Coming off of releases on U.S.V and Midnight City Recordings along with a forthcoming slated on Dubtribu Records, Krease has been making quite the name for himself thus far in 2013. Following up his recent 4D exclusive - “Soundboy Plate” remixes - the Under Surveillance head honcho has offered up this weighty recipe of big-name tunes and dubplate tricks - all for the ears of the 4D fam… @krease
Tracklist- - Karnage & Mark IV - Pulse (Annihilate Audio) - Krease - Eastern Trip (Forthcoming Dubtribu Records) - Youngsta & Seven - Masia Mara VIP (Uprise Audio) - Digid - Strike Back (FKOF Freebie) - LX One - You VIP (Wheel & Deal REcords) - Krease - Quarantine (Forthcoming Annihilate Audio) - Jubei & J Kenzo - Visions (Metalheadz) - Krease - Source Kode (4D Exclusive) - Eugh & Khafu - Life or Death (Dubtribu Freebie) - Dj Madd - Follow Dub (Roots and Future) - Karnage & Mark IV - The Vault (Annihilate Audio) - LX One - Why (Wheel & Deal) - Matt u - Danger (krease remix) - Krease - Krypton (DUB) - Step A Side & Eese - Long Range (Annihilate Audio) - Truth - Surveillance Society (Freebie) - HAACK - Vicious (Freebie) - Dead Noise System - Skull & Bones (Freebie) - Krease - A New God (Forthcoming Dubtribu Records) - Outbound - Biotic (DUB) - Krease - Demons (DUB) - Krease - Untitled (DUB)
Before Max left Ron and myself in charge of the ship, he told us about his plans to bring all of the 4D supporters a special feature when the mix series hit #050. Well, that day has come and we’ve sorted something that we are proud to share with all of you. We had the opportunity to feature Boston-based producer and DJ Prism on the mix and he also offered us a glimpse into the life and inspiration behind the music. Going into our chat, I didn’t know much about the man himself beyond his impressive catalogue, including his work on DJ Chef’s Sub Freq, TUBA, and forthcoming release on Subaltern. I can say, however, that our chat ended up being one of the most enjoyable experiences I have had since becoming involved with music. Without further ado…
D» Tell us a bit about Prism and what you’re up to these days.
P» Prism is about removing yourself from the equation. Recognizing that everything we see, hear, touch & experience affects our creative output, we have to realize our place in this process. And from my experience… we’re the prism directing the light in a new direction.
And as of late… I’ve been being; making music, DJing shows, creating art, writing for my next music video for the next vinyl release out at the end of summer. Can’t forget to mention spending a lot of time in nature.
D» That’s pretty deep, the fact that your alias is more than just a name to you. Following that mindset and your mention of nature, is there one particular aspect of life that you find is most inspirational to your creativity?
P» Mind you, I’m sitting in a Chinese Fringe Tree as I write this… The answer would have to be “experience.” Life itself as it would seem is my greatest inspiration. I take from events, music, movies & other art I come across in order to create new projects.
I may read a book & write down key phrases. Then later, I’ll get inspired by a picture relating to those phrases and manipulate it into something completely different but still retaining it’s same essence. The visual art will compel me to write music to accompany the message & this in turn will cause me to remember a movie line to sample, tying it all together for the listener. After the song is complete, writing a music video tends to be very easy given all the influence the process has had.
Luckily, this process is very loose & any one medium can spark a tune idea. Imagine writing a music video for a Dubstep tune with no inkling of meaning? That’s why you don’t see that many music videos in the Dubstep scene. This process lets me be free to explore all sorts of topics & story lines.
D» You know, I’m starting to see where all of the depth and subtle evolution within your tunes is rooted. Your perspective on art and creativity is quite intriguing, especially the layer you’ve added to your productions with music videos. I’m curious about how you develop those ideas; do you go into a tune trying to depict a certain storyline for a video or is it more of a post-production interpretation of which path you ended up taking?
