Please start off with a brief synopsis on the history of 666gangstaz.
The name was spat up, as seen, straight from my subconscious- a piss take on the painfully overused 90s band name formula [number]+[word] = arbitrary bullshit that sounds cool.my name rolls off the tongue very awkwardly, and is deeply meaningful... first take at face value and envision an Ice Cube in blue and purple Hoodoo warpaint, in much more macabre and gothic stylings- gangsta-rap culture giving a true and spiritual embrace to the Satanic nature of it's obsession with death and violence, materialist decadence and hedonism of poetic extremity, and self empowerment to a god like influence by wielding soul enslaving alchemical substances... (ha ha the true power of rap is it's poetry) but my relationship to the number is with it it's true, Occult meanings... almost all figures and events in the modern christian mythos are perversions for more disgusting than outright lies, or ridiculous faerie tales interpreted into justification of any base, human whim- they are violent inversion of the gods and practices of the pagans and all the cultures they have demolished and subjugated on the path total world domination. satan as the snake in the garden is the demonifaction of the primal feminine energy- the yin, denying, at humanities point of inception the sacredness of nature, and life- itself's inherent duality. Satan materialized as a horned devil is the inversion of Pan and Cerrnunos, the horned god, benevolent patron of the daylight and animal kingdom, by worshiped pretty back to humanities cave dwelling days. i personally connect to the Lucerfarian angle, the fallen angel myth are of couse the story of Prometheus- I am trying to bring a chainsaw of light and knowledge to humanity so that we may severe the shackles binding our spirit- this will happen though the realization of our dark, inhuman, animal natures- Satan is real as fuck, he dwells INSIDE the human heart. accepting that is the only way to ensure we are benevolent in our live. so the spirit of the project is to be a dark destructive force for us, fire to burn away the badness. my favorite sentiment, and this is likely inaccurate in bible numerology or Cabala, is that "6 is the number of man, and 3, 33, 333, are the numbers of god, so 666 is the number of a man making himself a god. the 666gangstaz project evolved, bucking and clawing along with bleeding edge (and common availability) i have cassettes from the early 90's of primitive ambient, techno and even jungle tracks that were made with the first primitive wave editors on the earliest of the windows PC's. ha ha the sounds i worked with were 8-bt 22kHz mono .wavs and a 3 minute track would filling the entire harddrive, puzzling and infuriating my folks. once the laptop renaissance happened and we got the first proper softsynths (rebirth, rubberduck) and sample sequencing studios, and effect plugging (directx for cooledit) it was on. a sat down with Jeskola Buzz (still one of the best http://buzzmachines.com) read the 10 min how to, pumped out an ill techno track (which i still have), and quite a lot of the tracks i finished (except for the first cd ) have always been online at http://noiseusse.org. Play (noiseusse co-founder) and i were making all manner of stuff, click n cuts, techno, weird house, breakbeat, and IDM Hardcore and Breakcore, before we had ever really heard much HC/BC, i didn't stumble on the term 'breakcore' or the net scene until a few week before i moved to cali in 2003 (big ups to widerstand and c8) we were booking shops and tragging our desktop to clubs and and bars in ann arbor, and it was COMPLETELY mind boggling to the public at large, they had never seen or heard much electronic music at all, and we we playing some really out there shit even by today's standards, ha ha ha....
what are your feelings about free tekno?
