This was never in doubt.

I could go on forever, but simply put: she makes me want to be a better person. The love of my life and my very best friend.

Advertisements

Yeah, yeah, yeah… I’m a day late. I sat down to do this last night and it just didn’t happen. Blame my bad habit from day 4.

I’ve been trying to find something deep and meaningful for this one, but I keep coming back to one superhero:

BATMAN

I can remember when I was 5 or so, on very rare occasions I’d be allowed to eat my dinner in front of the TV because 5pm was both dinner-time and Batman time (cue: dinner dinner dinner dinner jokes).

I don't remember this though!

Since then, I’ve followed the character through dark and awesome (Tim Burton/Michael Keaton’s Batman), OK but not dark enough (Val Kilmer in Batman Forever), stupid and camp (George Clooney as Batman, really??) and back to dark and awesome (Christopher Nolan/Christian Bale’s Batman). I’ve also read a few of the comics, most notably Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.

If I’m being honest with myself, and I’m pretty sure that’s the whole point of this thing, then I think Batman stuck around because he had the coolest gadgets.

Although, James Bond had gadgets and always got the girls…

Well, you actually might.

I’m a bit spoiled in that I’ve been to a lot of places all over the world, however most of my favourites are quite close to home. Well, what used to be home. ‘Home’ is quite a fluid concept for me right now.

Enough of that existential tangent for now. I’ll save that for another day.

This shot is from my honeymoon and was taken at Taupo Bay in the far North of New Zealand. It’s a truly breath-taking area. I can’t quite remember how we ended up here, but it was a good half hour drive from the main road and well worth it.

Paradise...

On the same trip, I ended up here (any good Kiwi should recognise this!):

… And it aint goin’ away.

I have many bad habits (clicking fingers, neck, knees, ankles is one that many people hate) but the one I particularly would like to shake is my procrastination.

It’s seriously bad. I do anything other than the thing I’m supposed to be doing (even cleaning!) to the point where it’s too late to do whatever it was properly and I just give up on it. I don’t even feel bad about doing it for some reason.

To that extent, it took me 6 years of studying to finish my 3 year degree. Oops.

I even procrastinate about going to sleep. I will stay up and do sweet fuck all until around 2am in the morning, when I should’ve gone to sleep at 12 at the latest. Then I wonder why I feel so tired during the day and do it again the next night.

There’s going to be a few photos here, because some of my friends are notoriously camera shy and we don’t take group photos together all that often.

Me and Seb. He was my best man so there are heaps of wedding shots of him, but he doesn’t like photos so out of respect for that this photo is pretty blurry. The t-shirt sums him up pretty well though.

This is an old photo (pre-beard) of me and Ray. We’ve not long returned from Phat 07 and possibly weren’t ready for civilised company just yet.

Me, Kate (my wife), Phil (who I’ve known since I was 11) and her boyfriend James (who is an awesomely talented photographer and was frequently my Wellington partner in crime)

Me and Trey at my leaving gig in Wellington. One of my closest friends since I moved there, words can’t express how thankful I am to Trey (and his awesome whanau) for everything he did for me. Hopefully this comes close.

Me and my best friend.

This is a pretty simple one really.

My internet alias/DJ name is Baseline.

There are lots of words by me.

Hence, Words by Baseline.

I’m feeling somewhat narcissistic this evening, so I figured I’d jump in on this. By now, I’m sure you’ve all seen what the 30 days are, so I won’t bother repeating them.

My wife likes this photo of me. I'm not quite sure where it was taken.

  1. If I’m watching a TV show or reading a book, I am almost un-distractable. A number of people (mainly my wife and my mum) find this quite annoying when trying to converse with me.
  2. In June I finished my degree, a BBS in Enterprise Development from Massey. It took far too long to complete and Massey was the third university (with the third different major) I studied at.
  3. I’ve been living in Vancouver for 2 months today. I’ve wanted to live in Canada since I first came here in January 2000 so this literally is a dream come true.
  4. I feel most at home in the mountains.
  5. Related to the above two points, I like the Winter and the cold. I overheat too easily in Summer and it’s too hard to cool off.
  6. I got married at 22 (my wife’s blog is here). My mum thought I was too young.
  7. I worry that people are getting stupider.
  8. I’m picky about spelling and grammar. I get this from my mum who got it from her mum who had a Master’s degree in English at a time when it was uncommon for a woman to have one degree, let alone two (also, I’m aware of the irony inherent in the ugly grammar of this sentence).
  9. I’ve been able to grow a full beard since I was 15. I’ve had it in all manner of ‘sculpted’ styles, but my favourite is definitely the most recent incarnation.
  10. I started skiing at 4 years old. Because of this and item 2, I can’t imagine a life without it and proximity to mountains is a major factor in choosing places I want to live.
  11. After my wedding, the most amazing day of my life was last year on an island called Ilha Grande just hanging out with my wife. The weather wasn’t amazing, but the location and the company were.
  12. I was once concussed 5 times in a 12 month period.
  13. Sometimes I regret that I didn’t stick with any organised sport after I left high school.
  14. Even though some of them are perenially useless and organising anything with them can be like herding cats, I really miss my friends back home.
  15. I have mild tinnitus in my right ear and it scares the shit out of me.

