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Q&A With Elite Force

Hi gang. Ahead of this summer’s annual Elite Force Boat Party – which sets sail on the 13th of July on the River Thames, here in London – we caught up with the main man himself, Elite Force (aka Shack), to chat about the boat party, gamechangers and his plans for world domination…

Bass[sic]: 2013 sees the Elite Force Boat Party return for a hugely impressive fourth year in a row. Every year it sells out and seems to be bigger and 
better than before. How did this party become such an institution, and what makes some events like this become fixtures in the calendar?

Shack:It’s grown nice and organically, I think that’s been a key factor. We started small as an experiment and it’s just built up momentum. I think people love it because of the location and also the scarcity value – I only do one of these a year and have no real plan to do any more than that.”

Bass[sic]: What can we expect on board this year, and what have you got lined up for the afterparty?

Shack:Well this year we are building a bespoke LED DJ Booth for starters, which is awesome – it kind of evolved out of The One Series party I hosted back in November last year where some friends built a similar thing and we decided to do something similar in the UK. I’m not sure how often we’ll get to use it right now, but certainly the Boat Party will be the first time we roll it out. I’ll once again be summonsing the Sun Gods – we’ve been very fortunate in each of the previous years that the clouds have parted and the sun’s shone bright.

The After-Party gets bigger and better each year, and this time around we are bringing breaks legend Colombo over from Spain for his first full length London set. I’m also doing the first proper back2back set with Meat Katie that we’ve ever done in the UK (as far as I can remember), and on top of that I’m doing a sunrise set under my Simon Shackleton project name, as well as adding Mike Hulme and Lowdown and Dirty into the mix, alongside the Supatronix crew. Meat Cassette will be video-mapping the main room this time around, so we’re looking at an all-round ramp up!!”

Bass[sic]: You took the Elite Force Boat Party concept to Hungary last year. How did that go, and are there any plans to continue expanding the concept?

Shack:It was amazing actually. We had an enormous boat in Budapest, way bigger than I felt was wise to be honest, but then on the day well over 800 people showed up which made for a truly memorable night. I’m in the process of trying to arrange a similar thing on Lake Balaton in Hungary this summer, so fingers crossed that comes off. I’m constantly looking at other options for boat parties elsewhere and there are a couple of irons in the fire…”

Bass[sic]: You’re currently on tour in the US, with a diary that more closely resembles that of a rock band than a traditional DJ calendar. Is it strange rocking up to a club on a Monday and finding a gaggle of Elite Force fans hyped up and ready to party?

Shack:I know, it’s been kind of weird, extremely exhausting but really exhilarating at times. When you get sleep deprived and exhausted, nothing much makes sense anymore and flight delays and suchlike bend you right out of shape, but bar a couple of ropey nights it’s been a great trip so far. What’s interesting is that there are some towns like Portland, where Monday through to Wednesday are the biggest electronic music nights of the week – I played there last week and the after-party was still raging at 8am the following morning.”

Bass[sic]: The Burning Man festival in the US has obviously informed the way you make music hugely. Can you tell us a little bit about its creative impact and explain why the festival has made such a difference to your outlook and attitude?

Shack:Wow. Where to start really. Musically speaking it’s certainly been a complete Gamechanger for me – it’s an opportunity to completely re-evaluate music, a bit like pressing a massive RESET button, creatively. It’s such a blank canvas out there, I love the fact that all the differing times of day, night, weather conditions, crowd sizes, afford you the opportunity to experiment with almost any style you choose, as long as it strikes the right chord. I’ve tried to take a healthy dose of that expanded range into my production work and the longer DJ sets I’ve been doing recently have been born out of what I’ve learnt from Burning Man. I played for 7 hours in Berlin the other night. I love the scope of that!”

Bass[sic]: You’ve recently added the Simon Shackleton moniker to your burgeoning array of musical personas, joining Elite Force and Zodiac Cartel. What was the thinking behind this? Is there a difference to the beats you make under this new name? And how on earth do you find time to produce enough music to please three fan bases?

Shack:Haha – well I’m not altogether sure that I *do* keep everyone happy. When I dropped Gamechanger a couple of weeks back, the first comment that came back was a suggestion that I make more breaks. I gave away 18 of my biggest breaks tracks last year for free, but you clearly can’t please everyone… not least the purists!

The thinking behind the Simon Shackleton stuff was really just that I found myself making a good deal of deeper, techier and perhaps more melodic music, and I wanted to be able to do that without carrying the baggage of expectation that comes with known names. It’s been really fun and as it’s grown in confidence as a project, I’ve been stepping up behind the microphone again, as well as playing some guitar, which has been really enjoyable.”

Bass[sic]: Speaking of which, you’re known as something of a workaholic. Can you describe an average day in the life of Elite Force for us?

Shack:Well, I’m usually up at 5.30am. Hit the gym for half an hour then sort out getting the family up & running and my daughter to school. I usually hit the studio / office from 9 – 6pm, grab a couple of hours of family time and then put in two or three hours usually on business stuff in the evening.”

