Friday, November 17, 2006

delay of shuffle

Just letting you faithful readers know that my Nov. 18th edition of the shuffle might be delayed a day or so... my peoples are getting the Pacquiao-Morales III fight, and I might be trekking up there to catch it. I apologize if any of you are dying to catch up on this weeks news from a rock the dub perspective, but I need a mental health night... OK, carry on.

Friday, November 17th, 2006 playlist

Damn job search has ya boy going mental... but at least I'm getting to listen to music at the spot. Loads of new material came in this week, and this list does not even cap off the Hip-Hop & DnB I peeped this week, but some of that shit is on the low to protect the unprotected. More on that if/when it comes out. Peep game:

01/Clipse "Ride Around Shining" [leaks galore this week... is this CD the album of the year? my review in a couple of weeks will let you know the skinny on it...]
02/Jay-Z "Brooklyn High" [Jay finally disses Jim Jones, over the "We Fly High" beat. Gotta love that 1st verse.]
03/Snoop Dogg ft. R Kelly "That's That Shit" [that beat is so nice, I can't help it.]
04/Birdman & Lil' Wayne ft. Fat Joe "About All That" [you can't deny that southern gospel feel in the organs and shit. One of Wayne's best verses on that LP. shouts to Hav for the heads up.]
05/The Game "I'm Chillin'" [UK-only bonus track to his "Doctor's Advocate" CD. Diggin' that shit forreal.]
06/Martyn "Believe It" [he keeps getting better. first one for Bassbin, and it's a keeper.]
07/Clipz "Download" [001 for Clipz' Audio Zoo imprint... funny as hell! that intro is crack.]
08/Twisted Indiviudal "Boob Job" [his grooves are so fine, so unorthodox, so not the norm, I can't help but get into them.]
09/kapsil "Numb" [double J doing the damn thing on the DnB tip.]
10/Fracture & Neptune "Ventura" [no real need to explain. Sleep if you want, this one is the jam!]

if you peeps are looking for mixes, check out my latest "FYLP" post on dubplate digest.

I'm about to eat and get back on this job search grind, but here is a YouTube final thought:

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

[rock the dub Interview]: FRISKe

Becoming a part of a collective works wonders for your status. One day, FRISKe was just another kid in his bedroom, checking out beats and perfecting his DJing... fast forward to 2005, and he scores an unlikely underground hit with "Troublesome", which was featured on the sampler to the Renegade Hardware LP, Apocalypse, which showcased his Horsemen bredren flexing their muscles and trying to save the world. That album lead to a bit of critical praise, and not only has FRISKe been featured on the sampler to the next Horsemen album, Revelations, with "Da Shinin'" but he has a tune entitled "Villians" with Perpetuum that has been getting rinsed by plenty of heads for a bit now. With his tracks being featured on the Carpe Diem album, as well as forthcoming bits on 13 Music, FRISKe is set to take the DnB world by storm with his infectious beats and dark tones. Catch him at the forefront of his career, speaking on the industry, his background and other points of interest.

khal: EZ FRISKe, what's going on? Now you're one of the latest additions to Loxy & Ink's Horsemen crew. How exactly did you link up with those guys?

FRISKe: Yo. Well, I've known Ink for a few years now; I'd say it's been about 2 years since they brought me in. I'd been passing Loxy some tunes which he was feelin', 1 of which was "Troublesome", and its been official since then.

khal: I see that, while you may be new to the scene as a whole, you've actually started producing and DJing at a young age. Can you talk a little bit about how you got into electronic music as a whole, and how that evolved to you getting signed to a big DnB label?

