PROJECT : UNDERGOUND
A space representing all of us… equal amounts input and output from the good people in the Guelph arts community. Follow the trails of musical journey, culinary creation, the curators corner, and the sculpture of unique and integral projects by the arts for the arts.
Kaelin Britton first started his disc jockey adventures as a radio show host while attending York University in 1995. As a freshman student looking for extra curricular activities to procrastinate from actual study, he and then roommate Brian Shering started “Night Flight”, a program playing the very best in dance music from the 70’s, 80, and 90’s. Night Flight was a hit, so the two were offered a permanent Dj residency for the Thursday event at the Cafe De La Terrasse. As the year continued, residence students, off campus students and peeps that had nothing to do with the school were drawn to hullabaloo! The theme of the night was to make people dance and the dj’s were succeeding with Chris Sheppard’s Pirate Radio Sessions and Eric ‘More’ Morillo’s Strictly House Classics in the crates!
After finishing school and still living in Toronto, Kaelin began to venture in to the after hours scene and was exposed to RAVE culture through his long time and close friend Thomas “Acid Tea” Scott. Thomas was well versed in the underground movement and was beginning a journey that would bring him from producing smaller Toronto events to a mega-explosion in Guelph. Kaelin would happily follow this path.
The influences would soon come with late night radio personalities such as Mitch Winthrop, Deadly Headly Jones, and Chris Sheppard playing some of the deepest and most soulful sounds around. House music was in Kaelin’s heart and full blown exposure to the Toronto scene was soon to follow. Kaelin hit Destiny parties, made Industry a home away from home, and danced the night away at Richard Brooks’ ‘RnB’ events. The Roxi Blue, Cashmere, The Jet, The Sunny side Pavilion, The Living Room, and many many more housed some of Toronto’s finest house parties and Kaelin was at most of them! Roy Davis, Ritchie Hawtin, Kerri Chandler, Gemini, Stacy Pullen, Todd Terry, Mark Farina, Louis Vega, Kenny Dope Gonzalez, Dj Sneak, Glenn Underground, Boo Williams, Ron Trent, and so many more were in Toronto and playing some of the finest in House music there was to hear… the influences were building…
As Thomas made his move to Guelph, Kaelin was introduced to the DJ likes of Deeno, Solis, Kilgore Trout, DMS, Rico, Todd Smith, Oleh, Ricky Bionix, SkyWok and many more…. this crew was leading a rush throughout the scene and had an amazing following when events took place. Soon after attending a few of these parties, Kaelin bought his first pair of Gemini decks and Gemini mixing board from SkyWok and that is when the ripple effect began. It wasn’t long after that Kaelin was surfacing as a Dj outside of his own bedroom. Landing his first gig in Ottawa with host Geoff Hunt @ the Show, Kaelin was on his way performing for people and playing the music he had grown to love. Now he needed the moniker, title, or namesake of the dj. Then while reading excerpts from Confucius’ journal “The ShiKing” that a name was born for the alias and persona of the stage. ” The Shiking” is a book of lyrical poetry written centuries ago and lending itself to an important part of ancient Chinese philosophy. Moved by the entries; moved by the music.
By this time, Kaelin had helped Thomas promote and produce some of the finest House events in Guelph, during a time when parties were happening at a light speed pace. With the event “Open Source” being the first adventure in truly organizing and parlaying a success, it was time to start djing these functions and expand the ShiKing character further. The ShiKing permanently relocated to Guelph from Eastern Ontario, and began to play for several different promoters in Guelph and the Tri-Cities, while slowly crafting his own events with other like minds. The ShiKing was fully immersed in the Guelph after hours collective playing Van Gogh’s, The Underground, The Albion, Jimmy Jazz, Black Mustard, Ed Video, The ‘old’ Goog space, and more….
Then came an opportunity that would start to promote out the ShiKing’s prowess as a DJ even further. Joining the radio station ranks at CFRU – U of G student radio, The ShiKing was now broadcasting to the Royal city and beyond. Some of the most memorable shows had such talents as Odd Myth, Edwin the Cat, Deeno, Mike Gleeson, Mike-E, Joel Lopata, Geoff Hunt, Michael Lambert, and Chicago’s Deon Funk 😉 The Show was called “On The House” and was reaching people in Kitchener- Waterloo, Cambridge, London, Peterborough, Ottawa, Montreal and even Japan! House music was on your radio… and ‘On the House’ was servin’ it up proper!
10 years later, with a new scene and new peeps to follow the music, The ShiKing is still hosting / creating/ manifesting/ expanding/ painting/ sculpting/ writing and playing. Over the past 5 years there have been weekly residencies at the Atmosphere Cafe (The Pressure Sessions), The Albion Hotel (OPEN hOUSE Fridays & Get The FUNK Out Saturdays) and most recently at NV Lounge (RELEASE/ CONNECTED Friday’s). Many special events have brought national and international industry icons Mitch Winthrop (TOR), Gene King (MTL), Andy Roberts (TOR), Sticky Buds (Van), Dj Czech (VAN/ Prague), Funk Hunters (VAN), new international sensations JFB (Brighton UK) and Samplogy (AUS) as well legendary House Music Dj’s & producers : Roy Davis Jr (CHI-Town, IL) & Terrence Parker (Detroit, MI).
The vibe hasn’t changed and the sounds are still soulful all these years later. Much respect and many thanks goes out to all the friends, family, promoters, influences, connections and good peeps The ShiKing has met along the way.