Katalyst Interview

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

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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The Next Level

Thursday, March 19th, 2009 | News | No Comments

Get ready to party! No strangers to Australia, regular party-starters and mixtape masters, The Nextmen, are returning to our shores for a series of gigs across Australia and New Zealand in April and May. With their reputation of stomping live shows, pristine track selection and turntable tricks to boot, you can be sure they’ll have you waving your hands in the air like you just don’t care.

The Nextmen are UK song writing/producing hip hop DJ’s Dom Search (aka Dominic Betmead) and Brad Baloo (aka Brad Ellis). They’ve become known for their dope remixes and awesome two-man four-turntable live shows where the tunes range from hip hop to drum and bass, funk to breaks, reggae to soul and everything in between. As usual, they will be accompanied by an MC, and one of the UK’s finest at that in MC Wrec.

If you’ve ever listened to any of The Nextmen’s mix albums such as ‘Moving Amongst the Madness’, ‘Listen and Lose’ and ‘Not the Nextmen’, then you’ll be well aware of the kind of party atmosphere they’re going to bring. If you haven’t heard them before, do yourself a favour and get over to their myspace now and listen to their “Annie Mac Mini Mix”, a frenetic head-nodding mix of everything from Fat Freddys Drop to Jurassic 5 to Dizzee Rascal, including a couple of classic Nextmen remixes, that’ll give you a small taste of what to expect. Better yet, cop any of the albums above for a real good insight in to the Nextmen madness; all of their albums are sure to have you nodding your head in no time.

The Nextmen ft Zarif – Something Got You

Tickets to the Melbourne gig are a bargain at $20 presale, so pick one up today before they’re all gone, this will be a night filled of dancefloor killing bangers and tight rhymes from some of the best in the business, not to be missed!

The Nextmen on tour in April and May:
17th April – Coherent & Ink Bar Auckland
18th April – Summerset @ Basin Reserve Wellington
19th April – Groove is in the park Adelaide
23rd April – Transit Bar Canberra
24th April – Roxanne Parlour Melbourne,
25th April – Halo Hobart, Tasmania
26th April – Villa Perth, Western Australia
1st May – Oxford Art Factory Sydney
2nd May – Groovin’ The Moo Townsville
2nd May – Shifty Beats @ Empire Hotel Brisbane

You can check out more of The Nextmen at:



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Fat Freddy’s long awaited return to Australia!

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009 | News | No Comments

New Zealand’s most talked about group, Fat Freddy’s Drop, are back in Australia this month kicking off their week long tour of sweet sweet dub reggae, roots, breakbeats & soul.

The tour starts in Melbourne tomorrow night at the ‘Palace Metro’ in St Kilda, our apologies for not posting this earlier for those who are in Melbourne and haven’t already heard, just take it easy tonight and then whooshtaaa! get up in there.

Fat Freddy’s Drop – The Nod (Live)

Fat Freddy’s Drop will play:

Thursday 19th – Palace Metro – Melbourne

Tickets: www.ticketmaster.com.au

Friday 20th – HQ – Adelaide

Tickets: www.venuetix.com.au venuetix outlets & B Sharp Records

Saturday 21st – Enmore Theatre – Sydney

Tickets: www.enmoretheartre.com.au, www.ticketek.com, 132 849 & ticketek outlets

Friday 27th – The Tivoli – Brisbane

Tickets: www.ticketek.com, 132 849, & Rockinghorse Records

Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th – The Great Northern – Byron Bay

Tickets: Hotel Great Northern, 02 6685 6454 & www.oztix.com.au.oztix.com.au ph 1300 762 545

If you haven’t seen any of their recent material you can See earlier article here.

You can check out more of Fat Freddy’s Drop at:


and for full tour info check out the dude’s who are bringing them at:



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Fat Freddy’s Drop a few Singles

Monday, December 22nd, 2008 | News | 1 Comment

The crowd pleasing dubbed-out funksters Fat Freddy’s Drop (FFD) are back in New Zealand, somewhere near a Wellington studio, putting the finishing touches on their upcoming full length album after completing their hectic European tour. They will hopefully be confirming in January the release date for this; in the meantime the new single “Pull The Catchis available now on limited edition heavy weight 7″ vinyl. They have also just put out a free download of the recent single “The Camel”. Which you can down load from:

‘The Camel’ MP3 Download link.


