Producer/DJ Felix Cartal is no newcomer to the dance music scene. The Vancouver native has been producing and remixing since age 15, with a talent for making music that is innovative and memorable! Breaking down boundaries of expectation and continuously evolving, Cartal stands with few in his unique ability to produce dance tracks that are musically versatile and well suited for festivals, clubs, and house parties alike. With highly acclaimed releases, two full records, a slew of EP’s, and tours all over the world, Cartal is a true veteran that continues rise!
Cartal, like many current dance music producers, found his musical roots in the Punk/Hardcore scene. His NOFX-inspired band (in which he played the bass guitar), Dysfunctional, gained notoriety in the Vancouver area for about 4 years until their 2004 breakup. Cartal then moved on to a more progressive, Mars Volta-inspired band called Orange Orange, while also experimenting with music production software Reason and Cubase, attending dance music events and falling in love with the palpable energy of the Vancouver dance scene. Cartal’s background served as his inspiration; he was able to draw musical parallels between the energetic sounds of Punk music and the hard-hitting bass of dance music, producing tracks that make people dance in an entirely new way.
Cartal released his first EP, entitled Skeleton, under Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak Records in 2009, followed by his debut LP Popular Music in 2010. Having paved his way in the electronic music world by releasing heavy, aggressive, beat-driven tracks, Cartal continued his success by releasing “The Joker,” which was supported by dance music vets such as Benny Benassi and Laidback Luke. Tracks like “The Joker” quickly established Cartal as a heavy-hitter producer—it was through these releases and extensive touring that Cartal firmly carved his name into the dance music arena.
Last year was quite the year for Cartal. In March 2012 he released his second full-length album, titled Different Faces, which debuted on the iTunes Top 10 Electronic charts in North America. Different Faces features one of his most successful singles to date, “Don’t Turn On The Lights.” The album also boasts powerful tracks like “Triple Deke,” numerous catchy, vocal tracks like “Black To White,” edgy, indie-influenced tracks like “Higher,” and the poppy/dancey tune “Tonight,” featuring vocals from Maja Ivarsson of The Sounds. Overall, it is a well-rounded and versatile showcase of Cartal’s musical talent and creativity.
Moreover, in 2012 Cartal started a biweekly podcast entitled “Weekend Workout,” a one-hour mix featuring Cartal’s choice of music and unreleased tracks. Started in June, the podcast became a weekly mix broadcasted worldwide on SiriusXM and available for free download on iTunes and Soundcloud. Most recently, Cartal released two new tracks both featuring the vocals by Natalie Angiuli – “No Sleep” in December 2012, and “Lullaby” last month (January 2013). Both great dance tracks done in true Cartal fashion!
In his own recent blog post, Cartal reflects on his last year on the road, and a few personal highlights: “200,000+ air miles. Another year of insane travel, I can’t even remember all the places I’ve been. Some highlights though, Sasquatch Music Festival, a goal in my life to play this for a long time and it did not disappoint. Possibly the best show of my life. Hawaii with the Dim Mak team, was so nice to hang with Steve and everyone on my label.” Sounds like Cartal had one hell of a year, and things are only looking up for this young veteran!
Felix Cartal has a solid lineup of upcoming tour dates, so be sure to check out his website for more info. And most importantly, make sure to follow his amazing head of hair, after all, it follows him everywhere – twitter.com/felixshair (yes, it actually has its own twitter following).
And if you’re looking to step up your game in the unique music experience department, be sure to catch Cartal near his home town at the second-annual AWOL Snow in the world’s best ski location: Whistler, British Columbia! Who doesn’t like beautiful snow-capped mountains, winter sports, incredible people and of course, amazing dance music?!
For more info and AWOL Snow tickets, click here.
By: Angelo Castañeda