We pride ourselves on living for the future. Even though everyone involved with Channel One all have long histories in underground music and celebrate our heritage and influences on the regular, our eyes always remain fixed on what’s next. This constantly evolving and morphing nature of the music and the culture behind it is what keeps us interested and motivated to be a part of it in the first place. There are however certain aspects of the change associated with this infinite journey that we are sorry to see fade sometimes.
One such piece of this puzzle is that of the Record Store and Record Shop Culture. Once the quintessential central hub of dance music and DJ schooling, The importance of the Record Store as the true beating heart of the scene has long since subsided. Every good record shop always had behind its counter a couple of key players that would dictate the quality of the whole establishment. Be it the Head Buyer or the cool local DJ who worked there, they all maintained a dedicated “client list” that looked to them as a key tastemaker and trusted musical advisor. Any serious DJ or record collector understands that the relationship you have with “the guy behind the counter” is one akin to that of the relationship you have with your barber or your bartender or the guy you “grab” from. The true Record Store guy is always someone with a deep knowledge and passion for the music they are selling, with their own finely honed, diverse, even slightly obscure personal taste politely nudging you to take a listen to what they like, yet selfless enough to direct you to that “big tune” that they may personally hate.
One such hero of the record shop is long time Toronto stalwart Frankie Gunns. A product of the very early 90’s Toronto Rave Scene, Gunns followed the path of others from his “era” getting hooked on the sounds of Hardcore via the parties, radio shows and DJ’s of that time. His voracious appetite for new and exciting music locked him in on the journey from Hardcore, to Jungle and on to Drum & Bass, with a keen ear always scanning what was happening in House and Techno simultaneously. In 2001 Gunn’s took every serious vinyl addicts dream job, securing a job at Toronto’s landmark record store Play De Record. He eventually inherited the Head Buyer position (from the equally legendary David Cooper) becoming responsible for curating all of the House, Techno, Drum & Bass/Jungle and Dubstep that would be available in the shop up until he moved on at the end of 2011. The list of DJ’s big and small and vinyl collectors that can directly credit the contents of their personal collections to Gunn’s work at Play De is literally too long to mention and should not be overlooked in the overall history of the Toronto scene.
Frankie Gunn‘s own journey as a DJ has earned him a cut in stone reputation as a go to for flawless good taste in both the newest freshest cuts and the most essential gems from the past. With one of the most impressive personal record collections in the country, his popularity as an “Old School” Jungle DJ has never waned after leaving Play De Record, and while he has slowed down his gigs of late Gunn’s recent addition to the Radio Frontline roster has fans of his impeccable selections waiting patiently for each new show he broadcasts. We are very happy to get a special mix of timeless 94 era Jungle music touching on some of the true gems of that period from a man whose knowledge of and passion for that sound is truly second to none. Watch for more exclusive Channel One content from the wiley veteran as we move forward also.