Updated: Jan 22, 2019
This week we've been blessed with an exclusive interview with one of the kings of the underground: REL1!! He's sliding through #DNVR this April, just in time for 420, with a monster battle set at AK Productions' THC: Turntable Heavyweight Champions. On top of that: HE BROUGHT GOODIES! We've got an EXCLUSIVE new track today plus he'll be releasing some new material for us over the next few weeks, leading up to his performance at THC.
One of the things I love most about DJ's and producers is their ability to take music from any genre or era and bend it to their will. It's no industry secret that remixes and re-edits are one of the many things that have helped lift the bass music scene to what it is today. No one exemplifies this more than REL1.
REL has been dropping killer sets for years on end, honing his skills, and rapidly adapting to the dance music landscape. Track by track he he's formed an almost cult-like following and has firmly embedded himself as a permanent fixture in today's break beats scene. Like a broken-beat chef, he hand picks his ingredients from the depths of every genre, grinds it all up, and dusts it lightly over a savory break beat rhythm, with ease. Garnish that with some elite turntable skills and you've got a recipe for a #bassmusic feast! With countless edits and reworks to his credit, every time he unleashes his catalog on unsuspecting crowds, it results in dance floor destruction.
We're already blessed to have him on board for Turntable Heavyweight Champions, but clearly the bass overlords smiled heavily upon us when we asked to take a closer look at the man and, he obliged. We hit him with a few questions to help the world get to know him a little better and this is what he had to say...
Bass'd Out DNVR: Describe the time in your life when you discovered bass music and when you realized you wanted to become a DJ/Producer. REL1: I’ve been listening to electronic music as long as I can remember - we used to go to the local house music clubs in Boston and break dance and chill and i was always drawn to the energy, full frequency sound, and overall good vibes of the environments that had electronic music playing. The first proper electronic album i bought was, ‘Prodigy - Music for the Jilted Generation’. Total game changer for me - I was straight HOOKED after that. BOD: How many hours on average would you say you spend on the decks practicing or just for fun? R1: Not nearly as much as I’d like to with work and being a Dad - but I still try and get probably 4 or 5 hours a week on the decks and I’m pretty much working on beats or checking promos nightly or as much as possible. BOD: Do you remember the first set up you started DJ/Producing with? R1: Totally. The first set up we had was an old Gemini turntable where the platter would start spinning when you lifted up the tone arm and another old crappy deck and a piece of s**t Gemini mixer from back in the day. The tables couldn’t hold pitch worth a damn, but looking back on it, it was an advantage because when I finally got on some Technics it was stupid easy to ride mixes, etc… Score! As far as production, I made a couple tunes in Acid and then it was straight to Ableton for me, still what I’m using today. BOD: Pick one: Never have sex again or never be able to perform/make music again? R1: (Chuckles) That’s like asking a plant to choose between light or water…both are necessary to flourish and I won’t be giving up either anytime soon (winks) BOD: How much do your friends and family share your passion for the music? R1: I come from a family that’s passionate about music, all kinds. I’m doing my best to pass it on to my own children as well. Most of my friends are passionate as well… or at least tolerate me playing it anyway BOD: How would you feel about your kids or even grand-kids deciding they wanted to follow in your footsteps? R1: I’d be totally stoked! Music has provided so much happiness in my life. It’s allowed me to meet so many good people and has always been there to get me through the week. I would have killed to have a mentor growing up. (Pauses in deep thought) I’m self taught and would have moved a long much faster with some help. It would be very cool to give my kids that advantage and see how far they grow with it. BOD: You’ve performed for countless hours in front of different crowds. What kind of crowds do you like best? Where is your favorite place to perform? R1: I’m a big fan of playing outdoors; day or night. I love parties in the park or festivals, etc. My favorite crowds are any that are up for it and passionate about escaping reality for a minute and having a good time; big or small! Some of my favorite gigs ever were playing small, intimate venues, with excellent sound systems, and a crowd fans of the music as big as me. Those are always special. BOD: What’s the wildest or funniest thing you’ve seen happen during one of your sets? R1: Definitely have seen more than my fair share of wild stuff, probably too crazy to mention here…come find me at a show and i can tell you some stories (winks slyly) As far as funniest goes… This is probably mean although hilarious. I saw a pretty mangled, naked go-go dancer fall off a speaker she was dancing on (laughs). She was alright so we can all laugh about it now. (still laughing) BOD: When you get to your level of success, are there still people or artists in the industry that you look up too or gain inspiration from? R1: Absolutely. 100 percent. I'm constantly being inspired by other artists. It’s insane how much talent is out there and how many people are doing amazing things I’m absolutely a fan first and get stupid excited when i hear new goodness!! The DnB guys are steady blowing my mind with their production and energy they bring. Loads of cool new names in the breaks and bass world, which is very exciting. Plus there's a ton of 100-110 funky, chunky goodness to draw from as well. All i could ask for is more time to soak it all up! BOD: What artists or producers out there do you feel like you aren’t getting the attention they should? Any comments, shout outs, plugs? R1: There’s loads… Off the top of my head KWeRK is one that immediately pops into my head, always big tunes and quality engineering. The KMFX (Keith Mackenzie & Fixx) boys get love but not on the level they should be, in my opinion; that goes for a lot of the breaks guys. Nice to finally see some of that changing as bass music grows & expands and genres get more convoluted. A lot of the Spanish crew have been churning out gold for years but are just now starting to get booked outside of Spain; stoked to see that. I could go on and on with this really… BOD: Anything else on your mind?
Shouts to all the breaks and bass crews worldwide whom I’ve had the pleasure of playing for or spending time with. I’ve been extremely blessed and humbled by this whole thing that we all love and look very much forward to the future! One love!
(BIG THANKS! To REL1 for showing us some love. Big thanks to Shua as well for helping facilitate the process.)
...:::Bass'D Out DNVR:::...
Follow REL1 on Facebook here: www.facebook.com/djREL1
We're happy to announce that Rel1 will be launching a new site full of fresh content, very soon. Check back for more info! Also, he'll be releasing more exclusive content for us leading up to his set at THC: Turntable Heavyweight Champions next month! As Promised, we've got an exclusive new REL1 track for you! YOU CAN'T HEAR THIS ANYWHERE ELSE!!! It will be available on our social media outlets soon! This is the first of much more to come! Stay tuned...
Crank the #bass and break off the knob....Now, DANCE!