P» It definitely depends on the ambiguity of the tune. The more event based a tune’s meaning is the easier it is to adapt the story to film. However, if a tune was built around a concept- like my next release on Subaltern “Biodigital Jazz”- the more free we are in creating a story. So there is certainly a bit of both methods that you described.
D» Tell us a little bit about how your work has evolved. Did your interest and success within production lead to experimenting with visual medium? Or was there always a broad creative interest waiting to be fused?
P» I feel what we do in life is partially based on experience and how we’re wired (our genes/DNA). I think I was born to do what I’m doing but I will say that when I was young someone introduced me to Transworld Skateboarding’s Modus Operandi which not only influenced me musically but also in film making. Transworld always tends to do artsy montages and that always stuck with me.
D» Just from taking a quick listen through the Modus Operandi soundtrack, I get the sense of a pretty wide variety of musical influence, ranging from urban underground, hip-hop and DnB. How did your discovery of these grittier sounds lead to exploring deep bass and UK influenced dance music?
P» Don’t forget some really great Indie Rock… But like you mentioned through that video and others I was exposed to artists like Orbital, Massive Attack, BT and so on. At the same time (around the age of 12/13) someone introduced me to Goldie, I saw the video for Firestarter on MTV & I was given a computer to keep me in the house and out of harm’s way because I grew up in a dangerous area. Luckily that gift quickly opened my eyes to programs like Photoshop & Napster and the rest is history!
D» Being from Boston, what are your feelings on the momentum the underground bass scene is currently experiencing in the states? It seems there are a lot of emerging producers and labels pushing a quality sound from both coasts so far this year.
P» I can only speak on what I’ve seen and heard… which in terms of America as a whole is not a lot.
Being a part of Tuba has given me access to a lot of upcoming US artists I might not have heard of before & as a label I think they’re doing a great job linking the US with the UK. Subtle Mind, Eshone, AxH, Moldy & the one I probably look up to the most, DJG [Grenier].
For me, DJG is the best role model for someone wanting to make an impact over in the UK as an American producer. He was there first, really nice guy & the main component for me is the great melodies in his dancefloor driven music.
It is no doubt growing exponentially. The amount of UK artists touring over here seems a lot higher than I’ve ever experienced & parties like Reconstrvct are proof of a loving, engaged & dedicated scene.
D» Yes, as far as Tuba goes you guys are doing a lot to push the sound on the east coast. I would agree with you on DJG; he’s been doing it the right way, yet somehow still flies under the radar for a lot of people.
As far as Reconstrvct goes, I’ve heard multiple accounts that you destroyed it behind the decks at last year’s party (as well as Descent this year). So this one is going to be a two part-er: First, for those of us who missed out can you give us a little taste of Reconstrvct in a nutshell? Second, how do you approach your mixes and sets as a DJ?
P» To keep it short and sweet… Reconstrvct is literally a loving family of die-hard fans that want nothing but the top tier of talented producers to listen to and enjoy the night with. People pitch in and help clean the venues when it’s 7AM and the sun is shining, you don’t see that often. I call THAT Love!
I approach DJing a bit different than what people might think when they hear my music. Most of the time people assume I’m just going to play incredibly jazzy tunes all night. The reality is that I’ve grown up listening to so much different music & I’ve always been a proponent of “listening to one sound or genre for an extended period of time gets boring.” No matter what, hearing the same deep, dark, dungeon sounds for hours is not my idea of a good time. But at the same time I don’t play out the way my home library does… on shuffle, all over the place. I love to take the audience on journeys and go through stages and tend to play some 160 at the end of my sets. I can’t escape my influences and wouldn’t have it any other way.
