As Sixtoo, Vaughn Robert Squire soundtracked a lot of people’s youth. His early work with Buck65, as the Sebutones and his solo production albums, as well as his beats for Anticon artists like Sage Francis, made him something of a name in indie rap circles. His beats were edgy, channelling that dusty hip hop vein pioneered by accomplished diggers like DJ Shadow he completely twisted it in new and interesting directions across his pinnacle projects ‘Duration’ or ‘Chewing On Glass, And Other Miracle Cures.’
Never one to sit still, whether as a producer or emcee, Squire was working across projects releasing underground gems like Villain Accelerate’s Maid of Gold LP with Stigg of The Dump and Sixtoo’s involvement in Canadian label Bully Records kept the vinyl collectable dream alive with a super stylistic array of limited 7” releases from producers like DJ Signify, P-Love, Elektro4, Joe Beats and Controller 7. From the artwork to the mastering Squire helped shape and steer the direction of the label which has unfortunately laid dormant since Signify’s ‘Of Cities’ album in 2009.
Switching styles he laid the Sixtoo moniker to rest, re-emerging as Speakerbruiser with a new group called Megasoid that focused its attention on throwing Turbo Crunk parties in Montreal and producing big synth remixes that were epitomized on their Speed Knots and Tank Thong mixtapes. It was a switch in style that allowed Squire the space to get wild and since the ‘Soid’s demise in ’09 he’s been working under the Prison Garde alias since relocating to Vancouver, producing his brand of ‘Hi Grade Audio Sex’ across tempos.
Whether you’ve followed Squire through his name changes and stylistic directions, or not, is kind of inconsequential in terms of the context of this post. What is obvious from the sounds and tracks collected on Système Hermès though, is Squire’s work and hit rate. Tracks like ‘Zero’ and ‘Sunshine’ prove that he’s lost none of the potency for big brash drum machines and physical club music and over the 13 beats on offer he displays a wide breadth of approaches. From the purposefully muggy ‘Where You Been?’ and ‘Chicago Transit,’ where he displays a classic technoid sound akin to the work of visionaries like Juan Atkins, Squire burrows through boogie (on ‘Be Loved’) and that saccharine soul that made his fellow Montreal resident Jacques Green such a name to watch and emerges with a stack full of productions that eases the anxiety he left in the wake of other projects.
Prison Garde – L’Automne
“Maybe I get bored quick or something?” Squire theorized recently in an interview with the Sub Divison blog. “Three years ago I was into very different music than the stuff I am into now. Three years before that it was almost completely removed from my current influences. I can say honestly that most of my evolution in music just comes from the inspiration of having an amazing peer group full of incredibly talented people to push/inspire me to write. I only trade music with dudes whose taste I trust. I talk music with dudes who know what is up and try to make music that is conversational with the music I listen to.”
DOWNLOAD: Prison Garde – Système Hermès Vol. 1
New Love Old Girl (74bpm)
Tokyo Bullet Train (105bpm)
Where You Been? (106bpm)
Be Loved (110bpm)
Lovetreatment Refix (117bpm)
Prison Garde & Eames – Chicago Tranist (120bpm)
Parking Lot (150bpm)
The Weeknd – What You Need (Prison Garde 808 Edit)