I was really excited to hear that Brisbane band Step It Up had a new EP, "Push", out in 2011 on Zyl Records, as I'd loved their earlier work on their self titled album released in 1996 and I'd seen them perform in Brisbane when I lived there in 2000/2001 or so. The new EP has different versions of the song "Push"‚Äîwhich includes a sample from their popular song "Flex" with mixes by Obese Bass Beast and Unison Sound System. There's also a new song called "Nudge" by Blunted Stylus (aka Geoff "Jigzaw" Blunted/ex Resin Dogs/Hydrofunk). The musical lineup has changed slightly over the years, but there's still a range of music styles and techniques explored on this release‚Äîfrom house, to jazz, to drum'n'bass, to bass-music and beats'n'squelch styles. All in all, it's a pleasure to listen to and I'm looking forward to hearing their future sounds, as well as the cache of songs yet to be released. Des Reid was kind enough to answer a few questions about the band and its future directions. Keep an ear to the ground for their live gigs in Brisbane and elsewhere‚Äîyou'll be in for a treat from these talented musicians!
>> for the "borrowed moog and juno mix", song #1 on Push‚Äîwhat's the story here? who'd you borrow the moog and juno from and can you keep them for a while?
> The Moog Prodigy belonged to Manny, our old keys player. I should have bought it when he sold it. The Juno 60 was DJ Damage's. They're both killer synths. I've since acquired a Juno 60 and JX-3p.
>> are there any favourite gigs, or memories of them that you'd like to share?
> The "Vibes on A Summer Day" festivals were always great. They were before festivals became commercial and unaffordable. Bondi Pavilion was a great venue. It's always nice to see a thousand people jumping up and down to your music in the sun from the stage.
>> for your live set: "Their new show has wide variety from instrumental hip-hop through Asian and Arabic influences to banging house". can you talk about some of these influences? particularly, the Asian and Arabic ones
> I have been learning some Arabic music and playing with some great oud players. We have an unreleased track called "√èntefada" and a new one called "Free Gaza". I've always been interested in Indian music since seeing the Mahavishnu Orchestra, although I haven't studied it thoroughly and authentically. One of our best new tunes is an Indian groove tune called "Only One I know". That's partly because it's the only raga I know properly! Rohan plays in proper Indian ensembles in recitals at the Hindu temple in Virginia up here in Brisbane.
>> who are the band members of Step It Up?
> We've had some fantastic players in the past who have left town like Craig Hanicek, Darren MacPherson and Gavin Manikus on sax, Godoy and Steve Falk on percussion and DJ Frenzie. Terepai recorded the drums on "Flex" for us too.
The current line up is :
Steve is a great drummer and is in great demand in Brisbane. He tours with James Morrison too.
Neil Wickham is our great new sax player. He has a brilliant fusion type sound. The sax can't be too mellow in this type of music or it loses the edge and blands it out a bit.
Rohan Somasekaran is on keys. He is an awesome piano player and leads his own straight-ahead jazz outfit too. We're adding more synth to the live sound too.
I [Des Reid] play bass mostly live, but also a bit of guitar and guitar synth. I want to start contributing to the percussion too, but only in a support role‚ÄîI'm only a simple player.
DJ Damage does the cuts on the EP. He's also in Terntable Jediz and The Optimen. He's one of the best turntablists I've ever seen.
Roger Gonzalez is our percussionist. He is a conga and cahon specialist, and a fantastic groove player. Marcelo, who played on the "Push" EP moved to Canberra unfortunately. We have loads of percussion recorded by him in the vaults though. Also heaps by his brother, Luis Schiavi‚Äîa killer timbales player.
Overall we have a giant backlog of tracks which we will be finishing and releasing soon. Although we haven't been playing out as often over the last few years, we never stopped writing and recording. We're sitting on a few albums really. The new label‚ÄîZyl Records will be our outlet now that we're organized.
>> do you improvise during the live sets too?
> There is a lot of improvising live. We follow the jazz tradition of arranged head‚Äîimprovisation‚Äîhead. We try to keep some tightly arranged sections too. One big feature of our sets is the breakdowns. We don't just have horn or keys solos‚Äîwe have big sections where the drums, percussion and DJ are improvising together, feeding off each other. According to Cuban tradition, when two or more percussive players are resonating, that's when the spirits come. We're a bit tribal really.
Step It Up are a premier funk and new jazz band, creating music since the 1990's in Australia. Their releases include the classic self-titled first album, plus numerous compilation tracks on labels including Ubiquity, Creative Vibes and One Movement. The band have received much airplay on Australian national broadcasters JJJ and ABC, and also on UK Jazz FM. Their instrumentals have been found to be a perfect match for movies, tv and multimedia synchronisations.
