Monday, February 13, 2017

BellaBassFly Interviews Metaphysical - Digging Into The Underground Past, Present & Future...

1. What contributed to your passion for electronic music?
I would have to say two things initially. First was prior to my first event. In the early/mid nineties my older sister dated Dj Decipher. He was strongly credited for being one of the main influences with popularizing both Acid Techno & Hardcore Techno in the underground NYC scene. So as a young teenager I was hearing everything from Deee-Lite to Atomic Babies being played around the house. Second (which I feel was the starting point for most party kids/dj's who came up into the electronic music scene from the beginning - the 2000's) was my first event. My friend took me to Fantasia 2 at Downing Stadium on Randalls Island in NYC. As a 16 year old kid stepping into the outdoor arena with probably 10,000+ ravers in broad daylight was life changing. Shout out to Park Rave Madness & others associated with that event series for helping change the game in NYC.
2. How has electronic music promotions changed over the years?
I think its simple. The internet. Prior to the web it was strictly word of mouth, flyers & info lines. You had to use your social skills, gift of gab and ability to build a good event to pack a venue. Once the internet became popular it definitely changed the game. There are immense benefits and drawbacks to using online for promotions.
3. How has commercial EDM festivals changed or affected underground music?
It depends on how you look at it. If you consider yourself and underground purist (whether a DnB purist, a house purist, etc..), I think many really dislike the fact that electronic music has turned greatly into that EDM stigma. But I think if you work in or around the industry, you need to respect the global platform EDM and festivals have given our music. Going more mainstream and arena"ish" persay allows artists (both djs and producers) to reach new heights realistically now that before were only dreams.
4. What festivals have you played?  
First off Ultra Music Festival in Miami. I hold both a promotions position as well as a dj residency with them. This March (2017) will be my 12th & 13th times behind the decks at their festival over the past 10 years. I will be performing on two seperate stages for them this year. I have been blessed to perform at many other amazing festivals nationally and even some globally over the past several years as well. Some of these include: Pyroglyphics (ME), Tropical Dreams Festival (Belgium), Elemental Fusion Festival (NJ), Bella Terra Festival (NY), Stress Free Summer (NY), EDC (Chi), Street Parade (Switzerland) & several others.
5. Where is your favorite place to spin?
I definitely have a few. HTO Productions in S. FL (Ft. Lauderdale) runs a DnB/Breaks Thursday night for many years now. I have been fortunate to have played for them seven times now. I will be playing for them again March 2nd in a few weeks. Output in Brooklyn is amazing. Killer sound system, amazing staff and the clubs layout and vibe I feel is the best in NYC. Of course Ultra in Miami. Their production is 2nd to none on the planet. But I would have to say my favorite place to Dj on this earth is Cafe del Mar in Ibiza, Spain. We have been throwing an annual sunset event there every August for the past four years. To dj there is an experience. One I cannot fully describe. You have to be there to completely understand.
6. Technology and underground music... What are your insights? 
I think technology has come too far too fast for djing. It has made it too easy for anyone to label themself a performer. It takes years upon years to form your sound and get a proper following. As a producer though I think it's great. I personally do not produce (a personal choice), but I definitely respect what technology has done for the production game. Music has no limits. Underground music in my opinion is way past its prime. It used to go through cycles every few years as new promoters were groomed and became skilled in organizing and promoting. I just don't feel or see the sense of pride there nearly as much anymore. But a lot of that has to do with who's going out and partying these days as well. 7. Big room Vs. little room. Preference? 
This always makes me crack a smile. Although these two music styles are considered day and night by the majority, I disagree. If you are a good enough performer, you can take any genre of music, play to a crowd of thousands and make them love both that music and you. The trick is knowing how to do that. Many dj's these days rely strictly on "crowd bangers" to keep their crowds interested. Sorry, but i'll stay and listen to a technically skilled dj who loves what he does and took the time to learn how to use their equipment properly over a dj who drops "big room tracks" or "club bangers" the whole set any day. So my preference... Neither. Just be damn good at what you do before you step out onto that stage. Be confident. Put your time in..