FRISKe: Yeah, I've been into this music since I was 13; I've been making music since about age 11. It was probably around 93/94 when I listened to hardcore for the first time, from an old tape my sister had. I then started DJing a couple of years later, and at age 21 I was doing a weekly show on Kool FM London. That's when I started to take things seriously and got into producing properly: did the usual route of sending out demos and that to various labels. Then I met Ink a few years ago and passed him a CD and been in contact ever since. Over the next year or so I was sending quite a few tunes over to Loxy and Ink which they was feeling and was brought in.

khal: While some might see that your catalogue is smaller than others, there's no denying that the tunes you've gotten released so far are on some big releases. When you were making tracks like "Troublesome" and "Shattered", were you creating them for those albums, or did those tunes just happen to get snapped up for those releases?

FRISKe: There was no plan really. I'd been passing Loxy various tunes, and "Troublesome" was picked for the first Horsemen LP, Apocalypse. "Shattered" was a thing Gremlinz had started, which was basically just a loop. I passed through and we rolled it out, sent it to Clayton and the next day it was signed.

khal: With such a large squad of producers, how does it feel being in a collective like the Horsemen? Do you guys chat regularly about your plans/releases/etc? How often do you guys collaborate on tracks together?

FRISKe: Yeh, it's a daily thing, you know. Always on the case, as far as collabs, I've recently finished a new thing with Perpetuum, and currently I am working on new material with Aspect and The Fix.

khal: I get the impression, from talking with Perpetuum and seeing your crew's span, that you guys are on a mission to educate and inject something new and different into the scene. How do you feel about the current state of the DnB scene, where many believe that people are producing beautiful turds, as opposed to great tunes?

FRISKe: Well, personally, I'm not really feeling a lot of what's considered popular right now. I feel us mans are definately filling a gap that was left in the scene a few years back, and brining something new to the table. Saying that, there are some serious tunes around at the moment.

khal: Take us into FRISKe's studio: what kind of software/hardware are you working with? Also, how does your creative process start? Are you sitting down with ideas already mapped out, or do you just start freestyling until something works?

FRISKe: I got a pretty basic set up. I aint really a gear head, its all about samples, vibes and ideas, for me. It ain't what you use, it's what you do with it. But anyway, equipment wise, PC based, Yamaha monitors, various VSTs, Waves Platinum and about a million samples which I've collected over the last 5/6 years. Writing a tune, it depends really. I ain't really got no formula. Sometimes I'll get some mad ideas and have the tune already mapped out somewhat, and other times, I'll just be playing around with samples and the inspiration comes from there.

khal: Based on the info on your MySpace page, you have a gang of collaborations coming in the near future. Do you prefer working by yourself or with others? Are there any pros/cons to working either way?

FRISKe: It depends really; some tunes I'll be working on just roll out. Others not so easily. That's when it's a good time to bring someone in on it. There's not many cons really. Most of my collabs are with Horsemen so were all relatively on the same page when it comes to the sound we want.

khal: There is also talk of you branching out into production for other realms (TV, radio, movies, etc.); can you shed some light on those excursions?

FRISKe: Yeah, I've done a bit of work for NBC in the States, making music for thier adverts and commericals and that. It's really just a goal of mine right now, you know just to keep it moving, opening doors and that.

khal: Concrete Jungle is the name of your soon-to-be imprint. What is your focus and plan with that label? Will you solely be dropping your own tunes on there, or will others be able to submit tunes to you?

FRISKe: It's basically gonna be a outlet for myself and other Horsemen tunes. I'm still working out distro so it's really at the very beginning stages still.

khal: Do you do any DJ gigs? I read you were given opportunities to represent on Kool FM… do you still touch down on radio stations like that? What would your current play list of tracks look like?

FRISKe: Kool was a good learning experience for me, I did the graveyard shift as most do when they start out. But it was good inspiration for me to take things further and is really what motivated me to get into production. I still got friends at Kool so I will be passing thru the studio again sometime in the near future. My current playlist consists of Horsemen LP, of course, various tunes from Gremlinz, The Fix, Spirit, Aspect, Manifest, Verb, Loxy and myself, Paradox, Hive, and also my EP, "Concrete Jungle EP", which is forthcoming on 13 Music.

khal: Could you give the masses a sense of what tunes you have lined up for the near future, and where they can hear these tracks?

