Tag Archives: house

Chuggy Basslines


Phat Jack is a DJ, producer, record store owner and events co-ordinator who has been involved in the Mzansi deep house scene since the early 90s. Since those early days in Jozi, he has earned the reputation of spinning the unpredictable, mixing up Nu Jazz, down tempo and soulful deep house in his own inimitable style and continues to push the envelope of the scene he helped create to this day. We caught up with him ahead of his set tonight at the Puma Social Club.

How did you get into music and at what point did you realise it was a viable option to pursue as a career?

Always been into music. When I had collected records to listen to as house music CD’s were impossible to find, producers didn’t really make albums only 12 inch singles or E.P’s. Plus no one was playing the music I liked, soulful deep house. So I had records and good taste in music and set my horrible mixing upon the world.

You were part of The Original Evergreens fronted by Waddy Jones in the 90s. What was it like working with him? What have you taken away from being in that group and how do you feel about Waddy’s subsequent success with Die Antwoord

Ha ha ha, um yeah Waddy is a creative parasite. Great that he can support his family on his art but people are going to get tired of the Marilyn Manson of pseudo shock Afrikaans rap. I enjoyed being in the band, I loved the feeling of improvisation, I definitely took that with me through to my DJ’ing.

How would you describe your sound?

Deep, techy chuggy bassline house music.

Who were your early influences that played a role in shaping your tastes?

Dave Togher, Tim White, Static P, G-force, 4th World.

Who should we be looking out for?

Check out Do It Now Records, just heat!!

Where, in your opinion, does house music get the best reception in the country?

Jozi & Pretoria. Pretoria are deep house snobs so you have to be on your game, if not they will let you know. In Jozi people know their tunes and are totally into the vibe.

Which event that you’ve played stands out in your memory and why?

Djing before Frankie Knuckles, just amazing and honoured to play with the legend that created this thing called House!

What are you listening to right now?

I’m listening to the new Ghostface Killah.

With the plethora of sub-genres coming out under the EDM banner, is it become increasingly tougher to win over new crowds to the house scene?

No, look house music will always be the underground little brother. Artists like Disclosure, Wolf & Lamb, Soul Clap are all exposing the EDM crowd to house and like GU said: “House Music will never Die”.

Do you find there is a big difference between deep house in Mzansi compared to the rest of the world?

Not really. Well there are loads of sub categories, once again, but in the deep soulful realm Mzansi house seems to be ruling the roost.

Who makes you want to up your game, whether locally or abroad?

Everyone, I always want have the best, latest tunes. I’m just competitive like that.

What excites you most about your job as a DJ?

BOOBS! Good sound systems, great responsive crowds.

What is your ultimate goal in your career?

Right now, working on an electronic music festival for 4500 people, with the acts we wanna see.

As a SA music industry veteran, what advice do you have for the next generation of DJs and producers who are looking to earn a living off their craft?

Be sincere, stop the bullshit, play music you love not what’s popular and do it cause you LOVE music, not the drugs, boobs and fame.

Can you fill us in on any future projects you’ve got coming out?

Just more Warm Up events with our favorite producers and DJs and working on that festival.

How do you feel about hitting up PSC this Friday? What can we expect?

I’m eggcited, gonna smash some deep chuggy basslines

Check out the full version over at Mahala here.

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Feature: Big Space

Cape Town-based Big Space has taken major strides to prove that the South African electronic dance music scene has something fresh to offer the world.

His spaced-out house beats soaked in low-end frequencies have become a staple in the thriving Bass music scene, even though he struggles with the concept of this all-encompassing term to describe the burgeoning movement. “I really don’t have an idea what ‘Bass’ music is. It’s a very weird genre – if you wanna call it that.” He adds jokingly: “The Seinfeld theme song has slap bass on it… is that Bass music?”

What is however undisputable is that Big Space has garnered a large following of fans ready to get down to the authentic Afro-house grooves he commands. This year has seen him set dancefloors ablaze at major South African music festivals and dance club events.

More than just a DJ, Big Space also writes, produces and arranges his own tracks too. Earlier this year he released an EP called The Brown Bag on newly formed Cape Town label Bombaada, and has kept his followers sated with a number of free downloads ranging from percussive tribal club crowd-pleasers to dark and trippy remixes, like his re-imagination of The Frown’s ‘Dark Arts’.

Big Space cuts a lonely figure on the South African dance music scene with his cross-pollination of influences. Before gaining recognition as a house producer he started out making hip-hop beats, drawing inspiration from the sample-laden jams of hip-hop’s golden era, as well as off-kilter alternative acts like Company Flow. But in the early 2000s, when hip-hop’s popularity began to wane and became drowned out by bubbling undercurrents of electronic music, it was “a mixture of downright boredom and natural progression” that steered him toward the house scene.

“I was never a big house head but there were always a few guys I liked like Armand van Helden, Kerri Chandler, Masters at Work and Leftfield. Armand and Masters At Work are New York guys so they have a lot of hip-hop elements in them, and they sample a lot too. When I first heard them it struck a chord because for me because it was essentially hip-hop, just a bit faster,” he says.

This approach to producing is a clear sign as to why the 28-year-old, who made his jump to Cape Town from Maseru via Johannesburg, has such crossover appeal. He can jump from an inner city club gig to a chisa nyama spot in Gugulethu without changing his set list. In fact, his tunes have also crept into the UK Bass music scene with Scratcha DVA and producer trio LV (all signed to the mighty London-based Hyperdub label) taking to his sound in a big way. LV featured Big Space’s single ‘Coco Savage’ on a recent mixtape (released through Okzharp), alongside other up-and-coming local artists like Okmalumkoolkat and kwaito group Ruffest.

Fans of Big Space’s expansive mix of sounds will have much to look forward to as he launches his own label, Wet Dreams Recordings, with a compilation due out early this year. The label already has artists from as far afield as Botswana and Italy signed on.

“It’s my dream, I’ve had this idea since high school. All I want to do is release music that I make and music that I like; music that pushes the boundaries of the norms.” He is also teaming up with UK producer Jumping Backslash on a collaborative effort called Manyoba Boys. Together they’re forging new paths in house and techno.

“No one in Africa is making the same sound as we are. In fact I dare anyone to try.” Look out for their upcoming EP which is set to drop next month.

Link: http://www.mblife.co.za/Passion/20130128_bigspace/

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