Archive for March, 2009

Katalyst Interview

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 | Interviews | No Comments
Katalyst Interview

Hey Katalyst, thanks for taking the time, how are you? What’s going on with you at the moment?

Too much….wheres all the time gone?? Damn!!
So just lots of music really. Many different collaborations as well as some solo work. Also the release on BBE worldwide has been great. Giles Peterson named “How Bout Us”. The track I did with Steve Spacek his in his top 20 songs of 08. It came in at No13. Right now Im mixing a record Ive done with a vocalist. And recording lots of MCs for a project Im doing called ‘Quakers’.

How did you first get into production and spinning records? What was it that inspired you?

I was inspired by the music. Simple as that. I realised I loved music and the way it could make you feel so many things. Hip hop in particular…but that led me to all the genres that make up hip hop. My Stepdad sold Hi Fi so it was sound was a bit of a focus at our house growing up.

Your sound brings to mind names like DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist and Pete Rock; are these artists that you feel you can relate to? How would you describe your sound?

I undersatnd why these comparrisons are made and I like work by these artists. I realy like Shadows’ early work. Releases like “what“does you soul look like”, and Pete Rock was right up there, then he dropped ‘The main Ingredient’ and he was one of my fav producers of all time for sure. My favourite producer of all time is probably Premier. And also my man Geoff Barrow from Portishead. I don’t try to describe my sound ’cause it changes depending on the project. But I guess I’m into old sounds mixed with new sounds. Especially bass. Basically I’m into music with soul

What artists were you bumping back in the day when you first got into the scene?

I first got into groups like Public Enemy, Big Daddy Kane, and more mainstream acts like Ice T and Ice Cube etc. As well as in the late 80’s groups like Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul and the Jungle Brothers, Black Sheep (Native Tounges) etc When I first got into the scene I was meeting peeps that all gathered at the only hip hop store in Sydney, ‘The Lounge Room’. Hip Hop wasn’t really part of mainstream culture here in Australia like it is today. There were very few international artists coming here to Aus exception of acts De La Soul and Public Enemy that had crossed over onto main stream radio

Katalyst - Say What You Feel

You’ve collaborated with many different artists over the years, what have been some of the more memorable connections? Is there anyone in particular that you’d love to work with in the future?

Lots of the artists Ive worked with I’m still working with today. And I’m working with a lot of people at the moment who Ive wanted to work with for some time. But I guess as your taste and ideas change you want to work with different people. Being a producer I will always be working with new people and that’s what keeps it interesting and exciting. I think if I was to work with everyone I’d like to work with I’d need more time than I have.

‘Watts Happening’, released towards the end of 2007, has received great reviews, did you enjoy making the album? Is there another album in the works?

I always enjoy making music. Some projects are more enjoyable than others. I enjoyed making this album a lot. It was so long since my previous album that I hadn’t had that much time making music for a few years. So just getting back to writing was a pleasure. And then collaborating with so many other talented artists from here and abroad made it even more enjoyable.

I first came across your music when I heard ‘Dusted’, it had such a party vibe and the track selection was sensational, is this how you like to rock shows when you play live?

‘Dusted’ was a compilation album that had some party jams for sure but also had some more chill tunes on it. When I play live with my band I mostly play my own music which ranges from party to more chilled soul so in a way ‘Dusted’ does reflect the vibe of my live show. If I’m just DJ’ing then a few tunes on the comp will be sure to get a run.

Vinyl or Serato?

Live its all Serato now…… just due to convenience. Not so convenient is its playing up which is another consideration. But I still love vinyl. I don’t even have Serato set up at home cause I’d never use it.  My records are there and nothing sounds better. Vinyl is still the best playback medium around.

Recently you were a part of the ‘Days Like This’ festival in Sydney, which included the likes of Public Enemy, Atmosphere and Fat Freddys Drop; how was that for a gig? Did you get to catch up with many of the other artists?

That show was great. It was a really nice day over all. The crowd really tuned out for our set even though it was early in the day. The Forum was packed and everyone was hyped. As far as catching up with other artists, I caught up with Flying Lotus, Wajeed and Vadim introduced himself (again…as I had already met him years ago) as were now label mates on BBE Records. Even managed to say a quick hello to Chuck D the man himself!

Katalyst - All You’ve Got

You’ve also toured with artists such as Jurassic 5, The Roots and DJ Shadow; tell us about life on the road with such hip hop legends, what has been your favourite tour so far? Any crazy stories?

