2011 was a year that saw DFE continue to chart new territory. The first significant event was the Time and Space tour in Feb 2011, which saw us go west of Calgary to Canmore, Jasper, Salmon Arm, Pemberton, Kamloops , Vancouver, Cumberland, Nanaimo, Penticton and Fernie. The tour was named after DJ Cosm's Time and Space album, which didn't come out officially until April. To hype up the tour we released a Dragon Fli Empire digital compilation called the Time and Space Tour Mixtape which got us some love in the blogosphere and over 700 downloads. Alongside our homie DJ Swann, we had a successful tour with good crowds at each show and some amazing opening acts. Evil Ebenezer, Indelible and Merk Mikz joined us for the first four gigs and it was great to build with them. Some standout shows were Salmon Arm, Pemberton, Vancouver, Cumberland and Fernie.
Next up was the official release of the actual Time and Space album, which was able to reach #1 on the Canadian campus radio charts and #5 on the US-based CMJ campus radio charts alongside some very established names like the Beastie Boys, Atmosphere and Del the Funky Homosapien. The album featured Cosm's beats and cuts along with some amazing emcees including Prince Po, Ghettosocks, Raashan Ahmad, Moka Only, Craig G, Qwaazar, Odario and Miles Jones as well as Alberta-based artists like KLH Ali, Metawon, DJ Nato, Rasul Syed, Cam the Wizzard, Teekay, Touch and KazMega. An amazing video was shot by Colin Hart for the KazMega collaboration "Cosm Mega" and the album was voted by the Calgary Herald as one of the Top 5 Calgary albums (of any genre) for 2011. To celebrate the release in Alberta, there were two release parties in Calgary and Edmonton featuring many of the local acts who appeared on the album. Another video (for "Beyond the Horizon") was filmed and will release in 2012.
In the Spring, we did a small 4-date tour with one of Western Canada's most respected emcees, Birdapres. That tour took us through Canmore, Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatoon. Immediately following that we had the opportunity to go to Europe for the first time, and ended up playing 10 shows in France, Switzerland and Germany. The cities we hit up included Paris, Strasbourg, Chambery and Lyon in France; Frankfurt, Kassel and Erfurt in Germany; and Basel and Biel/Bienne in Switzerland. We received an amazing reaction and met a ton of amazing people. We had such a great time that we'll be going back for a second tour in February 2012.
Another longtime goal we had was to play at Shambhala, a huge electronic music festival that takes place on a ranch near Salmo, BC every year. We were able to rock for over 2000 people at the Village stage and build with some other amazing artists in the Canadian hip hop scene. We played a few other festivals this past year as well, including EdFest in Kananaskis, ScreamFest in Calgary and Edmonton and New Music West in Edmonton. Other highlights in 2011 included several gigs with live funk band Freak Motif and opening for Onyx, Bedouin Soundclash and Blue King Brown. DFE also took part in KRS One's debut performance in Calgary, with Teekay appearing in the opening MC cypher and DJ Cosm backing up KRS.
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