FRISKe: Horsemen LP Sampler, LP and CD are all about to drop on Hardware all within the next couple of months, I am featured on all 3 parts, with "Da Shinin'", "Villains" with Perpetuum and "The Cypher". My debut EP "Concrete Jungle" will be dropping in the next couple of months on 13 Music. Plus more which are still TBC at the moment. You can hear these tracks at which is updated weekly.

khal: Where would you like to see your career as an artist go in the next 5 or so years?

FRISKe: I'd like to see myself running my own label, and take it to the next level.

khal: Do you have any shouts and/or final thoughts you'd like to kick before this interview ends?

FRISKe: Definetely. Got to big up Loxy and Ink everytime and all the Horsemen soldiers. Also big shouts to Clayton and Ollie @ Hardware, Dave @ 13 Music, Protocol, Krayz and all the kru @ Kool, and everyone who knows me and supports me, ressspect.

related links:

Can i borrow a dollar?

As I listen to my son hum in the background, I sit here, applying to work-at-home jobs and these "pay to blog" ones as well... trying to be the perfect father and a freelance writer is not easy.

I just have dreams that seem impossible. Is my writing that horrid that I cannot get paid to do what moves me? Is this world really so insane that people can fake a degree and fabricate their entire careers, or make up chunks of their lives and become best sellers, yet a nigga who writes what he feels ends up penniless? I mean, I do my writing... not to brag, but my writing has appeared for not only Dogs On Acid, one of the largest electronic dance music websites out there, but I have done pieces for the now defunct e-zine, The Flow, as well as had my pieces land on press releases for the Horizons Music Group of labels in the UK. I have done interviews and reviews (check the right panel if you doubt me) for this site, and continue to plug away when needed or drove to. My output might not be in the numbers of someone like Bol, but I still puts in my work. I just don't get what I need to do... should I go on an attack, ranking on fellow bloggers and the hands that feed me? Should I start some ridiculous plot to get Dubya to notice my posts? Do I need to get cancer or something, and devote long posts to chemo?

I am not going to sell out, nor sell myself for something I do not believe is geniuine... yet it seems like that's what I have to do.

This isn't a cry for help, this is just a rant. Journal-taktics, bitch. Soak it up.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

[rock the dub Interview]: Martsman

In a genre like Drum & Bass, there is a plethora of sounds coming from all over the world. There are some producers who receive all of the shine whenever they drop (Goldie, Fresh, Pendulum, etc.), and others who seem to have a strong underground fanbase, but for all their good intentions, never seem to get the proper blessings from the above-ground listeners. Martsman is one of those producers. Crafting soundscapes that are heavy on experimentation and his own singular aesthetic, his releases have been championed by labels and websites worldwide. Where DnB has strayed from the original tracks that kept you guessing and interested in the new sounds coming in, Martsman comes from a school that take the tune and keeps it fresh with interesting, invigorating ideas. Upon the release of a few top-notch 12"s from Martin, we diced things up over the state of the scene, netlabels, and what goes on behind the twitchy robotic beasts that Martsman creates...

khal: While you’ve dropped ill beats on Exegene, Plainaudio, Offshore, as well as Counter Intelligence and (forthcoming) bits for Bassbin/Breakin’, many may not recognize your name. If you had to describe your style of production, what would you call it?

Martsman: I guess most people would probably call it “Leftfield Drum & Bass”. I can’t really name a particular style nor do I aim to go into a certain direction though. It’s Drum & Bass in a way I would like it to sound like.

khal: The way you produce reminds many of producers like Squarepusher or Alpha Omega: edited breaks with an attitude of pretty much “anything goes” for the rest of the track. How do you approach producing?