Funny story about that Reconstrvct show…. I lived with Wheez-ie for about a year and was during the time of the show. I learned everything I know from him & he learned everything he knows from watching Joe Nice back in the Dub War days (ask Joe, Wheez-ie is now one of HIS favorite DJs). See, Wheez-ie reminds me of Miles Davis. He doesn’t take shit from no one, he speaks his mind and has the talent to back it up. So anyways, I get off stage and go through the crowd and everyone’s giving me props and congratulating me on my set. So I finally get through the crowd and there’s Wheez-ie… standing with his arms crossed & I go up to him and say “How was it?” and he just looks at me and says, “We’ll talk….” He knows my playing so well that he could pick out little things that no one else would’ve noticed and he gave it to me straight. I think everyone needs people like that in their corner, being completely honest. It helps you grow & we all need to grow as artists. Who wants to end up like The Rolling Stones or Aerosmith?
D» Alongside Wheez-ie and Joe Nice, whom you just mentioned, are there any other artists (both in and outside of the bass music spectrum) that have had a particular impact on the musical journey you’ve traveled so far?
P» A lot of people that are familiar with my music tend to have some sort of idea what has influenced me musically over the years so I’ll mention them but really, I want to take this opportunity to speak on some artists that people might not have known affected me just as much.
Goldie, Pat Metheny, Robert Glasper, Miles Davis, Dillinja, Cultura Profética, DJ Spinna, Rammstein, Weather Report, John Trudell, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Tool, Beres Hammond, Jean-Luc Ponty, Space Dimension Controller, Slipknot, No Doubt, Johnny Guitar Watson, Nancy Ajram, J Majik, Mala, Sigur Rós, HIM, The Birthday Massacre, 4hero, Mobb Deep, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Dennis Brown, Children of Bodom, Orbital, BT, Suede, Buena Vista Social Club & a million others!
Prism - “Obsidian Orange”
D» There’s a few in there I would have suspected (Goldie, Miles Davis, Mala..), however there are also some surprises on that list. Having listened to my fair share of Rammstein, I can say that it’s pretty cool you’ve drawn inspiration from all sorts of places, including those styles that don’t necessarily resemble your output.
P» For sure, there’s always more to an artist than their musical output. The way they market themselves [or how they don’t], their in-sleeve/cover art, music videos, live performances & so on. Even their personal upbringing can inspire me, especially if we experienced similar things…
D» Now for the final question, have to give Ron (Echomaker) credit for coming up with this one as it is definitely a bit of a thinker. If the world were to lose all electricity tomorrow, would you continue to make music and how would you do so?
P» Luckily for me, I’ve played the drums and piano for most of my life & the part that I didn’t I spent thinking about playing those instruments. I recently also started getting into teaching myself guitar because a new roommate moved in and had about 7 different acoustic guitars and basses hanging on his wall. I also think something like that would push me into learning how to play the trumpet & the saxophone much sooner than I already intended.
But most importantly I think the best thing to take from an occurrence like that is that we’d see who was in it for the fame and who was in it for the love. Without electricity there would be no internet, radio & other forms of communication so getting your music out to the masses would be nearly impossible & I know for a fact that I will never stop writing music, with or without electricity.
D» I agree with that, it would be interesting to see how music would evolve if only the most passionate of artists were left to lead the way. It speaks a lot about your passion and skill that you’ve been able to be so successful on different mediums of expression, whether via instruments, software, video, etc.
It’s been a pleasure chatting with you and getting to know you a bit. All of the 4D family really appreciates you taking the time to do so and supply us with the mix! I’ll leave the floor to you now in case there are any up and coming artists or forthcoming bits that we should keep an eye out for.
P» It was my pleasure! As for up and comers… not really my strong point but my next record coming out on Subaltern features Valor & remixes by Gantz & both those cats are on different planets! That’s all I can say. PEACE!!!