Free Tekno is a much faster (150 - 180bpm) and bouncier style of techno, very trippy and some of it works it's self up to basically being hardcore. the were some french free tekno kidz staying with us at the 5lowershop wherehouse , one of them was dj-ing and i was like "i know this track, i have this record, you guys are just playing techno records on 45!" and they said " if its not on 45, it's no techno man" but it's more than that , Free Tekno it is a a lifestyle, a philosophy... for a more in depth look into it check out the Spiral Tribe wiki... the name "free" comes a hardcore DIY, grass roots, i guess "anarcho-socialist" ethic- throwing FREE parties, usually out doors in cali we call the them 'renegades our brethren on the eastcoast call them out 'outlaws' in the city we'd do 'break-ins' in europe the movement is so big the have tons of free outdoor festivals ,"Teknovals" a bunch of crews bring huge soundsystems out in the middle of nowhere (very commonly with school busses, because of their availability) setup shop and party for a weekend, a week or however long the supply of of drugs and fuel for the generators last. we have one here annually called the Autonomous Mutant Festival, it happen in varying locations in the pacific northwest, from northern cali up to washington. always in a completely different location, so as not to destroy to the local ecosystem, this is important because we do AMF in lush, beautiful forests, where are connecting to nature -this is in direct ideological opposition to burning man- we leave the city to connect with nature, as opposed to a lifeless and brutal environment which can accommodate grandiose and frivolous displays of america's wealth of energy resources. our festivals are free, based on autonomy and communal sharing where as burning man is commercialism consumerism and political social structure (ticket are incredibly expensive and the money goes to for instance their own police force ha ha) we always find a place with large stream, so people can keep clean and cool, build water filter so we can use the water, people i know have had one working yet but there are lots of attempts to covert industrial generator to run on straight veg (filtered scavenged vegetable oil) most people's buses run on veg. some of my friends trying to get a grant to build green (or at least sustainable) generators for burning man- they were modified to run on some algae product they have the tech, and the infra structure to create the machines and the fuel, do it up- burning man wasn't interested, they gave them 500$ to bring one ... (haha why am i ranting about BM? i guess it's to illustrate what free techno in not :) ) but that idea- a festival run on algae generators- THAT is fee techno... ha ha while i'm at it, S.P.A.Z. (sister crew of 5lowershop et al, who i proudly claim association to) was the first soundsystem to show about at burning man, back at the beginning... now how they do it in europe that varies of course, i've heard and i'm assuming how most of those crews get thecaptial to power the cycle is just straight up selling drugs. which makes perfect sense, you bring the drugs as well as the party ha ha.. we do this to but in much less of a direct sense, whether we are more cautious or more timid, we aren't the one distributing pills and what now to the public en mass, at our parties, but a good deal of the people in our network on the westcoast make a living growing or seasonally trimming green- so ost of us exist off the grid, in the shadow economy , the under ground... Freetekno is very political, non-violent, anti-war, anti-big brother, for community autonomy and equality, for environmental protection, ANTI-RACIST this isn't such a big deal in the states but in europe there's a huge plague of neo-nazism in the electronic scene, particularly with hardcore/gabber :( yep... there are tons of huge nazi hardcore raves (makes me shudder). when the love parade move from berlin to san fransisco we, of course, imported Fuck Parade!! now the first year we did it while we were promoting for it online the people doing fuck parade in berlin notice and some how got the phone number at the 5lowershop where house, called international.... and miraculously the phone got answered and someone who could speak for our crew was put on the line... they wanted to make sure we weren't nazis (! :) ) ... we're like oh fuck no!! an were give their official blessing. in 5lowershops earlier days they did a lot of political activism, some of them went to iraq as human shields, which is pretty HC, and bringing soundsystems to street protests, which is super fun!!, breakcore never sounds better than when yr facing down a wall of riot gear clad cops, but you got to come up with a portable equipment setup that you'd be willing to lose, bike soundsystem is a very powerful weapon in those type of scenarios it a great way to direct (and accumulate and catalyze) a giant mob. there's a great spiral tribe dvd about a crew of them driving some box trucks fullup with a shit ton books, of every kind, from france all the way into africa into some impoverished city, they hung with the people there and made music with the local drummers, and threw and huge dance party centered on the performance collaborating with a bunch of the drummers, dancers and other local performers, there's vinyl a CD and a dvd from that venture. that's FreeTekno.
-INCREASE THE PEACE!!-
how did 5lowershop influence you?
they were my introduction to soundsystem culture, mutant culture, urban sustainability, a slew of new sounds and aesthetics, and the total awesomeness of school busses. i moved to cali in the beginning of 2003, knowing only 2 people. i knew from them, and every anecdote i had heard that the bay area is where i belonged, along with any kind of freak, artist, stoner and queer. it is the american counterculture mecca. along with new york it is always at least 5 years ahead the rest of the US in creative trends, constantly spawning the and importing them from other countries. all this is important as context. the socially progressive regions of the west coast (and NYC in the east) are the only places that have a "soundsystem culture". so within a month of moving to oakland i get my first invitation to party. we go to SF guessing it's a metal show by the flyer. we go into the big shady wherehouse. jaws dropped and eyes popping. i was like like this is it! exactly what i moved out there, and more... next level shit. it evolved my music and art enormously in a couple months, just by exposure. ha ha i totally fucked my way into the inner core of the s.p.a.z. and 5lowershop community. not generally my MO, but it happens. it was kind of bad, a gave a cd with my to one of the performers, just being friendly. she emails me within a day, like "hey stranger..." and i'm like awesome! i made a friend! first evening we hung out got way more than friendly... and week later her roommate comes to look at a room, and that girl just my heart out of my eye balls and we were getting it on within 6 hours or so... the rest is history, me and dj megabitch were in it together for the next 5 years. not knowing anything about these kids or their relationships a bit of drama ensued, mostly because the lady who initially picked me up had a boyfriend. best way to get jumped in...