Martsman: When I started listening to Drum & Bass, it wasn’t mainly the typical mid- to end-nineties sound most of the DJs played (Jump Up, Techstep etc.), but more the musical and experimental stuff from the Reinforced camp. The sounds of Alpha Omega and Sonar Circle were basically what I got to know as “Drum & Bass” in the first row, followed by artists like Squarepusher, Aphex Twin or Plug. For me, Drum & Bass is the name for a particular framework. Within this framework, basically “anything goes”. I love to play around with expectations, breaks and breakdowns out of the blue, stop-and-goes, glitches and the like. I would like people to start reflecting about the music they listen to again. It’s not about getting too intellectual, so that the audience can’t enjoy it anymore, but more in a way of creating awareness of the fact that there is music to listen to and not only some sound to fidget to like mad.

khal: For the gear-heads out there, can you describe what your studio setup is like? Is there one piece of equipment that you couldn’t work without? If so, why?

Martsman: Simply put: I don’t have hardware equipment besides two small Genelec 8020A monitors, which I bought this year. All I do is software-only. I use a freeware modular tracker called “Jeskola Buzz” running on a laptop PC. I chose Buzz back then because it was freeware, and now I simply can’t imagine working with anything else.

khal: What inspires you to produce? Are you trying to evoke a certain message or feeling with your tunes, or are they more exploration and experimentation or what?

Martsman: I often have precise ideas on what I want to do soundwise – especially when it comes to drumpatterns and basslines. It is like I have like 4 bars of a track in my head and try to work this idea out. Interestingly, I think I haven’t ever really finished a track based on such an idea. It is more like the ideas are a basis for me to start and most of the time trying to work an idea out like this leads to results I don’t expect at all. Sometimes there is an intention or a program behind certain tracks though. Take “Antifunk” on Counter Intelligence for example – the main point about the tune is the break which is not used in a typical breakbeat fashion but in a quite steady and “antifunky” way. In “Jump Funk” the patterns change on the formula “every 8 bars, put in another bassdrum after the last one”. I kinda like concepts with simple mathematics. Most of the inspiration comes from other music, no matter what genre. However, I always take something with me to write ideas down as they often vanish as quick as they come.

khal: I know you are from Germany, but one of your first releases was for Offshore, with “Ago”, which is where I first heard your production. How did you get involved with Offshore, which is primarily based in New York, USA?

Martsman: I got in contact with Brett (DJ Clever – OSR mastermind) via Sileni, another Offshore artist. He put out a track called “Twitchy Droid Leg” back in 2004, which was like an enlightenment for me. I hadn’t heard anything like that before, and all of a sudden, Drum & Bass was making sense to me again. I found out Sileni was posting on “”, so I just sent him a message, which he replied to about half a year later. Then everything happened pretty fast – I sent him a couple of tracks and he was quite into them. So he pushed them into Brett’s direction. Brett signed two tracks: “Ago” – which was released in November 2005 as a split release with Commercial Suicide, and “Marksman” – which will be coming on the “Buried Treasures” CD compilation very soon.

khal: Is the DnB scene in Germany large? Do you have any dealings with producers like Amaning or Deep Inc or any of the newer German producers out there?

Martsman: First of all, I have to say that I am not part of the Drum & Bass scene here for as long as several other German producers are. The first contacts with the scene were around 2000 I’d say, and it took another 3-4 years until I started playing out and got into producing properly. So, basically, as things are just starting up for me at the moment I am also just getting involved in the German Drum & Bass scene gradually. However, I was pretty hard to find like-minded people over here. That’s why I’d say I am now in contact with more people outside of Germany than within the country. Nevertheless, there is a growing amount of leftfield producers and DJs here I am in contact with. Cycom from Hamburg, who has releases out on Santorin Records and Alphacut as well as forthcoming bits on Counter Intelligence, Breakin and Transmute and is also active member of Plainaudio, DJ Con.Struct, a promoter from Leipzig and artist of Outsider Recordings, LXC, the Alphacut labelhead, Bad Matter from Berlin (Intransigent Records, Alphacut), the NSF crew from Mannheim (Soothsayer, Exegene), of course all the guys from Plainaudio and quite a bunch of other DJs and promoters. Apparently, when you’re doing leftfield Drum & Bass, you can’t survive music-wise without networking outside of Germany. However, there’s a noticable movement going on here at the moment. And it also depends on where you live. When I moved to Berlin in April, I experienced a much larger audience and also a wider spectrum of musical styles in Drum & Bass, than in Karlsruhe, where I lived before and where people were mostly into one particular style of Drum & Bass which I couldn’t force myself to neither produce nor spin.

