Interview with A Sides – 25 Years!
Since 1991 he is making music and is developing the scene! A Sides is one of the longtime figures of Drum & Bass, taking part on the genre with his label Eastside, his endless DJ gigs and his own productions. We are happy to give him big congratulations on 25 years in the making, taking a review and talking about his present and future projects.
Congratulations on 25 Years in the making! How does it feel to be part of the scene for this long period?
It feels good. It’s been a fun trip and the time has gone by so fast.
Speaking about the scene, what is the most remarkable change of Drum & Bass for you in the past 25 years?
I would say the appearance of Terminator by Goldie or his album Timeless which just made everyone rethink what they were doing and take things back to the drawing board. Goldie and Rob Playford were a force to be reckoned with.
Since August you have been releasing EPs for the Quart Sector project. What is the concept behind this project. Is every EP related to a special time in the last 25 years?
What I wanted to do with Quart is to spread out 25 tracks over a series of EPs (sectors). 25 tracks to celebrate 25 years since my first vinyl release in 1991. It made sense to release as 5 sectors as I could release one sector per month from August for the duration of 2016 with the final sector releasing in December. It makes sense because if I run into 2017, that will then be 26 years. I also felt that if I released as one LP with 25 tracks it would be gone and forgotten quickly, so this way I can prolong the celebration over 5 months.
One of my favorites is the Fijoa Dub with MC Fats. You have a quite good relationship to him, don’t you?
Yes we do. Myself and Fats have been working together on stage and in the studio for many many years. We also have a great friendship!
You have also played a certain role in the fundraising project U Understand Me Music. How was that, bringing and holding together a bunch of very good artists? What was your part in the project?
That was a huge project for me to undertake and I did a lot of work to make that happen. It’s been great to see the way it came together and the final outcome of things. I was in charge of all of the A&R with that album, I dealt with all of the artist negotiations, publishing, mastering, manufacturing and distribution. The whole project pretty much, with some assistance from guys like Chef and Bailey lending a helping hand.
I think he had his first gig after a long break at Sun And Bass 2015, you played for him. How was that for you, seeing him on stage again?
We agreed that it would be a great comeback for Fats to perform at Sun And Bass as this is a very special festival for us and a lot of our close family and friends would’ve been there too so Fats feels at home there. I am one of the curators for Sun And Bass so I wanted to use my set on my night to play a tribute mix of Fats classic tracks but to also have some of his favourites MCs / vocalists back him up on the mic. People like Cleveland Watkiss, Vanessa Freeman & Jeru The Damaja. It was a great night and a lot of emotion during that set, I saw some people in tears!
At Sun And Bass you are more than just a resident, seeing you giving the presents to the winners of the contest and then jumping in the pool is kind of a trademark of the festival. Tell us something about the Sun And Bass feeling. What makes it so special?
LOL myself and Bailey are judges of the DJ competition at Sun And Bass. We did go
through a phase of pushing the DJ competition finalists into the pool at Bal Harbour but for the last few years this hasn’t happened :). For me, Sun And Bass is special for many reasons. The location in itself is amazing, San Teodoro is an awesome place and the local people are so welcoming to us every year. Sun And Bass also has a great family vibe and a great meeting point for Drum & Bass lovers from all over the world. Almost everyone knows each other as we have all been visiting the festival yearly and made many friends from all over the world. It is indeed a very special festival :).
Since when was Eastside evolved and what was the reason of starting it?
The label started in 1996 and was set up to be an outlet for my own music plus that of my friends who were also producing good music. By that point in time I had done a lot of work for other labels and wanted to start focusing on my own label.
When I first started the label, I was releasing my own music plus that of others to give them support, but nowadays I just release my own music on Eastside or the odd collaboration / remix.
The 5th and last release of the Quart project was just released. Any ideas and projects in the making for the next 25 years?
I think I will just go with the flow and see how things develop. One of the major projects I have going on next year is to be releasing some of the tracks from the Quart LP on vinyl via a crowdfunding project and also myself and Nathan Haines will be back in the studio in New Zealand adding the finishing touches to an up and coming Sci-Clone EP for Metalheadz. I also owe Serum a collaboration so that will happen too and I think the rest will be freestyle spur of the moment things 🙂
Thank you for your time and best wishes to Fats!
Big up! Sending love to all the Leipzig crew I’ve not been there for a while but always remember good times :)!