Thursday, March 17, 2011

Exclusive Interview - The Kick It Twelve - Aeph & Dabs and Maztek Edition

It's time for another edition of The Kick It 12 and this time we caught up with those D&B rockstars, Aeph & Dabs and Maztek out of Italy. This trio has been hurting speakers with their bassline business for a hot minute now and their latest releases on Modulate have been heavily supported so take the next few minutes and get to know them a little better.

Aeph -
Simone Vallecorsa aka Aeph was introduced to Drum and Bass when he was a teenager back in Rome. At the age of 16 he was inspired by people like Bad Company, Dillinja, Ltj Bukem and new wave acts like Pendulum, Sub Focus, Noisia and Spor. After falling in love with the sounds of these well known producers, Simone was compelled to begin making his own music. Now ten years down the line, Aeph lives and works out of London and has released tracks on a number of D&B's most cutting edge labels. The "Aeph" sound is a mixture of early musical influences such as Daft Punk and Prodigy, ultra modern riffs, and great versatility all combined with a finesse that rivals his role models.

"Aeph is on path for greatness! Mind blowing tunes, super tight production and he is even a nice guy!"

Dabs -
With his first releases on Basswerk in 2006-07, Dabs was also the winner of the prestigious Italian contest Elettrowave Challenge 2008 for "Best D&B Italian Dj/Producer". His highly acclaimed tune "Stare Forward" has been remixed by N.Phect (Renegade Hardware, Subtitles) for the Italian label Modulate. Straight afterward he signed "Slick Down" on Mayhem's label Aesthetics, based in Atlanta (US), and "Crawler/Weirdraws" on the notorious Dutch label Citrus, receiving massive Dj support all around the world. Dabs has multiple releases forthcoming in 2011 on labels like Dispatch, Project51, Cyanide, Full Force, Modulate, Fokuz and Sinuous. Among them some collaborations and remixes with the likes of Bulletproof, Mayhem, Cern, Muffler, Future Signal and many more to come.


Maztek -
Matteo Cavo aka Maztek began his musical career very early playing (in bands) as a lead guitarist and percussionist. At the age of 18 he discovered his passion for electronic music, particularly Techno and Drum & Bass, and he began to produce tracks and play out in the Italian underground scene. In 2005 Maztek established the label “Subculture Records”, which caught attention internationally as a vinyl and digital label. His productions were released via Subclulture and on other labels like Modulate and Transistor Technology from Italy. Internationally Maztek has widely appreciated releases out on Basswerk and Contaminated, and he has worked on collaborations with Sleeper Cell, Lost Sequence, Aeph, Dabs, Billian, N.phect and Malsum.

The Kick It 12 - Aeph & Dabs and Maztek Edition

1. – At what age did you first find yourself gravitating towards electronic music and who were some of the artists outside of Electronic music that influenced that?

Maztek: At the age of 18, I was inspired by Aphex Wwin, Squarepushers, Peace Orchestra, Tosca Suzuki, Massive Attack and many others.

Aeph: I started to follow this movement back in 2000 and if by electronic music you mean all the music made by machines. I got seduced by producers like Africa Bambaata, DJ Premier, Marley Marl, Whodini, and DJ Shadow for their way to find and work on samples. At that time I saw this as the most futuristic way to produce music so I thought it was a good idea to give it a go and then I enjoyed it from the very first time. I also kept a look (and I still do) for other genres like Metal, Hardcore, Prog Rock, movie sountracks. I just can't tell you some names because there are too many out there who helped developing my creativity.

Dabs: I was really young, about 12 when I bought my first mixer to connect to my father's turntable. I was attracted to the Euro-Dance music I was hearing on the radio and TV so I started to buy vinyl. No non-Electronic artists influenced me to do this though.

2. – What was your very first Album? How about CD?

 Maztek: My first one was "Follow Zuma" in 2004 it was an experimental one.

Aeph: My very first album was "BAD" by Michael Jackson...actually my mum bought it for me.I listened to it over and over and to be honest I'm still in love with it! About CD, maybe some Italian shit pop singer, I dont remember, but I can tell you wich one changed my life: "Cybotron" by Dillinja.

Dabs: Michael Jackson "Dangerous", (on casette tape). My first CD was Cypress Hill "Temple of Boom"

3. – How did you first get involved with the Electronic music culture and what was the first event that you attended?

 Maztek: During the 90’s I went to some Drum & Bass parties here in Rome, I heard Roni Size and Grooverider, Fabio as well or DJ Hype.

Aeph: Back in 1999 I think, in my hometown, Rome, I remember that Dj Storm was playing in a club near Testaccio area...I still have the feeling about how that music was big and powerful. That day I first got involved in this culture and thank god that's happened.

Dabs: I was just a kid when I went to my first disco but I would say that I got involved with Electronic music actively after attending my first illegal Rave party in Rome around 2000.

4. – Where was your favorite gig that you have had to date?

Maztek: The Rainbow open air in Slovakia.

Aeph: I had many in the last couple of years but I still don't get enough of them ! The Puerto Rico one is my favourite so far, especially for the location and because I would never expect that crowd..people over there knows what they want and if u give them what they 're looking for ..they just blast off!