khal: In speaking with you previously, I hear you do A&R for Plainaudio. How did that opportunity come about?

Martsman: Plainaudio was founded by Iaka in 2001. After two vinyl releases (Cycom, Barth) the label took a break and relaunched again in 2005 as a netlabel for Drum & Bass as well as Electronica and Experimental. First I was asked to do a release for them and by that time I got involved with the organization as well. Plainaudio is currently run by Iaka and Cycom from Hamburg, Buzz from Dortmund and Flowpro and myself from Berlin.

khal: Speaking of Plainaudio, not only have you put out *free* releases for them, but you have two releases under your belt for the Exegene net label. How do you feel about giving your music away for free? Do you think releases like these will help ease up the p2p trading of mp3s?

Martsman: The main point about netlabels in my opinion is, that, when they are led well, they can reach a much wider audience than vinyl-only labels could ever do – due to podcasts and distribution via blogs, e.g. Plainaudio tracks are distributed via Starfrosch, Europe’s biggest podcast for electronic music. Thanks to that fact we have download rates up to over 20,000 with certain releases at present, steadily growing. As most of the stuff we provide is more musical than the usual DJ-tools, it is not the kind of music that would easily sell on bigger vinyl labels anyway. Therefore, putting tunes out on a netlabel in the context of a release seems to be an adequate way to avoid real gems being lost over time. Don’t get me wrong, there are more and more vinyl-labels out there, that sign and put out this kind of Drum & Bass, but compared to the output of the producers, there are still too few labels to cope with the amount of tracks being done, which are worth to see a release. You often see talented producers give away some of their tracks for free on internet boards nowadays – so why not do it more officially plus promote the tracks in a way they deserve?! Additionally, I consider Netlabels an appropriate way to support artists that aren’t signed to a bigger label yet – they can work like a promotional platform. As far as the p2p problem is concerned – I might be taking it too easy in this concern, but putting out music on vinyl only means putting out music for the DJs only. I suppose most of the people downloading MP3s via p2p networks are music lovers who don’t have the chance to get the tunes else than on vinyl – which doesn’t make sense, when you’re not a DJ, especially when you have to pay the same amount of money for a 12” as for a full CD album. I can’t believe that DJs seriously play out pirated MP3s, at least not if it is still possible to get a copy on wax. And if they do so, shame on them! There are ways to ease the whole problem though. Offshore’s complete back catalogue can be bought on Warp’s e.g. Other labels provide their tunes on Beatport for just a few bucks. I think that’s a good solution – it doesn’t really solve the problem with p2p, but at least it is an alternative for the non-DJ-audience to get the music they like legally.

khal: I’ve seen a few flicks of you DJing on your MySpace page. What types of tracks to you spin?

Martsman: I personally love every kind of breaks and bouncy stuff and I have a preference for everything that sounds electronic and sterile – tracks that don’t hide the fact that they are made with a computer, “Robot breaks”. I play lots of older stuff from the mid to the end of the nineties as well. I came to Drum & Bass rather late, which allows me to discover the sounds from back then with quite an excitement.

khal: Not to stereotype, but in the style(s) of DnB you produce, there seem to be a number of producers who tend to stick to wanting to promote and preserve the older sounds of DnB. They feel as though a lot of the newer stuff that gets released can be considered rubbish. Do you subscribe to those thoughts? Why or why not?

