WE <3 PK SOUND!

Hearing the name ‘PK’ brings vivid memories to mind for many of us. The festivals, clubs, pubs, and house parties we’ve managed to squeeze a couple of bins into. The exhilaration of driving to your first music festival of the summer, seeing the truck on the road bearing those familiar letters, remembering where you’re going is real. Whether you’re hearing your favourite artist in a new way, or hearing a new favourite artist for the first time, PK can make all the difference. Their commitment to new technology, dedication to their work, and the talent and high level of craftsmanship combine to create a difference every person can feel. All of my best experiences listening to music have one simple thing in common: they were powered by PK Sound.

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That’s a common story for a lot of people in my city. The sound that the speakers produce has brought about a unique following, but the community did not grow up around speakers alone. I live in Calgary, where PK Sound had their first office. Here, it has become an expectation that their speakers are at our shows. To not use a PK rig in Calgary is something many attendees will notice with disappointed eyes (and ears). The company began with people who loved the music scene they’ve now spent their lives nurturing, and it thrives thanks to what they provide not only as a speaker manufacturer, but as a promotions company and crew of talented artists. At Shambhala Music Festival they give us the Village stage, a place people dream about for 51 weeks a year, as well as injecting their sound into the Pagoda, Ampitheatre, Fractal Forest, and Living Room stages.

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As the company has expanded, our scenes and communities have grown and evolved to new heights, and become more interconnected along the way. PK is an inspiration and a true success story in our counter-culture; it was created at Shambhala, officially becoming a company in 2005. Since then they have accumulated handfuls of awards, and are nominated for ‘Best Manufacturer of the Year’ at the 30th Annual International Dance Music Awards. Additionally, they’ve spread their brand by opening new offices in Victoria and San Francisco, and have sent speakers as far as Costa Rica. In contrast to the international acclaim that they are gaining, president Jeremy Bridge views their greatest success as their ability “to create a great company where people love what they do every day and go to work feeling like they made a difference.” The community is what PK grew from, and they have never forgotten that – in fact, they keep it at the forefront of their company.

Growth has always been our biggest challenge. We want to grow but we also want to ensure we keep our core values,  without sacrificing what we have built in the name of the almighty dollar.  We’re part of a unique culture, a community and a movement with deep respect for everyone who has contributed to its growth, and ours. That means we have a responsibility to the growth and prosperity of everyone involved, and we feel that every day – we don’t want to leave that in the dust. The reality is, PK is a business and it needs to make money in order to support our people, and the families, that make up our business. However, money is not the focus. Good people, good products and even better customer service are our top priority and we feel that in the long term this is what matters.” – Jeremy Bridge | President (PK Sound)

Many people can pinpoint the first time they heard PK, and the brand is something that people follow and respect. I remember the first time they loaded our tiny community hall rave up with PK and blew us away. On another beautifully mind-bending night at the Village in 2010, my eyes grew misty during one of Nero’s more emotional songs as I marvelled at the pure clarity of the sound. Even injecting a house party with PK Sound gives it the extra oomph to make it a night still talked about years later. PK Sound is more than a speaker manufacturer – they’re one of the major arteries of our community. They’ve always had a visible presence at our biggest events, and it’s not just the PK logo on the bass-bins melting your face that I’m referring to. Besides being the sound behind the music, several PK members are also wicked DJs in their own right, with Subvert, FAT PAT, DJ Anger, and the Spiral Architects among their ranks. Days are spent building and maintaining speakers. Weekends consist of loading in, teching shows for hours, then loading out. Always working on newer and better designs to improve their product further. Months of touring with their rigs for the biggest names in the business – and it’s only one side of what the PK crew does for the scene. As a symbol of high quality production, they became an avenue for promotions companies and festivals to network and flourish. They provide a path for starting artists and create new opportunities for more established professionals, whether they are DJs, producers, dancers, painters, light and visual creatives, or just someone who wants to help with the world they’ve seen through the rabbit hole.

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The effort is tireless, but most of all, their intentions have always been true. Lives have been touched by the influence of this company, and PK has grown to involve more than the owners, or their employees – it has grown into a vast network of people connected by a love of music that will never sound quite as good on any other set of speakers.

                  PK, WE ❤ YOU!

 It’s been incredible to watch PK grow from a “passion project” into the wildly successful electronic music industry giant it is today. The Shambhala crew have always been do-it-yourselfers… We’re masters at unconventional solutions built specifically for our venue. So when PK started building speakers, it was just a natural fit with us, and their stage. In those early years, PK Sound was a very BC/AB-specific thing, but those in the know (Shambhala-goers) couldn’t get enough. Now it’s an International name, and we couldn’t be happier for their success.” Britz Robins {Shambhala Music Festival} | Social Media Guru/Rave Mom 

“I feel like one cannot truly understand the sheer power of bass music until they have immersed themselves in the cocoon of bass enveloping the air itself at Shambhala. From five directions, with more diversity than the wind, PK bins emanate bass with a force and depth that causes every single atom on the farm to spin and shake loose its earthen frailty. The hidden potential of the molecular structure of all living things seems to be shaken free by the zenith of this bass bubble, as one is joyously forced to live, for a few days at least, closer to their true nature as an interwoven tapestry of vibrating particles held together by laws and belief. Despite this onslaught that spins every proton and neutron on the farm in all possible directions, you can and will have some of the clearest, most enlightening conversations of your life, a testament to the mixing skill of PK’s best techs. They are the technical foundation for the transcendental culture.” – Jim Vanderhost | Videographer (Rebel Cause Films)

