I still love mash ups: Deep Disco Force Interview
This time we have Nick DDF as the interviewee. He organised International Bastard events in Trier, Germany where he lived (he’s originally from the UK).
1. How the devil are you? And what’s the weather like in Trier?
I’m doing fine. The weather is temperate, but due to its location in a basin on the Mosel river it has a very mild micro-climate. That’s probably why the Romans settled here and were not very serious about going much further north.
2. How did you get involved in music?
Well. I have always been really into my music and been collecting records since I was about 6 or 7 (I was allowed to buy one record a week). I started organising events when I was 16. This was a school lunchtime break dancing disco in the 80s. Incidentally, this weekend I was in London and I heard that lunchtime discos are making a comeback. Probably not with integrated break dance battles though. However, I never got into music making or production until 2001 when I got an audio sequencer. I started with original tunes, but soon started adding lots of audio sequences and then discovered mashups looking for pellas and that way also inevitable got onto GYBO.
3. I don’t know how you feel about mash-ups these days. But how did you get involved in doing them?
Actually I still love Mashups. True, they have become more ubiquitous and there is a less of an element of surprise, but on the other hand people accept an evening of mashups more than say 7 years ago and often appreciate them more. I guess you can build up a tolerance to something and then enjoy it in larger quantities (hopefully avoiding overdosing). Over the past three years I have organised over 25 mashup events in the local area but also in France. I played mashups one weekend in the Alsace mountains. I just don’t advertise the events as mashup parties though. I also still love the art of the juxtaposition. Recently, I played out some klezmer dubstep mashups dressed in an astronaut costume with an afro at a beach party I organised on the mosel river playing music out of PA speakers made from dustbins. It’s creating that audience jaw dropping WTF moment that I get a kick out of.
4. What role, if any, did Boomselection or GYBO (in any of its various guises) play?
GYBO played a central role. At the time I was at home looking after my baby daughter and GYBO allowed me to get in touch with some really great people online who I am still friends with. The magic and feeling of being part of something new with energy really inspired me to get more involved.
5. You also organised International Bastard events in Trier. Why do that? And what do you remember about them?
Similar thing really. To help bring people together and get to know people. Trier is a great place to visit and a beautiful friendly historic city so it was a pleasure to invite people and share this with them and to share with each other the music and experiences we had. I remember loads helped by the fact that there is a video documentary about it. I just laughed loads and heard some great music and heard some really great stories from people to.
6. Do you want to explain the silver foil suit?
I have been working on some patents recently for an ultra-mobile PA system. It weighs just 8kg with amp cables, speaker and everything. It is also collapsible and easy to carry. The official release will be next year, but I DJ with prototypes I am testing at various parties as DJ Rocketman, hence the trashy astronaut suit. You can see some early prototypes and some pictures of the parties here on http://rocketz.de/ or on Facebook rocketz soundsystem facebook.
7. Were you involved with the club Bastard? What was it like?
Club Bastard was great. I used to fly in from Germany several times a year for it and Mattcat from GYBO was kind enough to put me up and put up with me. They were great nights. Nothing pretentious, no one trying to be cool. Just a bunch of eccentric people having amazing eclectic fun. Thanks to Cartel for that and for keeping it real.
8. It all seemed to exciting and vibrant in 2002/03 to hear mash ups. What marked the start of the end?
Not sure if it’s ended. It has just become ubiquitous. It’s kind of been internalised by popular culture. A river never really ends it usually becomes part of the sea or a lake. Unless it dries up of course. I think this is what has happened to the mashup scene. It now continuously flows into popular culture, enriching it and also feeding back off it as a source creating many wonderful iterations. Looking back it was a real privilege back then to be part of something new that is now an integral part of popular culture. It was also a great early example of how sharing and cooperating using the internet as a media can lead to great things.
9. And what is music’s role for you now?
Well, I DJ locally most months testing out my sound system prototypes, playing mostly remixes and mashups and have a nice crowd who are into it. Moving forward my vision is to provide cheap shares ultra-portable PA equipment on demand. Just plug in your notebook or iPad and you are ready to go. I have been working on this for over four years now and thanks to lots of great help from various people I hope make the system accessible next year. If anybody would like to contribute or get involved in this collaborative project I would love to hear from you.
Here’s a Deep Disco Force redux of JoolsMF remix
And a free download of an older tune: