This artist of the week is none other than the Phat Conductor himself, ill.Gates. Since his early teens, he has been on the forefront of production, giving his listeners a large sampling platter of bass music to chew on. The remix of his collaborative album ill.Methodology was recently dropped and his Church of Bass EP comes to you fresh this monday. I had the pleasure to interview ill.Gates while on his Church of Bass Tour and to see what’s next. Check out the interview along with some pretty dope free downloads below.
What is one thing people should know about you?
Music is my Religion. No joke. I’m a legally recognized minister and I’m starting a new Church for music lovers called The Church Of Bass. If you lend your support we can get our lifestyle and freedom of expression protected by law. www.churchofbasstour.com
The tracks you create are versatile, ranging from Breakbeat to Glitch to even Hip/Hop or Rap. What types of music do you listen to when you’re not producing, and who influences you?
The music I listen to is even more diverse than the stuff I make. I listen to everything from noise and experimental electronica to classical to dancehall to avant grade folk music… You name it pretty much! My main influence is the melting pot of hip hop. The genre was built on then ability to bring any kind of influence to the table, so I use it to fuse all of my influences into a coherent expression of my own individuality.
How would you describe your sound?
Diverse Bass Music.
I know you have been making and producing tracks for quite some time. When did you first get started in this process and what inspired you to make music?
I got my first sampler when I was 7 years old… Loved every inch of it and never looked back.
I’ve learned over the years that the idea of ‘inspiration’ is a bit beside the point. There are days when I’m feeling ‘inspired’ and I don’t get anything useful accomplished. There are also days when I just force myself to do it and then something magical comes out. The most ‘inspiring’ thing to me is that I know that the more I work, the better I get, and it doesn’t depend on things like talent or inspiration.
You have worked with many artists including: Datsik, Bassnectar, and Vibesquad, just to name a few. What do you like best about collaborating with others, especially those who fall in different EDM genres and styles?
I love the challenge of stepping outside of my usual ways and wrapping my head around someone else’s workflow. I always try to adapt my style as much as possible to my collaborators and I learn something new each time. If I just wrote by myself all the time I would end up making tracks that all sound the same. I’d rather have a diversity of music under my belt so that when I play all original music it still sounds like a DJ set.
Being a large part of the Burning Man community, how is it different setting up/playing a set on the playa as compared to a club or bar venue? Where is your favorite spot to play?
The SOUND is a major part of it. Music sounds better outside… there are no walls in the way reflecting distorted and out of phase versions of the sound back to the listener.
People also tend to drop the walls inside as a reflection of this. The rules of normal human behavior go out the window and people interact in a new free space that can be healing and I dare say life changing. I would much rather provide the sound track for that than for some chi-chi club’s chess game of fake boobs vs lawyers.
What’s next for ill.Gates?
The Church Of Bass Tour is pretty all consuming at this point. It’s really really intense just to drive to all of these crazy cities, let alone set up all of the production every night. I’ve started a tune with Stephan Jacobs while we have been on the road, it’s coming along nicely. I really want to do one with Jay Fay while we’re out here as well. He is a very talented producer and a great guy.
I recently did a mostly hip hop EP in Africa at the Red Bull Studios in Cape Town. I’m really excited about that one as well. I am wrapping it up for a spring release and another tour once this one is done.
…and then there is the long overdue collar record with Bassnectar. So tough for us both to find the time these days though. He’s always on the road and so am I. We will get it done someday!