The following feature was supposed to be somewhat shorter – following the standard set in the previous Artist Highlight posts that I’ve written. But then I got talking to Olie Bassweight and we decided to get a proper interview under the belt as well.
Things are looking pretty healthy as far as the content pipeline for the MakeItGood x FatKidOnFire features go, so to get this one up quickly it’s going under the Artist Highlight title. You never know though, we might get a MIG x FKOF feature and mix one day…
Easy Olie! All good? Hey Wil, I’m good man. Thanks for sorting the interview out, been a while in the making!
Enlighten the ignorant, who is Olie Bassweight and what is Bassweight Recordings? Well I’m Olie, I come from New Zealand I’ve been producing electronic beats for what feels like aeons… I’ve been doing the dubstep thing since about late 2006 when I launched the label Bassweight Recordings.
What was the first dubstep tune you heard? What made you decide to start producing – and how did you move from producing into running your own label? I think it was either Distance’s ‘My Demons‘ or Loefah’s ‘The Goat Stare‘ along with some of P-vans early productions, I’m unsure.
There seem to be brilliant dubstep producers popping up from New Zealand every week at the moment, why do you think that is? Why’s the sound so strong in Aotearoa? Dub & reggae has always been massive in New Zealand and, as I’ve said many times before, this has led to a huge love for all things breakbeat in here. Drum & bass, breaks and jungle have always been the most popular of genres at raves here, so I guess when New Zealanders really take to something they go all out!
It is freakish the amount of of quality producers we have for such a small nation, it’s just the culture. Either that or there’s just way more geeks here per capita haha!
Tell us a bit more about Bassweight Recordings. I’ve heard it was the first dubstep label in the south Pacific?! That’s pretty damn awesome. Who’s on the roster – and who can we expect to hear in the future? Well we have a pretty sturdy stable of releases out now, but we’re only just getting into the vinyl side of things.
The list is actually to long to get into! They’re pretty much all quality producers from New Zealand and Australia but with some from overseas. From Consequence to Dubtek, from 3rdeye to Helixir – if the readers are intriuged they should do some investigating.
How do you go about building your tunes? What’s your production setup like? I usually start with my drum sequencing and build a melody, or atmosphere or whatever and get into a bassline from there.
I’m using a fairly simple set up with Mackie MR8s and a beast of a laptop. Some of my favourite VSTs are Devastor, Massive, Ohm Boyz and Zebra and I mainly use FL Studio for sequencing (but also do a lot of stuff in Ableton Live as well).
Another standard question you’re probably bored to death of. Do you prefer turntables or CDJs for playing out? Does it matter? I love it all. I started on turntables, but I find when touring it’s best to use CDJs, you just never know what state the turntables will be in and I find Murphy’s Law is quite a prominent force in my life so I try and avoid giving it any chances!
As well as running the label, you’ve brought some of the best DJs and producers in dubstep to NZ. If you could pick a gig that stands out, which would you choose – and why? Well I really enjoyed DMZ last year, but I’m not sure! There’s been so many great moments over the years, Scuba has played Bassweight nights twice and I’ve always respected his style so he gets a good mention. Youngsta at the start of this year was phenominal as well, but there are too many to choose from!
How do you see the dubstep sound progressing over the next few years? well, I see it refining it’s sub-genres much more, I really don’t know it – it kind of feels like we need something fresh and innovative to blow everyone’s hats off again at the moment. I’m not saying I’m losing faith or anything it just seems like a while since I was actually blown away if you know what I mean.
In terms of advice, what are your top points for new producers and DJs looking to get heard or signed?
So… You have a tune, how does the tune sound? Does it sound like any other particular vibe you could pinpoint? Could you find other similar tracks by other producers that would work well together?
If so, those producers are releasing on particular lables that obviously appreciate that sound. Find those labels, investigate those labels, approach those labels on a personal basis and tell them how you think this tune needs to be on that label and that the people running those labels would like it. Don’t go share your track with 10,000 people on SoundCloud and bombard the email address list you got off dubstep forum.
If no one will release your stuff either go back and keep working, or if you think your product is of exceptional value and still no label will sign you, release it yourself.
Don’t badger people, investigate and be smart about it.
Other than the obvious that we discuss below, what can we expect from the next few releases on Bassweight? Well as I’ve been so busy with the LP we haven’t got that much lined up after that. I’ve got a few things in the pipeline I can’t talk about, but stay tuned for a bunch more Bassweight vinyl and digi in 2013.
I’ve been listening to your solo album, ‘The Ghost In The Machine’, for a while now (safe to say it’s amazing) – but you recently put up clips for the entire release on SoundCloud. When did you decide you wanted to do an album? What’s your favourite track from the release – and why? Well it was just over 2 years ago when I decided to do an LP, it seemed like the next logical step in my whole love affair with electronic music so I’ve been knuckling down trying to create my vision.
I’m happy with it right now – and I hope I am in 20 years, that’s always the trick. Making somthing that will stand the test of time when it comes to long players I think.
My favourite track would probably have to be ‘Odyssey‘; the final version has turned into a monster! The master is ridiculous.
3 producers we should be following are…? Dubfonik, 3rdeye and Nanobyte.
Best dubstep track ever produced is…?
Digital Mystikz’ ‘Anti War Dub‘.
Best label in dubstep is…?
Hotflush / Tempa.
So without further ado, get your ears round this beauty…
15 tracks from Olie, featuring collabs with TZR, Perverse, Truth, Dubtek and more. Sign up here for notification when the 12″ is ready to ship and keep locked on your usual digital retailers to pick the album up when it drops in a few weeks (November 14th).
Peace, love and respect.