All the crazy stories are for another time but generally those guys are cool. There just over here doing their thing. Everyone’s different too. And depending on the gig you might or might not get to chill with the other artists. Some of the national tours like Good Vibrations mean you spend a week with the other artists and you might go record shopping etc with a few of the guys and get to know then a little better. I’ve had big international artists approach me as “fans” which was cool. Z Trip already had my music before I met him and introduced himself as a fan.  He’s a really nice guy into the bargin..

When not making music you’re busy running your label, Invada Records, does that take up more of your time these days?

It takes up more time than I have for it so I’m looking to collaborate with some other label soon. Just so I have more time to make music which is what I got into this business for. I stopped signing new acts a while back because of time limitations.

How do you think the music industry is going to cope with all this recession business that’s going on?

How is the music industry going to cope with the fact changing technology has meant recorded music has only a fraction of the value it used to have? That’s the real question here I think. The recession will come and go but free music is here for good….so how is the industry going to work around that? Good question! As usual time will tell.

I’ve heard recently that you are working on a project that is “somewhere between Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings and Gnarls Barkley”, can you shed any light on this for us?

I guess that would be the album Im doing with Steve Spacek. We’ve called the ourselves Space Invadas, and the album is almost done. I hope people dig it ’cause we had a great time making it. So far the feedback has been amazing. Its title is ‘Soul – Fi’

What are you listening to at the moment? Care to share your opinion on the current state of hip hop?

Im listening to a lot of old records as usual but also trying to cop anything new making waves out there. The latest Black Milk album was tasty. Still keeping an eye on what Madlibs up to. The new Q-Tip album is cool. There’s some dope jams on there. His live show was great as well. I’m working on a hip hop project as I mentioned with my man from Portishead. Its called ‘Quakers’ and it will be my contribution to the current state of hip hop…..because quite frankly….its boring as batshit out there….and the commercial stuff is the worst its been in a long time

Can we expect to see Katalyst out on the road anytime soon?

Yep but more likely as Space Invadas. That’s the next project to hit the road. We’ll have a 4 or 5 piece band and some guest vocalist along with Steve and myself. Looking forward to getting that out there. I guess there could be a Katalyst show or two as well……..

Many thanks for your time,

You can check out more of Katalyst at:


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It’s about time for some ‘Melodics’

Friday, March 27th, 2009 | News | No Comments
It's about time for some 'Melodics'

doyouknowhat? A breath of fresh air can be hard to find in the world of music since the internet has opened up the floor to every man and his dog with a basic computer. This being said, that breath is all the more sweet when you happen to get it, and this time it came to me in the form of Melbourne based hip hop, electronic, jazzy blues crossover group Melodics.

I came to hear the Melodics by chance at an event where Very Good artist Pataphysics and Very Good friends Batucada Sound Machine were playing last month, so with 2 awesome groups already performing, the entrance of a third made for a gig which was basically a mini niche festival to me.

Exactly what style of music you would call this I am unsure of, and I think that’s often a defining character of music that I enjoy. If you can’t tell what genre something is and your still feeling the groove then there’s no question it’s hot, and they are.  Opening the set with an accapella poem that had the audience in silence, frontman Jeremedy answered the question I have been asking to Australia and New Zealand for sometime… where the poets at? well they’re in Melbourne it seems… or otherwise they’re on youtube.

Late notice but they are playing tonight at ‘Bar Open’ in Fitzroy in Melbourne if your free to check out some fresh new sounds

or you can check out more of Melodics at:

and If your a poet – we’re looking for you so get in touch


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Society Is Brainwashed – Ill Bill

Thursday, March 26th, 2009 | News | No Comments
Society Is Brainwashed - Ill Bill

Obviously many of us are aware by now that governments and the media lie to us on a regular basis, whether we like to believe it or not. Some of us don’t really care anymore, while others get really into the whole conspiracy theory type thing. Sites like manage to keep churning out some great ones. So how the hell does this relate to music you may begin to ask? Well here’s a song that came out end of last year by Ill Bill, it’s got a great beat which is pretty much guaranteed when Dj Premier is on production. It’s from the album ‘Hour of Reprisal’ which also came out in 2008. It should appeal to hip hop fans who like a bit of controversy or substance in the lyrics. With great lines like:

“Every society honours it’s live conformists and dead trouble-makers.”

