Interview

Interview with GB (Gifted & Blessed)

Sunday, April 8th, 2012 | Sounds | 3 Comments

Gabriel Reyes-Whittaker has been producing under many guises since the early 2000’s. More widely known as GB or Gifted & Blessed, the Los Angeles based producer has amassed an impressive catalog of releases and remixes; worked with legendary artists Airto & Flora Purim and his works have been widely heard through high profile ad placements. Gabriel was kind enough to answer a few questions, where he goes into some of his influences, how he began producing and how he enjoys discovering older gems over today’s more disposable music.

PYF: What is your earliest musical memory?

GB: I remember watching Tears for Fears on MTV as a baby and drumming along with sticks.

PYF: Who are some of your influences, both musical and non-musical? and how does their influence transpire in your work?

GB: I’m not even sure where to begin…I’m influenced by the music of the world…jazz, early electronic, field recordings, folkloric music, hip hop…and lots more. My non-musical influences range from personal experiences to relationships to mythology to nature. There are many great people who have come before and who are here now whom I admire. A question like this is particularly hard for me because as an artist my primary intention is to express what is true for me. I can’t say I seek out influences to inspire my work, it just happens, and ultimately as creators I think what we all create comes from one divine Source of inspiration.

PYF: How did you get into producing music? Was there anyone in particular that inspired/ helped you on your musical path? Read full interview…

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Interview with John Heckle

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011 | Sounds | 12 Comments

Having found an appropriate home on Jamal Moss’ Mathematics imprint, John Heckle’s raw Chicago inspired sounds has resonated with many. Hailing from Liverpool, the 22 year old Heckle, tells us about his influences, his new album and upcoming projects.

PYF: What’s your earliest musical memory?

JH: Recording some shouty covers of The Beatles with my brother when I was about five or six. We had a tape recorder and some headphones in the mic socket to record, and some pans for drums.

PYF: Your sound has quite an affinity with Chicago - what was your first encounter with house and techno?

JH: Again I think my brother (Bill) had a lot to do with that. He took me to my first rave when I was thirteen, to a night called Bugged Out in Liverpool. He got me into a lot of the music I still listen to today.

PYF: Who are some of your influences (both musical and non-musical)?

JH: I find a lot of bands influential, such as The Smiths, The Beatles and The Doors, and artists such as Bob Dylan. In terms of electronic music, artists such as Larry Heard, Jamal Moss, Jeff Mills, Surgeon and Regis have been massive influences. Also some local DJs (such as Mark Forshaw, Sam Baron, Scott McGill, Binny and my brother most of all) have had a big influence on what music I play now.

PYF: How did you get into producing music? Was there anyone in particular that inspired/ helped you on your musical path?

JH: I started making music on a computer for fun in about 2003, which eventually led to the release of a track on RSB records a few years later. I would make tracks and play them in sets during my residency at Liverpool’s Alcatraz night, which was run by my brother and the guys we lived with at the time. We would spend most weekends hammering music in the house anyway, so making music and starting a night was a sort of natural progression. Anyway, it was at this night that Bill booked Regis to play. Regis forwarded a track I had just made to RSB and it was released a few months later in 2006. That is what inspired me to get serious about music. I think 2006 may have been a little early for me though as I was still only at the stage of teaching myself how to produce the sounds that I wanted to make. 
So I guess after a while production took a back seat. It wasn’t until a friend showed me the record The Sun God ‘Ancient Echoes’ that I got inspired to make music again; I’d never heard anything like that record. Soon after I started buying the Mathematics records. I was taken by the rawness and unpredictability of most of them; they were something exciting at a time when I was disillusioned with a lot of current trends. Read full interview…

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Interview - Larry Heard (Alleviated Records)

Monday, July 19th, 2010 | Sounds | 11 Comments

Last month Larry Heard came to San Francisco. Initially, we had planned on doing an interview for the KUSF radio show, The Friday Night Session but, summer in SF means fog which in turn means delayed flights. Because Larry couldn’t make it to the show in time, he was kind enough to reach out and agreed to do an interview via email. Larry Heard’s legacy is undeniable, helping to shape the house music genre as well as influencing many producers with a wealth of soulful, forward thinking music that sounds as relevant today as it did 25 years ago.

