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"From Vav Jungle to DJBeekeeni"

Eve Rice – From Vav Jungle to DJ Beekeeni Interview

By Cindy Doyle

Eve Rice is no stranger to Winnipeg’s music scene. Whether you know her as the electro-charged, sex kitten Vav Jungle or as DJ Beekeeni, if you’ve been to dance parties, various openings or even fundraisers around the city this past year, it is likely that Rice has made you dance at least once. Rice was part of the lineup for Stylus’ 20th birthday bash this past October; this January, Stylus sat down and talked to one of Winnipeg’s most renowned music veterans about her plans for the future and her ideas about making and loving music as we embark on a new decade.

Stylus: From headlining this year’s annual winter solstice party, Element Sircus, and playing Stylus’s birthday party to regularly DJing at various events around the city, from private parties at The Orphanage to the fundraiser Chutney Mayhem, 2009 was a busy year for you. What can we look forward to in 2010?

Eve Rice: The new album, or albums, I suppose, is coming. There are twenty-two tracks in total, all danceable stuff that will be on iTunes and a few other digital companies that I can trust. It’s a mix of both electo-exotica and electro-wigout-dance. I’ll be touring back to Quebec and hopefully across the world if I have time. There will also be two videos, maybe three, directed by Damien Ferland.

Stylus: Damien also directed the video for “Let’s Make Love” from your 2007 release Pap Rock, which got some attention on YouTube. But you’ve never been a stranger to using the internet for promotion. As a performer playing in Winnipeg and Canada’s music scene for over a decade and also having a fan base which stretches to Quebec, New York and beyond, how has the internet influenced your career?

ER: The internet has helped immensely. I’ve been on it for a long time—since ’93. People have found me and become fans that way, on YouTube people find me, buy songs, ask me to play etc. Simple advertising helps, too, but the more we’re on the computer the more we tend to delete things in our heads. So you still have to have other, more gentle reminders about what you’re up to as well. Make it interesting, even if you’re quiet for a bit in the business, throw up a nude picture of yourself or a friend. Remind them you’re still having fun and haven’t “crossed over” to the other side. “Where are they now?” articles are really scary to me.

Stylus: At the end of 2009, you started your own podcast under your DJ moniker, DJ Beekeeni. It’s awesome, but podcasts are curious, because like Facebook or MySpace, anyone can set one up. Considering Facebook with it’s fan pages and event postings, MySpace where anyone can start and promote a band sans cost, and podcast sites where every DJ hopeful can send out playlists, do you think that the internet is playing a positive role in getting the music of independent artists such as yourself out to the public or is its accessibility to anybody with programs like Garageband just creating a larger wall between you and potential fans?

ER: I think all these things are good—I have Garageband on my computer and I’ve used it, it’s neato, but it becomes too easy and starts to sound like something I’ve heard already too quickly. I suppose that’s the thing—MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Hula etc. are just money-makers for the people who made the software. It’s always a sell, folks. You can promote until you’re blue in the face and there will be shitloads more of new sites popping up regardless. But what are we going to do? Be on the computer all f’ing day long?! Nope, can’t do. I believe that there are ways to control your promoting without looking like a hoser as well.

Stylus: Getting back to your upcoming album(s), this will be your sixth release. How do you feel your music has evolved over the years and how does it compare to your last release, Pap Rock, as well as your earlier work?

ER: Lots of beat inspired stuff. I love my equipment . . . my instruments I mea - Stylus Magazine - Cindy Doyle

"Canadiana Striptease CD Review"