4D Mix Series #050 - Prism
Tracklist - - Miles Davis/Marcus Miller - Lost In Madrid Part IV/Rat Dance [Warner Bros.] - Prism & Valor - Biodigital Jazz (Gantz Remix) [Forthcoming Subaltern] - Quest - Visitors [Dub] - Prism - Ocean of Wisdom (RDG Remix) [Dub] - Wheez-ie - Stone Cold [Dub] - Cessman - Gurkha VIP [Dub] - Gantz & El Mahdy Jr - Exile [Dub] - Nancy Ajram - Taala Ya [Megastar] - Prism - Ghost Hawk [Forthcoming Subaltern] - RDG - Ancient Dungeon [Hedmuk Free Download] - Valor - Frank Jaeger [Dub] - Subtle Mind - 52nd Street (Feat. Tony Sangiacomo) [Dub] - Eshone - Flight [Elk Beats] - Peek - Silk [Prism’s Stuck In ‘95 Remix] [Forthcoming Dubs Alive] - DJ Rashad - Do It Again (Ft. DJ Spinn & DJ Manny) [???] - Wheez-ie - OG Deth [Dub] - DJ Rashad - Somethin ‘Bout The Things U Do (Ft. Gant-Man) [Forthcoming Southern Belle Recordings] - Goldie - Digital (VIP Mix) [FFRR] - Rufige Kru - Beachdrifta [Metalheadz]
4Dcast #004: Mortal Grey - Phantom Hertz Recordings Special
It’s been too long since the last 4Dcast, and after the success of their most recent compilation (‘The Deep End Vol. 1’) to mark the beginning of a new catalog series of deeper releases, I thought it was only right to get Phantom Hertz (and more recently Gradient Audio) bossman Mortal Grey on #004…
D» Easy Christian! To get things rolling: introduce us to Mortal Grey - tell us a bit about yourself…
MG» Cheers Max, thanks for having me. My name is Christian Mount, aka Mortal Grey. I’ve been involved in electronic music for about 12 years starting as a promoter, DJ, producer, and eventually a label owner, which is what I focus most of my free time on now. I also host a weekly radio show every Saturday at 11:30 a.m. PST (7:30 p.m. GMT) on Dubstep FM.
D» How did you first get into the deeper side of the dubstep world? Who were your first inspirations?
MG» When I first got into the sound, it was 2006, and the majority of dubstep around at the time would be considered by most people today to be of the ‘deeper’ or at least more minimal variety. Sometimes I miss those days, when people would say that the music I was playing was ‘too slow’ or ‘too minimal’ to dance to, haha. Brostep was not around yet, 2-step and garage were clearly the foundation of and inspiration for the sound. Labels like DMZ, Tempa, Planet Mu, Tectonic, Narco Hz, Hot Flush etc. were what I was filling my crates with.
I would say that my favorite producers from those days were Scuba, Pinch, Luke Envoy, Skream, Goth-Trad, Loefah, Distance and Boxcutter.
I will admit, I did get caught up a bit in the more aggressive style of dubstep that soon followed, but it didn’t take long for me to grow tired of most of the stuff coming out. Perhaps that was due to the oversaturation and commercialization of the sound, or maybe I’m just getting old. I feel that I’ve come full circle in a way, finding myself drawn almost exclusively to the deeper, darker side of electronic music being produced these days.
D» When did you first try your hand at production/DJing? What got you into it?
MG» In 2000 I was working as a doorman in a night club in Flagstaff, Arizona. I became close friends with the resident DJs, and that’s when I began learning how to mix. I started off playing a bit of everything, mostly records that friends handed down to me, or that I bought used - house, trance, drum ‘n bass, techno - whatever I could get my hands on. However, I soon began focusing on the darker side of breakbeats; primarily electro, acid and nu skool breaks. I guess the transition from that to dubstep was a pretty natural one for me.
