From Copenhagen to the TSDcast - Gaze Ill
Gaze Ill - Hi guys, I’m good, thanks for having me!
TSD - So let’s begin at the beginning: when music started talking it you?
G - Well, it all started at “my” beginning actually. Music has always been a big part of my father’s side of the family - my father plays the bass, and my grandfather played the piano travelling around Germany playing concerts. So I was influenced at a very young age - I started playing the drums when I was around three years old, and I’ve been playing various instruments for as long as I remember.
TSD - Can you tell us what ignited the spark in you to start DJ-ing and producing?
G - I started getting into producing around 2000, when I got a game for my Playstation called Music 2000. I would spend hours and days really making music on the Play Station, and as I didn’t own a computer back then, I had to record the final tracks onto cassette tapes. Things really started from there, production wise… I think it must have been around 2002 when a friend sorted out a computer with music software (DAW) for me, and things got a bit more real. Since then I’ve been so lucky to be able to invest in some proper gear for my home studio.
The DJ side of things came along years after. I met Don D in 2008 who was a DJ and we started making beats together, and he introduced me to DJ-ing. I kinda did the reverse of the technology within the area. I started on one of those digital controllers, but quickly felt it was too easy (not trying to disrespect the people who like the controllers). So I moved on to mixing with CDs on analogue mixers, and then further moved on to mix with vinyl too. I love the real touch when mixing with analogue gear - the mixing depends more on your ears than on a computer screen showing you the waves of the track… that is of course a preference that varies from the individual person I guess. I might be liking the analogue approach due to my musical background.
TSD - How did you get into Dubstep? And what was your response when you first heard this strange new inaccessible music?
G - As I met my very good friend Dan (aka Don D) in 2008, he was always looking into new different urban, electronic genres, and he introduced me to Dubstep. I instantly loved it!! I listened to a lot of grime at that point, and Don D and I where making a lot of Hip Hop and grime beats back then.. It then turned into making Dubstep tracks.
What got hold of me, was the modulating basslines and the very open creativity the genre had to offer - plus I’ve always had an enormous love for deep sub bass that’ll shake you good. And the magical tempo of 70/140bpm is just the finishing touch adding a tight and alive pulse.
TSD - What motivated you to start Cue Line Records?
G - Cue Line was launched in 2012 - Don D and myself where making music as the duo Skakes at the time. We found it hard to get in touch with labels as our network was like nothing. So we figured we might as well just go ahead and release it ourselves.
From there we quickly gained a huge interest in releasing music, and we kept on with it.
TSD - In your opinion what make Cue Line sound unique? And how as been the reactions to the "Warm Space Ep" of Shiva so far?
G - I’ve often been told that the selection of music for the releases on Cue Line Records is quite tight. For me, I can feel the artists in the music. That’s important to me! I just think it’s important for musicians to have their heart with them in what they do, which makes you feel them throughout their music. Otherwise what’s the point..?
The response on the ‘Warm Space EP’ has been very interesting so far. People’s favourites have been very varied from the title track ‘Warm Space’, to the collaborative ‘Mantra’ with Jobanti, to the Murk remix. That’s kinda the ideal feedback I think. Also Juno Download have given us great response through their many features and reviewing of it.
TSD - Creating any art form often draw inspiration from life and environment. With the many outlets from which we can seek such inspiration, what inspires you to create the sound that you do?
G - I don’t think anything really specific inspires me. However, I do think my brain works in a slightly higher tempo than other’s do. So there’re constantly things jumping around in my head - everything from drum grooves to sound designs or something third. These things and ideas often correlate at some point and I have to run to my music- workstation to get them into a project. I even had to create project templates to be able to access producing as quickly as possible, because when I start working on these ideas I might have to keep ideas for 16 different instrument-tracks in my head at once. However, I’d say that I mostly make my music from improvisation - meaning that one instrument tells me what the next instrument should play.
This would probably origin from my many years of playing the drums and other instruments in various bands where I’d be writing music by jamming and improvising with the bands.. So it’s very hard for me to say what inspires me, because it all arises from what I can hear in my head. Not sure how it gets in there…. It mostly just comes from inside somewhere.
Though sometimes if I walk by a construction site or so, some of the noises from the work in there might be sounding like a groove or create harmonies, and those sometimes inspire me. Luckily for me, I’ve got musical ears so I can determine harmonies when I hear them, and I used to study music theory so I can write the scores in my head and then remember it.
Also the recording function on my cell phone is useful for humming melodies and stuff if I need to remember something quickly and don’t have the right mind set for memorizing a score, haha..
