Koko Exclusive

KOKO Asia Approved is for those from the region or are touring the region. We watch a local band and we love it then we will review it. We watch an international band touring the region and we love it you guessed it we will review it.

Fux With Your Head

Date: 10 November 2009
By Mayho

Sitting in the Cloth & Clef in Kuala Lumpur a few weeks back I was urged by the owner, Ethaya, to come down and check out a DJ by the name of Electrofux, and had been told to expect big speaker bending bass lines in the form of dubstep, a sound which is regarded as emerging in the UK - in Asia it’s almost nonexistent.

Sitting inside, again with beer in hand and fag clenched tightly in-between my teeth, I caught my first dubstep in Asia courtesy of Electrofux, probably one of the most techy and creative DJ’s I’ve ever seen play live, and he didn’t disappoint.

Merging dubstep beats with self made samples and all sorts of high tech wizardry, he wasn’t so much spinning - he was making art.

I took advantage of the opportunity to catch up with the boy and pick what’s left of his brains.

Mr. Fux! How are we? Enjoying Kuala Lumpur?

Good I guess, there are so many things that have happened here that changed some parts of my life. I didn’t realise that it's been almost a month that I'm here and it feels like I’ve just arrived. Great fun, food & friends, but most of the time I’ve been lazing around my friends place. But the only thing I can say about this trip in one word and three syllables is "EXCELLENT" .

Glad to hear KL is treating you so well. You’ve spend a lot of your time here in the studio. Time well spent?

Actually the studio I mentioned to you is more of a mobile studio, which is actually my set which I always carry around whenever I travel. If I’m here in KL and I just wanna do something I can easily record it and publish it on the internet. I did some tracks with my new found crew member Anowl Gazi, I even had a jam session with him at a couple of gigs. Time was well spent I suppose but I wish I had more. There’s more stuff to be explored here, that’s for sure.

You were originally spinning house and minimal electro, what brought you to dubstep?

Originally I didn’t spin; I programmed the songs I wanted to play into my MC-909 and Electribe MX-1. Some are my songs but most are covers but my own version. Anything from jazz, rock, metal, drum & bass, hip-hop, whatever genre the media made I would try to programme and play. Then one day I just couldn't be bothered programming anymore so I started spinning and playing along with my sequencer together. Most clubs wants DJ’s to play what people want to hear. House is one of the more majority flavors, so when I worked in Bali at Surfer Girl I just played minimal as not many fancied that in Bali, but I got a couple of surprises from people. It's a job thing and furthermore I'm not a house type of guy but I don't mind - so long it pays the bills! Heheheheheh! I got into dubstep just recently from a friend of mine. Again I'm not the dub type of guy either but it had this intriguing hip-hop beats with a bit of break beat, sinful synths and mind wobbling bass that caught my ears. It took me a while to understand it but once I got the hang of it I couldn’t stop unless I needed to take a pee, hahahahaha! Now I'm trying to produce some of my own tracks but I want do it by programming the source of sound from my equipment and arranging it rather than using a VSTi, but in an old school way.

Dubstep has been regarded as the heavier, grimier brother of Drum n Bass, agree or disagree?

I agree I suppose, but from my point of view the vibe of these two genres is totally different as D&B and dubstep have this adrenaline feeling, but both share a different kind of vibe. D&B is like drinking Red Bull and double espressos, while dubstep is like Red Bull & double espressos with xanax sprinkled in.... hmmmmm does it make sense?

I getcha. Seeing as it’s still regarded as new and underground in the UK, what do you think of the scene in Asia?

Huh, it's new in UK?

Meh, it’s been around a bit but only now moving into the mainstream methinks, although DJ’s like Annie Mac have been championing it for years.

Well for Asia it's kinda new but we are picking up on it. KL already has that crowd thanks to nights like Bud Culture; Jakarta there's couple of dubstep gigs courtesy of Crime Scene. In Bali, my radical regime and I from The Poppies Experimental do some gigs. Just got to get that passion of making this gig alive and known and more will enjoy their holidays here, as out of every 100 people who come to Bali only about 2 love dubstep and that is enough for me. Definitely I’m hoping it stays underground because once it's hyped up then the whole underground culture is going be ruined - just like they did to house & break dance.

True that. You’ve said before that you feel awkward with being known, are you worried about being classed as a pioneer of Asian dubstep?

