TAAL MALA aka TOWEL MALA aka TOWEL MALLARD aka PATIO BANTON aka TOM LAW aka TAMALA (ANDERSON), reping LIGHTA! SOUND and SUB-OSC
the man. the mystery. the merkage.
the first in (hopefully) a somewhat steady string of interview's and info drops on vancouver (and beyond) producers and DJ's serving up the niceness and steady pushing boundries.
check out TAAL MALA's latest release here..
and some linky links..
and definitely check out TAAL MALA's fresh-and-firey all originals ragga-jungle mix here..
01- Lighta Sound Intro
02- Nuh Frighten We feat. I-Octane
03- Murda Dem
04- Extra Clips feat. Mama Son
05- War Dem Want feat. Fuze
06- Rock a Pressure
07- Massive and Large feat. Buka Buk
08- Sound Get a Beating feat. Screwdriver and Tanya Stephens
09- Don’t Ever Try Test feat. Jornick
10- Hotter Than Hot
11- Soundclash Time feat. Fyah Gumz
12- Slew You
13- Judgement feat. KeKe
14- Rise More Gun feat. Determine
15- Big Sound feat. Fuze
and without further tail-wagging, here's the man's interview that had me laughing out loud for like 5 minutes straight, and yeah, some head-nodding contemplative for bits too. enjoy!
Q: ey ey ey. how's things?
What kind of things?
Q: what's going on for you these days? (current and future projects and stuff)
I've got a vinyl release coming out October 7th on BadmanPressRecordings (DZ's Label) - Criminal Youths / Mud Up - BDM04, as well as a digital release of a 4 track EP on Badman also, the DreaderThanDread EP with the tunes DreaderThanDread, Raverz, Steamclock, and Da Flex. This one is my first piece of vinyl, so I feel really good about it. I've been in the studio a lot these past few months and have been tapping into all kinds of different tangents, so expect a great deal of variety from me in the next little while.
Q: what else are you excited about these days?
I'm pretty excited about Jamaica. I'll be going with Tank Girl to JA in November to stock up on dubplates, and to collaborate with some of the amazing artists it has to offer. I'm also working on building a plethora of electronic devices for audio purposes. Monosynths, delay/reverb units, tube amps and preamps, midi controllers, and other various modular thingamajigs. The focus with these being high fidelity analog circuitry, as well as aesthetically pleasing chassis and hardware for said items. Lots of etched brasss and copper, and nice wood. Most modern electronic instruments and processing look like shit. I hate plastic.
Q: for those unfamiliar, can you give us a run down on your musical history? what brought you to where you are now..
I started out getting my hands slapped by a horrible wench of a piano teacher, when I was 8, and moved on to sloppy metal on guitar and less sloppier metal on drums in my early teenage years. I got well into Nine Inch Nails and other such industrial music as well as the warp records lot, Aphex Twin, Squarpusher, Autechre etc. and became interested in synthesis and drum machines. I got a copy of ReBirth 1.0 for my Dad's office computer. Windows 95 I believe. Gross. Early acid was a big influence here obviously. I was around 14 when I started making shitty beats on computers. Around this same time, I went on vacation to the caribbean with my family during the slow part of the winter for a few years in a row. This is where I started developing my intense love of reggae music and when I started growing little dutty locks, lick the ganja etc... Obvious next step was ragga jungle. I was shocked and amazed that someone had combined reggae and dancehall with a hard fast broken beat. I worked at a shit job and over a year saved enough to buy some 1200's and a crappy mixer. I would go to toronto about once a month and buy a new record or two. Crack-like vinyl record addiction continues... I came to Vancouver in 2002 and was playing a lot of ambient / IDM / etc... Enter Michael Red and Jamie Abugov. More of that. Started playing some shows around here. Live PA and DJ. I went to Burning Man and got caught up in the west coast womp womp thing for a minute, then heard some Dizzee Rascal tune and went mental for grime, which lead to garage and dubstep. Kept making loads of crappy beats on computers. I got some nice analogue hardware later on and now I make slightly less shitty sounding riddims. Wow... I wonder if anyone is going to make it this far through my rambling?
Q: how would you define musical taste and musical snobbery? do you think there's a difference? or any other thoughts around the subject?
I fully support musical snobbery in every way. It's quality control. It just makes sense, and makes all music better as a whole. If something is bollocks, let it be known. Musical taste is a term for people who like bad music to justify it to themselves and others. Like when there's those stoners that say " nah man, you just haven't heard the good trance..."
Q: you have any thoughts or opinions around the idea of "the shift"/human evolution/2012/some sort of apocolypse/etc/etc?
I'm not sure yet whether I should run for the kootenays and start stockpiling food in a bunker and listening to democracy now, or if I should be building a mad max style urban assault vehicle with a flamethrower and practicing my swordfighting skills. Either way it's going to be an interesting next few years. There's a part of me that really hopes for full bore anarchy and mayhem. Humans have become way too domesticated. I also hope for increased electromagnetic activity within the ionosphere and harnessing this potential will be part of "the shift".
Q: what goes on in your brain? what kind of regular thoughts go on in there?
I think mostly in bleeps and bloops and other silly noises. I'm my brain I'm constantly drum soloing, with some space reserved for thinking about what I will eat next, and cute girls.