You can also check out the video in the youtube link below, it includes vocals from soul singer Alice Russell, who has toured with Fat Freddy’s in the UK and Australia. At 4 minutes and 16 seconds in length, the song is only slightly longer than your average single, but still well short by Fat Freddy standards. There is no rushing through songs at a Fat Freddy’s Drop gig, where a set of a few hours may only consist of a handful of songs. Although, this may sound more like one continuous mix of melodic niceness, with jam-outs that last as long as they have to. But you can always be assured of a blend of dub, jazz and all things nicely funkified! So if you’re feeling adventurous check out their website, where much merch can be procured for a price.


The Camel


FYI Gigwise: You’ll be able to see FFD if you’re in the big WA at Freemantle New Years Day 2009, with special guests DJ Vadim and Yara Bravo.  Freddy’s then wing their way to Sydney to play at Days Like This (January 4th) where you can catch the likes of Public Enemy and many more. Then on Saturday 24th January 2009 Christchurch, NZ. Where they will play at Sounday, an all day music event happening at North Hagley Park, which also features Dj Vadim and Nathan Haines!



Fat Freddy’s Official Site

Fat Freddy on Myspace

Camel Single Download

It’s time I changed my view…Yossarian

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Ladi 6 – Time Is Not Much

Thursday, October 30th, 2008 | News | 1 Comment

Those of us that have followed Ladi 6’s progress as an MC and hip hop vocal artist throughout the years will be pleased as hell to hear that she has now completed a solo record. Her debut album “Time Is Not Much” has just been released for the NZ market on October 27th. Since her days starting out with Sheelaroc (an all female hip hip crew), then with Verse Two (who supported acts like The Roots and De La Soul) and the many collaborations with all kinds of NZ groups and artists like 50 Hz, Shapeshifter and Fat Freddy’s Drop (FFD); Ladi 6 (A.K.A Karoline Tamati) has always shown amazing potential and guaranteed finesse. She certainly knows how to control the microphone, adding just the right vocals or rhyme whatever type of track. There’s also a positive message of looking to the future and achieving the goals we set our minds to. To her credit she has numerous awards, has been touring for 10 years and frequently sells out shows. The official website (which is pretty funky itself) describes Ladi 6 as “The New Zealand soulstress and our Queen of hip hop”, I can’t think of any better label for someone of such talents.

The new album was recorded at the Drop studio in Wellington’s Lyall Bay, home to the Fat Freddy’s Crew, who also have an album on the way (watch this space for a future post). The production duties were handled admirably by the talents of Parks (Ladi 6’s partner) and Mu (From FFD), who both seem to know a good bassline when they create one. Others involved in the project included family members Tyra Hammond and Scribe who added their vocal skills, along with some of  New Zealand’s top musicians including Julien Dyne, Chip Matthews, Jo Lindsay and Riki Gooch.


Ladi 6 – Walk Right Up

Ladi 6 and friends are about to go on a NZ tour to promote the release after returning from their highly successful tour of Europe and the UK. Down below are the upcoming gigs for those of you that may be in NZ or Australia over the next few months. So check her live show out if you can, but if you aren’t nearby and want to know why people call her NZ’s premiere female vocalist and compare her to Erykah Badu, then listen to her single “Walk Right Up” and as usual take a look at the myspace profile for a sneaky listen and possibly (if you’re a good capitalist) purchase stuff!

Confirmed Tour Dates:
31 Oct The Toto Bacco Room, Auckland
1 Nov Flow Bar, Hamilton
5 Nov Missy’s Kitchen, Wanaka
6 Nov Subculture, Queenstown
7 Nov Backstage, Dunedin
8 Nov The Civic, Christchurch
14 Nov Phat Club, Nelson
15 Nov San Francisco Bathhouse, Wellington
20 Nov The Espy, Melbourne
30 Dec Rhythm and Vines, Gisborne
4 Jan 09 Days Like This, Sydney
16 Jan 09 Big Day Out , Auckland

So to find more about the new album and Ladi 6’s career so far… check out:

Ladi 6 Official site

Ladi 6 on Myspace

“Dreams can come true and I knew
knew not to believe you
and I flew away from the flock
now no one can stop me.”
(More Than Fake – Ladi 6)

Seek No more…Yossarian

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