Bazil. A state of mind? A state in a small mysterious country somewhere? Maybe certain character from a film? The name is as evocative as the sounds, now making a super-deep impression via Flexout. From dusty Roland samples, life on the road, mobbed D&B nights to Sunday roasts, we drew up some pews and found out what makes him tick.
Bazil, what are you up to right now?
Right now it’s 4.33 am and I’m watching youtube videos, smoking.
What’s the typical week consist of with you?
Monday to Friday: I’m always working on music. I’m pretty nocturnal so when breakfast is at 5pm the week days can be slightly messed up. I love Ireland and Kerry in particular. I visit there most years, take my laptop and zone out working on some beats in the mountains.
On the weekends I work, touring in the band Dreadzone, so it’s great to travel throughout Europe and the UK. Food whilst touring involves so much from hotels or service stations that during the week I try to eat well, usually sharing the culinary skills between me and a few friends.
Nothing to this day beats a Sunday Roast.
‘Resting Ground”s brill, when did it arise? I love the vibe on this, it’s unpredictable, big and warm-hearted. Love that vocal.
Thanks, I made that over a few days, over a year ago now. It started with the female vocal from Delia Derbyshire, sculptress of sound documentary… talking about the first synths. Then the rest came together in stages, I wanted the tune to be all nice and warming in the intro with a rumbling bass and then the drop to be a little surprise, a contrast from the intro… so, heavier and rolling.
Have to say that Flexout’s a great lot of people with a great back catalogue and so it continues…
They’ve been a professional bunch to work with, also these days you need to be honest with feedback and they give me some good feedback on my tracks. The ones I’ve released with them have opened other doors for me, either working with other top producers or having some big names spin my tracks.
What sort of nights are the Flexout nites? I always imagined rammed.
Yeah, they have a good following for their nights. I played there the other month at Plan B in Brixton with some of the freshest producers: Amoss, Xanadu, Philth, Subterra, Co-lateral, Coda and considering there was an Outlook launch party that night not far from Plan B, the night was still rammed.
They know how to fill a venue, and with a decent system and DJ set up, promoting some of the best DJ/producers it’s easy to see why.
‘Once Red’ is wicked, can you take us through it? Beats are great on this.
Thanks, this track started differently to most. I started remixing a new Dreadzone track from our newest album Escapades. The track is called ‘Man in a Suit’. It wasn’t anything serious; I just like working with vocals or having some melody to work out a bassline.
I used this dusty old Roland bass recording with all this hiss on it. After that was tidied up and the riff was made, I liked it so I started to take all the remix samples out and replace them with sounds that fit the vibe of the tune.
I was constantly working on other music and coming back to this, this process went on for a few months, but the initial vibe of the tune was there as soon as the bass went in.
It took a lot longer to write than most of my tunes, but I was never really stuck at any point making it… I just kept sampling from different places and replacing sounds. In the end I wanted no sample pack sounds in there – except for some of the drums – but all the sounds I spent a long time to make them right.
I always have about 10-15 different versions of tunes but it’s usually obvious in the end which one sounds best.
What tune first ever got under your skin in D&B? Not so much the first one you heard as such, the one that you first ever loved. I ask as ‘Once Red’ makes me think of great nights/spots.
I always remember the first tracks that got under my skin. At the time around 1997, my friends all listened to Jungle/D&B but I bought a lot of acid techno vinyl and Lab- 4. Tape packs were obviously massive back then: I used to listen to them with mates and I liked listening to the MCs with Skibba, Fearless and Hyper D.
The Shy FX remix of ‘Chopper’ made me pay more attention to the genre. I loved the jump up baseline. But the tune that converted me from techno and changed my vinyl collection forever was ‘Turbulence’ by Moving Fusion.
I used to rewind that tape far too many times to hear the tune drop again and again.
Also ‘Blackout’ by Todd Terry was my first D&B track I bought on vinyl.
Back to live nights and DJing, are you a fan of DJing out, yourself?
I started DJing first, and always wanted to DJ out as much as possible, but realising only a small percentage of DJs make it on their mixing skills alone, I started to make music about 10 years ago. I would say I am a big fan of DJing out but I haven’t adapted from vinyl to Digital as quick as I would have liked… I can still smash out a set on digital format, but something just doesn’t feel right.
Have you ever made a tune and played it out same day?
The last time I made a tune and played it the same day was about ten years ago, playing at New Nation in Woking, a night Fluid ran. I played this tune and I thought it sounded great, I actually used it as an intro.
Looking back and knowing now how bad this tune sounds is funny. I’m still glad I played it.
Thanks Bazil, any shouts?
Big shouts go to anyone who listens to my music, especially the people who pay for it, all the labels I have worked with, and finally Damian for the interview. Massive shouts to you.