Ruben “Hydee” Reyes could be considered the apex of Toronto’s current bass culture. For Canadian audiences, his name might strike a chord as a resident artist of, the now defunct, Bassmentality and WEMF events. Daily-Beat spoke with the basshead to chart his journey from the beginning of his career, to 2014‘s summer festival circuit. Hydee now joins the roster of dubstep and drum & bass artists who make up a quarter of Toronto’s Bud Light Digital Dreams Festival lineup.
DB: From what I understand you migrated from being an MC to being Toronto’s most recognizable dubstep and drum & bass resident. Can you tell me a bit about that initial transition?
Hydee: I started out as an MC back in 1997 when I went to underground raves. When I heard Stevie Hyper D for the first time, I fell in love and was like “I can do that!”. Then I Began MCing and picked up DJing in 2000 after my band split up. I felt that DJing was a still a way for me to play drums and just kept with it.
DB: You’ve worked alongside some of the best minds in music continuously. Has anyone stood out to you more than the others during your interactions?
Hydee: Most DJ’s and people I have met in the scene are nice and very approachable. Many are just like me; they love the music, love playing, and love making people dance. No one in particular has really stood out, but I have made a lot of friends along the way.
DB: I’d like to get your thoughts on the development of Embrace as a brand. You’ve been a large component in the growth of the shows they book.
Hydee: Embrace gave me my first big opportunity as a DJ in Toronto, to break out and do what I love in such high calibre shows with big talent and amazing artists. I feel they have really made a name for themselves in Toronto and across the world by having an ear to the ground and scooping up solid talent. In the early stages and developing that relationship with artists and as an agency as well. Embrace doesn’t just stick to one genre, but book multiple genres of electronic music and bands. I will always have respect for them, for what they do and what they have done for me. They are like my close family.
DB: You currently maintain a frequent residency at Toronto’s Hoxton nightclub. What venues did you interact with in the past?
Hydee: I've played many venues from the earlier days of Bassmentality at Wrong Bar to the Guvernment Nightclub, Koolhaus, and Chroma right down to the Sound academy and festivals like Digital Dreams and Wemf.
DB: Does playing at Digital Dreams bring back some fond memories of WEMF?
Hydee: Nothing will ever replace WEMF. Something about being in the middle of nowhere, till the sun comes up, with music blasting and that amazing fresh air. It's an epic feeling, but Digital Dreams does have a little bit of that (minus the camping and BYOB). Digital Dreams is the next wave, and future for Toronto festivals. Live Nation, Electronic Nation, and all parties involved have made it something special and amazing for people to look forward to every year. Hopefully one day WEMF will make a return.
DB: What does the advance of Digital Dreams mean for a city like Toronto? How about the bass tent specifically?
Hydee: Well Digital Dreams being the largest electronic music festival in Canadian history, with ridiculous talent including a solid local line up, puts Toronto on the map. With a dedicated bass tent, catering to our heavier side of things, it definitely exposes new people to genres they may not find at festivals that would play more big-room house and trance. I like that Digital Dreams is very versatile and has something for everyone to enjoy. I'm really excited to play and be involved in this event.