Because of the upcoming edition of Redevice invites… Rush Hour with Virgo Four and Elbee Bad on the 17th of may in the Melkweg venue in Amsterdam, we had a little Q&A with headliner Elbee Bad aka ‘the Prince of Dance Music’.
And since music can tell what a thousand words can’t, Mr. Bad also prepared a special mixtape for y’all to get jiggy with. Enjoy the enlightening interview and get in that right mood for the 17th of may – hope to see you there!
Buy you tickets for Redevice invites… Rush Hour @ klinch ->Here<-
RR – You’ve recently gained much praise and well-deserved attention with the re-release of your 1988 till early 90’s material through the Dutch Rush Hour imprint. Since there seem to be some gaps in your productivity through the years, can you tell us a bit about your musical journey so far?
EB – Clarity. It’s very possible that every year (since 1988) I’ve had a release. Perhaps the 1st year spending time in Berlin there may have been ‘no release’. The times where one would say productivity paused or stopped? No waaaay! Distribution, marketing & impressive sale numbers was the only thing not moving. Productions & creations? Every month for years there has been no pause, something is created. There is no turning it off.
Distribution. My journey even at times ‘sitting at the best possible position (sales person at record distribution companies) STILL, no deal of distribution ever became concrete for LaRhon, but look closer and almost every year ‘somethings’ been released from Bad Productions..
The sales and to who? My own label never lost money on any release. Never made a lot of money on any release either. Those who bought Bad Productions? More than not, the records are still played. And so much more to be discovered…and still without any big marketing schemes.
When people (including myself) discover music, find music themselves its so much more satisfiying. The simple push of a button and send a song to 999 people is not for me.
So back to your actual question, no gaps, just low key. Over the years the musical journey has been from authentic Hip Hop *including pre House and early Techno (one & best example is Kraftwerk) which we *New Yorkers, included that vibe in what we penned as Hip Hop. Production started there. That mind set. Synth sounds and BEATS! Slo, moderate speed to fast! Whatever!!
In the mid 90’s being emersed in Berlin Techno which included a vibe of UR (for they seemed to impact Berlin more than any others) I was influenced with a power and speed that New York Tech did not have. House in Berlin had more speed and less soul. Great area to learn ‘aggression without losing the ‘soul’ in my case. And production at the time often pushed uP bpm’s.
Late 90’s I enter the Gigolo family which bought out the electro in me and allowed bpm’s to slow…or speed… From me, Hell preferred productions on the DeeP DARK side. As a dj Gigolo parties allowed absolute freedom!!
Hitting 2000 I believe I was comfortable and musically on to ‘the next’ whatever that could be? I was searching for it!! Thoughts of LaRhon release “Gonna Be A Great Night” House not House! What I thought/think to be ‘different’ yet any open House dj ‘could’ play it. Jumping from 2000 till the present, I go back & forth between extreme Art of music, which is stuff I now understand ‘only few will overstand’ and that’s what comes from the heart! The REAL! Then there’s the brain- the side that says ‘this is for ‘the ‘ people. Its music, as normal as I can be. Which to me, means strip it down, or produce it ‘simply’. Forget I’m a drummer, forget ‘musical skills’ forget the real meaning of Jazz. Forget it all, consciously…and the dj brain takes over…making what I sometimes call “music for the immature musical mind.” Nothing to do with age, but with a reality that simple shit runs shit in the 3rd dimension. It’s a way of reaching others who may get insipired to get to the real. It’s a way of eating. Record companies seem to prefer it. I’ll personally ‘take the art’. The weird the OUT the box stuff! smile
RR - Can you tell us something about your musical influences and key artists of which you draw inspiration from?
EB - Inspiration and influence…To answer this I must start with a statement: musically I follow no one!
I love many & surely with the many things I love its embedded…and will come forth…That said, inspired & influenced by…
Maurice White of and Earth Wind & Fire, my biggest influence in the love and want to perform, to entertain.
Egyptian Lover & Juan Atkins both gave a bit of inspiration to ‘do it yourself’, along with my own situation…for example working in sales at music distribution centers.
Breaking it down to dance music, I’d have to say influence came from Larry Heard (I’ve more records with his name on it than any other, except eLBee BaD.). He’s one of a few I’ve sampled as in loop de loop sample and add. He’s one of a few producers I’ve actually covered. One of his bass lines (Distant Planet) is played on a LaRhon record “Why Can’t We Live Together’’ Then there’s the name Barry White- beautiful orchestration over dance grooves! Love IT! Its been in my music since the beginnings (and now I have a quartet! The P.O.D. Orchestra! Latest ‘dude’ I’m ‘vibing’ with right now when creating musical art? The name Quincy Jones is in my mind.
RR - How do you experience today’s New York house scene compared to 2 decades ago and what are the main differences, if any, compared to recent trips to Europe?
EB - 2 decades ago I swore by NY and the selectors who were doing it!
Something happened. When GrandMaster Flash is not breaking NEW tunes and non stop new, different UNIQUE sounds & songs, somethings very wrong!! NY seems to have gotten lost in the best of times, old times. Old School. I know there’s gotta be some pushing a potential NEXT but if they’re getting light of any kind is another story. Into our world of electronics, congrats to his many successes, but I point fingers at George Morel having a string of commercial blasts that showed the world A type of NY House. That type took over and became New York House. Great for Strictly, not good for the world of creators or specifically copiers. That’s what most did, copy. To achieve the fame and fortune, lets all copy what he did because it did so well. Start point of ‘wtf is ArT in todays dance music. Europe obviously is the bomb when it comes to Dance Music. Just as many Jazz and Black musicians were respected & did better in Europe in the 60’s such a similar line is with House & Techno…unfortunately without most knowing the ties of club culture to its origins & ‘Blackness’, very very Gay Blackness! However the music with or without The True Story Of House its still THANK CREATOR for those European ears & hearts who got it & did turn it into a world of new money making life changing world changing extremities!! All we wanted to do was DANCE. People invested a lot of money into sound, sound systems and the party basically was where the sound went. Entry to get in? Most went back to sound…Same sound systems in the early ‘NY dance hall days” were the soundsystems played outside, moved in the heat of summer, set up for free, played for…free, weekly. Again, it was all about the dance!!
RR - Any future plans we should be aware of?
EB - Releases! Releases, releases and a tv show. Net tv, but a tv show. A very Untypical musical guests/interview show, concentrated on Berlin Underground the Djs world…Its going to be funny. I’m the host. Well actually it’s the boser/evil/ghetto yet super intelligent character side of Mr. BaD: L.B. GooD, he’ll be hosting, which means ‘talking A LOT of shit!’ That’s ALL I can say.