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"From the Couch to the Club"

Cyrus, Back Now EP
Cyrus is the brainchild of Ruckus sax player Jarryd Torff, exercising here — and even more recently here — a knack for laid-back, lounged-out production to positive effect. - Cult MTL

"Montreal Artist Spotlight: Cyrus"

In recent years, many artists have responded to questions about their music with a similar statement: "It's a mix of different genres and influences." This makes sense; as the music production scene has shifted from large companies with big budgets to single artists with their direct collaborators, the dividing lines between genres have begun to disappear. Instead of having to fit artistic vision into the sound of a specific record label, artists have broken out and explored the spaces between distinct genres. The spaces between electronic / acoustic music as well as live musician / beatmaker / DJ have become prime targets for musical exploration in recent years, courtesy of anyone from the late great J Dilla to Flying Lotus, Robert Glasper, Nate Smith, and Louis Cole.

A fresh new face in this territory has emerged: Montreal's own Jarryd Torff a.k.a. Cyrus. Over the past few months, he has been solidifying his new musical identity and preparing himself for an exciting 2013. Though he was trained as a jazz saxophonist, Cyrus has extended his musical vision into a combination of groovy instrumental tracks, beatmaking, and post-production / live performance with a wealth of different instruments at his disposal. He released a first EP, entitled Back Now EP, in late 2012, featuring the styles of Milla Thyme and D'Urbano. Both of these collaborators complement and fit seamlessly into Cyrus' meticulously weaved ethereal beats and textures.

IX recently had the occasion to sat down with Cyrus and discuss [his] music:

IX: What was the catalyst for your new musical identity?

Honestly, I'm really just in the next step of doing what I had been doing before Cyrus; the music I had been writing for was for instrumental groups, but actually leaned toward my current projects stylistically. Basically, I've learned how to write and produce in the style that before I was trying to emulate, and all the while I've been working on my keyboard and bass-playing. As Cyrus, I have the flexibility over the sounds that I produce that wasn't available before just because of instrumentation and setting. Even in the groups I was in before, I would basically make scratch tracks to bring in and show the others what I wanted, but now I've actually started to work on those tracks - they have the potential to carry themselves once they're developed into real tracks.

IX: You've branched out a lot in terms of overall setup - what's your rig these days?

I have my computer loaded with Logic for initial tracks and Ableton for final mixes, with a Maschine as drum sampler, plus my sax, keyboard, and bass playing. I went and saw a show recently where someone well-known got on stage and basically pushed a few buttons, and I'm not really into that. I'm trying to keep a performance aspect to my music.

IX: What's your overall musical process?

I usually start with a single track, whether it's a bassline or just some keys, and go from there. Using the computer, I can craft lines and textures until they lead me in one direction, or modify them until something else comes out.

IX: What's your overall vision for the future of Cyrus?

I'm definitely going to stay in Montreal and use the connections that I've built off of playing live music. That being said, my real focus is on performing solo for the time being - my goal is to bridge the gap between DJ and full live sets. I'd like to be able to hit up places like Le Belmont or have my set be performance-intensive enough to play venues like Sala Rossa.

IX: Musically, what's your focus?

I want to take "older" - quote: "older", obviously they're still happening - styles like jazz and blues and use elements of that with newer beats and sounds. It doesn't have to be all old-school sounds or all just clicks and beeps. I want to make music that people can dance to but at the same time they can listen to, i.e. not just a pulse and not just observable content to be studied on paper. It's a question of functionality - creating a blend that's at once something musical and accessible - something relatable, regardless of designated 'style'.

You can check out a recent track from Cyrus below, as well as head over to his website as well as his SoundCloud. Here's someone poised for some decent exposure in 2013 - we'll keep you updated on shows / related news. - Indecent Xposure

"Make Music- AskMen"

Here's Cyrus, a seasoned instrumentalist who's started releasing some seriously fresh productions, on why he uses Maschine:

"Coming from a background in jazz and live hip-hop, one of the concerns I had while learning to produce was being able to create drum tracks in the absence of live drums. This is where Maschine truly helped me out with my work. This high-quality piece of equipment allowed me to create and customize great-sounding drums and samples. With the option to use sounds that come with the software or the producer’s own samples, the user can create with ease. The Maschine software is easy to follow, yet allows the user to tweak their results with the many built-in effects. User friendliness is the name of the game when it comes to Maschine and with many products from Native Instruments. I highly recommend the Maschine or Maschine Mikro to any level of producer, in any style of music."

Read more: - Ask Men

"Cyrus- New Batch 13'"

This is Cyrus, electronic jazz/hip-hop producer from Montreal, Canada. He initially planned to leave these 4 tracks as singles but after my request he was very kind enough to create a set on soundcloud called “New Batch ’13? plus he sent a link to download the mp3's, he reminds me a little bit the early Bonobo and i really like this batch, stream below and download at the bottom, enjoy! - Rappamelo

"Friends of CCR: Cyrus"

As I’ve said in the past, Collective Confusion Records was founded to help out my friends and bands that I love get their music out there to ears like yours. So, to further this mission, I’ve come up with a little feature that I’m going to call the “Friends of Collective Confusion Spotlight.” I truly believe that all of the bands/artists that I will highlight in this feature deserve your streams, your attention, your downloads, your adoration and fandom. They are immensely talented, and they are all working hard to make a name for themselves. The goal with this column is simple: to get you to listen. If you hate it, that’s okay – if you love it, that’s obviously better. But as long as you give these guys a shot, it’s all good to me.