how do you incorporate dj'ing and live performance together (ableton, gear)? are they separate art forms?
well once computers got powerful enough, and people finally got working beat detection algorithms. ableton 5, as i recall, and traktor 3... i immediately was all up in hybrid-dj/live remixing, in all possible permutations. i'll probably end up reiterating this: djing (mostly with decks) IS a "live performance" very much so! - to the point that it's way more "live" than 98% of the ableton sets i've ever seen, it's a hands-on art, a science. the good stuff is highly improvisational, you have to have a mental map of all your tracks, especially the tempos which vary ridiculously in half of the styles. sure you can plan out your whole set ahead of time, but that can bomb, you miss the most important point- working with the crowd, you can literally feel the energy of the dance floor- it a feedback loop- all those people full immersed, excited, interacting with the sounds, moods, beats and each other- all that energy feeds right back into you, increasing your abilities, it will lift you up to different, higher level, you can tell exactly what the audience needs to hear ha ha play something that alienates the vibe and you feel it right away in your bones, nasty feeling. a it requires a lot of skill, people who have never tried to beatmatch would be astonished by how difficult it is. to a non-dj its just looks like you just standing there nodding your head. it's not a theatrical spectacle, it takes to much concentration to put on i big show of yourself (unless you a turntablist, they tend to ignore the groove continuity. its flashy but not often imaginative, its like a non-stop cockrock guitar solo). and then we come to ableton which is an amazing program, with limitless creative possibility, super intuitive. unfortunately, the most common way it's used in a "live" setting is lazy automatic beat matching of pre-determined tracks. to get that "live" feel, you can bang your head and grimace, jump around, spout inanities or lipsync, pretend to be fucking up the tracks on your keyboard or controller (lol i could drop a huge list of names and offenses from the breakcore scene but what's the point?). many prefer to just stand there staring at the screen. some dick around with effects a little. a suprizing number just hit the space bar and pound beer, this my favorite ableton trick-slamming down a ton of liquor and rolling spliffs. lol
what innovations would you like to see in live performance technology?
well in my dreams- a direct cybernetic link into the mind/body. we are in the happy babysteps stage of mind controlled computers and tablets! but for performance i'd like to see and integration of body gesture... a great simple example is the Powerglove. but extrapolate into a system to today's resolution and flexibility, and by dancing and gesturing you would have a huge amount of potential data with an unprecedented amount of nuance. it would take full advantage of your natural dexterity way beyond the way traditional interfaces and instruments do. people are all ready doing all kinds of thing in this vein but they are just super geeks experimenting. eventually we get a easy to use, flexible and widely available system.
how do you feel about breakcore and its development?
this will sound strange to the younger, laptop generation- for me personally, laptops killed breakcore. for me, the foundational stuff has a lot more visceral impact. was darker, grittier, and groovier, having been a direct spawn of the darker dance styles- the creators, label like ambush, praxis and DHR, were adepts of other styles first. the sounds were more varied, unique and focused. a lot of it involved political activism. so that was the mid to late 90's. the past ten years the style largely becomes more and codified. silly movie sample get pretty obligatory, as does plunderphonic, which is both good and bad. the use of elements from any and all other styles of music is both one of the best aspects, and also it's downfall (at least for me, people have horrendous tastes in music). once the god awful "mashup" thing gets popular, you have people using so much crappy pop music it's functionally just an excuse indulge your inane cheese, made more obnoxious with adolescent sped of amens. there is great stuff, unique stuff too, don't get wrong, but i guess for one thing i'm just burnt on hardcore/breakcore, after living in a almost nonstop hardcore rave for 6 or 7 years, pushing the extreme factor as far it would go. i actually got sick of the really, really chopped up stuff a long time ago, people are so obsessed with constant glitches and edits the continuity gets totally lost, and i think you need that, and a bit of a coherent groove for the stuff to be compelling.
