David Psutka, otherwise known as Toronto-based electro recording artist Egyptrixx, offers something rare and unparalleled in the dance music scene. Think of his music as what hipsters might dance to at 3 a.m. in outer space. His celestial sonic dreamscapes have quickly garnered attention from DJs across Europe and North America, likely due to his meticulous construction of electronic music that can only come from both producing and creating.
We caught up with Psutka to talk house music, his rock band Hiawatha, and the YouTube phenomenon.
You’re a classically trained musician with degrees in neuroscience and journalism — how did you get into music?
I’ve been doing music since I was a little kid. I’ve been in bands and played instruments and taken lessons and writing songs for people since I was a preteen. It's something that’s always been a part of my life.
Does your background play a part in the way you construct music?
Yeah, I guess so, I mean it’s a body of skills that I’ve acquired throughout my entire life. So I guess it does affect how I make my music now.
With dubstep becoming increasingly popular, is club music getting more mainstream traction?
I’m not really sure how to measure that. That project of mine increasingly tends to get busier and busier, it’s hard to really say anymore, with club music or electronic music. I’m not sure if there’s as clear a boundary between mainstream and underground as there was. The biggest artists now, are not artists that are born of the commercial music regime as they were 10 or 15 years ago. You know, there’s like the YouTube phenomenon and the Twitter phenomenon. I’m not even sure that delineation exists in its binary form as it did years ago.
Does that give you more room for creativity?
The absence of these clear genres, it doesn’t seem to exist anymore. It was a real dance music thing. I think that has something to do with the fact that people listen to music mainly on YouTube now, instead of discovering it in record stores. Record stores have tangible physical categories, like the Techno section or the House section. But I don’t think that really happens anymore.
How does playing in your band, Hiawatha, compare to Egyptrixx?
Hiawatha is basically a rock band, it’s me and Ian [McGettigan] from Thrush Hermit. It’s a different project, different intention, different vibe. I enjoy doing both of them.
Does producing give you a different perspective on the music?
Yeah, well on top of Egyptrixx, I have a couple of projects. I also do just straight video production and helping people make albums and I find that it definitely helps with my own music. It’s a question of perspective, really — it’s working on a project from a different angle. I find the easiest way for me to make music is if I’m doing video production simultaneously.
A lot of your work is collaborative. Is there anyone you’d like to work with?
I’d like to work with Stephen O’Malley. I like his body of work.
What’s next for you?
I’m producing an album with a band called Bestial Mouths, they’re from Los Angeles. I have an album from Hiawatha coming out at the end of September on Last Gang Records. And I have another Egyptrixx album coming out early next year.