Jase: Another year, another DMC championship

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As another year continues to roll by almost at the speed of light, another Australian DMC Championship is fast approaching. In the lead up to next week’s sizzling climax, which will decide which lucky DJ will be jetting off to London to represent Australia in the world championships. ITM managed to catch up with Jase (Nubreed’s resident beatsmith), to find out how he came to find himself at the top of the Australian scene, his new blossoming solo venture and why up and coming DJs should get involved in the DMCs.

ITM: The age old question, how did you get into the beats side of things? Was it a strong influence growing up or something you decided to play with in your late teens?

A friend of mine lent me his sampler for a while and I learnt how to use it then got serious with the beats. My dad always played records loud through the house so I guess it rubbed off on me. Also everyone around me at the time was very talented and we all grew up either singers/rappers or producers.

ITM: Over the last few years, you’ve been ruling the international breaks scene with Nubreed,before concentrating a little more on your own productions. How did the change come about? Was it something that had already been bubbling along on the side, or a transition you were more comfortable to make after earning your stripes with Nubreed?

It was something I was always doing on the side, but Nubreed started to take off and basically I dedicated all my time to getting remixes, 12”, albums and mix cd’s out. We were in between Nubreed albums and had just come off an overseas tour saturated with nuskool breaks and I saw the opportunity to finish and release my compilation, with all the beats I had been working on in my down time. It is something I have been wanting to do since forming Nubreed in 1998 so I had well over 200 beats sitting on my hard drive.

ITM: Traipsing around the globe with Nubreed, what surprised you most? I mean at times it seems like Australian artists get more recognition from the overseas market, than they do back at home.

It was amazing to find out people from overseas had actually heard of us or bought our records and also alot of overseas dj’s were really supporting our music. So it was good to play places like Fabric with Hybrid etc, because they had always played our records and vice versa. Wellknown DJ’s like Tayo, Dj Hyper and Adam Freeland helped alot. I suppose the overseas market is alot bigger and there aren’t many live breakbeat acts that perform as well but we have had alot of support from Australian crowds over the years.

ITM: Do you feel like you’ve found a new freedom working on your own as the sole producer? Or is it a little limiting without the outside influence of other band members around to throw ideas about?

It’s definitely a lot quieter in the studio, though I do enjoy the collaborative experience with other people, rather than sitting at home on my own on a computer with nobody to bounce instant ideas off. You have to make all the decisions while making a record. I’m used to three heads saying yeah that sounds fat or no that sucks, rather than me asking myself if a beat or mix sounds good enough. If I didn’t have deadlines, I’d probably still be making the record.

ITM: How did you find working on your solo artist release? Was it a long process or something that managed to fall together with relative ease?

The beat part was kinda easy, though I set a high standard for myself so I often did beats 3 to 4 times over and some vocals were actually recorded to different beats initially. The hardest part was getting in the different moods of the songs depending on who I was working on, as I got different emcees’ vocal recordings, at different times over the year and a half I worked on this album.

ITM: How do you feel to finally have it out there, is it everything you hoped it would be?

It’s a big relief as I never thought I would finish it. Right up until an hour before mastering I was still chopping and changing drum sounds and mixes. I’m happy it’s out there and selling steadily. I’m a perfectionist and always want something to be better though there is always “volume 2”.

ITM: So you’ll be part of the annual DMC’s this year, how do you feel about having that opportunity?

It is great that DMC have always supported me and my music and the 1st ever Nubreed show was actually at a DMC final. So I have come full circle and am now doing one of my first JASE shows after my “album launch”.

ITM: Being a more vocal member of the local scene for many years, how do you feel events like the DMC’s aid in getting the underdogs of the scene some much needed recognition?

It’s amazing to see that after all these years that these events still help launch DJ’s careers.

ITM: What will we be able to look forward to from you at this year’s DMCs?

Big bangin beats straight out the lab, remixed album tracks, live exclusive remixes of classic tracks. I have an Mpc, efx, Dj flagrant on serato, Patto, Reason and Phrase all coming to bring the noise!

ITM: And finally, any last words for aspiring beatsmiths around the country, hoping to get their foot in the door or compete in next year’s DMCs?

To the beatmakers… get some good drum sounds, listen to all types of music, get a good engineer to mix your records or practise yourself by learning about compression and EQ. Listen to your mix on all different sound systems and finally listen to your favourite producers and learn from them.

Catch Jase performing live at the 2006 DMC World Championships Melbourne heat /Australian Final on Saturday 12th August at the Hi Fi Bar in Melbourne.

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