Martsman: Let me put it this way: It appears to me, that there aren’t too many things still to be done in Drum & Bass. I don’t say this in a pessimistic way, but it’s just a fact that most of the sounds and styles that appear “new” today, were there before. (Although it may sound a bit like a commercial by now, but in my opinion the only piece of Drum & Bass from the last couple of years that really came up with something totally new, was Sileni’s “Twitchy Droid Leg”). The only point is, that they are not as worn out yet as most of the mainstream Drum & Bass appears to be. E.g. I experienced that when I got a chance to go through the old Partisan catalogue recently and listened to some of Deep Blue’s old stuff. Interestingly, he did all this techno-influenced and halftime stuff that’s so en vogue now years ago! (And I think he’s not the only one who did.) Just it appears like no one was really interested. Today Amit’s the name when it comes to halftime stuff, and Martyn’s on his way to become the Detroit & Bass Don – and two yet existing ways to interpret Drum & Bass come to their right not only because their main protagonists do their thing very well but because a wider audience seems willing to accept it. However, I consider most of the recent mainstream Drum & Bass hardly exciting and therefore I guess I am in the same situation as most of the other guys who dig out older styles and sounds. But what makes the difference is probably the majority of them having been part of the scene from the early days on, which I was not. As I said, I came to Drum & Bass rather late and therefore, I don’t make a difference between the original “old stuff” and the “renaissance stuff” from today – it still sounds all fresh and playable to me.

khal: What producer or producers would you say are really making consistently dope tracks, inside and outside the DnB scene?

Martsman: There are quite a bunch of people I would like to name in this regard. Sileni’s the man when it comes to weirdo-robot-freakouts. Apart from “Twitchy Droid Leg” on Offshore there are other tracks out on Planet Mu, Thermal, Subtle Audio and Outsider and some lined up for Subvert Central Recordings as well. They are all more than worth checking out. Martyn’s doing his thing extremely well. From “Nxt 2 U” on play:musik to his remix of Graphic’s “I am metal” on Offshore, he’s consistingly following his path of a straight and yet out-of-the-box dancefloor oriented style. Alpha Omega – a legend back then, a legend now – nuff said. There are Macc, Fanu, Fracture & Neptune, Cycom and lots more from Subvert Central and beyond, who all are very strong when it comes to terms of next generation Drumfunk. In my opinion, there’s quite a lot going on at the moment!

khal: We’ve spoken on your past releases, but what do you have dropping in the near future? Any plans for an EP or LP releases?

Martsman: Sure there are plans, but nothing is settled yet, so I’d rather not talk about it at this point.

khal: Do you have any shout-outs or words of advice you’d like to drop before we wrap this up?
Martsman: I’ve been talking to a lot of DJs who emphasized, that they really would like to play more “out of the box” stuff but are too anxious that the audience would not like it and leave the dancefloor. In my experience, if you are consequent with what you play (and that doesn’t mean only to play for yourself!), most of the people come back after the first confusion. And besides, some more free room ain’t that bad if you really want to dance and not only nod your head, right?

Coming this December,
Offshore Recordings is releasing "Twitchy Droid Leg Remixes Part 2", which features a Martsman RMX of Sileni's "Twitchy Droid Leg" on the A side (followed up by a Vex'd RMX on the flip). We also have word that Martsman's "Antifunk", which is forthcoming on Counter Intelligence, is about to hit the testpress stage. Keep your eyes peeled, ears to the ground, and some cash tucked away for these releases.


related links:
Martsman on MySpace
Martsman on rolldabeats
Martsman releases on Plainaudio: PP009MD, PP019MD
Martsman releases on Exgene: XGN012, XGN028