Firstly, how did the two of you link up?

Kristin (Woosh) was running SBK here in Dunedin and held an annual production competition a few years back. When I moved down here I entered a tune of mine into the competition and we basically meet through that. Later on we decided to make a tune. We found that we worked very well together so we decided to continue working together.

How does it work in the studio, do you each bring different skills to the table?

Yeah definitely, and I think that’s important. One of us will come up with an idea, such as an 8 bar loop, and then we will show each other and go from there. It’s great because both of us always seem to bring different ideas to the tune.

What effect, if any, has Dunedin had on your sound? Are you worried if you move, you’ll lose that

I can’t say that Dunedin has had any impact on our sound. I think if we were to move it still wouldn’t change anything.

Congratulations on the news of your EP, what provoked the concept for that?

Well we had a bunch of tunes just sitting on my laptop. Kristin just mentioned the idea to me one day and we decided to go ahead and give it a shot. We thought our deeper tunes were our best so decided to keep this the focus of the EP. We also wanted to get our music out to a wider audience and thought that a CD would be the best way to do this.

What music, in or outside of dnb, inspires you?

Both of us are really into the Cinematic Orchestra, DJ Shadow, RJD2 etc. The way these guys use samples is pretty inspiring to us. In dnb we’re both really feeling Alex Perez, Sabre, Klute, Break, and Survival. All the New Zealand artists are also a big inspiration to us. Concord Dawn, Bulletproof, State Of Mind, Trei, Dose, CERN, Antiform, and Teknik, all showing that its possible to do big things from here in New Zealand.

Do you ever make non-dnb music?

Yeah at the moment I’m making a few hip-hop beats for a local MC. Kristin also writes hip-hop tunes at various tempos. I’m pretty keen to give dub-step a crack too, maybe even some house-wobble 😀

What comes first for you: beats, a melody, a sample you want to work with?

I always start by cutting up a break and getting the tempo set. After that I’ll go look through samples or load up a VST and mess around on the keyboard. I always try and create the main melody or idea of the tune and then just add certain elements to it from there. More breaks, single drum hits, percussion, bass etc.

What does the rest of 2007 hold for Vanadis?

Now that the EP’s set we’re both taking a small break. We’re both however very keen to continue writing tunes and to play more gigs in Dunedin and around the country.

How about a May top 10 to finish things off?

1. Agent Alvin – Inside Out – ???
2. Klute – Property Is Theft – Commercial Suicide
3. Tiki – Tangaroa (Sambora Remix) – ???
4. Submorphics – Stray Bullets – Future Retro
5. The Funktastics – Lies & Paradise – Spin Recordings
6. Antiform – Crash feat. MC Twincam – ???
7. Klute – Never Never – Commercial Suicide
8. Commix – Be True – Metalheadz
9. Break – Enigma – Quarantine
10. Jazz Thieves – We Keep The Funk – Pushin Wax

Another interview from NZ Music Month, 2007, this time with Christchurch’s Dose.



What inspired you to start producing drum & bass?

Well after DJing for a few years I felt, and I think any DJ would start to feel, a bit limited by having to choose what tunes they can play off a release sheet. So being able to play my own ideas was one of the main reasons I began looking into producing. Another of the most driving motivations comes from seeing other NZ artists doing so well.

Something that also inspired me to keep writing tunes was getting feedback from the likes of Concord Dawn, The Upbeats & State of Mind. It means a lot and is a good confidence booster when established artists compliment and encourage you.



Your first vinyl offer came from DJ Optiv (C4C) & Red light rec. What was your first reaction when you heard Optiv he was interested in ‘Derailed?