Q: how do you feel about homophobia in dancehall and reggae music world? and how about overtly violent subject matter, aka "guntalk"? any thoughts or opinions on the subject?
I don't even want to touch upon the homophobia thing. It's a religious based ideal set and religious people, for the most part,
cannot be reasoned with no matter how obviously misled and ignorant their belief may be. Violence in reggae and dancehall is only half literal. A great deal of violent lyrics actually refer to things such as soundclash competition, where if someone sings "we're going to murder you" they aren't necessarily going to physically attack you, but kill your sound in the clash, in the dance. Fassies tend to have violent words directed towards them in a lot of tune, but this is also non literal, because essentially, any fassy is not going to be any kind of threat, so there's no need for any actual physical actions towards dem. This being said, Jamaica is truly full of badman dem, and dem carry machine, shoot first, and ask questions later.
Q: just how important is it to burn out the bad mind, wicked heart and grudgefull?
Bad mind people must get burned out. Fire burn a wicked heart man dem with no regrets. Purification of irie vibes is key to the happiness of all good people.
Q: name a few things that piss you off.
The tragic deconstruction of the marvelous future of possibilities that was the genius inventions and discoveries of Nikola Tesla. Computers that don't work when they should. Any mechanical or electrical apparatus that is not performing it's intended function as it was made to do. Burn dem. The extreme lack of decent quality food to eat in the middle of the night in Vancouver. Toasters that don't toast the bread on the first go. Noise complaints in the city. Turning it down.
Q: name a few things that make you happy.
Many subwoofers stacked in a large array. Reggae music playing through said subwoofers. The combination of the two previous things outdoors. Kitties. Ice cream. Fast internet. Vinyl records. Analogue Synthesizers. All my amazingly fantastic, cute, talented, and loving friends. Spicy foods. Going fast on a bicycle. Boobies. Good espresso. Adventures. Raccoons.
Q: any advice for new and upcoming dj's and producers in vancouver?
Be original. Don't try to sound like anyone else. Don't try to jump on a bandwagon or do something because other people are doing it. Create your own sound and your own following, and do it for the music not for any other reason, especially money (because there isn't any.) Don't redline the dj mixer. Tell everyone how awesome you think you are. Don't pester the shit out of the producers and DJ's you look up to.
Q: any advice for established dj's and producers in vancouver?
Stop raving so much and stay home and work in the studio as much as possible. Be very organized. Don't ever stop eating/breathing/living/sleeping music. Quit your day job, if you have one.
Q: jungle or dnb, or does it matter? how do you describe the state of jungle right now?
Jungle. It matters. The state of jungle right now is a ghost of 1993-1997 golden era tunes. It's an everlasting quest for those rare vinyl pieces that come up on discogs for 60 quid a couple times a year. It's a burning fire that is alive within a few that still care about it's legacy. Jungle seems to have room to breathe right now because dnb is busy ruining dubstep.
Q: how do you describe the state of the dubstep scene in vancouver currently?
What can you say about any scene, seen? Any movement, whether it be a style of music, an artform, or fashion, goes through a transformation as it grows in popularity and size. The more humans having involved inspiration towards a specific genre or creative process, the less interesting it becomes because humans love to seek the approval and acceptance of their peers, and to do so, they often feel like the way to do that is to emulate what they see around them. The problem with this is that there ends up being a lot of half assed efforts being put into the mix, thus making it more challenging to find the root, and introducing mediocrity into the picture which leads to cynicism which in turn leads to change. I feel like the Vancouver scene in in the middle of that change right now. New boundaries are being pushed and a more experimental approach to production and sound design is at it's prime time to be welcomed. Big tings a gwan.
Q: what's next? (in the dj music world)
I feel like there's going to be a lot more happening in the 145-155 bpm tempo and the 115-125 bpm tempo. Some sort of mash up of garage/hardcore/juke/jungle/house. More swing. Less quantize. Grime. Proper ragga jungle too, and hopefully less auto-tune in Jamaica.
how about a short list of favourite music producers right now?
XI, Terror Danjah, Falty DL, James Blake, Africa Hitech, Addison Groove, Sepalcure, HxdB, Fantastic Mr Fox, Daega Sound, M Red. Taal Mala.
Q: if you had an unlimited budget and where going to throw a party, what would it look like? (location, line-up, sound, extra frills, etc,
Ok.. this is going to be absurd, but so much fun. If anything goes, I would do a free multiroom party at the windsor castle, that includes airfare from any city of your choice anywhere in the world. There would be enormous stacks of funktion one sound in each room as well as a stack of several MacCauley M421 to fill out the low end. Free hospitality of outrageous proportion. I think that if there were lots of tesla coils everywhere, that would be quite alright, Each artist would play for minmum 2 hours, and would rotate until no one wanted to play anymore.
The line-up would be something like this:
Ceephax Acid Crew
Benga b2b Hatcha
Skream b2b N-Type
El-B b2b J Da Flex
Terror Danjah b2b Starkey
Max Ulis b2b Self Evident b2b Cure
Headhunter b2b DJG
Logan Sama b2b Plastician
Roll Deep (with Wiley and Dizzee)
More Fire Crew
Boy Better Know
Sly & Robbie
Q: what would you do with a million dollars?
I would have it all spent on studio gear within about 10-15 minutes. EMS modulars especially.