The last few years of touring has seen Bas Ibellini hit the notes you’d expect: Fabric (London), Amnesia, Space and DC10 (Ibiza), elrow and Florida 135 (Barcelona), Fuse (Brussels), Nordstern (Basel), überhaus (Beirut), Output (New York), and Space (Miami). A perfect blend of shuddering bass, shadowed crowds and shifting time zones spanning nights with CircoLoco, Music On and The Warehouse Project as well as the grainy sands of Sonus, Sunwaves, and BPM festival. Between travels, this London-native can be found at home in his Hoxton Studio, fixated on mastering a deeper understanding of his craft. A methodical approach that reveals something of his roots in music: a childhood of collecting records and a fascination with microphones and live recordings. The result – a cheeky, funk-infused sound with fancy footwork that dances with influences ranging from Prince and Hall & Oates to Matthew Herbert and The Neptunes. With a few releases on Seth Troxler and the Martinez Brothers’ Tuskegee imprint and Damian Lazarus’s Crosstown Rebels, his diversity is evident in his productions. Bas’ remix game hasn’t been bad either, with recent works on Classic Company and Secret Music, getting positive critique from some of the scenes heavyweights including Marco Carola and Loco Dice. For Bas, ‘downtime’ means hosting his own East London night: Peculiar. A brand that encapsulates his the artist’s playful irreverence and sees oversized teddy bears dangling from the ceiling above headliners including Seth Troxler, The Martinez Brothers, Guy Gerber, The Mole and Herodot to name a few. A deep-rooted love for music, passed down from a musical family, has placed Bas in a fortunate position. Years of hard work, from pushing himself to become an expert turntablist as a youngster to putting on his own ‘Peculiar’ parties in London, have laid the foundations for his growing success. On the production tip, Bas has taken a considered though enthusiastic tact, spending days on end toiling away in the studio. Learning the craft inside out, he prefers to take his time to release music. Over the last three years he has managed releases on Seth Troxler and The Martinez Brothers’ Tuskegee imprint, and Crosstown Rebels’ sub-label, Rebellion. In 2016, he will continue on his upwards trajectory, with support from and collaborations with fellow artists he has befriended throughout his travels. While lining up more top level gigs (as well as the cheeky after-parties), and steadily releasing fresh new jams, Bas is basically living his dream.
Tell us a bit about your journey, before the beat lights went off and the beat dropped, what drove you to dive into electronic dance music?
I got hooked on music from a young age; playing instruments and collecting music was part of my day to day. The moment I started going out, I would enjoy the social aspect so much, I knew that I needed to curate my lifestyle around music and parties. My first experience for electronic music was in Tunisia; I’d go on family holidays to Sousse and Hammamet where they had a massive outdoor electronic music scene. Seeing people celebrate life really triggered something in me from an early age. Unfortunately Tunisia’s tourism and nightlife is struggling because of idiots around the world.
Take us through your creative process when it comes to production. What inspires you? Do you have any ritual to get your juices flowing?
It’s all about how I start the day. A little work out gets my juices flowing and I generally channel those endorphins into some magic on my gear. It’s about having an open mind and being able to take inspiration from anything.
Your music is known to vary from ambient and therapeutic to fast and techy. What defines a sound element that fits within your sound spectrum?
Grooves and emotion are the basis for my foundations. I prefer longer sets so I can explore different cultural references and feelings. That being said, I love going off off-piste and travelling to unfamiliar territories.
What’s your secret weapon when it comes to creating your signature sound textures?
A track only feels complete for me when I’ve fused elements of live recording and analog synthesis. Sprinkle some ridicule; and that pretty much sums me up. I enjoy having many layers of frequencies crossing over each other, the perfect recipe for happy mistakes.
Whats your current top 3 ?
2nd Shift feat. Heather – Are You Ready For The Future (Halo & Jamie Thinnes Revisited Dub)
FYI Chris – B Glaser
100Hz – U Don’t Know
What was the first record you purchased with your own money ?
In 1999, I went to my local record shop and bought..
Dr Dre 2001
How does that reflect in your set nowadays and influence your sets ?
To start, I still buy records. I don’t think I’ll ever stop buying them; its the one thing in life I’ll always make space for..
Hip hop has always played a part in my life. The minimal sounds and loose grooves have definitely had an impact on my productions and track selections.
Can you name 5 non-electronic albums that have shaped your ideology as a musician?
Arthur Russell – World of Echo
Sun Ra and his Arkestra
J Dilla – Donuts
Pink Floyd – Dark side of the moon
2 Many DJs – Radio Soulwax
When your not in tour mode what music do you listen to?
I’m listening to a lot of live music at the moment. Cymande, ESG, any artists from Blue Flower or Grandeville Records. Music with soul you can listen to anytime of the day, drive or cook to.
What else do you do to switch off from music in between shows ?
Everything Bali has to offer; beach, yoga and amazing food.
Your heading to Bali on Jan 11 to play for a great new event on the island – what have you heard about the concept so far and what have you planned for us ?
I know all our senses will be tickled from visuals, sounds and food. It’s always exciting to get involved on the first one and I fully trust the team behind the project. If all goes to plan, I’ll be able to fully express myself and hope to provide a peculiar soundtrack to the experience.
How about some of the other guys performing; what can you tell our readers about them ? It’s looking like a great event .
It’s a lovely mix of international artists; I’m happy to see fellow Londoner Robin Ordell on the line up. Bill Patrick needs little introduction; he always delivers with his great taste in music. I had the pleasure of meeting and hearing Gescu at a festival in Morocco this summer; he definitely had the warm and inviting sound that I know the crowd in Bali will enjoy.
Its a great line up and I’m proud to be on it.
How about on your travels lately is their some artists that you have discovered that we should be keeping a ear and eye out for ?
Check out Bobby Pleasure, Gregorio Soave and David Berrie.
These 3 have a great sound and bright future..
The DJ/Producer trend is picking up, if you had to give today’s producers a piece of advice, what would that be?
Explore non-club music as much as possible and incorporate it into your lifestyle. This sets patterns in your subconscious and will inspire you when it comes to making music. With synthesis, it’s vital to start with one piece of analog kit and then learn it on the inside out. Once you understand the fundamentals of one, you can incorporate this into most synthesizers.
Catch Bas Ibellini at Sil.u’et festival on January 11 at Joshua District Tabanan.
check out the event here