Baseckly, Baseck!February 20th, 2012
Totallymag! was fortunate enough to catch up with Derrick Estrada a.k.a Baseck who is the sickest turntablists I’ve ever seen. His gameboy beats and melodies and his skilled scratches are a must hear must see!
What is a normal day for Baseck?
I usually wake up anywhere between 10am and 1pm. I drink lots of water and sometimes make a huge bowl of healthy cereal with oats and fiber and all that… then i pour lots of agave syrup and a huge clump of peanut butter on it or make a smoothie. i love peanut butter! i used to to talk about peanut butter so much that one time when I toured in Europe. A couple of different promoters got me their special peanut butter from the area. in Holland it’s called “pindakaas”. Anyways, then i usually start rocking the gameboy or a drum machine working on a new beat that usually turns into a new song soon or years later. i love writing music in the morning when my heads clear and i feel fresh when the outside world hasn’t tried to attack me or deflate me! Then if it’s a week day I would probably have to leave around 2pm or 3pm and go downtown to walk dogs. That’s how Iusually get my scrilla to pay my rent. I LOVE THEM DAWGS! I been doing that for about 5 or 6 years. After the dogs it’s usually wherever the day takes me. If it’s a weekend i’m usually playing a show.
Do you have a favorite color, is it green??
Yes, I think my favorite color is probably fluorescent green. I’m just ridiculously attracted to it. I wear it on my right shoe and on my bike wheels. the other day I saw someone wearing an all black hat except for fluorescent green embroidered LA on it. Damn, i want that hat.
Are you single?
A couple days ago, my girlfriend bought a large purple baby shirt from Walgreens to wear that says: sorry ladies, My daddy is taken.
So readers, bet on having romantic candle lit dinners alone with Baseck photos…
You are kind of a dreamboat, I’m sure fans are wondering to themselves if Baseck took me on a date where would he take me?
To Pazzo Gelato across from my house on Sunset blvd. They get down with their flavors! Either that or to Scoops. They also rule and get super creative. I wish they were across the street from my house also. I usually have to get ice cream or gelato with coffee in it so I can get HYPED!
Oh yeah, frozen cow date. That’s tight.
Who came up with the title for the 1st annual All American International Invitational Rave Festival? It’s so funny and long…that’s what she said.
I can’t take the credit on that one! It was actually Marci from So Simple…
What is the festival all about?
Basically getting together a bunch of different artists that we love and freak out to. Gathering it all together and putting it under one roof in a warehouse with a massive sound system. We had Duran Duran Duran in from Berlin. Xanopticon from San Francisco. Dev/Null from Boston along with our local homeys also. It was madness!
You were also a part of the 5th Annual Wham Bam fest featuring more of Totallymag!’s favorite electronic artists. Do you prefer to play festivals? What other part do you play at these events?
I put in a lot of work to throwing these events a long with the rest of the posse. Getting the line ups together, promoting, making sure it runs smooth with all the performers the day of the party. making sure everyone is on schedule with their sets. If you have like 8 people playing back to back you have to make sure people are on it with the schedule. I just enjoy playing all the time usually! It doesn’t matter if it’s in someones bedroom or a massive party.
MASSIVE BEDROOM PARTY!
You spent some time in Berlin. How did Baseck spend his time there? Did you make new friends? How did the Germans take to your sound?
I was there for about 8 months. I went out a lot and saw different music acts all the time. There’s so much good music going through Berlin all the time so you could have so many of your favorite artists all playing different shows. It was overwhelming a little bit and damn do people party non stop over there! No bar time! Also so many people that I’ve known from the years of touring all over europe, the US, and other places just gravitated to Berlin for some reason or the other. When I moved there I already knew lots of people it was crazy! …and they all lived so close or just a quick train/tram ride away. I played a lot in Berlin and people dug it. My roots in electronic music all comes from europe/UK so my music fit quite nice! I was flying around a lot to different countries like Holland, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland, France, and the U.K. to play. It was a lovely time! I thought I was going to live in Berlin for years but I love LA way too much and missed my homeys. shouts to all my friends everywhere though! LOVE!
If you could teleport anywhere right now (if it was possible) where would you go?
I would go to New Zealand because I’ve never been there and I’ve seen pictures that looked so beautiful!
Do you have any plans for Sonic Death Rabbit (Baseck and Wet Mango collaboration) soon? Do you have any other side projects at the moment?