“Old men start wars for young dudes to die in
Madison Avenue tellin’ what you should be buyin’
religion and science always profess peace but in the end
who created the deadly war machine society is?”

Ill Bill – Society is Brainwashed

We all should know by now that the world is run by people who don’t listen to good music!

You can check out more of Ill Bill at:


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The RZA Afro Samurai Resurrection

Monday, March 23rd, 2009 | News | No Comments
The RZA Afro Samurai Resurrection

Finally!!!! The RZA is back with his follow up soundtrack for the second installment of manga cartoon ‘Afro Samurai 2′. After releasing a huge variety of beats and rhymes in other awesome soundtracks like ‘Ghost Dog’, ‘Kill Bill’ volumes 1 and 2, and of course all of his work in Wu tang chronicles, the first ‘Afro Samurai’ soundtrack wasn’t the best piece of RZA’s work for me, given the quality of his work though, you can’t skip over anything the the RZA puts his hand on, so it’s definitely worth a listen.

Afro Samurai Resurrection – Movie Trailer

Check out his interview for a crazy insight into the politics that goes on behind the scenes for an artist on both sides of the business who has given a new sense of possibility to entrepreneurs that follow him. This interview is one of the better, and more real accounts I have seen in recent times, and paints a picture you don’t get to see all to often in the media.

and you can check out more of RZA at:


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DJ Shadow Speaks Up

Friday, March 20th, 2009 | News | No Comments
DJ Shadow Speaks Up

DJ Shadow speaks up!
Legendary DJ and producer, DJ Shadow, has emerged from hiding to release a personal message to his fans in the hip hop community. Leader of the instrumental hip hop revolution, Shadow has been largely absent since touring with Cut Chemist on The Hard Sell tour last year. The release of his debut album “Endtroducing…..” back in ‘96 saw the beginnings of a movement in instrumental hip hop. Ahead of its time maybe, “Entroducing….” still sounds just as good 13 years later (isn’t that amazing, 13 years!). When it was released it entered The Guiness Book of World Records as the “First Completely Sampled Album”. Relying primarily on a combination of sampled funk, hip hop and film score, Shadow’s innovative sample arrangements influenced countless producers and musicians. In recent years, artists such as RJD2, Madlib, and Blockhead have garnered critical acclaim with a number quality of instrumental hip hop albums.
Anyway, enough from me, here’s what Shadow has to say (released on his site

Hello, everyone, and Happy 2009. It has been quite a long time since anyone has heard from me, so I thought I would bring you all up to date.

To cut to the chase, this is going to be an interesting year in DJ Shadow-land. As some of my longer-term followers have probably observed, long bouts of silence usually signal changes on the horizon. That’s because I am ‘head down,’ focusing on the tasks at hand and laying a strong foundation to build on over time. There are some things brewing that I’m not at liberty to reveal yet, but that are exciting and very different for me. More about that soon; keep watching this space. But in the meantime…

….Yes, I am working on new music. It is way too early in the day to discuss what it will sound like or when it will come out, but I feel I owe everyone at least that much information; work has begun. Probably the only thing I can promise is that as always, it will sound different from the last one…oh, and that everyone will undoubtedly hate it until two years after the fact. (Let the backlash to the backlash of the backlash BEGIN!!! haha, err…ha)

DJ Shadow – Organ Donor

My touring cycle is generally over, so it will be awhile before most of you will see me live. This is all part of the normal process of exchanging studio life for road life, and vice versa. Both are important, but 2 and 1/2 years touring was enough to buy me some quality time in the lab. That’s not to say that there won’t be ANY shows this year, just that they will be few and generally unique to my “live” stage show. In other words, if it sounds different and fun, I might not be able to resist.

Ok, also, this site is about to undergo MAJOR reconstruction. We’re still a couple of months away from relaunch, but when it happens…get ready for some shit. Forget everything you’ve ever thought about what a DJ Shadow site could or should consist of…if we pull it off, I promise you, you’re going to be pleased. I’ll leave it at that for now, in case something happens and it all falls to pieces. Just know that I’m genuinely excited about the future.

I think that’s a good thought to end on…as always, thank you for your support, your honesty, your patronage, your ears; and your time, for reading this.

DJ Shadow

Hmmmm sounds intriguing!

Check out some Shadow at:


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