Eve Rice -- who for all intents and purposes is Vav Jungle -- has musical roots in the same Canadian synth pop scene of the 1980s that brought acts like Rough Trade and the Parachute Club to brief prominence. Like those bands, Canadiana Striptease has a strong undercurrent of polymorphous sexuality (Rice regularly DJs at burlesque shows and LGBT events in her native Winnipeg), leavened with a peculiarly Canadian sense of humor. (True to the album title, the cover art features photos of the female pole dancer equivalent of Dan Aykroyd's old Saturday Night Live character, "Fred Garvin, Male Prostitute.") And although Canadiana Striptease was recorded and released in 2005, there is an undeniable throwback quality to this music. Fat Roland 808-style beats and defiantly retro synth squiggles power these songs; "Televisionles" fashions one of its main hooks out of the sort of videogame-like "ping-ping-ping" effects that last sounded fresh and new when Linda McCartney used them in Wings' live version of "Coming Up" in 1980, set over a shambling acid house groove that would have packed the floor at the Hacienda a decade later. That song and a few others even break out the Vocoder to complete the Wayback Machine vibe. What makes the album work as more than a collection of nostalgia-inducing giggles for aging dancefloor hipsters is Rice's better than average knack for developing pure pop hooks out of the base materials of '80s dance music. "Divorce Yourself" veers into an unexpectedly syncopated dance break featuring a call and response between a roller-rink organ and a burbling, disco-vintage ARP synth that sounds like something out of a 23rd century version of The Lawrence Welk Show. The disorienting, druggy vibe (think The Soft Parade-era Doors minus the pretentious bellowing) of "This Can't Happen" would fit perfectly in the "bad trip" segment of a late-'60s anti-drug film. "Set Me on Fire" makes good percussive use of a telephone's busy signal and a high-speed rapping noise that sounds like a woodpecker on crystal meth, both in support of the album's catchiest melody. But the masterstroke is the utterly glorious "Fake Fur Pile," likely the best undiscovered should-have-been dance hit of 2005, which is a note-perfect evocation of Factory Records in that space between New Order's "Blue Monday" and the Happy Mondays, when New York dance clubs and the U.K. post-punk scene were colliding at full speed. With its deadpan lead vocals and group-chanted "You don't own my fake fur pile" hook over a marvelously squelchy synth-bass riff and vaguely-sorta-Middle-Eastern-or-something synth squalls, practical jokers could convince even knowledgeable synth pop fans that "Fake Fur Pile" was Section 25's follow-up single to "Looking from a Hilltop." It's just that good. As is the rest of Canadiana Striptease, one of the most satisfying indie dance pop releases of its era. - All Music - Stewart Mason


- "Batbaby!" under the name DJ Beekeeni:
Remix for "The Superions" (iTunes and Amazon)
- DJB produced albums for Vav Jungle
(iTunes and Amazon):
Pap Rock, Canadiana Striptease, Cream Corn Bath, Models For Jelly, Zig-A-Dig
- Three 1/2 hour mixes for streaming on
- Soundcloud "Hey Pink Thing!" Bossanova remix, 2011[fulltext]=djbeekeeni



*CLICK ABOVE to hear unreleased track "MINOTAUR"!*
In 2005, while working at the infamous "Cream Gallery" part-time, before she became DJBeekeeni, her friend (the owner Leala Hewak), suggested she DJ one night because she'd bring in these CD compilations that kept the gallery hoppin' during business hours.
"She knows how to pick 'em" - L. Hewak, Curator/Artist
Since she had her original act "Vav Jungle" and performed live still, DJB decided to mix an old-school style of dj'ing, mixing songs with an effects unit to do so to transition tunes and sing some of her own VJ and new DJB tunes to boot.
She plays primarily dance music in variation - sometimes a guide depending on the venue (Eg: New-wave Night) but will keep it original for most gigs (funk, disco, new-wave, rock, bossa, weirdo electro etc. . . even bongo-hippie - The B52s to Stereo Total, France Gall to Shakespeare's Sister, Madonna to Doktor Zoil).
OH yes, she needed a name.
Thinking undergarments as stage clothes, or a bikini for the hell of it - the deal was done - the first show in a crisp white girdle.
DJBeekeeni as a name seemed apropo.
She became one of the first acts at the time in the city to run around in skivvies to control getting "over-heated" while performing. . .
At one show, she offended the older Gay Pride attendees at "The Pyramid" with an ensemble of 5 scantily clad dancers, two of whom danced wildy with each other who are now Father and Daughter-In-Law.
DJB has progressed into other galleries and clubs in the city and started to add a go go dancing team she called "The Supersonic Asses" to dance along live for some shows as well. Fun.
Since that time, she has played at Festival Off in Quebec City during Festival D'Ete (Number one hit with "Get My Way" on University of Laval's station CHYZ-FM to add), three times at The Winnipeg Folk Festival and mixed a song for Fred Schneider of the B52s, Dan Marshall and Noah Brodie's act "The Superions" which was released in October 2011. More stuff happening with The Superions in 2012 and another private project on the burner with them . . .
She has five albums on iTunes under the name Vav Jungle with all production by DJB. Many songs used over the years in video, film, radio and television including "The Chris Isaak's Show" (tv), "The Lady Of The House" (film), CBC Radio and Television, "A Day in a Life" (film) and and more. DJB/Eve is in a number of videos and a few films as well.
Another dance album for September release in 2012 and a holiday album done strictly with retro-home organs, drum machines and synthesizers out in November.
VIDEO LINKS (just copy/paste in your browser): ("Let's Make Love") ("Latest Hole")
("My Dirty Friend"- live in NYC at Ace of Clubs)