John Palmer

On Vancouver Island, The Rowdiest (and Likely Only) Monthly is “Future Soul”…and it’s DnB

When it comes to the overall popularity of genres within dance music, Drum & Bass tends to fall pretty far down the list. Sure, it has something of a cult following, but in the grand scheme of things it often takes a seat behind house, trance, and all other things bass. While this may not be true in all parts of the world, the North American market tends to shy away from a sound that is just too abrasive for the average listener; the MC is a whole different discussion all together.

Not surprisingly however, pockets of die hard heads do exist around the continent, with the BC coast being one of them. Enter the seemingly sleepy town of Victoria, where the local music scene is much less tired than you’d think. tucked away on the quiet side of downtown, lays the Copper Owl. A small, quaint little venue literally covered in copper, and reminiscent of something straight out of an 80’s movie, in all the best ways possible.

Copper Owl Lounge

Photo taken from the Copper Owl Facebook page.

While the smaller population of BC’s capital city limits the ability to host weekly or even monthly shows, the people behind one local collective are clearly doing something right, because they have bookings all the way through until the end of 2018!

Future Soul holds the distinct honor of being one of, if not the only, monthly show in town. There are no weekly nights that last year round, despite some admirable attempts over the years. Yet for the past two and a half years, Future Soul has been providing Victoria with a much welcomed dose of something that rarely exists in other, much larger, cities – liquid drum & bass!

We’re still trying to figure it out, but for whatever reason a strong following of liquid D&B fans exist on the island, and their constant support is a major part of why the Future Soul crew is able to bring some big names to such a small place.

The Future Soul Founders with Mutt

Toronto’s Mutt with Tedder & Akela (Photo: Glenn McLelland @ Aerial Vision)

Just last month, we felt blessed to have one of the biggest names in the scene, SpectraSoul take the stage for an intimate, once in a lifetime show for those lucky enough to get tickets. September saw West Coast legend Mat the Alien roll through town for an exclusive 100% drum & bass set, something we’d never heard in over 10 years of following Mat around festivals. Add in other names like Submorphics, Aries, Dave Owen, plus a host of talented local DJs, pK sound, and live visuals, and it’s not hard to see why people keep coming back again, and again, and again.

Mat the Alien at Future Soul

Photo: John Palmer

This community proves to be as tightly knit as they come, and it’s not uncommon to see someone in the crowd one week, and behind the decks the next. Akela & Tedder, the founding members of Future Soul,  provided a platform where local artists can make a name for themselves, while sharing the stage with some international talent we wouldn’t see otherwise.

November’s showcase takes place on the 24th, and features Akela himself, which is surprisingly the first time he’s headlined one of his own shows. In true underground fashion, most Future Soul shows don’t offer advance ticket sales, and while writing this article might make it harder for us to get in, that’s a risk we’re willing to take. Besides, people here don’t listen to Drum & Bass anyway, right? Sure … keep on telling yourself that.

Follow Future Soul on their Facebook to stay up to date on all the latest liquid going down at the Copper Owl. Have you attended a Future Soul event before? What are some of your favorite DnB performances? Share your thoughts in the comments and see you on the dance floor!