who is your favorite breakcore dj?
mark n, of nasebluten/bloody fist records. he's a world champion turntablist.
how do you feel about the move away from vinyl dj'ing?
ha ha well there is no "move away from vinyl dj'ing" what you are referring to is the growth of a whole generation of talentless morons they believe they are djs, due to the dissemination of tech that's finally good enough make make a bunch more morons believe it. dj means "disc-jockey", the arcane turntable and mixer setup has been reverse engineered to control virtual decks or anything else. vinyl djing- beatmatching takes time, discipline and dedications to learn, and style and creativity to produce something interesting. learning to beat batch is hard! at first it's a total head fuck to learn to split your minds hearing into independent thing parts, like a lizard's eye. through the technique you get this deep relation ship the beats, and the way dance music works, that you won't find any other way. now that said the evolution of the tech is amazing the new possibility are used marvelously by the creative, and while i stress the benefits or learning the old schools ways for the sake of being a better artist, i love how the effectiveness and availability of our current tech level, makes the medium accessible to countless people who wouldn't have otherwise gotten into playing around with sound and music. beginners can often come up with the coolest things.
what inspired you to produce?
i don't really remember a time before i was obsessed with music... i've always been like haunted by the beat its was really painful waiting around for the future to get here so i could get my hands on stuff that could make the sounds i heard and heard in my head. there were always guitars and piano and casios around but they were forever frustrating because you can't manipulate the sound. as child i was all about hip hop, then when i was 12 or 13 i discovered industrial, electronica, techno jungle etc. there was really good stuff even on the pop/alt rock stations at night, being in close proximity to detroit. on the weekends they would broadcast from the night clubs, the on the rap/soul stations this meant booty bass every thursday, friday, and saturday. listening to booty really stone was a big influence.
outside of electronic music, what music do you like to listen to?
jazz, classical,k all manner of "world music". i hate rock and "pop" at large. can't stand blue grass, but there is some SUPER bad ass appalachian banjo recordings from the beginning of the 1900's, the song banjo's and harmonies were all in these great Modal tunings called things like the "claw hammer" and "sawmill" tunings- super dark and brooding check out Dock Boggs on archive.org. Steve Reich is amazing and a big influence.
can you play any traditional instruments?
played jazz saxophone, and electric bass, studied throughout child hood and highschool, guitar in bunch of bands have done any of that for like 15 years so id be pretty sloppy and slow now but the way jazz and improv works that stick with you as a fundament. "if you like music, jazz is the teacher" i can play the didgeridoo circular breath is great technique that other applications in yoga and the occult arts.
do you think traditional instruments can have a meaningful role in electronic music or do they dilute the style?
which style? unless you can use them in an interesting sonically explorational ways that melds into the sound and style, they are just props for ego posturing and tend to be played in tired western conventions that is if you are some space bar ableton breakcore dude playing at a rave. but i LOVE massive attack, muslimgauze, all manner of stuff like that...
what is your current favorite production trick?
first and foremost is, simply: suprize. and change. i'm trying to create new and mindbending experiences one important way of doing this taking established conventions and twisting them, using familiar sounds in unexpected ways etc... but to real blow and reward minds takes a advanced and subtle use of songcraft (something that definitely is getting lost in evolution and dissemination of software) you need to cleverly lead people's expectations to play a good trick. my stuff lends itself well to this because i write in a narrative style, as opposed to any conventional or codified genre structure- tracks frequently end up in a different style with completely different elements than they start with.
but if 'you are looking for a more technical or usable answer: layering sounds, one big way is layer subharmonics on them to give them big physical impact a lot of music gets made in absence of good subs and this entire aspect of music is neglected. very often you are tweaking and effecting a bass sound and once it's good its not putting out low frequencies, you then mirror the with clean untouched sine wave, usually several octaves lower... super simple but people always ask me how to do this. to get really tripped out sounds, up into recent years do a ton of Granular Synthesis and grainbuffer effects, timestretching and pitchshifting (generally) are simple grain synth stuff. now, with faster computers- now i'm in FFT - fast fourier - block processing, more descriptive know as spectral bock processing, and these new additive synth, that are basically "spectral" synths.
what is the basic way that you set up ableton for live performance?
