Now rocking the moniker Pete Sasqwax, this is a man with a long ole history in hip-hop. And that means a long ole interview.
“I started releasing music around 1999 with an appearance on the Superdense Child 10″ “Bedroom Twiddling” on Apeman,” he told 64 bar.
“After that I did the 7″ on 7Hills – ‘Battlecake EP‘ – and a 12″ EP on Needlework entitled ‘Gameface.’ In between those I contributed a track to the Lexoleum compilation on Lex (“Haunted Hairpiece”).
Fast forward to 2005 and 64bar’s Kovas bumped into Sasquax when they were both on the bill for Hip Hop Kemp, a gigantic hip hop festival in the Czech Republic. Wax’s profile was on the rise and one year later his debut album – ‘Sci-Fu’ – came out through Needlework records.
Wax was also a key player in the podcast sensation ‘Rhythm Incursions’ with Mr Trick. And released the ‘Up The Anti’ mix CD to celebrate the radio show.
That’s quite a back catalogue, and after a while in the wilderness, Wax is back.
And when I say back. I mean back in a big way. I asked him what he is up to now. Check out this for a body of work.
He said: “Currently I’m just putting the final touches on an 8 track, 30mins EP which the music is all done for and I’m just sorting the artwork. I’m really unsure how to put it out at this moment though – part of me says “throw it out there for people to grab as an MP3 download” but then another part of me wants to make a physical release for it. I’m very much in two minds about it right now.
“Other than that, I’ve got the Stove project with Tony Stone (Duke Spook/Fatty Ghettoblaster/File Under Interpol) which is still in progress but I’ve caused massive delays with it due to carl-essness. We did a handful of tracks which sound awesome, all modesty aside, but since my car has been out of action the short trips to Sheffield at unsociable hours (for other people) are tricky to sort out. I’m very conscious of the potential of that project though and I’m going to take measures to sort things out as soon as possible.
“I have a full album recorded with Andy Zuk under the name Ambulance Chasers which we WILL get finished one day. He lives in Windsor and has just become a father so it’s not really possible for it to be a priority right now. I’ve tried to get it finished off myself but my PC hasn’t been up to the job as it’s more of an instrument-based affair rather than sample-based.
“A round up of the others: I just dropped an EP with Sacred Hoop which is available at http://petesasqwaxsacredhoop.bandcamp.com/. Luke and I have already discussed doing more and I’m cooking beats up for at the moment.
“Buddy Peace and I have a collaborative project in the works entitled Klo.peK; Buddy, Carlo and I have a collaboration too – although both those guys have an immense schedule right now so things are kind of paused for the moment; I’m producing and cutting on a project with a couple of sick scratch DJ brothers from nearby called Ralphabet and Blistaphist – that’s going out under the name Hood Ornament;
“Solo-wise, I’ve got a mix coming up for the Six Ton Armor podcast series (http://www.sixtonarmor.com/) which I’m cooking up something special for. It’s going to be along the lines of the Gut & Baste mix I did for Rhythm Incursions… but more so.
“There are various other people I’ve spoken with about collaborations – DJ Pain, 2econd Class Citizen, Remdog, Kobra Audio Labs, Aupheus… so many incredibly talented people who I WILL work with soon.
“As a side note I’m also writing my first novel, The Word Turns, which I’m 15,000 words into and am starting up a design/web business called Octo Graphis. Finally, but actually most importantly: I’m a very happily married father of five.”
Shit. Get all that? To illustrate the point, here’s a couple of files he’s got on his Soundcloud page.
We’ll back to 64bar and I asked him what his favourite mix was, and what he liked about the project.
“That’s tricky because I like a lot of things about it,” he said/ I like the randomness of it – the way that people step outside of their comfort zones, tempo-wise, and then tends to provoke them to step out of the comfort zones in other areas. Some people might be used to a sub 90bpm head nodding groove but if the tempo is 140, that’s not going to happen.
“It forces you as a producer to make something you wouldn’t perhaps usually attempt. Even if you were to make the track with single hits, programme it at 90bpm and then ramp up the tempo, regardless of your intentions, it’s going to come off as something entirely other.
“I’d have to say the 88bpm one, number 3 is my favourite. I’m a head nodder so I tend to favour the ones between 85 and 110bpm. The tracks Days of Vengeance, K A L and Pimpy J did for the 108bpm EP are awesome in very different ways/styles. Anyone who doesn’t have that EP is crazy. Bobby C did a really nice one on the 98bpm – as did Rubbs & J Hint (they need to do more together, that track is immense). DJ Reck rocked a lovely dark nodder on the 98bpm tip too. Seriously heavy stuff.
“Over the mixes there have been some amazing artists and tracks in there and the guys I’ve mentioned all do consistently outstanding work. Remdog did 2 lovely numbers on the 88bpm one. So many sick tracks and producers.
I think my absolute favourite of the whole lot – if I had to – was forced to – name just one it’d be Days of Vengeance “Winter Tears” off the latest EP.
What about how Wax makes beats? Here’s his answer: “It’s an interesting time to ask that question as, for the last 10years and more, it’s been something entirely different to what it is becoming now. My original setup revolved around Sony Acid, which I’d use to chop up and sequence individual hits – drums and percussion but also individual instrument notes, atmospheric noise etc. I use a few plugin effects although not a lot of vst instruments, if any. I have a bass guitar and an electric 6 string but generally if those get played on a track they’re not being played by me! If an instrument is involved and I’m using it it’s generally the Technics 1210/Vestax 05 Pro.”
If you reached the end of that, big up. This is the longest interview we’ve ever done for 64bar, and with good reason. Wax is a heavyweight in the game, his tune will drop with the mix in July. Look out for it.
- moneyshot on wax – the stunt cock EP (64barmusic.wordpress.com)