The Phat Conductor himself, Ill.Gates has been producing since his early teens, giving his listeners a phat range of his talented future bass and glitch sounds. Being Ableton certified and giving workshops to DJs across time and space, Ill.Gates started his Church of Bass Tour late last year to help spread the word that music is religion. Ill.Gates will be playing alongside acts like DJ Shadow, The Polish Ambassador, and Kill Paris at this year’s Emissions Festival: West Coast Bass Culture. Emissions is being thrown by Camp Questionmark and Irie Cartel. This festival stays true to its roots, focusing on people, music, community, and celebration, all while stressing minimal impact on the environment. So make sure to check out ill.Gates’ latest EP, Church of Bass, his most recent mix – an exclusive for DJZ.com – and see him at this year’s Emissions to truly experience West Coast Bass Culture this May.
Buy Tickets to Emissions Festival Here: http://campquestionmark.inticketing.com/events/272477
For those who haven’t heard your work before, what makes your sounds soo ill?
I make music for your whole body, not just your ears, not just your head, but your whole body. I always dance around the studio when I’m making it and I take the time to strip it down as far as I possibly can. Finished isn’t when there’s nothing left to add, but when there’s nothing left to take away. How much emotion can you create with the most minimal palette possible? How many sounds does it take to get people to make a bass face? What is the most direct possible route to complete expression? What assumptions have I made along the way? How can I flip the script and make it fresher?
Those are the questions that keep me up at night.
I know that you are Ableton certified and have given many of your Ill.Methodology workshops. What can the music world gain from having more technically skilled Djs?
Bruce Lee famously said that the ultimate technique is to have no technique. I agree completely. I only teach technique so that my students can transcend it. It’s all about removing the obstacles to expression… clearing the channels and making way for emotion. Anyone who feels has something to share, it’s just learning how to communicate that is the challenge. I teach people the language of the heart.
Do you believe that festivals like Emissions can have transformative powers for the people that attend them?
Absolutely! Creating an intentional space outside of the typical ‘rules’ or urban society is truly special. Once the space has been made aspects of the individual flow forth of their own accord and the results can be quite surprising. Which aspects of yourself are authentic? Which aspects of yourself are simply baggage? Which aspects of yourself are no longer too frightening to examine? Who do you want to become? Only one way to find out!
What are you most excited about for this year’s Emmisions Festival?
Musically I’m really excited to see both Dj Shadow and Kill Paris. I’ve seen Shadow a ton of times, but it’s different every time and it’s never a disappointment. Kill Paris has been ripping it up on the production tip and I’ve heard great things about his live sets. The Polish Ambassador is extremely consistent live as well, so I’ll definitely be at that set too. I’ve never seen Minnesota or Nastynasty be anything but awesome live either… The whole lineup really. It’s one of the best I’ve seen for a festival that size.
How does it feel being a big part of West Coast bass culture?
It’s amazing. I had been trying to move here from Toronto for ages and ages, so it’s great to finally be amongst it. Getting the visa was the hardest part, but now that it’s done it’s just awesome. I’ve played on five continents and worked with dozens of top producers all over the world so I can say with confidence that there really isn’t anything like the scene we have here. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Can you tell me about your song selection for your DJZ.com mix, which includes your remix of Tinie Tempah’s “Passed Out?”
I had a really good time putting that set together and I think it comes across when you listen to it. I didn’t want to give away my all original live set so I decided to pick a theme and then take it somewhere I don’t normally go. I’ve always been a big fan of hip hop music, and have made tracks with tons of great rappers over the years, so I thought it would be a good idea to do an all vocal set and mash up my tracks with some of my favorite producers. It was a really great time and I ended up with a ton of new material along the way. The Tinie Tempah remix came about by taking the instrumental from my Fish Paste remix and then editing a new vocal over top. It was crazy how well they fit, I didn’t even have to change the arrangement of the instrumental or anything. Fish Paste is one of my most requested tracks so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to let people have another version of it. I also like to make sure that everyone gets free downloads when I mail them and the set is a stream only, so I piggybacked the Tinie Tempah remix on it to keep everyone happy. It seems to have worked!
If everyone made music their religion, how do you think that would change The World?
There would definitely be a lot less violence and a lot more dancing. The drug war would end pretty fast and people would have a lot more sex. Also: free puppies for everyone.
What’s next for Ill.Gates?
Well I secretly knew all along that the world wasn’t going to end in 2012 so I’ve got a pretty big year planned for 2013… Lots of new records, three new websites, a new workshop, better production on the video set, templates for the livid ohm and quneo, updates to all of my older templates, coming back to australia and asia, massive amounts of festivals, a side project with my girlfriend and my own line of custom ill.Gates dildos. I’m super excited about it!
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