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.
Sundae presents Neil Pierce (UK), one half of the world renowned DJ/production team - The Fanatix.
In the last 15 years the duo have remixed tracks for artists such as Kings Of Tomorrow, Dennis Ferrer, Blaze and Jamiroquai.
The Fanatix latest album "This Thing of Ours" has charted on all the major house music sites throughout the world so be sure not to miss the chance to go on a musical journey that embraces all things deep and soulful.
This week's special guest DJs are lLoydiE & Ambyte as well as a special replay of Damage & Sheep's set recorded at the Hustlers Convention (hip hop event) last Saturday night. briz:b:e:a:t:s now has an extra hour from 3-4pm in which you can catch some of the regular DJs sets - this week is DJ Chris Tisdell. listen to this show - part 1 listen to this show - part 2briz:b:e:a:t:s @ www.pulseradio.net
12-4pm (*** Now a 4 hour show!!! ***)
guests this week include DJ Jay P (progressive house), Nick Buick (progressive house) and Synetik & Mode (aka Shane B)(drum'n'bass)briz:b:e:a:t:s @ www.pulseradio.net
sundays 12-3pm (GMT+10)
june 11th 2000
show details :
DJ Jay P
Synetik & Mode (Shane B
Welcome to the briz:b:e:a:t:s pulse radio show page! Here you will
find information regarding special guest DJs playing each week, play
lists, events listings and any other information I can think of.
briz:b:e:a:t:s is on every Sunday afternoon between 12-3pm (+10GMT).
briz:b:e:a:t:s stands for briz:=Brisbane, b:=breaks'n'beats,
e:=electronica, a:=ambient, t:=techno & trance, s:=special guests and
special tunes. It is co-ordinated & hosted by AliaK (that's me) from
Brisbane, Australia. The usual format of the show is for me to play
some ambient/electronica/ninja tune chilled, laid back tunes for you
to relax to. Each week I like to feature one or more Australian
briz:b:e:a:t:s @ www.pulseradio.net guests/featured music this week are : DJ Jay:R (progressive house), DJ Shadrach (techno) and featured music from Low Key Operations with their Zonar release, 'Architectronic'briz:b:e:a:t:s @ www.pulseradio.net
guests/featured music this week are :
Low Key Operations
:::::: DJ Jay:R :::::::
Jay:R has been DJing since mid 1996, initially playing garage and
house in Adelaide. After a trip to the UK and moving to Brisbane in
1998, he has been purchasing and playing progressive house and
trance, as well as progressive breaks. He regularly plays at
progressive nights such as the successful Progression, Resonance &
Passion parties as well as being sought after for NYE parties in
Having made some four mixed CDs over the years (see his website for
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