Yes! Sonic Death Rabbit has just recently started writing new material and i’m super excited about it. We have a live show coming up we just wrote a couple songs for. We haven’t written anything for years before this and I’m really amped on getting it going again. It has always been a mad fun dynamic rocking with cristina (wet mango). She’s like my little weirdo sister (even though we’re the same age!). She used to get crazy excited when we were playing live and would accidentally pee on her self sometimes! (like fergie?!) One time when we played in Oakland she put a bucket in the middle of the dance floor during our set and she peed in it while she was doing raspy vocals. She’s nasty! hahaha… she might kill me for writing this. I’ve been writing music with my homey Cevin Key (of Skinny Puppy) but we’re not really sure where that’s going yet, but it’s sounding pretty fresh! Dirty noisy dancefloor stuff. I hope we get that rolling super soon also. Cevin just always starts working way too early in the morning so i have to pry myself out of bed and take the train to his place. he’s really inspiring though and we get down on some ill stuff. His studio is madness. I want to work on more music with Nero’s Day at Disneyland. He’s a genius and can play keys so fast like a maniac! we collabed recently on a chilled out remix for Sonoio (ex NIN) that’s available free to download on his site. I also been going crazy with my homey Cyrusrex. I want that to go somewhere also. I’m usually really into banging the beat section of the songs. I can do that real quick and I can hear beats naturally. It’s just the melodies that take me days! so that’s usually good when I collab with people. They fill in what i can’t. Music is so beautiful!There’s so much to make all the time.
What are you feelings on the “music business”? Do people even say that anymore what is it called “the industry”?
I think it’s a very funny time right now. One video from a band goes viral and the band gets signed. They’ve never rocked a show and they only have a handful of songs then they have all this pressure because the blogs hype them up so hard and all eyes are on them. Then you hardly ever hear their name months down the line again. I don’t know, I try not to think about it too much. So much good music will always come and go in big waves. I make weird music that’s usually spazzed out fast noisy and not easy to categorize… I never really expect to make a living off it. It’s not going to be the next big thing! For a while it got mega in Europe and my friends and I were playing big festivals to thousands of people over massive sound systems when just years before it was little squat parties. things always change. don’t get attached to the past or else your future will suffer! I’m hyped on how things are going in LA. we get down throwing our own shows and people come out and freak their heads off to these big sound systems we rent which aren’t very common in diy shows. I love that. There’s nothing better then having your homey crushing it on stage while the bass is rattling your whole body and feeling the love from your freakyfreak crew all coming together. I wouldn’t have it any other way right now!
How is it working with So Simple Records and Darkmatter Soundsystem how do you guys get the energy to put together events, make music, and get the people together to listen? AHHH!
It’s amazing! All the like minded collective energy coming together to create is always so powerful and a beautiful thing! The energy just flows because it’s what we love to do and we just can’t stop! Darkmatter has been together collectively for 10 years now. At first it was parties of 40 of us or less. At our 10 year anniversary show we had over 500. It was powerful to witness. We have our 4th 12″ record coming out on the Darkmatter Soundsystem label. Our very first parties were at The Smell when it was mad dirty and smelly! haha. Over the last handful of years I met So Simple when they were all going to college in Isla Vista. They would come out to Darkmatter parties and just get crazy. They asked me to play one of their backyard house parties and I loved it. They were basically doing the same thing that we were but different, and had the drive and love for twisted experimental electronic music and it just meshed. Nothing like playing a hot living room moshpit while people are standing on couches holding the ceiling screaming their faces off. that was hard to find! It was a powerful thing. Then they all moved to Los Angeles and we just got together more and more and got the ball rolling on a bigger scale. It’s exciting to think what’s going to happen in the future! I’m very optimistic….
You have this innate knack for throat singing, when did you discover you possessed this talent?
When I was in high school I found death metal and I totally freaked on it. It was like the crazy electronic gabber that I was listening to but it was an actual band! I used to blast mixtapes in my dirty 1988 red camaro that were giving to me from friends and sing a long to them as loud and raspy as I could!
Do you have any other hidden talents?
I can bend my left arm all weird because I broke it when I was three and I think the doctor put it back wrong. It freaks people out if I do it at the dinner table.
Do you have an embarassing moment?
Life can be pretty embarrassing!
How do you deal with Cyberbullying?
i say PPSSHHTT don’t hate, appreciate!
You have the cutest haircuts do you come up with them yourself? what defines your personal style? for example; comfort, convenience, affordability etc. It’s on people’s mind regardless what they say.
Why thank you! I have been cutting my own hair since I was about 12. Right now I look like a freakster because i’m letting my facial hair to grow (which I have never done before!) and the rest of the hair on my head is getting long also. I been wearing a hat for about 5 months and just letting it to grow. Which is strange because I never wore a hat in my life either. My personal style is lots of pockets on my pants! I some how got into sewing and all my pants have an excessive amount of pockets now. I haven’t worn “normal” pants that I haven’t been altered in over 3 years probably. I tried it. I felt naked and vulnerable. When I empty my pockets before I go to bed a huge pile stacks up. A mad wad of keys (from the dogs i walk), wallet (overflowing with money! hah) passport, headphones, markers, pens, burts bees lip stuff, random papers, stack of baseck stickers (to cover the city in), and usually a couple bulky bike lights. It’s madness I tell you.
What’s in Baseck’s near future?