Announcing the debut of the twice-yearly BC/DC RECORD FAIR in Brisbane.
BC/DC stands for the Brisbane Crate Diggaz Co-Op, a group of like minded record enthusiasts who are working towards a greater good for music in this city.
The fair is to be held on the same day as Weird Gear in APRIL, which is Sunday the 25th. You should be there if you're a vinyl head already!! But if you haven't checked it out by then, this is your chance...
The event kicks off at 3pm. And dealers will stay until 7 or 8pm. It's FREE entry, and it's a late start, so roll through whenever, it will be chill, no frantic diggin'... browse at your own leisure, in the comfort that is the RUMPUS ROOM. Portable turntables will be supplied with headphones, so if you need to listen, the gear is there... just bring yourself, your duckets and your mind.
The dealers at the fair are hand-picked because they are experts in their own field.... we will only be selling hip-hop, jazz, funk, prog/psych rock, soul, disco and food for the SAMPLERS...
All dealers come from a hip-hop/diggin' perspective and you can ask for what you need... Any requests for certain records or artists, please post them here and the crew will check it out and try bring stuff of that vein... lots of drum breaks, loops, rap singles, hip-hop records, etc. to be found. There will be cheap records, and there will be expensive records. But all of it will be priced reasonably, not eBay or popsike prices.
DJ Sheep (Tasman Connection)
Bruce Highway (Moist Wreckers)
Milesago (Rocking Horse)
Blunted Stylus (Jigsaw Geoff)
Jacquey (Worldwide Grooves)
Chubba (Phat Tape)
DJ Damage (Terntable Jediz)
"Reconstituted" is the third Apell album and sounds like the groovier half of Amon Tobin sampling George Clinton with a jazzy electric bass. The album features a drum n bass version of Neil Young's "Don't Let it Bring You Down" and a chill out reworking of George Harrison's overlooked gem "Long, Long, Long" from The Beatles White Album. Another album highlight is the track "Dubya" featuring lyrics inspired by inane quotes from President George W Bush's speeches and his life story.
THE KADIMA MUSICIANS COLLECTIVE is in the vanguard of creative improvised music in Israel. Focusing on fringe artists and their work, KADIMA supports and develops the rich cultural mix of Israeli artistic life.
KADIMA includes a recording label and recording facilities in Jerusalem. It promotes and co-produces studio releases and concerts, and helps develop and connect musicians in the field of free improvisation and creative music.
KADIMA was founded and is led by Jean Claude Jones, bassist and educator, and one of the pioneers of Israeli jazz.
here's some artists/music I've found (so far) from checking out a
nearby music store Music House (keren ha-yesod 25) (mostly classical & jazz, but a smaller
section on other styles) in Jerusalem. there's a music store on Shamai Street too where I later bought more cds.
- I bought his "Beats!!! AMN Manifesto Sound! Vol 1" cd
Beats from AMS Manifesto shows 2003-2004
nice collection of beats. sort of ninja tune / turntablism style if
you're into that. he has some other radio shows recorded & available
for download on the site @ http://agitpoprecords.com/go_ask_alice/index.html. just downloading
now to take a listen.
With the concept of cross pollination and diversification becoming more and more important to sustaining any form of innovation, it seems almost unnatural not to see the notion of a 'band' more in terms of a collection of collaborators, than a simple group of four or so set musicians.
This theory is what lies behind Iczer One. The idea of utilising collaboration to create new sounds and variations. In essence it all comes down to the adage that 'two heads are better than one'.
Iczer One is a mesh of artists, a constantly rotating wheel of various collaborators and musicians. Acting as a centre point, a link between all the various members, is Lawrence English. Laying down the basic formats and sounds for the project, he then farms these tracks out to other members for their treatments.
briz:b:e:a:t:s @ www.pulseradio.net : sunday 21st may 2000 guests/featured music this week are : DJ Damage + DJ Sheep (hip hop/turntablism), Dreamchild (psy trance), Step It Up (jazz/funk/hip hop fusion)briz:b:e:a:t:s @ www.pulseradio.net
sundays 12-3pm [GMT+10]
sunday 21st may 2000
guests/featured music this week are :
DJ Damage + DJ Sheep
Step It Up
Special guest DJs this week are DJ Damage & DJ Sheep from the
Terntable Jediz, who will be doing some diggin' in the crates and
serving up a few of their favourite hip hop beats. Keep an ear to the
ground for some of their trademark turntablism skills.. mmm can't
wait to hear what's on the menu !
Damage & Sheep have between them played at many events such as Vibes,
MoWax tours, BDO, Hustlers Convention and other hip hop events around
town. They are very well known in the Brisbane and Australian hip hop