Dabs: Let me mention two of them, Melbourne Australia with Phace and years ago in Rome with Calyx and a big big soundsystem and crowd.

5. - Who have you been most proud to play alongside?

 Maztek: Black Sun Empire, Spor, Prolix, Optiv, Audio, Fierce, N.phect, Dillinja, CongoNatty, Vicious Circle, Phace and Misanthrop and many others.

Aeph: My mates Blokhe4d...Well, It actually didnt happen yet but is going to happen really soon.

Dabs: Massive Attack in Rome.

6. - Where would you most like to play that you have not yet?

Maztek: Fabric in London and in Holland as well.

Aeph: Well I'm dreaming about playing in the best parties around the of them is the RAM Records night at Fabric here in London and it's coming true this April so I'm open to any other dream to come.

Dabs: Berlin in Europe, Tokyo and Moscow outside.

7. - What is your favorite tune you have released?

Maztek: Maztek & Grotesque “Straight to Bad” and my remix of Intiman and Foreign Beggars “Hit That”.

Aeph: I think "Bad Wolf" is the most creative tune I've ever done, I like the concept and because it's "badly" original.

Dabs: "Who is Gonna Lead?" featuring my best Oz mate Wrath.

8. - Who is your favorite EDM artist? How about outside of EDM?

Maztek: Noisia, Spor, Amon tobin and more, outside of EDM I like many Hip Hop stuffs or Reggae and Roots, Rock as well or Jazz.

Aeph: There are many artist out there I really love at the moment. Mainly I prefer tunes where I can recognise straight away their specific producer's imprint. This is the secret to step up into the history of EDM.

Dabs: Daft Punk and The Prodigy.

9. - Who are some artists you would like to collaborate with in the future?

Maztek: First of all Noisia then I'd like to collaborate with Black Sun Empire, Upbeats, Audio, Blokhe4d, Phace and all the producers I like more.

Aeph: I'd love to collaborate with Wolfgang Gartner. Kavinsky, Justice... it would blow my mind. I am always looking forward to collaborate with people who can add something different on what D&B/Dubstep business bring out.

Dabs: I'd say Misanthrop, Phace and Break

10. - What is your preferred software for producing? Hardware?

Maztek: I use cubase 5 and an Axon Ax100 MK2 to convert guitar into midi.

Aeph: It's been 5 years since I have been producing with Cubase, I don't think it's the best music software but I know so many tricks on that one that I'm cool with that one. Can't wait to try the version 6. About hardwares I have just bought a Microkorg XL and I'm truly in love with that synth, it sounds damn good and it's so easy to make patches and presets, plus I am enthusiastic about all the FXs, especially the dirtiness of his Drive/Wave Shape. I think it is the most eclectic synth for that price range.

Dabs: Cubase 5 plus my immortal E-MU audio card.

11. - What life lessons has the music industry taught you?

Maztek: Well i think it is to always make music for themselves and not follow trends just to be on a label because I believe that when it comes time for recognition it is greater and more rewarding to force himself to be what others want to hear, I know this is dance music, but it is always music, and then expresses a part of us. At the same time I think you should stay current with new styles of music and with what the people want without leaving your personal style.

Aeph: Never be impatient to release your music, because of the huge amount of music and artists you can find on Internet it's easy to get lost in the vastness of this business. I reckon that the best way is writing 10 tunes and releasing the best 4 you have . I like to think that I will be remembered for the quality of my tunes not for the quantity.

I also think it's important not to take music too seriously, playing music is like playing a game, you must enjoy it before you win.

Dabs: Music is NOT politics. Some people misunderstand this and there is too much useless talking around nowadays. I always try to let the music speak at my place.

12. – What does the future hold for Aeph and Maztek?

Maztek: I'm making many collaborations with producers all around the globe, i finished a remix of a Foreign Beggars tune featuring Intiman called "Hit That", this will be on my next sinle on Subculture recordings the video is below, then I made a tune with Optiv from C4C called "Quarks" and it is forthcoming on Renegade Hardware. I'm working on my new Subculture Album as well and it will be a 12 track album with some Dnb, Dubstep and Electro as well.

I'm working on some collabs with Aeph and Fourward and Dabs as well and I have just finished my double 12" for Icarus Audio in which there will be my tune with Grotesque "Staright To Bad" which has been remixed by Audio. Concerning the Italian stuffs, I just finished a remix for Subsonic wich is a really famous band in Italy and i'm working on some Hip Hop beats.

Aeph: I wish just the best for my mates Dabs and Maztek, they deserve a big spotlight for what they are doing. About me well... hopefully a holiday with my girlfriend on some desolate island 10.000 miles away. Unfortunally there are no desolate and warm islands in Uk. Stay tuned!

Dabs: Well, in 1 hour I'm going to have a tasty Italian dinner. After that I guess a bunch of releases on Dispatch, Cyanide, Project 51, Citrus etc.


Maztek - BassNation by Maztek

Dabs Guest Mix by Dabs

Knowledge Magazine

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