|Stuart Li aka Basic Soul Unit was born in Hong Kong, China and raised in Toronto, Canada. His interest in club music started as a teenager in the late 80’s listening to Toronto’s independent radio stations and hanging out in the multicultural city’s thriving after hours warehouse parties where DJs were playing New York, Chicago and Detroit based house music. Working at Cosmos Records store during the late 90’s led Stuart to dig further into disco, jazz, soul, funk, Latin, Brazilian.
During the late 90’s, Stuart started Djing various musical styles at various lounges, bars and clubs in Toronto. With this wide spectrum of interest in music, Stuart’s strength as a DJ is his versatility. Depending on the night and the crowd, he can throw down Detroit influenced techno, Jacking Chicago style sounds, Soulful NYC house, minimal European tracks, disco, jazz, funk, Latin, Brazilian, broken beat and sometimes even a combination of all these. Currently, Stuart is resident (alongside Patrick Paredes & Jason Ulrich) at the house & techno based Vintage! Saturday nights at TOI Bar in Toronto, as well as a jazz, funk & crossover monthly event called Footprints (with Jason Palma & General Eclectic). His travels have taken him to various spots like Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, San Francisco, Frankfurt and Montreal.
Stuart started producing as Basic Soul Unit in 2003 with his first song Basic Soul on Toronto’s Iwanai Music. As with his Djing style, Stuart’s music can swing from lush and soulful Detroit inspired numbers to jacking minimal beats (all with hints of above aforementioned influences). Subsequently he has released music on Left Of The Dial (Canada), Versatile Records (France), Mule Electronic (Japan) and his music has been
included on a compilation from Compost Records (Germany). Basic Soul Unit has been getting played and charted across a spectrum of music enthusiasts from the nujazz and broken beat crowd to deep house heads and techno aficionados from the likes of Ame, Deetron, The Get Physical camp (M.a.n.d.y. included ‘Ascend
Into The Night’ on a BBC Essential Mix), Fabrice Lig to Jazzanova.
There’s much more yet to come from Basic Soul Unit. Stuart (along with good friend and DJ cohort Jason Ulrich) will be heading the re-launch of Left Of The Dial Recordings (a sub label of John Kong’s Do Right! imprint) in charge of A&R and Creative direction. Besides being a base for his own releases, the label will also feature local and international talent known and unknown (with the first release coming from Detroit Stalwart Alton Miller). Stuart has also completed new music for Hieroglyphic Being’s Mathematics, Still Music, Third Ear, more music for Mule & of course, LOTD.