Q. You’ve been producing for over 25 years and yourself and along with a handful of other producers in Chicago were pretty much responsible for shaping the acid and deep house genres. In those early years did you get a sense from how people in Chicago reacted, that your music was going to go on to be so globally recognized and important?

A. I don’t recall even thinking very far ahead at that time. I don’t think any of the people who were around making music and doing releases did. Read More and listen…

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Interview - Daniel Wang (Balihu Records)

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009 | Sounds | 6 Comments

Daniel Wang’s leftfield disco label Balihu, laid the groundwork for what was to come 15 years later, with artists/labels like Hercules & Love Affair and DFA citing Wang’s works as influences on them. Daniel provides us with his thoughts on modern production techniques, Nu Groove and life in Berlin.

Q: What was your first exposure to disco & house and what were some of the first tracks that blew you away?

A: I’m quite sure I was exposed to disco in my childhood, in the late 70’s. I remember going to a laser light show with my parents in an almost-empty stadium in Taipei, and the background music was ‘The Chase’ by Giorgio Moroder. Read More and listen…

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Interview - Reggie Dokes (Psychostasia Recordings)

Sunday, August 16th, 2009 | Sounds | 5 Comments

Reggie Dokes has produced some of the deepest music to come out of Detroit in the past decade. Reggie’s output on his Psychostasia Recordings, as well as a host of other labels, has stretched the limits of house music and has helped define the Beatdown sound. In this interview Reggie tells us about his early influences and what he’s currently up to.

Q: What was your earliest musical memory?

A: My earliest musical memory would have to be Earth Wind and Fire. I have this cousin from Arkansas, that showed up on our front door step one morning. He had a bag of clothes and a stack of records. My cousin, Kenneth Que Williams introduced me to soul music. As far as house music goes, my first musical experience has to be Martin Circus on Prelude. That track officially introduced me to some different kind of music. Read more and listen…..

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Interview - Brock Van Wey aka Bvdub

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 | Sounds, Vision | 4 Comments

Brock Van Wey recently came by the KUSF studio for an interview on the radio show I co-host, The Friday Night Session. Brock gave great insight into his influences, his label Quietus Recordings and current album on Echospace, ‘White Clouds Drift On And On‘, as well as his forthcoming releases. Big thanks to Brock for taking the time to come into the studio and to my co-host Mike Bee.

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Interview - Stephen Hitchell (Echospace)

Friday, June 26th, 2009 | Sounds | 6 Comments

Chicago based Stephen Hitchell dons many guises, producing as Soultek, Phase90 and Variant, as well as collaborating with Rod Modell as echospace and cv313. Hitchell (along with Modell) also runs the echospace [detroit] label, which earlier this year released his first solo album ‘The Seduction Of Silence’ under the Intrusion moniker. In this interview, Stephen tells us about the finer details of running a label, as well as what’s coming up for him and echospace [detroit].

Read more and listen…..

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Interview - AYBEE (Deepblak Recordings)

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 | Sounds | 7 Comments

Armon Bazile and his Deepblak label has been releasing deep, electronic music since 2001, under a number of guises such as Aybee, Prof Delacroix, Orion 70 and o1o. With the imminent release of his first solo album, Armon gives us an insight to his label, influences and working techniques.

Q: You’re about to drop the debut album under your Aybee moniker - tell me about that and what else is in the pipeline for Deepblak in 2009.

A: The album is called the East Oakland Space Program. I have been trying to complete it for more than 3 years now. It’s changed form at least 4 times, but I finally think it’s time. It is most definitely time. You only get 1 chance to do something for the 1st time, right? I have been holding off to make sure that when that TIME comes, the proper energy is available to be transferred. Once that project is out early May I will be releasing a slew of projects under different names throughout the year. Also working on a live show hopefully to be ready by summer of 09. This year I’m looking forward to championing artists such as Afrikan Sciences, Blaktroniks via Deepblak in 09. Read more and listen…..

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