Hhhmmmmm, a cunningly tricky question which I never thought of before! Actually I don't really care what people might classify me as. I like to do something that the majority dislikes and keep on doing it until they crave for more then move on to the next chapter. But I would much prefer to be called a myth rather than pioneer unless if pioneer want to endorse me! Wahahahahahaha! I doubt they will though.....

You’ve played all over Indonesia and now Malaysia, but you spun before at the Museum of Modern Art in Sweden. Bit of a random gig isn’t it?

Aaaah, Sweden! Land of the blonde. It's all just luck or coincidence really as I went to Sweden for a holiday and I stayed at my good friend Satrio's place. A couple of blocks away from his apartment was this cafe called Copa Cabana and I always had my lattes there in the afternoon enjoying the sun. Then I met this Swedish girl who is a singer called Cornelia Dahlgren who already had a couple of EPs out and wanted to collaborate with me. So I said yes and it was great, there were a couple of good bands as well who played there and I wish I could remember their names if it wasn't because of the white wine, but I got the chance playing in a Museum. I just love weird venues.

I’ve messed up countless times just trying to burn a CD, but your sets rely heavily on your live production equipment. Got any horror stories of when things go wrong?

I can make a novel out of the situations I've been through. I remember once I was playing, the vibes were picking up and the crowd started to get crazy, then suddenly one of the crew from another band pulled the plug out my main socket as he thought it was the guitar FX adaptor! Everything went silent and I could hear a voice behind me saying 'ooops'. Another bad one was while I was playing with the sequencer the thing just crashed for no apparent reason! But thank god I had my sampler next to me so I could just pop a sample sound on and people thought its part of the song.

We recently stuck your top five dubstep tunes on KOKO Asia; can you recommend any DJ’s for the uneducated masses to check out?

There so many to recommend but just checkout Stenchman, Subscape, High Rankin, Tes La Rok, 501, 16 Bit . There are sooooooooo many more! You guys check it out yourself.

Don’t forget Nero! You’ve progressed through playing house, minimal, electro, dubstep, are there any other sounds which are catching your ear?

The sound of the cash register, the sound from the ATM when you withdraw your cash, the sound of someone screaming when they hit a jackpot, the sound of a coins dropping out of the jackpot vending machine, the sound of a person signing on his/her cheque book & giving it to me! Hehehehe! But seriously I’ve been listening to Fidget & Breakcore recently.

Fidget eh? There’s quite the little fidget scene taking off over here in the last few years thanks to the good folks at Lapsap and more recently the Mutant Mayhem crew. Have you started playing any? And if so, who?

Nah, not yet as I don't even know much about it. I'm just getting used to the groove that's all. It takes me awhile to like a certain genre, if I can't feel the groove of a certain sound I just can't play it.

So what’s next for Electrofux?

I’m trying to collaborate with some of the guys from KL. I want to do more tracks, remixing any songs that are offered to be remixed (with a good price...hihihi!) Meet my mum more often (we haven't seen each other for 17 years) and even settle down a bit I think. Keep on practising and uploading more on YouTube while still trying to make a dubstep album to give away for free. Stabilise Electrofux's merchandise while trying to figure out the market. I want to do more designs and collaborate with local designers. Hopefully I can do more of the PMP jeans that I designed since it sold out. Also, do the windmill while opening a can of coke without spilling it. Trying to convince some clubs in Bali to do a regular dubstep night as they can't do electro or progressive house 24/7, 365 days a year. Oh yeah, and try to get the Sp-555! Hopefully I can get endorsement from Korg or Roland or Pioneer (too bad I’m not a superstar) and of course hopefully get more gigs and travel.

Seems like you’re a busy boy then, teach me how if you master the coke trick. Any last words?

Hmmm, stop global warming? Boring.

I’ll see what I can do.

Leave Britney Spears alone?

I was kinda hoping she would stop texting me...

Legalise it! Think they will?

Well that’s a no comment from me. Any more or can I go home now?

Yeah, whatever you guys like to do in this world, do it with passion and pride just as long as you don't hurt anybody else then you’re walking down the right track. Everybody is born with many hidden talents, so try to discover yours before your grandchild says "I didn't know you could do that grandpa!?"

Here’s hoping that R’n’B doesn’t corrupt those grandkids. Electrofux, thank you.

You're electronically most welcome, KOKO Asia.....

 

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