A1 BASSLINE interview

nicked from pelski:

Hello Mr Bassline, just to familiarize those few readers who don’t know your music, how would you describe your sound/style?

Hey, it’s a blend between house and garage but with some small influences of drum and bass.

Do you see yourself as part of a London bassline scene, or do you feel your Djing and productions reach further than that? Your mixes tend to fuse tonnes of dance genres.

Nah not really, I try not to associate myself too much with one style but always try and get my tunes to sound like me. But yeah I like to play alot of different genres out but still with in context with each other.

I would say, for some, you make the harsher, cheesier sounds of bassline somewhat more accessible. Especially in terms of pure dirty dancefloor force. Did you set out to do this?

To Be honest I didn’t really set out for anything, I wrote girl thing last year and had a few other tracks which were just sitting there and decided to make a myspace and send out a few tunes to blogs.

Bassline was born in Sheffield, do you see a big difference between the Northern and Southern UK scenes?

When you say that, you mean like from the club niche? Well, yeah, I guess people from the north say it’s their sound. But I have been listening to garage since I was a kid and yeah I think there is a gap now between bassline and grime as north to south goes.

Where do you most enjoy playing?

I don’ really have a favorite places, as long as the people there mental and the sound system is good im happy. I do like playing in L.A or over them ends because its always so hot and I hate being cold. Also any clubs you can smoke in is a YES!

The likes of yourself, Dexplicit and Pirate Soundsystem are really pushing the envelope in terms of blurring the boundaries between bassline and electro. Are there any other UK artists honing this new brand of garage that we should know about?

Yeah people like heavy feet, some Andy George beats, Boabinga I guess have this electro, garage feel. I guess now when writing i just tend to write house music with the influence of garage/bassline music.

You hear alot of whining that bassline, 2-step and garage aren’t what they used to be; that they’ve been changed, commercialized. Do you miss the “good ol’ days”?

haha what about dj luck and mc neat? Yeah you got the classics from back in the day but i can remember since i started listening to garage alot of tracks where kinda commercial anyways. I think its kinda good now how more people are writing with these kinda sounds, its what I like and I can get down to in a club hahahah.

Did you go to Ayia Napa when you were younger?

Nah i was always too skint, i got on my first plane when I done my first gig abroad a year or so ago. I did manage to go to places like one nation though ha.

Speaking of the good ol’ days, DJing’s changing too. Laptops vs old school decks. Do you think it matters that people are using laptops to play DJ sets? Are they cheating or just pushing the medium forward?

Hmm… it’s hard to say, only ever used to play off records and was anti CD, but now CD decks are much better and its rare ill play off 12″s. Its a touchy subject.

Yeah, I personally think those who hate on laptop DJs are just snobs. Fair enough, they’ve taken the time to master the ins-and-out of decks, perhaps painstakingly, but laptops produce storming sets.

Yeah I hear you on that, but I have heard some awful sets, some “djs” getting the whole set off blogs ad myspace rips, getting a laptop and even doing bad mixing on a laptop. As long as it sounds good i don’t really care though, it’s all about the beats! Although vinyl sounds better than cds!

Do you have preferred software for your live sets?

If I were to play live its hard seeing everything I do is pre done in the studio, but Abelton live is really good.

Big things are happening for you right now, following the huge release of Girl Thing. I see it’s even caught the attention of the NME offices (as well as rave reviews in DJ and Mixmag)! Has this sudden popularity caught you off guard?

Thanks, yeah, alot has happened over the last year and im happy how things have turned out. Has caught me a little by surprise!

Safi’s vocals feature on both ‘Girl Thing’ and ‘My Baby’ – she was only 15 at the time. What’s the story there?

Yeah, I think I went to a local festival with my manager and we picked her out when she was playing. We ended up meeting up and doing a RnB/Hip Hop tune. About a year later or so I was writing the instrumental for ‘Girl Thing’ and needed a vocal, I decided to get the accapella of that song and stick it on top and it worked perfect.

Your music isn’t just bassline house, it crosses over into a handful of other electronic genres. What do you make of this new ‘Fidget House’ genre. Is it really a genre? And is it possibly getting a little stale now, or are there enough people pushing it forward?