Basic... ha ha... well basically as many different dynamic and improv-oriented devices as the processors can handle, a of instances of reaktor synths for playing, synths with a million midi clips that with program change, a heavy duty custom modular drum machine, a bunch little glitchy rhythm and sfx thingies that play the selves, audio tracks of loops, an audio track of loops that constantly change, a track of fx loop that constantly change, track of long single track sequences, some finished tracks, some acapellas. i don't use a hole zoo of vst fx any more, just some basic live fx racks delays and filters for fast control of the auxiliary channels dynamics. On main tracks i use different keyboard triggered grain/buffer multi fx- these really put put the freestyle power right in your hand. i use really old remote 25 controller, a kaos pad. and sync up what ever live gear i have, electribes, another laptop, etc, the best one that i possessed for a spell was a nord modular.
what is your ultimate goal musically?
long term collaborations... have taken it all so far solo that I can't do it anymore, can't see the point. I love working with rappers and vocalists, I want to be a cyber-shamanic Timbaland to a wiley alien Missy Eliott. i have played prolly hundreds of sets of all kinds at the dopest underground parties i've ever been to, we threw them ourselves, totally noncommercial (frequently free) every other underground party i ever went into in the bay area was completely whack (at least 20 bucks a pop), after a couple of years, me and dj megabitch just gave up,, and we never lacked for action- ha ha when i say our crew- I'm referring to big network work and community mad up pf like 8 or so soundsystem crews + friends and family... known as the "mutant" scene. in terms of creative works i wrote about a dozen albums in in decade or so. I've totally actualized the fury of the hardcore vision- there's a plateau there, handful of tracks and patches i made were just so brutal, in a soul satisfying way, that there was no higher level. even in the producers that had inspired me.
did dubstep hurt or help electronic music as a whole?
which scene? dubstep exploded into a scene of its own, in it's elements, they are great and they've had good influence on the other genres. at this put since it went mainstream and codified into monotonous lizard brain crotch grabbing, the creative minds have kept soul of evolving into a bunch of of new styles. most people are completely unfamiliar the original style of the scene that coined the term.
is it important to you that experimental electronic music is danceable?
in what states or country's have you performed? Which place was your favorite?
michigan, illinois, california, oregon, washington, new york, pittsburg, canada- toured with nommo ogo and katabatik soundsystem, we drove all the from washington to alaska! favorite- definitely the bay area, people say LA is really fun, but the only time i played down there, the party was a total fail, on the promoter's behalf, but at least we got payed decently, while he lost a shit load of money. since we have such a big and motivated net work of crews- at least 7 soundsystems with a huge network of friends, djs, producers, artists, vjs, homebrewers, dedicated fans, etc... when do a large indoor event it's huge and it's off the hook on an uncommon way. beyond that we have serious notoriety in the area, have big name to draw the public, just reputation. at the 5lowershop wherehouse and the mini 5lower loft up the street, there's always people that don't even know who we are or what kind of music they might hear, they just find somehow there's a party. anyway that's the type of event that i really get into, and people are properly experience my stuff- banging a huge soundsytem to a sweaty 100+ (hot) freaks, more than 1/2 of the female (omg), totally bumpin-n- grinding (ha ha ha) to speedcore. so this, granted, is a very high standard, it would very hard to get something this in scenes else where, especially the with say, hardtechno, let alone breakcore. nonetheless the Shows i've played elsewhere have been consistently limp, mostly due to nonattendance which garners lack of enthusiasm. i know its hard to get something cool happen and get people to care, but i've been booked at to many "shows", along side more awesome talent, that obviously weren't promoted to the public, and some where people didn't even bother to tell their friends! tiny broken soundsytems, I've to play on broken stereo speakers and blown guitar amps. this is just the breakcore scene, so a lot of people have been to a good dance party, by an large oblivious subass. or dancing at all. what i've see in modern breakcore is that all events are "shows" as opposed to "parties". i hate the traditional concert format- every one just staring "performer" and not talking to each other. the only thing less interesting or insightful that watch dj cueing up track is watching a dude stare at a laptop. which why a lot of breakcore producers pretend to rock out on a controller. its a fake performance so it is just ego stroking. i know that these cities have something cool to offer... how can they not? they are all metropolitan enough, progressive enough for all the dj, producers, artists, queers, witch and what not to be a connected enough community for a general night life scene... it's partially just misfortune that i go there and i don't see it in action.