Interview mit Heist (Co-Lab, Metalheadz)
Der letzte Gast der Palm Breaks Partys war Heist und meine Nerven hat der Mann gerockt! Seit gut fünf Jahren dreht der Mann am Rad und landete bereits bei all seinen Lieblingslabels Veröffentlichungen. Was treibt den Co-Lab Label Chef, Produzenten und Rufige Kru Engineer an?
Booga: When did you start producing and what was the initial need you had to do it?
Heist: I started in round 2002 actually getting the results I was happy with to release tracks, but I’m always learning new things all the time. I’ve been djing since I was young so producing tracks was really the next step for what I wanted to do musically and to get out there playing and testing what I had made.
Did you had a mentor in making music, who influenced you most?
I never really had a mentor – but I always looked up to Dillinja and DJ Die and always bought their records on sight.
Later you were offered to get signed to Valve. How did you felt about it?
It was an honour to have Dillinja and Lemon D interested in what I was doing. They released my second ever 12″ which was Strider’s first release on Beatz in 2003.
I bought this one and to be honest wondered at first if it’s another alias of Dillinja. How would you describe the two alter egos HEIST and STRIDER?
It’s small differences in the sounds I use I think, and the way I engineer certain things like the breaks or the bass, I can’t really properly explain it!
You named a tune which sound to me like HOCKENHEIM as the name for the well known race track in Germany … how come? And by the way – when will this one see the light?
Haha! Its actually named after an Alloy wheel type called TSW Hochenhiems, which I used to see on loads of cars in my area – all the boy racers in Essex loved em! I guess they must have named them after the race track maybe? Still no offical release date at the moment.
How would you describe the perfect balance in sound for a drum and bass tune? Or in other words how can there ever be too much bass in a mix? Because you mentioned the fact that „Care No More“, another unreleased but well sought after tune, had too much bass in the first mix down…
Yeah that tune is one that I just can’t decide on really. The bass sounded too heavy in a club but that’s sometimes the way you have to go back in the studio and sort it out once you’ve tried it out. Ive gone back in now but I’m still not sure about if I’m going to release it or not.
Dubs, giving away tunes, AIM and P2P file sharing and trust – words with a special meaning for you lately. What happened and what are your considered consequences?
Yeah a couple of tracks got leaked on the net and they were not finished really – that’s what annoyed me. Nearly every track I release gets on sites when it comes out on promo, that’s something that won’t ever stop now and I’ve been aware of for sometime. It’s just made me cut down on what I’m sending out on AIM now.
Now that you have something special in common with 4Hero, Rob Playford, Optical, Tech Itch – name your personal highlight in the process of engineering Goldies Rufige Kru album and also the point where you struggled the most.
The highlights were when we did certain tracks that we thought not everyone was gonna get or be into, but we liked it! Then to actually play the tracks and see them getting supported as well was really good for Goldie and me. It’s good knowing people could see that Goldie was back in the game, and was an honour to have been there with him. There were times when we spent time on material that never really came up to scratch and those times could be when we struggled the most. Since the album we have still been making some tracks and both feel that working together has never been easier.
By the way – did you also the engineering for „Fear heaven“?
No that was Tech Itch.
„Must feel“ has a quite obvious similarity to Digital’s „Hard ears“ sample „Who can’t hear must feel“. Did you talked about that?
„Must feel“ was Goldie on the mic. It’s just the vocal he had in his head that he wanted put into to the track. I just recorded him live with the track on his headphones and that was it. We never had Digital’s tune in our minds at any time during making that funnily enough, but I know the track your talking about.
There is a hidden track on the album CD. Does this reflect the Monsta style cover artwork with the freak fair or the other way round?
Whhhhaaaat? You’re spinning me out…
Sorry, ok: There is a hidden track on the album CD.
Is there? Where?
Check the length of „Malice In Wonderland“ it is 10:51.
It starts getting funny at 6:50 and I could swear there is you talking funny rubbish stuff in an american accent at the end.
Hahahaha listening now!!
And is it you?