Ha im not to sure if it really counts as a genre, i thik the real fidget stuff is like early switch and jesse rose stuff but i think the term got out of hand, just like new rave ha. But yeah the stuff I write doesn’t always have to fit into “fidget” or “bassline” genre. I still think people are playing it, but i can sense that something fresh is going to happen real soon!

Dammit, when’s ‘Bad Man Horror Theme’ EP going to be released?

haha a few people were going to sign it and i have been all over the shop recently, still haven’t sorted it out. Hopefully soon or ill end up sticking it out on beatport myself.

And you sent me Kissy’s remix of ‘We Love Pussy’. It’s a huge tune. Did Kissy approach you?

Thanks, i was well happy he done it. I sent him the track just to see what he thought and he messaged me back saying he really felt it and done his own little version.

I’m particularly excited about your remix for Yo Majesty? It was originally just an unofficial bootleg. But now I hear it’s to see a release on Domino?

Yeah I done it ages ago and its alot harder than my usual stuff but yo majesty loved it and it ended up coming out which was heavy. Im currently working on a new yo majesty remix which should be coming out soon.

Do you think mp3 blogs are a positive or negative phenomenon for the music industry? Are they stealing money from the artists and labels? Or are they indispensable in terms of promo?

I think they are great for new artists, and amazing for getting exposure, I remember when I forst blogged Girl Thing, Palms Out gave me a feature which helped me alot. For bigger artists im not to sure, on one hand it makes tunes more dispensable, and everyone has them so it makes it less special to hear a song when everyone has it. But on the same hand its great that people have access to these songs. I like it the way blogs say buy this tune and give links, I just hate it when people dont and play a shit mp3 out, it makes it sound horrid and is bad all round!

Do you have any favourite blogs? Do you ever use them to inform your sets?

Yea, yours of course ha. Curbcrawlers, palms out and a few others. Sometimes, but i like to hear things on blogs and then go grab them off beatport and if im lucky get them sent on promo.

(Wasn’t fishing for compliments there. Promise.)

Who are your favorite artists right now? Any tips for 2009?

I love nearly everything Jack Beats do and really feeling His Majesty Andre. Tips, err.. Sampled loops, cuts and filters ha. And Big basslines ha.

Could you list your current top five dancefloor bangers?

In no order:

Nadastrom – Pussy

Heavy feet – Killa

Destroy Disco – Fly Or Bounce

A1 Bassline vs Dean Tynan – We Love Pussy

TC – Wheres My Money (Jack Beats Re-edit)

You also produce under another name Partyshank with Howard – it’s punky electro, fusing 8-bit sounds and dirty riffs, another favourite of this blog. Which project will most of your focus be on this year?

Im not really to sure, they are really different sounds so its nice to have a break and switch from either projects. Recently i have been writing loads for both projects. Got 4 new partyshank tracks which are dirty electro tracks with a few vocal hooks.

Lastly, what lies ahead for A1 Bassline in 2009?

Hopefully soon a few E.P.’s and loads more remixes to come shortly.
thank you!!

Thanks Christian, it’s been a pleasure.

When it comes to riotous remixes, A1 Bassline’s the don. He’s seen alot of blog love over the last year. And we have a couple of You Can Call Me Pelski exclusives and a few of his older bangers you’ll recognise. He just finished this wavering, wobbly Rusko bootleg alongside his buzzing, reverberating remix of the criminally underrated Ghost Frequency. His recent retouch of vocal warbler ‘3 Little Words’ retains the delicious vocal hook, with some added bassline beef. His latest, a banging remix of The Qemists’s, just saw a release on Ninja Tunes. An old favourite of mine is his heavily thuddy remix of fellow Party Shanker’s ‘Boots’ (it appeared on this blog almost a year ago). He injects his old school, bubbly garage into Damaged Goods and Cadence Weapon, while clappy drums and pulsing bass form the backbone of his energetic ‘Whomp That Sucka’ remix. Unfaltering dancefloor ammo:

A1’s rework of RUSKO’s COCKNEY THUG

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