Bass[sic]: Finally, give us three tracks that will almost certainly be in your set on board the good ship Shack on Saturday, July 13…

Shack:Elite Force – ‘Gamechanger’; Adam Port, Lana Del Ray, Beltram, UNKLE, EF – ‘Black Video Noise Game’; Lucky Force Invader Squad – ‘Towards The Sun’.”

Thanks Shack! Tickets for the Elite Force Boat Party are selling fast so get yours now! BUY TICKETS

For all the info about this summer’s boat party, check out our web post and make sure you visit the official Facebook Event Page.

Elite ForceGamechanger is out now! Check it out here…

Also, for a taster of what to expect at the boat party, check out Elite Force‘s latest DJ set, recorded live whilst on tour in the US…

That’s it! Thanks for reading peeps! See you on the boat!

The Bass[sic] team

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Bass[sic] Chats With Meat Katie

Morning everyone! There’s just over a week to go ’til party time (full details HERE!), so we thought it was a good time to publish the second of our interviews with our special guest DJs.

Ahead of a very rare London appearance, we’ve managed to get superstar DJ, and headliner at Bass[sic] on the 29th of March, to take five minutes out of his busy schedule to answer a few important questions. He’s a tour de force, a runaway tech-funk train, an unstoppable bass behemoth, a dance music legend:- he is of course Meat Katie, aka Mark Pember, and we’re very excited to have him gracing the decks at this month’s Bass[sic]. Best known for his tough techy dancefloor destroyers, Pember has worked with and remixed some of dance music’s biggest household names, from James Zabiela and Deep Dish to Boy George and UNKLE. As well as having three Meat Katie albums under his belt he also supplies the world with some of the finest techno, tech-funk and breaks via his LOT49 imprint. He’s warmed up for The Chemical Brothers, played tunes on the Valve Soundsystem and now you can find out how he likes his eggs…

Bass[sic]: To kick off… You and Peo de Pitte make up one of the biggest lineups we’ve had at Bass[sic], but did you know that you’re probably the baldest lineup too? Of the two of you, who do you think has the LEAST body hair overall?
Meat Katie: Probably me, as I go for the full body wax.

Bass[sic]: For those people who are unfamiliar with you, how would you sum up the Meat Katie sound in only 3 words?
MK: Breakbeat without breaks.

Bass[sic]: Moving onto the dancefloor, which tune are you most looking forward to dropping at Bass[sic] on the 29th of March?
MK: This! What a cheap plug!

Bass[sic]: Of all of the massive tunes that have been released over the years, what is the one tune that you wish you’d written or signed to your label?
MK: The Loops of Fury – Flick A Switch.

Bass[sic]: Now onto the serious questions that everyone’s been dying to know the answers to… How do you prefer your eggs to be cooked?
MK: Poached of course.

Bass[sic]: What’s the last album you bought on CD?
MK: Yesterday I bought The Jim Jones Revue – The Savage Heart

Bass[sic]: Who would win in a jelly wrestling contest:- you or Peo de Pitte?
MK: Me! Peo is a pussy.

Bass[sic]: Which do you prefer:- cats or dogs?
MK: Erm… that’s a tough one… pass!

Bass[sic]: Star Wars or Star Trek?
MK: It used to be Star Wars, now it’s Star Trek.

Bass[sic]: How much horse is there in a standard serving of Meat Katie?
MK: You will have to discover that for yourself.

Bass[sic]: Would you rather be trapped in a room with 1 horse-sized chicken? Or 10 chicken-sized breakbeat purists?
MK: Probably the big chicken horse thing.

Bass[sic]: Do you have a musical guilty pleasure?
MK: Stanton Warriors.

Bass[sic]: What was the last movie you went to see at the cinema?
MK: I’ve not been for a while to tell the truth. Maybe The Hunger Games.

Bass[sic]: Do you have any hidden talents?
MK: All my talents are hidden, in fact I don’t even know what they are!

Bass[sic]: And finally, what are you up to for the rest of this year? Releases, gigs, tours, etc?
MK: I have a residency at Tresor in Berlin at Dangerous Drums. I’m just releasing our latest Take Miami compilation on LOT49. I’ve just signed Electric Soulside & The Rogue Element to LOT49, which I am a bit excited about. I have a Facebook page where I moan a lot about stuff that is not really music related. I have a Gigatools account where I am supposed to have my gig dates, although ironically I always forget to update it. I’m touring the States and Mexico in April and at the end of May/June, also Australia and New Zealand in December. I have also been building a website for the last 15 years… I’m pretty close to getting that finished (as someone else is helping now). I’m thinking of buying another corn snake for my daughter (but a different colour). My friend Andy is getting married in April, I’m definitely going to that. It’s in Colchester. It’s my birthday in September. I can’t think of anything else I have to do at the moment!