PK is awesome because music plays the way its meant to be heard. It takes control of your body fusing you to the beat of the sound; magnified and intensified like two atoms vibrating around one another attracted like protons and electrons. An electric charge within and around you. We are made up of atoms and when that low frequency bass hits we become awesome. We are atomic!” – Tristan Lopez | Music Enthusiast

“I think the main reason that I love PK (beyond the excellent sound quality) is their commitment to being part of a community. Being so heavily involved in local events has kind of made them a part of the scenery in Calgary in a way I’ve not seen any other sound company even come close to. The dominance they’ve got over the music scene here (always seeing PK sound at the big DNB and dubstep shows, etc.) is really just a result of them really caring about creating a good experience for the people that use/experience their services and that’s something that I respect a lot about them.” – Logan Knoll {Logo} | DJ (403DNB)

“One of my most life marking moments was the first time I experienced a song of mine live on a PK rig. I check the sound of my new material on different systems, but the ultimate deciding factor has become its quest out of those PK speakers. In those glorious moments I have frequently run in with the question “DID I ACTUALLY WRITE THIS?!”. The clarity, the movement, the size of the sound, and the feeling of swimming in a pool of frequencies is something truly hard to beat.” KousK | Producer/Performer (BassBus)

“We are so very lucky to have access to PK sound right here at home; in Calgary. Growing up in the electronic music scene in Calgary, you become accustomed to a certain kind of “sound”. It’s heavy. It’s deep. It’s infectious. It’s like a virus that no medication can help you kick. One particular experience I can recall is driving out to Edmonton for the very first Act A Fool show in Edmonton in 2011. My fiancee and I were standing outside waiting in line when we were approached by another group of people asking where we were from. When we answered with, “we’re from Calgary,” they responded with a quick, “wow, you guys really like your bass music out there, huh?” I believe that having PK in our home has brought is this particular reputation. We have become known for our scene and the sound that we enjoy and bring. And with easy access to rentals and friendly, easy to connect with staff, it makes it all the easier to share the gift of sound with the rest of the community. I’ll never forget Lightning In A Bottle in California, 2013, when we realized that the main stage had its sound provided by PK. To see how the brand and the sound itself has expanded absolutely blew my mind. The sheer size of the rig that they brought for the main stage – a massive field that was driven by what must have been around 18 bins and other additional tops halfway back through the field – was absolutely mind blowing. It was also so very humbling to realize that the very sound was coming from our home turf… Bringing massive bass to the American west coast. Thank you, PK, for your drive to continue to kick constant ass.” Kali Yuga | DJ/Promoter (The Genesa Series)

“PK gave people I genuinely love a central hub to meet, converse, and dance together. It is a louder and more clear way to celebrate life that many of us strive for. During the day many of us work and pursue lives that seem normal but when something is hot on PK it makes you feel like jumping out of your skin in the best kind of way, and from seeing 10 people getting down to seeing 10,000 people get down it lets us know that there is power and comfort in numbers.” – Kelly Johnston | Music Enthusiast (Symbiotic Sound)

My first encounter with PK Sound and bass music was at Shambhala Music Festival in 2008, and within seconds it had completely changed my life. I can remember the first time I saw, heard and felt the infamous ‘sub wall’ like it was yesterday, I had never seen any thing like it before. After spending the entire weekend in “The Village” I headed home with my head still bobbing, ready to get to work. Once I fully recovered from the festival shenanigans I was in need of more PK Sound so I reached out to the hometown heroes at The Supreme Hustle and quickly found out about their monthly events at What About Bob’s. To this day these events are still some of the most absolute best times I have ever had. Once you got into the doors entering the building you were greeted by a massive cloud of fog that was created from all of the heat and sweat from people dancing their night away. This for me was the beginning of an amazing relationship with bass music and PK Sound. After DJ’ing for only a short time The Supreme Hustle team welcomed me with open arms. We started our weekly events at venues such as The Distillery and Dickens Pub which quickly grew into something bigger then we ever thought imaginable. These were truly the testing grounds where every week we tried to push the limits. At our infamous Bass Face series we caused structural damage to the building and rattled off thousands of dollars worth of liquor from the bar all caused by the massive thump of PK sound. As the scene was growing at a rate that no one had ever seen before PK sound was truly the concrete that held us together. It has truly been a pleasure to have worked with this company for years and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for all of us in the many years to come.– Dave Larose {LA Rose} | DJ {The Supreme Hustle)

“So back in the day when I first started hosting and promoting events, I got to know the guys from the PK crew. They always hugely supported what we were doing and did everything they could to help lead us in the right direction. After years of working with them on my own events and on the village stage, i have grown a strong respect for all of the members involved. What they have taught me over the years has helped me to establish my company and reputation in the scene. Much love and big ups for PK.” – Devon Francis {Philthy Eradik} | DJ/Promoter (Philthy City/Audio Empire)

“This year at Shambhala I had the most amazing experience of my life getting in two days early. I was there for the new Trinity line sound check, which was the highlight of my summer. It has been an unforgettable journey and I am still currently chasing my dream to hopefully be a sound tech someday – this company changed my life and without Shambhala I would of never found myself. I never knew who I was on a deeper level until I had found it within myself there. I have nothing but love for these people and gratitude which I can’t even fully express.” – Nathan Pell-Sutton | Music Enthusiast

Why do YOU ❤ PK Sound?

If you have some love to throw back at them, leave your stories, experiences, and tales in the comments below.

Words by Kiddo

Photos by Novus Photography

 

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