Without further adu, I give you Montreal’s Cyrus. Jarryd Torff aka Cyrus is a good friend of mine – we came up together playing gigs opposite one another in high school. Now based in Montreal, Jarryd has a crazy background in music – he is fluent in all things jazz, hip-hop, rock, you name it, he’s an expert. To give you an idea of what I mean, at sixteen while I was busy drumming off-tempo for a band that dabbled solely in pop-punk covers, Jarryd was playing saxophone, bass, writing and composing music for a jazz fusion band, along with dabbling in production and overall making everybody else look bad in comparison.

It’s with this background in mind that I bring you to the actual project, Cyrus. Known for his intensity on stage, Cyrus samples only drums while using his saxophone, keyboard, and bass to fuse instrumental musicality with his electronic influences, creating grooves that sound both modern yet familiar. Cyrus is a direct nod to his influences both past and present, with songs that dabble in jazz, blues, electronica, rock, hip-hop and more. The great thing about these songs is that you can really hear his influences from track to track. Cyrus also works directly with other artists, producing the grooves that go alongside other like minded artists (for an example, check out “Many Nights”). Cyrus truly is all over the map musically – and that’s definitely a good thing.

So, to make a long story short, I expect big things out of Cyrus. You can expect tour dates and an EP from him out in 2013. Collective Confusion will even be featuring a track or two of his on an upcoming project (stay tuned for that). If you are a fan of jazz, hip-hop, rock, blues, I promise you you will find something you like in Cyrus. Give it a listen and feel free to let me know what you think. And if you’re in Montreal, keep your ear to the ground and check him out live. And if you're from America... don't hold his Canadian location against him. He was born into it, cut the guy some slack.

-Mike - Collective Confusion Records

"Introducing CYRUS"

Cyrus, a new producer/multi-intrumentalist, recently hit the scene and is now dropping beats out of Montreal. Nothing is sampled except for the drums, everything else is composed, performed, and recorded by the artist. Real music b. His debut EP, Back now, is a concept EP which aims at bringing back the fullness of jazz harmony and feel, but making it present through modern grooves. Cyrus also just dropped a new batch of sounds on his Soundcloud. Check him out & follow him at @CyrusMTL & - Nextbop

"Band together. Montreal’s Ruckus make the hip hop ensemble work"

Deciding to be a “hip hop band” can be suicide, as exhibited by legions of now-defunct groups who looked inward to their musical pedigrees and came up with little more than flat imitations of Golden Era boombap, itself born in sincere homage to R&B’s ancestral rhythms.

Ruckus (formerly Ruckus Fo’Tet) instead reached outward, evolving in three short years from a collective of McGill jazz students jamming out to a whip-tight four piece/MC combo now seem­ingly down for whatever.

“The band started as a modern jazz group in January of 2009. We started playing groove music, sort of MMW [Medeski Martin & Wood] or Soulive type stuff,” says drummer Efa Etoroma Jr. “Then we collaborated with a bunch of different artists: Kweku, Jordan Peters, Sarah MK. Then finally we met Milla Thyme and became more of a hip hop-driven type of ensemble.”

“We kind of felt we needed some vocals, to give us a bit of voice,” adds sax man Jarryd Torff. “It grew into something really nice, and we don’t write terribly different than the way we did before. We certainly changed but it wasn’t this huge alteration.”

Etoroma, an Edmonton native, backs Vancouverite guitarist Dave Ison, bassist and E-town homie Evan Stewart, Connecticut gentleman Torff and TO rapper Thyme to bring the Ruckus, who took it to tape last year with a debut record, Round One. Gigging tirelessly (including a stint last fall as Jello Bar’s Tuesday house band), Ruckus’s winter calendar is already packed tight.

Unlike other frontman-type rappers, Thyme’s delivery complements the music without overtaking it, and the band reciprocates in kind, with musicality over genre ultimately defining their party format. The future promises more singles, videos and further instrumental digging.

“All of us are coming from a jazz kinda place, so we didn’t wanna pull a complete 180 and get rid of chords and shit like that,” Torff explains. “We’re just trying to be ourselves and predict that people will relate to it and come out to shows, and not just make music for ourselves. I think we are conscious about making certain choices that people will like.” ¦



"Back Now EP" (2012)

"New Batch '13" (2013)



"Montreal-based producer and musician, CYRUS a.k.a Jarryd Torff, emerges from a background in instrumental jazz, hip-hop, and rock performance. He brings that musical knowledge and live intensity to his productions, and to the dance floor. Sampling only drums, CYRUS uses his saxophone, keyboard, and bass playing to fuse instrumental musicality with electronic sounds and modern grooves. Referencing a large history of music, CYRUS keeps the pulse and the direction moving forward, while holding onto substance and tradition from genres such as jazz and blues. Look out for EP’s, press, tour dates, and music to enjoy in 2013."