[rock the dub Interview]: HoChi

Sometimes, there are producers who stay in one lane, never trying to explore or expand their sound. Hochi is not one of those guys. Last December, with his boy Infiltrata at his side, he introduced HEAT VOLUME 1, which showcased what many would call the future of DnB, mainly from one of the hottest new collectives in the game right now, the TEKDBZ Army. Headed by Photek, Hochi, Infiltrata, Mental Sharp and DJ Craze are putting a new spin on the genre of DnB, infusing a more musical sound to the dancefloor.. Outside of the DnB world, though, Hochi is still getting it done with various Hip-Hop projects, from more underground shit with Killah Priest to working with the G-Unit, as well as having his hand in the first volume of XXL's DVD Magazine.

khal: Your track record is ever growing: one minute you’re dropping beats for TEKDBZ, while the next you are doing things with Killah Priest. How long have you been producing tracks?

Hochi: I have been making beats for about 10 years in various forms.

khal: These days, many different producers create their sounds using all types of gear and programs. What does Hochi’s studio consist of? Is there any piece of equipment or software that you cannot produce without?

Hochi: I use Macs and PCs in my studio along with various outboard gear. It’s a hybrid setup. I need to have a lot of different tools because I work on all sorts of projects from films to music. There's nothing I couldn’t live without but I have my preferences.

khal: In terms of your DnB production, you seem to came into the scene runnin’, with your first release side by side with Stakka. How did you get into the DnB scene, and where did you start to link up with heavy hitters like Stakka, Photek, and others?

Hochi: I was working on Hip-Hop projects and I became a fan of DnB; it just sort of interested me. Ironically, I read an article about Photek in Jazz Times when I was about 17 and that’s what got me checking for DnB. I met these guys just by networking they were just cool people and we had a lot in common.

khal: With your Killahertz crew, you drop Hip-Hop production primarily, right? You’ve been linked to many heads, most recently the G-Unit crew and most recently the XXL DVD Magazine Vol. 1. How did you get into the Hip-Hop game, and where did you start to get notice from some of the larger entities? Also, where else might we have heard your beats?

Hochi: I got into doing beats for people the basic way, just networking and connecting the dots. I knew a cat at G-Unit (shouts to Dan The Man) and I sent him some beats and he got me involved in some of his projects. I also work a lot with the dudes in Killahertz (DJ 730 and Dan One); 730 works at and he helps a lot with getting us connected with various artists. You can hear me on a lot of the G-Unit DVDs (Tony Yayo's Thoughts Of A Predicate Felon, 50 Cent's The Massacre DVD, G-Unit City, etc..). I also work a lot doing mixtape joints in the Hip-Hop arena. I’ve done tracks for tons of people. I just recently did a track called "125 grams Pt. 2" and a couple of other tracks for an artist named Joell Ortiz who just signed to Dr Dre’s Aftermath.

khal: Now for those out there who keep their eyes and ears on the “hood DVD” craze, they might have noticed you name was all over the XXL DVD Magazine Vol. 1 that was just recently released. The credits say you not only contributed beats, but also handed some post production to the sound on the disc. How did they come at you to handle this task? Do you handle things like this for other companies and discs?

Hochi: Yeah I have done post-production for a lot of the G-Unit/Interscope DVDs. I worked with the same director on all these projects - once again shouts to Dan the Man! I am also working on the music for a documentary called ‘Glue Boys’ which is about homeless children in Kenya addicted to glue and the companies who are profiting from it. Check for more info.

khal: Since you dabble with both DnB & Hip-Hop, I always wonder, does one style of music influence the other? Do you approach producing a DnB track differently than a Hip-Hop track? Also, do you find it easier to write a track for one style of music, as opposed to the other?

Hochi: I really don’t approach them any differently I think that why my stuff sounds the way it does. I don’t think one style is any more difficult the core ideas take the same amount of time to create but DnB has a lot of frilly detail and arrangement work. I actually find that stuff kind of boring which is why I like to work with people who are into that part of it.

khal: Now, you’ve been selected by Mr. Photek himself to be a representative of the new breed of producers in the DnB scene. How does it feel to carry a weight like that on your back? What do you think you bring to the TEKDBZ camp that no one else can bring?

