Bar 414 is a new concept for the every changing Club 414. Hosted as a free event on Sundays from 6pm till 10pm this party will not be relentless four to floor hard dance. Instead it will offer more chilled grooves and something not seen at the 414 for a long time, if ever, bands.
Starting things off is the cracking act Base Mosquito who have already had dance floors moving with their infectious blend of everything from Trip Hop to Progressive at a whole host of events, with even more in the pipeline. In preparation for this event I took some time to have a quick chat with the band to give you the low down on what hopes to be a regular event at the 414 for this exciting new act.
OK, first up tell us a little bit about the band, who is in it, what they do and how you met and how long you've been going for?
There are two core members of Base Mosquito; Ret Alex, that's me! I am the producer, composer, keyboard player and DJ/Remixer. Jules is my long term partner in crime, she is PR manager and churns out delicious vocals, she is the front woman' and conjures up live EFX and samples during our performances as well as being my saving grace for the past 14 years! Our third member, JAY-ON-DRUMS delivers insane percussion, and is a valued member of our team, not to mention a good friend.
My personal journey started around 15years ago, watching a pop chart in 1995 and finding myself so frustrated from what I was hearing, from then on a burning desire to create something unique was born. Next step was to find the right people to do it with . . . then along came Jules, who was a pro singer, brilliant dancer and someone who had been involved in the 90's rave scene with various bands. We clicked and the rest is history . . . We spent 10years travelling around the world playing music, and landed in London, with a purpose, in 2007.
Base Mosquito emerged from our serious passion and creativity, also our struggle to survive in this crazy city. Our band is a work in progress; we constantly feature additional artistes and are always striving to push the boundaries.
OK, for those that haven't heard of you or checked you out yet and you give us some info on the style of music you play?
Now there is a question! Base Mosquito has an interesting cross over. It glides through many genres for example: Electronica, House, Big Beat, Dance, Experimental, Fusion, Funk, Alternative, Twisted Pop, Trip Hop and Hip Hop!! But don't worry. If that sounds like freaky stuff is not! Just big phatt tunes with lots of hooks to keep you on the dance floor. I guess coming from a classical and jazz background helps us be a bit more unconventional.
What influenced you into that particular style?
You'll probably laugh, but my influences are from Earth Wind and Fire, I know . . . I was 7 years old when I first listened to one of their tunes "Shining star". So for me, Funk is definitely the style that did it for me! I then moved into disco and later jazz. Jules came from a Jazz background her father was an amazing jazz pianist. She spent the 80's immersed in classic rock; Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, to name but a few.
On top of that if anyone wanted to hear you right now, where would be the best place to do so?
Are you signed to a label and if so how did that come about?
Yes we are signed to Cablestone Recordings. They found us and approached us, loving our style. They see a lot in us and adore our passion. I am currently remixing stuff for them as well, which is a great way to get our name out and on a lot more releases!
Since getting signed have you been getting any DJ support?
Yes, a few DJ's are playing our tunes in a various clubs in London. Should have asked who! – Ed.
What tracks have you released so far and what future releases are planned?
"Monsta chick" is out first track out; it was released 2 weeks ago on iTunes and Beatport through Cablestone recordings - London. It’s already gained good popularity with the remixes of it, so far so good. Our next single, '"The End" (plus some wicked remixes) is due for release in July. I also have "Ray's Mania" (a Fusion track) scheduled for release in July on another label, Intelligent Audio.
Give all the recent talk from many producers and labels about the affects of piracy on sales, do you ever keep any tunes specifically for the live shows rather than look at a release?
Yes we do! One of our tunes "Poison Ivy" is absolutely only for live performance, to reward the crowd. It is 9 minutes of madness! I think it is important to keep something special for the show!
What are the challenges of getting gigs in a World where Dance Music seems to be played mainly by DJs?
We are a DJ based band at the moment, so we can be small or large on stage; this is one of our greatest assets. We have to! It is so tough at the moment as you know so we've got to be flexible. Think of Groove Armada, Underworld or Chemical Brothers this is our premise, good choice of set-ups. The main thing is WE ARE MUSICIANS so we CAN DO IT ALL LIVE whenever necessary or we can go out as DJ's with live vocals only.
What is the aim of the band, are you after commercial success or just looking to get your brand of music out there?
Thinking to do it all. Naturally we would love to have great success and we expect it! After all, music is a business (hence the name 'music business') but If you like our music you will have it all. Hence the styles and crossovers. We may commercialise some things but it will always be in a Base Mosquito way! I currently produce other vocalists so I am always on the look out for fresh new talent.
Do you think bands should ever compromise their styles for success?
Life is full of compromises, you have to do it, everyone has to do it and sometimes we will have to do it too. BUT as I said before, we will do it in our way . . . The Base Mosquito way.
Right now it's all about building our fan base and getting our music played world wide and mainly doing as many live performances as possible because this is what we love to do best. If the crowd are happy we are happy too!
Collaborations seem all the rage these DJs, have you worked with anyone else on any tracks or do you have plans to in the future?
YES YES YES! We are all about collaborations, up to now we have featured various artistes, no one famous as yet but some wicked up and coming raw talent. Watch this space! Two of our big tracks "Screamer" and "Monsta Chick" feature a girl vocalist called "Odissi", "Jump it Pump It" features Guess Forever, a Jamaican female rapper.
If you could work with anyone, who would it be any why?
Jay Z, (come on do I need to explain why!) Missy Elliot, Carl Hyde (Underworld front man) and many more, you’d have to leave me a few pages to name them all. Incorporating cool hip hop and Alternative Twisted Vocals is a big thing for us right now.
What have you got lined up for your set at the 414?
Unadulterated passionate music!! We want people to enjoy themselves fully and get right off on the music. Jay will be on form with his array of percussion, it will almost be surround sound as we are planning to set up on both sides of the dance area. Just come down and meet us, lets have it large and you never know, you might like it!
Where else can people hear you over the coming months?
Having just emerged from a 6 month stint in our South London studio, we are currently securing gigs, starting our residency at Club 414 in Brixton which is really exciting, but also at Scream Lounge in Croydon. Check our Myspace for gig listings to come. We are also playing a festival in July (tbc)
Photos courtesy of Base Mosquito. Not to be reproduced without permission.