This is the first time I’ve heard it. You’d have to ask Goldie what the inspiration was behind that because I don’t actually know…
What do you consider the most appreciated opinion you heard or read about the album in the last months?
Nearly everyone had got in touch about one track or another from the album when we we making it (as Goldie was giving out certain tracks to certain people as and when we finshed them). It was good to see that people were into what we were doing as Rufige Kru. There was lots of great articles as well – I couldn’t just pick one.
You worked hard the last years for being there where you actually are with releases on Full Cycle, Valve, Metalheadz just to name the really big labels. What is your next goal you trying to achieve?
Well my next goal is to get the first Co-Lab /Calypso various artists album sorted for next year in march. We’re going to be getting music from people who have been on the label already like Malfoy and Visonary and getting some remixes to go on there from some producers in the scene who are also friends too. Plus we have a new artist on board called DJ Pleasure and also have Lomax and Connecta working on some stuff for this album.
What is your role at Co-Lab?
My role is mainly being an artist on the label but I am Co Own alongside my good friend Benny. We both get sent tracks from the label but most of the time I am too busy to actually get a chance to listen to everything (although I do try!). Benny will often send me something that has potential to see what I think.
What have you achieved and what is coming next?
Well so far we have got to 11 releases since we started in 2002. It’s been a great learning curve and we are happy with how its grown. We’ve had great support from people like Grooverider, DJ Die, Krust, Twisted Induvidual, TC, Bailey, DJ Flight and loads more. Up next we have Co-Lab 12″ which is a Heist release that will feature a new track called „Don’t Understand“ backed with a VIP Mix of one of Co-Lab’s biggest tracks „Go To Work“. Next year we will be putting out our first various artists albumn as well which we are very excited about!
What kind of tunes do you put out on Co-Lab and what do you sign to other labels? Is there a formula?
No theres no real formula really, just good music as the old saying goes! If the tracks got the right flava or edge that myself and Benny are looking for, then it can work.
Are the artists exclusive to Co-Lab and who are they?
Well no one’s exclusive to Co-Lab, I have been in situations before where I was exclusive for a year or two and it can cause real misery for the artist, because they are only able to put tracks out on one label. The artist’s on our label so far consist of Heist, Strider, Aries and Visionary and we have had remixes from Twisted Individual, Junior Cartel, Larouqe, Dan Miracle, Ruff Cut and TC.
Communication tools like the DOA forum or the social network service MySpace can be without a doubt a good catalyst for getting a broader audience. What are your experiences?
Well I was on DOA before I started even making tracks. I always found it good for finding out about the latest tracks, messaging people with the forum and stuff like that. There’s always going to be the side of it which isn’t so good. I.e. people slagging off on certain artists in the scene for doing what ever they do and certain individuals not liking it. I guess that’s just peoples matter of opinions and everyone is entitled to that.
What would you suggest a beginner in producing Drum and Bass tunes?
Just getting catchy ideas together is always good. I have 100’s of 16/32 bar loops on my computer and the catchiest ones are usually the ones I finish. Building breaks from good source samples is realy important too. Also building up a big sample libary is essential as well – you can never have too many samples!
Had the work on the Rufige Kru album any effect on how you produce your own tunes now?
Goldie really pushes me as a sound engineer. Its good because I can sometimes achieve things I wouldnt do on my own because theres not someone there pushing me to do it! I think my sound as what I do on my own and what I do with Goldie is quite different anyway. When we work together Goldie is at the wheel and I’m just steering it where he tells me to.
Did you produced the tunes „Once That Was“ / „Metal Slug“ espescially for Metalheadz?
I did actually! Which is rare because I don’t really go in the studio to try and do a tune for Dillinja or to try and do a tune for Metalheadz. I find that you can put yourself under too much pressure if you commit your efforts trying to write a track for an induvidual – you’ve got to write tunes for you! My Full Cycle track was done just for me and ended up driving DJ Die mad and it wasn’t like I went in saying ‚yeah, im gonna do a Full Cycle track today …‘ It just happened naturally.
Thank you for the interview, Mr Heist!
No probs man.