It was surreal! Like I’d been sending The Upbeats, State of Mind, Bulletproof & Concord Dawn my tunes for a while hoping that they’d get the tunes out there to labels and DJs. Then I think a couple of weeks after sending Derailed out I came home one weeknight to find a message from Optiv asking about signing that tune. I honestly couldn’t believe it, from having no label interest at all ever to having one of the scene’s most respected artists wanting to sign my tune was a huge change in circumstance. In my opinion Optiv signing two of my tunes and giving me a 12” release to Red Light has really opened a lot of doors for me. I mean with him being so well respected I think a lot of labels might have looked at that signage like a quality control approval on me as a producer.

It did put me in the deep end a bit as I think being signed to Red Light has put the pressure on me to produce tunes to an certain standard which is hard considering this time last year I had no tunes signed at all! But the pressure has been good and given me a good kick to get a bit more serious about writing tunes and to put in a lot more effort!



Many artists dream of signing a tune to a quality label like Klute’s Commercial Suicide. What was your first reaction when you heard he was interested in ‘Valium Express’?



I think all 3 of us, Trei, Menace and myself, were all well surprised to find that the likes of Ed Rush and Optical, Klute and BSE were all well into the tune! But when Klute mentioned he definitely wanted it for his label we were all basically on the phone to each other straight away, all excited and euphoric like we’d just won the lottery or something!! All 3 of us were buzzing and still are. I don’t think any of us thought when working on that tune that it would have got as much support as it has been getting, let alone be signed by a label like Commercial Suicide.



What’s your approach to starting a tune?



I don’t really have any set approach to making a tune; sometimes I’ll have an idea and try work from that. Other times I might stumble across a great sample or synth that is just bursting with potential. I think I struggle the most when trying to force an idea though.



What’s in your studio?



Well over the last few years I’ve slowly and frustratingly got a version of PC Logic running that runs almost perfect. It still has the odd crash and glitch but the amount of stuffing around installing and reinstalling I, and others for that matter, have been through over the last few years trying to get things running right has been paid off as now as I can use the VSTs I want to in the sequencer I want to.

Aside from my PC I’ve just recently upgraded monitors from the Behringer truths to the Mackie 824s. I did have my doubts at first about spending so much money on speakers but with lots of recommendations I went for it and since the purchase I haven’t looked back, the difference is phenomenal.

I’ve also got a Joe Meek compressor, which I use occasionally, & more recently I purchased a Joe Meek Exciter, which sounds promising.

Apart from those I have a small Evolution keyboard, a Mackie 1202-vlzpro mixer, a couple of custom-made speaker stands and a bit of foam in the corners all in a reasonably small room.



You’ve supported a number of big DJs over the past few years, do you have any rituals to prepare before a big gig?



Well I’m only just getting over the nerves. Of course practicing, as I don’t play out all that much yet. But apart from that I just try and make sure my records and CDs are organized and I have a good knowledge of what tunes are in my bag.

I find it a bit harder with CDs to do that. As with records when looking through your crate you can remember a tune, well hopefully, by just seeing the record sleeve, but with CDs looking at all these titles of tunes is lot different so knowing your tunes well by name is important to me.



Do you see your long-term future being in New Zealand?



Yes I think so. I haven’t really thought of moving elsewhere at all. I’m pretty happy just doing what I’m doing at the moment if that changes then I guess I’ll look for change.



For its size, New Zealand produces a reasonably large number of successful musicians (especially in more ‘alternative’ music forms), what do you think is the reason Kiwis punch above their weight?



Well there’s lots of support for musicians here from grants to the PACE benefit which help if you can manage to get them. Not to mention the loads of gigs & festivals there are around the country every year supporting NZ musicians.



You’re playing with the CERN crew in Auckland this weekend (19th May @ FU), have you played much outside of Christchurch and how do the crowds compare?



Yes a big thanks to Cern who are bringing me up this Saturday for a gig at FU Bar. I haven’t been to Auckland city before so I’m really looking forward to it and to finally seeing FU.

I’ve played a few times out of Christchurch, Drop from Dunedin organized a Queenstown and Dunedin gig for me in March this year and in the past I’ve also played in Nelson, Wellington, Oamaru and a couple of the outdoor NYE events. Well it’s hard for me to compare crowds fairly as I’ve been playing in Christchurch for years whereas I’ve only played a few gigs out of town, but each town seems to have its own good uniqueness.



You’ve already had a couple of releases this year, what else is in store for punters?



Yes my first 2 releases had promo release in April & will both be on full release by the end of May.