8. What are your predictions for electronic music over the next 5 years? 
None. I honestly do not think anyone can predict what tomorrow will bring let alone five years from now. 9. How does NYC differ from other places you have spun?  This is a tough question because I will always love my hometown the most. But every city, state & country around the globe has a scene, a tight knit group of people that truly love their music and its community. The only thing I would say that TRULY sets us apart from ANY other city is Konkrete Jungle. It is the longest running weekly in the world. Every Monday night since 1994, "Mac" has opened his doors for Drum n Bass and all music lovers around the globe to give djs a place to spin and people a place to dance and gather. I have been blessed to be involved with more events with them then I can count both djing and coordination. And although I believe at times people forget where they come from, I will always give credit to KJ for being consistant and doing something no one else has done this long. 10. If you could preserve one element in electronic music culture in a time capsule what would that be? 
Wow!! What an amazing question. An extremely tough one as well. I think it would have to be the 90's rave clothing/style. 70 inch bottoms, hidden pockets, UFO's, kandi, fuzzy backpacks, visors, pacifiers and more. Mostly all gone these days. Except for Kikwear still pushing their brand and styles, you really do not see any of the old stuff around. Although at my age I wouldn't personally dress this way anymore, I think it was a lot of fun to do it when I did.

11. If you could play any venue anywhere ( from any time period )where would it be and why? 
The Tunnel (NYC). It closed in 2001. Although I was there countless times, it was only as a patron. The sound, layout and history of that place was unreal. Back then If you had a residency at or played main floor there, you made it.
12. What are some projects readers can look forward to in the coming months.  February 24th We are hosting Venomous Melodies in Manhattan. It's at a virgin rooftop venue with a lineup I am very proud of. We are bringing in Dj Rectangle from Las Vegas who may be the most infamous turntablist (scratch dj) in history. If you havent heard of this man first off look him up. Second, come on by and listen for yourself. Joining him on the decks will be Codes, X-Dream, Swanky Jones & Myself. 
March 25th, we will be hosting our 30th event in Miami during Music Week/Conference. The event is called "Kink Beats 2" at Wine Vault. It's a free event for all showcasing talent from all across the globe. Artists include Marcos Carnaval, Cris Ruiz, Hannah Laing, Lady Verse, Aramix Vega, Jenna Gilmore, Master Feathers, Eyecue, Dena Carman & Myself. That's all we have on the books till this summer when we head to Ibiza, Spain for our 5th year straight to dj as a collective and coordinate events.
KINK BEATS 2: 13. What keeps you grounded? It wasn't till a short time ago that I could say anything kept me grounded. Somewhere in the early 2000's I lost my boundaries. I even had a few close calls with life at times. But these days I would have to say three things keep me "grounded'. 1. My girl Jackie. She gave me a reason to work harder, get my shit together and want for more in life. It's very rare that you find your true soul mate. I was one of the lucky few. 2. My friends are my everything. I have definitely surrounded myself with amazing individuals and feel lucky to have each and every one of them in my life. 3. My belief in a higher being than us. I was raised in two different religions. As an adult I can only say I truly believe that there is something greater then us out there and that someday we will be held accountable for the decisions we have made while on this earth. Now, althought I still live my life to the fullest each day I wake up, I do it with the thought that it's ok to always strive to do the right thing. 14. Any advice for the "frustrated" producer trying to get booked? Yep.. Toughen up!!! This isn't an industry for people without tough skin. I have long been told and agreed that it takes at least ten years of djing and/or producing to really form your signature sound. So if it hasn't happened yet, you probably havent been working at it long enough or hard enough. If you aren't willing to put the time & effort in, then step aside because there a thousand people behind you that are. If you work your ass off, people will see it and recognize it. Trust that. 15. Who are you currently listening to? EVERYONE!! I dont play favorites.. But I will say that I have been digging back in my collection lately and lisatening to a lot of Portishead, Cypress Hill, Rage Against the Machine, Nirvana and Billy Joel.
* Final note.. Although I wasn't asked this I am a firm believer to give credit where it is due. If it weren't directly for the following crews/companies I wouldn't have been given the opportunity to be where I am today: Caffeine events, Stuck on Earth/ Ratt Pack, Local 13, Columns of Knowledge, TRUE Crew, 209 Productions, Sonic Groove, Satellite, Cousins & Animaniacs. THANK YOU <3

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