Thanks for chatting with us Mark! You can catch him dropping all of his favourite tech-funk bangers at Bass[sic] at the Bells of Shoreditch, East London, on Good Friday, 29th March! Full event details can be found HERE!

To help get you in the mood for the party, check out Meat Katie‘s latest promo mix…

And don’t forget to download Meat Katie‘s latest Re-Rub, absolutely gratis…

And finally, make sure you have a listen to our Easter Podcast, chock full of banging beats and filthy bass!

Right, that’s it! See you down the front at Bells Of Shoreditch next week! We’ll post an event reminder in a few day’s time to make sure you’re kept up to speed!

The Bass[sic] team

Bass[sic] Chats With Peo De Pitte

Hi everyone. As part of the build up to our big party at the Bells Of Shoreditch on Easter weekend (less than three weeks to go! Full details HERE!), we sat down with our two special guest DJs, Peo De Pitte and Meat Katie, to exclusively chat with them about the hot topics in the world at the moment – kind of like a mash up of Newsnight and MTV Base, with Jeremy Paxman bogling to jump up drum n bass, just to set the scene for you.

Anyway, we first spoke to electro-funkster Peo De Pitte with some hard-hitting questions. Peo has been smashing dancefloors all over the world with his unique brand of bouncy bass music and mental mash ups. And when he’s not tearing up nightclubs, he’s usually found sat astride his studio mixing desk, cooking up beats and samples for his bass-heavy productions and remixes for the stars. Here’s what he had to say about jelly wrestling with Meat Katie and much, much more…

Bass[sic]: To kick off… You and Meat Katie make up one of the biggest lineups we’ve had at Bass[sic], but did you know that you’re probably the baldest lineup too? Of the two of you, who do you think has the LEAST body hair overall?
Peo: If I just remember to pluck my ear hair it might be a close competition.

Bass[sic]: For those people who are unfamiliar with you, how would you sum up the Peo de Pitte sound in only 3 words?
Peo: Three day bender!

Bass[sic]: Moving onto the dancefloor, which tune are you most looking forward to dropping at Bass[sic] on the 29th of March?
Peo: I have a few new ones that I’m looking forward to playing from my next EP… will keep the titles under wraps for now!

Bass[sic]: Of all of the massive tunes that have been released over the years, what is the one tune that you wish you’d written or signed to your label?
Peo: My own label was just a stepping stone in the beginning to get my own voice heard when no other labels wanted to answer my emails so I don’t really have any regrets.

Bass[sic]: Now onto the serious questions that everyone’s been dying to know the answers to… How do you prefer your eggs to be cooked?
Peo: Sunny side up!

Bass[sic]: What’s the last album you bought on CD?
Peo: Hmm, yeah it must have been the last Prodigy album. I still have an obsession with buying their physical products!

Bass[sic]: Who would win in a jelly wrestling contest:- you or Meat Katie?
Peo: I’m a skinny lanky person, I think he could just sit on me and he would win. But I might just have my garlic/chilli cocktail before and kill him with my breath!

Bass[sic]: Which do you prefer:- cats or dogs?
Peo: Cats, I used to have one. Hated dogs in my early days but I do like them now… But yeah cats still win.

Bass[sic]: Star Wars or Star Trek?
Peo: Star Wars… maybe a cuddle with Princess Leia.

Bass[sic]: Who really shot first:- Greedo? Or Han Solo?
Peo: Oh, someone’s a fan here… I’d just say Han I guess…

Bass[sic]: Would you rather be trapped in a room with 1 horse-sized chicken? Or 10 chicken-sized breakbeat purists?
Peo: I’d probably be afraid of what that horse-sized chicken would do to me when it gets hungry. The chicken sized purists I could always step on when they raise their voices, or play them re-rubs so they keep quiet.

Bass[sic]: Do you have a musical guilty pleasure?
Peo: Yesterday I actually had a listen to an old Swedish artist I grew up to, Eric Gadd – Bara Himlen Ser På…. Google that if you dare. [Ed: we did and it was… sexual]

Bass[sic]: What was the last movie you went to see at the cinema?
Peo: Django Unchained… good stuff!

Bass[sic]: Do you have any hidden talents?
Peo: I used to train in Judo

Bass[sic]: And finally, what are you up to for the rest of this year? Releases, gigs, tours, etc?
Peo: Next up is my release with NAPT on Strictly Rhythm sometime this month. Going to America for gigs in May and later on Australia again. 2013 should be a good one!

Cheers Peo, that was very insightful, we’re sure you’ll agree! Check out Peo’s latest promo mix, chock full of bangers and smashers, right here…

You can catch Peo spinning tunes and striking some judo poses behind the decks along with Meat Katie at Bass[sic] at the Bells of Shoreditch, East London on Good Friday, 29th March! Full event details can be found HERE!

Watch this space for our interview with our headliner Meat Katie, coming very soon! Also keep your eyes and ears peeled for a super exclusive Bass[sic] podcast, due to hit your lovely ears in the next few weeks.

Cheers,

The Bass[sic] team