Bas Ibellini is pretty well known in our local community with over 14 years of involvement in London's house happenings, as both DJ and party goer, under his belt. Over this time he's formed alliances with some of our city's most esteemed house artists - Damian Lazarus was the first to uncover his talent for production giving Ibellni his first release on Crosstown Rebels' off shoot label, Rebellion. More recently, he's been picked up by Seth Troxler and The Martinez Brothers for their Tuskegee imprint who are the ones bringing Ibelinni along with them for their label takeover of Room One this coming Saturday (4th April).
With a talent for creating a certain entrancing energy within his sets and studio offerings, we were keen to get to know the budding producer a bit better before he makes his Farringdon debut this Easter weekend so we asked him a few questions to accompany a mix he made exclusively for us...
Can you introduce yourself to our readers who may not be aware of what you do?
I’m Bas Ibellini, a London based DJ and producer. I've been collecting music my whole life. My first gig was at 15, we threw a party at my best friend's house, there were a 100 people in the kitchen, the decks were on the hob, it was a like a scene from House Party. Not much about me has changed since then, but my experiences have helped shape the music that I'm into today. I'm lucky enough to do what I love which is making and playing music.
How would you best describe your sound?
Seductive without being filthy if that makes any sense? It's an eclectic display of grooves and textures that can shift from being therapeutic to rage depending on the surroundings.
Can you tell us about your first contact with music – what kind of music were you brought up on?
My father is a classical musician, fluent on a double-string guitar called the Oud. He exposed us to global sounds with a particular interest in Middle Eastern acoustics. He used to perform with full symphonic orchestras and these events inspired me to want to connect with audiences. My mother fell in love with my father's art, her Tunisian origin gave her access to refined music from a young age coming from this region of the world.
My parents encouraged me to play the piano and violin when I was 6 years old, however it was difficult to take interest in traditional compositions at that age (which is another way of saying I gave up on violin after two months). My siblings were all into soul and hip hop which always made for a noisy house.
And then how did that move to the place you are now – in the world of electronic music?
It was a natural progression from the music I was surrounded by into more sophisticated electronic sounds, yet I never ignored the raw filth you get from some old school '90s hip hop. I was always fascinated with beats and grooves rather than lyrics and note progressions. I found more pleasure experimenting with samples and sound design from hardware and now I’ve found a harmony between the music I’m playing and producing.
What have you been up to these past few months?
I've spent 2 months in NYC for some mental and physical stimulation and inspiration. I think it’s important to mix things up, particularly in my career, getting out of my comfort zone has been the most effective way of expanding my imagination in recent years. We are lucky to have the opportunity to be roaming, so I am fully taking advantage of that nomadic lifestyle and using it to influence myself and my music.
How did you get involved with the TUSKEGEE camp and how would you say your sound and what you do is the right match for Seth’s and The Martinez Brothers’ label?
I’ve always admired Seth and we've become close over the last few years. Over the past couple of summer’s I got the opportunity to play a few back to back sets at after parties with the Martinez Brothers; we generally all have similar peculiar tastes.
What can we expect when you warm up for them in Room One next month?
A steady hypnotic build utilizing the sound system's clarity and experimenting with different frequencies.
What plans or aspirations do you have for 2015?
Goals for the rest of 2015, releasing music that is continuously evolving. I don’t have a consistent sound and enjoy that about producing music, I get excited investigating new things. I plan on traveling around more this year, exploring new places and sounds. After spending some time in Thailand and India over Christmas I am hoping to spend some more time in Asia – with Tokyo as one of my hotspots. As a London boy, playing fabric has always been an aspiration of mine, so this is a great beginning to the year for me.