D» Most people reading this will know about your label ‘Phantom Hertz Recordings’, but for those who don’t – explain how it all started and the concept behind the imprint…
MG» The concept of the label has evolved quite a bit from it’s original intent. A few friends and I started it out primarily as an outlet for our own music and as a home for other lesser known artists. It’s original mission and subsequent releases weren’t genre or tempo specific - it really didn’t have a structure or direction at it’s onset. However, as time went on, I began to get consumed with it’s operation and it became more focused. Last year, I took over full ownership of the label and began to change the structure, the sound and the direction of the imprint to what I consider to be a more cohesive format, and one that I feel will stand the test of time.
D» You’ve recently started up a new catalog of releases specifically focusing on the deeper end of the dubstep scale, kicking things off with a big compilation featuring the talents of Mishva, Darj and INFRA (to name a few) – what can we expect to see in the near future? Any exciting releases you can share with us apart from Mishva’s mammoth PHz EP debut?
MG» Mishva's is a big one, and that one drops on June 3rd [Soundboy - PH002]. After that I have a release scheduled with a returning artist: Christopher Yikes [Dimensions EP - PH003]. Then I have the pleasure of introducing a new member to the world: Fabricator, who I think will be turning heads immediately. Both of those releases are set to come out this summer. Next up is a three track EP from Red Eyes, including a collaboration with ARtroniks. I’m also in talks with a few other producers, but don’t want to announce anything prematurely.
D»> You also recently took over Gradient Audio: how are you finding things with them? Is it hard to maintain two successful labels?
MG» It is a challenge - between working over full time at my ‘normal' job and running both labels, I don't really have a lot of free time. It can be difficult to maintain a balance, but at the same time it's very rewarding. I do feel that taking over Gradient Audio came at a perfect time for me, though. While Phantom Hertz is now focused more on a particular sound, running Gradient allows me the opportunity to support forward thinking music with no genre limitations. It has a solid group of talented artists already on the roster, and a strong back catalog. I was always a fan of what B1t Crunch3r had done with that label, and was honored he asked me to take the helm so he could have time to focus on other projects. He did stay on with Gradient though as the director of A&R.
D» Who would you say your top 5 favourite producers are at the moment? Any that we should take note of that might be rising up the ranks in the near future?
MG» There’s so many producers that I enjoy, it’s hard to narrow them down to five. Maybe these are given, but I would say Biome, Kahn, J:Kenzo, Kryptic Minds and Distance are pretty much instant bags for me.
For producers to look out for in 2013 and beyond, my obviously biased answers would be Anthologic, Darj, INFRA, Mishva, Lysergene, Feonix and Fabricator.
D» What are your top 5 most favourite/precious records you own?
MG» That’s actually a bit of a tough question, as I’ve had nearly two full crates of dubstep records stolen from me in the past. I’ve lost DMZ001, DMZ002, Hot Flush 001, Luke Envoy ‘Gamma' / ’Honour Kill' (if I could have one back, that would be it) etc. etc. The records that have made it to 2013 are all very special to me, but some gems include the Mary Anne Hobbs ‘Warrior Dubs' LP set, DMZ003, DMZ005, Scuba 004 from Gravious, Forensix ’1st Dynasty' / 'Solace' on Mechanoise, Ringo Records 002 with Distance & Skream, and a few of the earlier Skull Disco plates. Not to mention quite a few classic Nu Skool and Acid breaks from around 2000 - 2006.
D» Finally; any shoutouts?
MG» First to my Dad - TK - who runs TKM Audio where I get most of the mastering done for Phantom Hertz. Second, a shout to Forensics, who was instrumental in facilitating the shift to the deeper side of things as director of A&R for the label. Lastly to my friends Broke-N, B1t Crunch3r, to my very supportive and understanding girlfriend Jacqueline, and of course to all of the artists on the label and to all the fans supporting the music!
Thanks Max, and big ups for all that you do! I look forward to getting your next release out on Gradient, I think it is going to be very well received!
It’s been a while since the last DDDD mix special of the series, and after hearing London based Chubba's forthcoming release on long-time favourite Odea Records, I thought it was about right I got him on the guest spot - so here it is!! 30min long - switching it up a little..