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In case you haven’t noticed we’re in the midst of a down under invasion here in America. Well at least it feels like one is starting to take place. Bass Kleph is one of the latest Aussie exports and we’re predicting big things in 2013 from the man. After a very successful NYE weekend at the Avalon in Los Angeles that deftly showcased the live and uncut finger-drumming skills he possesses on the Native Instrument Maschine sampler, we got the chance to catch up with Stu Tyson (aka Bass Kleph). We talked about getting accustomed to life in the West Coast, and as we figured, the man won’t be having much trouble getting accustomed to the glory of LA’s sunny beaches and beautiful weather, which is not much different from home. Of course, now that he’s here to stay, let’s wait and see what his Twitter says about getting around the city’s nauseating traffic (I’ll give it about a month). We also chatted about the current state of EDM, his recently re-launched radio show Klephtomania and his 5-track “Flashing Lights” EP, which came out yesterday via Vacation Records—pick it up here. The EP features an original mix, an instrumental mix, and a “Smooth Radio” remix from Bass Kleph, as well as a deeper take from Hot Creations’ Bubba and a high-octane electro house rendition from fellow Aussie, Bobby Vena. There's also a video contest going on for all wannabe music video directors out there, more info below the interview.
Things are booming and the parties here are the best I have ever seen. It’s attracting the best DJs from all over the world...
Welcome to the West Coast. How does it feel to live in Los Angeles?
Thanks! I love it here! Where else can I surf, snowboard, write music, and rock an epic club show all in one city, all in one day! The transition from Australia to LA was easy. Especially with a bunch of my Aussie mates like Tommy Trash, Hook N Sling, Stafford Brothers, Sgt. Slick, Wax Motif! all moving here at the same time…
After a spectacular show at the Avalon on NYE, how’s the local love treating you? Heard you recently had a show at the new Sound Nightclub. How was that like?
Avalon was off the chain! That has to be one of the best clubs in the world! It's like playing a mini festival indoors. That night was extra fun as they had a bunch of special winter decorations and props set up. The club looked amazing. Look up the photos! I tested out a bunch of my new tracks and played a live version of “Atom” by Nari & Milani on my drum machine. It was the first time doing that in front of a crowd. Backing that up with the opening night of Sound was amazing. This new club is dope! So well designed, so cool, so forward thinking and fresh. The system definitely lives up to the name too. Crazy good Function 1 in there! Best I’ve ever heard! Plus the whole thing just feels like an amazing house party. Just good vibes.
Its a scary, yet exciting feeling to stop all the records, and just rely completely on hitting some pads…We dont have to just stick to only turntables.
You’ve previously mentioned that the US has been one of your favorite places to tour. Given its recent exploding popularity, how would you describe the culture and its direction?
Exploding is exactly right! A lot of people over here are just discovering dance music for the first time and they are loving it! This is having a chain reaction. Clubs/DJs that used to only play hip-hop now play dance music. Radio stations too. Things are booming and the parties here are the best I have ever seen. It’s attracting the best DJs from all over the world. My feeling is that it’s going to get a lot bigger before it gets any smaller. Good times ahead!
You've got some serious skills behind a drum sampler. Are you hoping to raise the bar for the next wave of DJs and producers who want to get front-stage?
Glad you guys are interested! It's a lot of fun for me to perform that way. I still DJ too, and sometimes I program beats, melodies, basslines to remix tracks on the fly, but the finger drumming stuff is extra fun. It's a scary, yet exciting feeling to stop all the records, and just rely completely on hitting some pads that make very, very loud sounds! I hope more people try to bring different things to the table at their shows. What I do with Maschine is just one option. There are so many cool new instruments available now. We don't have to just stick to only turntables.
After the successful “Make Me Forget,” what inspired “Flashing Lights,” was there a reference point there to your new life here in the states?
I’m super pumped about this. The reactions have been crazy! “Flashing Lights” is a collaboration with a soulful Sydney-based singer called Ron E Jones. When I heard his vocal/lyrics I felt he immediately captured the crazy party life that is sweeping the nation here. I worked out a nice chord progression that I was happy with, and then produced a real “hands in the air” electro/progressive drop, which seems to be doing the business at the moment. I especially love the Bobby Vena remix! It was just featured on Paul Oakenfold’s radio show.
What are you working on right now, anything you can share with us?
I just did a remix for an Australian duo called The Twins. It's a track called “Coming Home,” and it's coming out on Ministry Of Sound very soon. There's already early plays/support from Tommy Trash. Aside from that, I have a bunch of original tracks I’m wrapping up at the moment.
From tech to electro and progressive house, it seems that you’re shifting but maintaining an eclectic style in recent production. Is 2013 the year that we should be looking forward to a huge new album release?
I've come to realize I’m not good at sticking to one genre. In 2003, I started out writing breakbeat, then moved to fidget house, then electro-progressive, tech house, and then simply house. Now, I’m back at it with electro and progressive. I actually started in a rock band before all that too. I’m not quite sure about an artist album, but there'll definitely be heaps of singles and maybe a mix CD too.
For all you video makers out there, Bass Kleph is asking fans for help on putting together a music video for the single "Flashing Lights" by submitting their favorite light show videos (whether it's professional gloving or a rave in your mom's kitchen) on his website. For video submissions, a YouTube account is required, and all submissions must be hosted to the users' YouTube accounts before being submitted on the website. This means that any light show videos already hosted on YouTube are fair game if provided by the content owner. Bass Kleph will take submissions until Sunday, February 3rd. More info here.
1 Shakedown Blackout - Bass Kleph & Franky Rizardo
2 Gum? - Bass Kleph & James Frew
3 I'll Be en Fuego - Bass Kleph & Dannic & Jordy Dazz
4 We Are Now Bumping Uglies - Bass Kleph & Mord Fustang
5 Spend My Money on US - Bass Kleph & Leon Bolier
6 (LIVE) Epic - Quintino & Sandro Silva
7 Make Some Noise - Chuckie & Junxterjack
8 Side By Reload - Tommy Trash, Sebastian Ingrosso, Bass Kleph, Chris Arnott
9 untitled - Bass Kleph & Morgan Page
10 Shake That Kangaroo - GTA vs Sander Van Doorn, Julian Jordan
11 Going Crazy - Bass Kleph
12 Sunrise is Back Again - Tommy Trash vs Antoine Clamaran & Cutee B.
13 Make Me Forget - Bass Kleph
14 Trippin Balls - DJ LC
15 Los Angeles - Bass Kleph
16 (LIVE) Atom - Nari & Milani
17 Coming Home (Bass Kleph Remix) - The Twins
18 Score - Tim Healey & Felguk
19 Truffle Pig - Tommy Trash
20 Get Wild - John Dahlback
21 Hamburg Is For Lovers (Bass Kleph Edit) - David August