Hochi: Its not really a weight at all I don’t really look at music as life or death its supposed to be fun an interesting and I do work on that basis. I think I am the idea man within the TEKDBZ circle and being the label manager I try to make sure I keep everyone communicating and updated with revelant information. I guess if you wanted to define my position I am kind of like the ‘consigliere’ to the boss man.

khal: Speaking of TEKDBZ, you recently had a few large shows in California, right? How does it feel dropping DnB in places like the House of Blues, where that sound is not normally known to be played? Do you feel as though DnB can achieve a louder voice in the United States, to where it can be getting at least more album sales or radio play?

Hochi: I don’t think DnB in its current form will ever leave the ‘underground’ my guess is it will become even more obscure. I think this is because most people involved in the ‘scene’ have there identity tied up in a simple notion of what this music is and they will do anything to keep it from being accessible because they would have less control over it. I can’t speak for anyone else but with TEKDBZ our aim is to take the best MUSICAL aspects of DnB and combine them with the best aspects of all the other music we are influenced by and see what happens. Our position is “if you build it they will come” HOB is great because it allows us to what we do and put it on a stage where it can be appreciated by a wider audienence. Having a venue with as many capabilities as HOB lets us take our stage performances to another level. It's also just great to have a place on Sunset Strip in Hollywood. You never know who could wander in.

khal: Word is you recently on XM if I am not mistaken. Can you tell us more about this? Is it an ongoing gig, and if so, what can we expect from future shows?

Hochi: It's going to be every other Thursday on XM Radio Channel 80 The Move 3AM EST and 12AM PST. The hosts are Photek, Craze, and myself and you can expect the unexpected.

khal: What would you say is your greatest creation sonically, and why?

Hochi: I am really not sentimental about that kind of stuff. I really like "Hit Em’ Hard" because it was a proof of concept that worked out great.

khal: For someone of your caliber, who seems to already be making loads of waves in many areas, you are still a new name and face in the larger scheme of things. Where do you hope to see yourself and your crews/brands/etc. in the next, say, 5 years?

Hochi: I hope we can really start a new genre of music that is as accessible and appreciated by as many people as jungle/DnB once was. That would be a worthwhile accomplishment.

khal: In the more immediate future, what releases are planned for you in the immediate future? There was word of a TEKDBZ album, as well as a Mental Sharp album coming to the light soon. Can you shed any light on the schedules on those things?

Hochi: First comes the TEKDBZ:AMMO album which is a compilation featuring everyone from the crew and some vocalists from other genres. There will be a DVD of the live shows released as well. After that we are focused on Mental Sharp’s Epiphany album which in my opinion is a sure shot classic. Look for Ammo later this year and Epiphany a few months later.

khal: Aside from the large TEKDBZ shows, do you perform live anywhere else? If so, where can people catch you?

Hochi: I’ve been just getting back into djing and I have been doing a lot in cali lately. I would like to hit the road with one of the TEKDBZ MCs soon.

khal: Do you have any advice for the novice producer out there, trying to get their work heard by the major figures of the various industries?

Hochi: Don’t start making music until you have some new ideas. New Ideas are everything.

khal: Where do you see DnB going in 2007? What is the sound going to be, in your opinion?

Hochi: More self-agrandizement and played out ideas. Theres definitely some fresh producers out there but I personally have a hard time relating to most of the stuff I hear now.

khal: Do you have any last words or shouts to the people?

Hochi: Checkout TEKDBZ:AMMO and Form and Function Vol 2.

related links:
TEKDBZ on MySpace
DOA: The Grid Q&A with Hochi
Mental Sharp on MySpace
TEKDBZ Radio Podcast (RSS feed)