This week I have a guest mix from one of my favourite producers – BETA. Ever since hearing Come Again for the first time I have loved BETA’s ability to mash tight drivin’ beats with growling deep bass and melodic elements. This is his first time on the Disc breaks show and this mix showcase some of his upcoming tunes and remixes, plus tracks that are inspiring him at the moment. This is one not to miss!
BETA took some time out to answer some questions and the full interview is below with the show going to air later tonight
London based breakbeat producer Beta started out Djing nuskool breaks and chunky house at the start of the decade and has since been entertaining crowds cross the globe using his own exclusive material, bootlegs and mashups.
In the studio he takes Influences from funk, drum and bass, house, indie and just about every style to create a unique individual sound. Singles and remixes have gained support from the likes of Hybrid, General Midi, Future Funk Squad and DJ Icey featuring regularly on Beatport’s top 10.
INTERVIEW – BETA
Why breaks and what got you into it?
When i was going to house nights in the 90’s i would check out the big beat rooms and got into that sound, I was also listening to a lot of 2 Step Garage and heading out to Clubs like the End in London, I liked the way that 2step bounced and made you want to dance, I went to a night and caught Ali B and Adam Freeland play and I was like “Wow” this is perfect, its like everything I wanted and was totally hooked.
What are your musical influences and who is exciting you musically at the moment?
So much, Stuff on MoWax, Shadow, Massive Attack, Prodigy, James Brown. At the moment Wayz and Meanz are putting out constantly good music, Colombo’s man of the moment for me right now and would be good to work with him sometime.
How do you go about crafting a new tune or remix?
Its really about how I want it to make me feel and I need to be sure that I’m clear on that first, I’m actually very sample based, and will bounce to audio as soon as possible as its easier to manipulate, i tend to try and get some nice beats going and then work around that, but sometimes the harmony and melody will push me in a certain direction.
What is your musical background and what instruments do you play?
I learnt to play the piano when I was a kid, then Guitar/Bass guitar and played in a band for a bit. Its nice to be able to play stuff in from time to time. My family is pretty musical so I always had instruments around me and am luck enough to be able to play by ear.
Do you write any other genre’s of music?
Yea i’ve got some house tunes on the go and I’m collabing with Sylus at the moment writing a really dark and dirty house track which sounds like nothing I’ve heard, I’m really excited about it. Some downtempo melodic tracks which i may find a use for someday but they don’t fit in the the Beta sound.
When you sit down to write a tune do you know how it will sound in the end or just go with whatever come out at the time?
When i started out i used to go off in all sorts of tangents and i’d not really know where i was going only that i liked what i was doing. This is great for creativity but can be a bit time consuming so not i try and have a pretty clear picture of the path i want to take and it helps speed up the process. I’ll get the arrangement locked down as soon as possible and its acts at something to build around although the process is never exactly the same on each tune. its important to save ideas as you go because, you never know when they might fit in with something, there’s a sound in the Headspace (Eastend mix) which sounds a bit like a cat on speed, i made it like 8 years ago on reaktor and have only just found a use for it.
What equipment do you use and what is your favourite bit of Kit?
i’ve got some Dynaudios for monitoring, for sequencing and mix downs I use Cubase and for ideas i use Ableton and Reason, I’ve also got Albeton on a laptop that I use when I’m on the move, its such a great program. I love Reaktor, it opens up a whole new creative world and i’ve been using cable guys filter shaper quite a bit recently. I started out using Logic on a Pc and stopped when i couldn’t get anymore updates, so i may move back one day but i love it all.
What do you think of the current state of breaks worldwide and where do you see the future?
Its there and always will be, there’s certainly some dedicated people keeping it alive, and its great when i get to DJ and meet like minded people who are passionate about it. As trends change and the styles move on i think there’s big things to come, i was out doing a few gigs in Florida a while back and there was a great following out there, in Spain the support is really good. I’m loving some of the big sounding disco stuff, its really energetic and works really well on the dancefloor, some great tunes out there at the moment.
In what direction are you heading musically and what new releases have you got in store for us?
I have an original Headspace out soon on sound of habib with 2 mixes, i basically had too many ideas to have in 1 tune and it was confusing to listen too so i did the “eastend mix” with the extra material. I’ve got a few tunes in the promo mix which are kinda demo’s at the momnent so i’ll be looking to put those out with someone soon also. I’ve done a Collab with Hironimus Bosch which is a bit of a tech funk number, the house tune i mentioned, a remix of Bill Vega’s Hurricane out on stfu records, and a 140 Jungle track which i want to put out on Bombtraxx, i’m starting to find my feet with the Jungle stuff and think there’s alot of scope for the sound to develop so look forward to doing a bit more, its fun to write.
You are quite elusive as a DJ is there a reason for this?
Haha, i’ve not had an internet connection in the studio for the last 6 months which has been great for working without distraction but difficult when it comes to exchanging files and keeping up a profile online, i plan to DJ more in 2012.
What do you listen to that isn’t breaks?
I like Scott Matthews, Emilina Torrini, alot of house music and electroinca
Do you know much Aussie made breaks? and what do you think of it?
I think Myles Dyson’s from Oz? and obviously Karton from Sound of Habib, not too mention the old skool nu skool lot, andy page, chable, nubreed etc. When you guys make breaks you do it properly, no messing about.
Any plans to come to Australia? if so when?
i’m actually heading out next year and hope to stay for a while, i’m looking forward to hooking up with people and hope to write lots of music and play some gigs.
What do you do when you’re not producing music?
Think about producing music! i love snow sports, skiing and boarding and big into food
Tell us something about yourself we wouldn’t know to ask….
I used to break into my schoo at night when i was about 14 to make tunes on logic midi and crappy casio keyboard they had at the time, i was pretty hooked! haha!
Show: Disc Breaks with Llupa ft. BETA
Date: Thursday, 1 December, 2011
Time: 0900 – 1100 UK (8-10pm here in Melbourne)