Vakkuum is a name many of you will recognize from his early releases on Tiga's Turbo Recordings out of Montreal, Canada.
As a DJ and producer, Wyatt has curated moments on dancefloors around the world, through the support of many internationally renowned acts, and through his impressions left as support for those acts himself.
Since relocating to the Pacific Northwest, Wyatt has remained a secret weapon behind our decks, including Spend the Night and Kremwerk parties dating back to 2017. After recent appearances at No Requests and Actualize Festival, Vakkuum has returned from a brief hiatus.
It's a pleasure to catch up with Wyatt amidst all this, and share his perspective on things.
Tell us about the experience of your early career in Montreal, during the time you were releasing tracks on Turbo Recordings.
Montreal holds a special place in my heart. It’s an amazing city, I saw Daft Punk there in 2007 and would make frequent trips from Vermont where I grew up to go to raves and see guys like Tiga play. It was the city for my first “international” gig I had and I got plugged into the scene up there quite well.
What lead to your connection with Turbo?
My friend Francis and I go way back. I think we first met at a Bloody Beetroots show as teens (Embarrassing lol). Later on, he started interning at Turbo, this was around the time I was pumping out a lot of demos. He passed them along to Tiga and we set up a record release and string of remixes.
What brought you to Portland, and how are you connecting to music here?
I spent twenty five years in Vermont and wanted to switch things up. I think Portland has a really unique underground scene that can be hard to get plugged into at first, but I feel like I’m finding my groove now, playing some more gigs, and have met some pretty amazing friends. Excited to continue discovering the music scene out here.
Aside from your music career, you're an experienced mountaineer, having summited several of the neighboring Cascades. Talk about your relationship to climbing. Are there any, even if esoteric, connections to your mentality with music?
Climbing was something that sort of just fell into place shortly after moving out here. I didn’t really plan it, It was more me wanting to take a break from the scene and make a healthier lifestyle switch.
I had spent so many hours working at a computer on music and late nights in clubs. I felt it was really starting to take a toll on my well being. It was a way to move my body, reconnect with nature, and find other strengths outside of the music scene. I got swept away by it over the years and now i'm coming back to finding that healthy balance of the music culture I love and time spent outdoors.
With your recent return to the dance floor, what do you have in store moving into the future?
Well, there might be a fun cabin rave I’m throwing with some friends at the end of this month. Past that, finishing new music, and I’ll be heading to Paris in April to play a set on Rinse FM!