a hobby that exacerbated my procrastination problems.”

Huang has found inspiration from an array of artists including Justice, Living End and Metallica. In high school, Huang was quite the punk rocker who played in bands and had spiky blue hair. He thinks this is part of the reason why he likes electro music so much. “Electro finds its roots in rock and punk rock and a lot of electro groups can be found mixing AC/DC and Metallica remixes in their sets,” he said.

So why the name Beat Burrito? Haid says there is no particular reason for the name, just that they wanted to incorporate some type of food in it. “It’s really because we serve fresh beats,” he said.

The beats from Beat Burrito vary from techno/house/electro and dance. While Haid enjoys more progressive tracks (more chilled out beats with ambiance), Huang prefers electro styles (dirty sounding with heavy distortion). When playing shows, they make a collaboration of both genres into a sweet set of beats.

“The most important part is really what the audience wants to hear,” Haid said. Most DJs work solo, but Haid says having the two of them works better so that all their bases are covered. Haid says he focuses more on writing the music and managing the band, while Huang sticks to the turntables and being the socialite of the band. “Between the two of us we cut the job in half, so we can cover all areas much quicker and you get more value in the show,” Haid said.

Another thing that makes Beat Burrito stand out from other DJ acts out there is that they compose some of their own songs. “It’s kind of like what I went to school for, but in a different medium,” Haid said.

Beat Burrito has been working hard over the past few months, writing music and playing gigs in the Greater Toronto Area. Their fan base is continuously growing, with fans from as far as Norway and England. Their biggest gig to date is coming up this Sunday October 11 at Andy Pool Hall on College Street in Toronto, so be sure to check them out.

For more information on Beat Burrito and to hear their mixes, check out www.myspace.com/beatburrito . - Toronto Music Scene


"The Electric Sound Basement: Tuesday August 25, 2009"

Finally got a chance to chill with Dan Haid in the studio today. It was really cool to hear his take on some of the more cerebral aspects of track making. He's classically trained, and from what I gather, he wandered into electronic music through film score work, finding himself saving time and money by working with synthesizers in lieu of live instruments. We got to listen to a brand new track as well, and some collabo work with his friend Pete Huang. - Sound Basement at CIUT FM in Toronto


"The Electric Sound Basement: Tuesday June 23, 2009"

Two very special features today on the show...

The first is Dan Haid, a local producer who got in touch with me last week and sent over some of his exceptional work. During better economic times, he was composer for film, moonlighting as a DJ and producer...now it's the other way around. He rides a Roland JX-305 Groovesynth through the progressive house lane on The Great Dance Music Highway, speeding quickly past the exit ramp into Tranceville. It's always nice when a producer can progressive without being excessive. We look forward to hearing more from Dan Haid, in anticipation of a forthcoming album for the fall. He's got a campus radio background as well, having hosted his own show on CKMS, so hopefully he'll join us sometime in the studio.
- The Electric Sound Basement at CIUT FM in Toronto


Discography

Discography:

Listen & Learn 2009:
'Relax Go Nuts' 6:00
'No Coincidence' 4:31
'Deja Vu' 6:30
'Listen and Learn' 4:30

Photos

Bio

BEATBURRITO is an energetic duo consisting of Dan Haid and Pete Huang. We have an extensive background in music and entertainment as I am a music graduate from WLU and Pete is a film graduate from Sheridan Institute.
There is nothing we love to do more than perform live in front of a spirited crowd.
I am proud to say that BEATBURRITO has performed at some of Toronto’s trendiest nightclubs including Andy Poolhall, Disgraceland and El Mocambo. At all of our events we strive make the music as exuberant as possible.

PETER HUANG
Classically trained musician turned metal guitarist turned punk with blue hair turned DJ/producer. Rock star meets dance music; the energy of his live shows are unmatched, with track selections going across the board from tech house to fidget electro, mashed together with snippets of hip-hop and rock n’ roll - anything with a heavy beat. Get your dance on, or get a heart attack.

DAN HAID
Canadian producer Dan Haid is working overtime. Dan is a classically trained composer and enthusiast of vintage synthesizers. He writes and produces all of his own tracks from scratch. Dan graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with a Bachelor of Music degree specializing in composition.

wwww.myspace.com/beatburrito