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08.08.08 - on release of Pineal Dub.


Q: Can you tell us a bit about how you came to be making music? How did the Heyoka project get started?   I have always been obsessed with music and have wanted to make it. I've played real instruments before, but I'm a lot more into geeking out on projects, and spending time creating things than I am into playing traditional live music. I started taking electronic music classes at the local community college where I finished high school. after my first glimpse of it, I immediately got totally into it. After taking a few classes in reason and protools, I knew I wanted to go further with it, so I got myself a computer, and started compulsively spending long amounts of time exploring the different music programs and teaching myself how to use them. I also started getting into dj-ing. I've spent so much of my life listening to music, and overall found making electronic music to be a really great way to kind of give back into the creative pool.   Q:  Your approach is quite unique in the dub field – why did you choose this style?   Psychedelic dub was the style that I really got crazy about in my teens, and was the first style I ever tried to produce. But, my musical interests change all the time. The sound I'm going for is a sound that borrows from what I like in genres, but doesn't exactly fit into any of them. At the chill rooms at trance parties, I used to remember hearing dub tracks that sounded like all kinds of melting bouncing around fractal sounds that all sounded like totally foreign outer space sounds, but somehow made the overall vibe of dub. It was a sound I was obsessed with, and always trying to find after these parties, but never could. The glitchy melting types of effects were something I was seeking out, which kind of led me into discovering idm and paying more attention to more dance styles, like breaks and jungle. In these styles, I was finding a lot of the kind of elements I was wanting to hear incorporated into more downtempo and psychedelic genres.
Anyway, my obsession with trying to find a sort of fusion of these different kinds of styles made me naturally start wanting to make it myself. There is something about dub that I think kind of lets you be able to use random weird sounds, but still have it flow well musically and feel really good.
Q:  How do you go about making your music – any special techniques to get your sound?
  I always start by making a beat. For pineal dub, I made about half the beats in logic ultra beat, and half in battery. Then I work on a bass line. I use Massive for almost all my bass sounds. Lately, I do the sub and midrange basses on different tracks, playing the same notes, often on different octaves. On some of the more wacky basses like "bass spalls", I take the midi notes and move them into many different instances of massive, so I get the sort of bouncy random bass vibe. I usually try to make a couple alternate bass lines before I move into live's edit view, so I have the basics down for the different parts of a track. Then, I just play with different sounds, build melodies etc. I kind of have a habit of using very similar layouts in all my tracks, that are intended to make them mixable how I like it, but that is something I want to change. I want to make more interesting arrangements that don't have so much of the dj material vibe.
I want to work on making a full length album that plays out more like a journey than like individual tracks.
  Q:  What gear do you find useful when making your music and why?   My production centers around the laptop. I edit in ableton live and sometimes logic, and use native instruments software for my instrument programs. I use the krk rokit series monitors and subwoofer. The only other gear I use is a keyboard and other midi controllers. One of my big focuses is trying to make a sound that has fat sub basses, with an open spacey feel in the music, so for me, producing with a sub is very important to be able to hear the crossover. I usually test everything out without the monitors on, just to make sure that the subs feel solid. I also test them in pa speakers, to make sure those sound good too. For me, without a subwoofer, I notice that my mixes are often too bassy, because I try to get that same subby feeling with only my monitors, then if I play the same track with a sub, it might sound too dirty or rattle everything in my room too much. Subs are tricky, because on most systems, they are the least noticeable thing, but on a club or festival system they are in the forefront of everything.
Q:  What was your aim in creating the Pineal Dub CD?

  The first music I was into producing was kinda glitchy psydub, but I sort of shifted from that for a while and got into producing mid-tempo whompy breaks. Recently, I was working with a friend, on remixing her music in a dubby style for her project, and I had so much fun doing it that I just fully got into that mode and made a bunch of dub tracks, and was stoked to revisit the style with all of the knowledge of production I had gained since my old dub tracks. The whole thing was basically me working on my overall dub technique. I was also wanting to make stuff that was a little more spacey and simple that some of my more glitchy whomp stuff. The stuff I was working on before Pineal Dub was more aggressive and I noticed I could barely sit through some of it chilling out at home, so I really wanted to make something with a very spacey blissed out vibe.   Q:  How has the album been received – any particularly pleasing feedback?   In honesty, it's mixed. many people like it a lot, but I've also been told by some that they like my heavier whompy stuff more. It doesn't matter much to me. I feel that musically it sounds a lot more evolved than some of the other stuff I was doing. I'm into doing different projects in different styles, and hopefully they all help each other evolve more.
Q:  What led you to working with Muti Music?   My friend, Mimosa and I were recommended to Dov by our friends, Neptune and Kitty D who through a bi-monthly party called "Beat Church". Dov was into our music, and it all went from there. I was very happy about it, because I was already a fan of a lot of the music on muti. I also just really like the community and overall vibe of muti,.   Q:  Is anyone else especially involved in your musical process?   On the track, Kombulade, my friends, Tina Malia and Poloka Lele worked on it with me. They are both acoustic musicians and singers. I have made tracks with Mc's too. I made a beat for my friend, Souleye, which became the track, "underworld". While in Uruguay, I made a couple tracks with a reggae/latin musician named Javier Manik. Those tracks ( "Mundo" and "Mister Business") were some of the first ones that got a lot of good play from other dj's, and definitely were some of the first tracks that helped me get noticed in the San Francisco underground music scene. Right now, I'm working on a remix for Sub Swara, and have some other remix projects in the works.
Q:  How important do you think the right visuals are when releasing an album?   I think it's very important. I'm into the full audio visual sensory overload. Especially for music that is more about creating an atmosphere or headspace, it is good to have the visual aspect to put you there too.   Q:  What are you working on next?  


I've already made another ep called the "Whomp Gland". It is very similar to pineal dub, but more heavy. It has fatter hip hop beats and really fat squishy basses. I think it has an overall cleaner more balanced sound too.. Overall sound quality is something I'm constantly trying to work on improving. I plan on releasing it on vinyl soon.



Q:  Where would you like to get to musically long term?   I want to work on my musical abilities, my production skills, my overall sound quality, and basically shaping the kind of sound I really want to hear.      

Thanks to Andrei and the Dov guys at Muti Music for allowing us that interview.