Im not entirely sure in what order these next tunes will come out as things always seem to change but here’s a rough idea of what’s scheduled for the future.

My first 12” ; Derailed / Stone Cold – Red light 013 – Release set for June 07 – which will include Ltd Edition Poster inserts of the crazy artwork!

Syndrome Down EP – Syndrome Audio – Promos June 07 — // Bulletproof – 1000ft & Rising // Dose – Eye to Eye // Catacomb – Foul matter // Psidream – Evil Genius //

Bulletproof & Teknik feat Dose – Thaw – Cyanide (12″ Armour EP 002) – Release mid-late 07

Dose / Catacomb – Anoxia / Out Alive – Aesthetics -Release late 07

Dose, Trei & Menace – Valium Express – Commercial Suicide – Release ???

Also a collab with Psidream, Teknik, Menace & myself that I think will come out on a new label called Nightfall.

& Another collab with Bulletproof & Psidream feat Dose which I’mm not sure what’s happening with yet as it still needs a bit of work.

And also a Dose 12” For a New label a new Kiwi D&B focused label called Souvenir Music, which will do both vinyl releases & a mix cd series.



Lastly, any shout outs you’d like to make?



Shouts to Bassdrop, you Matt for sorting this interview and all the readers! And also to everyone else out there who’s helped /supported me in one way or another.

This is the first of a series of interviews I did with NZ producers/DJs for NZ Music Month 2007.

Who are CERN and how did you all link up?
J: Drum & Bass producers from AK republic

Have you had any international interest in your tunes?
J: We’re just trying to get some really solid material together. We have had interest, definitely, but can’t say too much at the moment.

Have any (or all) of you looked into working on music outside of drum and bass?
J: Power ballads!!!!! They are very emotive, complex songs that sing to the heart and rock like a panther in mating season, and a few downbeat bits.
O: We’ve spent a little time on Dubstep lately – really looking forward to doing some more with that.

You’ve been involved with promoting a number of parties in Auckland now, how did you get into that side of things?
O: Primarily for us promoting is about wanting to see our favorite producers perform live, as a lot of them had never really come down (or up) this way. Only until recently have we been seeing artists like Mayhem, Psidream and Break gain enough popularity to play gigs through New Zealand, which is fucking sweet!!
Our South In Session parties more recently have definitely proved to be really popular – it’s great to meet other like-minded fools from other parts of the country, and the progress we have made from collaborating in the studio with Teknik, Menace and Dose has taken our tunes to a new level.

What fills your time outside of music?
J: Just the usual stuff. Food and girl
O: My Girl. Work. Uni. Eating.

What role do you think online networking (forums, Myspace etc) have to play in the future of drum and bass?
J: A huge role. Myspace, forums etc has opened up the communication lines in a phenomenal way. It’s easy for everybody to be in contact with their favorite labels/producers and get your tunes heard.

What would the line-up at your dream gig be?
J: Hmmm… Sabre, Mayhem, PHACE, Fierce & Break, D Bridge & Christchurch posse (Teknik, Menace & Dose).
O: I would say Konflict, Noisia & Mayhem w/MC Verse, Phace, Fierce & Break, and D-Bridge.

What’s your honest opinion of New Zealand Music Month? Is it really necessary?
J: Well, what could really be wrong with pushing all of NZ’s music for a month? I think it’s a real positive step for getting new artists heard and a good chance for people to hear more of what NZ’s established and lesser known artists have to offer! Cheers!

Our mystery writer wants to know: why do you find Chad so handsome?
CHAD: Well, basically. I have spent years honing my extremely good looking skills so that I become irresistible to just about anything, even small animals. I spend countless hours in front of my vintage $50.000 mahogany framed mirror making sure I look more perfecter than perfect, so you know I’m good.

Who’s the one to watch from Auckland?
J: Us I hope, ha! Flirt w/ Dirt and Bugsy I suppose. Ha!!!

A current top ten and any shout outs to close?

Flirt with Dirt – Zanzibar
Teknik & The Upbeats – Poison
Dose & Cern – Jackblack
The Chad – Love is a Force to be Reckoned With
Vanadis – The Angels Share
Teknik & Cern – Untitled
Mayhem – Lebanon
Phace, Bulletproof & Teknik – Hypersleep
Bulletproof & Teknik – Smash Palace
Psidream, Dose, Teknik & Menace – Untitled

Shouts to Jay, Charlie B, Bugsy, Matt & Evan, Pat & Stu, Vanadis, Teknik, Dose, Menace and Package & Nato.