TSD - In partnership it RealRoots Int'l you are releasing the 10" "Silly Johnny-Dub / Mist". Could you give us an idea of where you were trying to take this piece of music from a technical viewpoint as well as its listener emotionally?
G - I wouldn’t say that I really was specifically aiming at anything in regards of the forthcoming 10” vinyl on RealRoots Int’l. I don’t set up a framework for my sound or for what kind of music I want to make. It’s all completely up to my inspiration. So, wherever my inspiration takes me, I go.
I started talking to Koppo the owner of RealRoots a few years back, and I’d regularly send him unreleased music to bring to his DJ gigs. He really liked ‘Silly Johnny-Dub’ and ‘Kill Dem With Vibes’, so we paired them up for a plate. Then later on the ‘Mist’ track came along - we both really felt it should be on the 10”.
These three dub-wise tracks are three out of a whole bunch of tracks in this style - some more dub/reggae like than others.
I like to keep my tracks to myself for some time before I choose to share them - this way I have the opportunity to figure out what I want to do with them, and if the quality meets my standards.
That’s why these three tracks would probably be the first of this kind people hear from me. Basically the 10” vinyl is sounds from my mind, and following the split-artists 12” vinyl on Circle Vision earlier in 2015, I’m very excited to have this one being 100% Gaze.
TSD - How would you describe the 140 scene in the Denmark today?
G - Hmm… It’s not like there’s a huge scene for Dubstep in Denmark - it’s a small country (like 5-6 million people), and most people like other genres.
The past year though, it seems the spark for Dubstep and underground electronic bass music has started burning again.
There used to be a lot of events years back when bookers as the Danish pioneers OHOI! hosted a lot of events with big UK etc. artists. But there’ve been some quite dead years recently with almost nothing going on, or on the other hand almost no people at the events. It seems though, that people have started to be into this music again - RDG has done a lot with his regular Circle Vision parties in Copenhagen - great names as Kman, N-Type, Walsh, Sgt. Pokes plus many more have visited to play in 2015 - and it’s been fantastic to see that there’s been a lot of people at these events.
Not to forget the Copenhagen crew Dubkultur who’s been hosting a fair amount of great bass events too with the latest being the wonderful Joe Nice’s 2nd visit in Copenhagen, and Eshone, Shiva, and myself incl. in November.
TSD - You have a bi-weekly show on Rood Fm how did that come about?
G - The RoodFM show is still quite new - it’s been going on for about 4-5 months’ time.
I really do enjoy DJ-ing and I obviously like my own preferences in selecting music, so I wanted to be able to do this combined on a regular basis. So it seemed ideal to talk to the RoodFM crew to get a timeslot at the station.
TSD - What producers within (or outside) of the bass music spectrum are making your ears prick up, so to speak?
G - I’m a huge fan of the weird and abstract sound you’ll find on labels as Hessle Audio, 7even Recordings, and Apple Pips - a lot of brilliant artists on these labels.
But I also listen to other kinds of music - hard to pick any specific names, but my musical preferences vary from electronic music to death metal to jazz…
The only thing you probably wouldn’t find me listening to would be too commercial music. I’m not really into the commercial radio stuff - it’s just a bit noisy and boring I think.. It might sound like a cliché, but that’s just how it is..
TSD - What can we expect from you next?
G - Well, obviously you can expect to see my 10” vinyl on RealRoots Int’l getting released.
But I’ve got a few other things coming too. I feel bad for not being able to share more details, but I can say that you should keep an eye out in the record stores for sure.
TSD - Can you take us through the mix you put together for us?
G - Basically the mix is a showcase of music I enjoy - some things from myself, some unreleased and forthcoming stuff, and tracks I enjoy very much.
TSD - Any musical guilty pleasures you're not afraid to share?
G - Well, I do listen to a lot of different music. I’m very bad at mentioning specific names - I don’t even memorize titles for most tracks.. But mostly I listen to a varied selection of electronic music and various kinds of rock music. I like things widely in between stuff from Cobblestone Jazz to Sigur Rós… I guess that gives you no answer, haha sorry…
TSD - Thank you for your time, any shout outs and special mentions?
G - You’re most welcome, thank you for your time and interest in talking to me!
I definitely want to give out a shout to my beautiful wife for putting up with all the strange and loud noises I make sometimes, a shout to my mate and label partner Don D, and a huge shout to RDG for the great, continuous support and back up.
Also a thumb up to Koppo of RealRoots Int’l, Mentha, Syte, Cessman, K Man, Basspaths and the rest of you - you know who you are!