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Wednesday, 30 November 2011 14:51

Borgore

Running Dubstep

For all the controversy his genre-splitting sound has caused in the electronic community, it’s hard to deny that Borgore’s worldwide popularity is currently at fever pitch.

His biggest single ‘Nympho’, a dirty-mouthed ode to loose women that morphs from a deep crunk style to tear-out dubstep, has amassed more than a staggering five million views on YouTube, and his relentless tour regime has seen him set off on two world tours in as many years.

Before all of the hype, the Israeli artist was a classically trained, multi-instrumentalist whose rich musical history included time spent smashing the pigskins in death metal bands – an influence that clearly resonates through his trademark mid-range mindf*ck style of production. In hindsight, it’s this depth of experience which Borgore (Asaf Borger) believes helps make his tunes so unique. “I believe that, with more of an acoustic perception of music, my tunes come out somehow different to anyone else's, if it’s the general sound or the feel,” he explains.

“I recently did an unplugged version of ‘Nympho’ with Michael Keane from The Faceless. We reconstructed the track by playing it all live – drums, bass, guitar and a couple of vintage boards. I’m into a lot of sounds but I’m not consciously bringing this when I produce. If it happens then it’s just my style.”

This signature sound which has made him so popular has also proven to be the source of much criticism from the old faithful, who feel his self-styled ‘Gorestep’ is too far removed from the original aesthetics of dubstep. Alongside contemporaries like Rusko, Datsik and Doctor P, Borgore has been accused of forcing a clear divide in the genre but he feels quite differently on the matter.

“There's less of a split these days than what it used to be really,” he points out. “At the beginning producers on the heavier tip got slayed on the, what used to be, underground forums by the more musical purists from the scene. Today, you can't really ignore that the heavier sound is the main leading sound in dubstep and in the whole electronic music scene in general. If you look at how it’s captivated the US alone I think that is testament and credence.”

His response to the cynics was swift and to the point – an EP simply entitled ‘Borgore Ruined Dubstep’, which featured the aforementioned hit ‘Nympho’ alongside a collaboration with the Mad Decent maestro, Diplo. “I started making music in my attic for my own joy. It's the only way for me to fight my ADD, it hasn't and won't change. I take people's criticism onboard of course; if it comes from an honest place, one can dislike my music, but some people are trying to be heard and cause provocation and those are the ones I completely ignore. It’s not unique to my position; it happens to every producer when you reach that level and some people spend too much time thinking about it.”

The demand for his heavy-hitting sound sees Borgore touring Australia in December for the third time this year. A warning though, his previous memoires of the country are not altogether suitable for the lactose intolerant. “Last time I was here I shot the video for ‘Someone Else’s’ and we posted a message on the Facebook page asking for girls to be in the video,” remembers Borger. “We had a bunch of local girls come down to feature in it. You see in the video we’re in a great looking penthouse apartment that was owned by the director’s friend and it all went a little crazy after the cameras were switched off and that place was covered in milk.

“The crowds in Australia and New Zealand are crazy! It’s always a big party and the scene is definitely getting bigger and bigger every year so I’m always going to keep coming back, I think the festivals next year are going to be major too."

The Progression Of Borgore -
Loving The Darkness


When breaks broke, a fresh sound had to fill the vacuum. So came dubstep, loaded with speaker-wrecking, head-fucking bass; the perfect outlet for the more twisted, fervent producers out there left gobsmacked by the explosion of dull electro house.

Suddenly, you couldn’t step foot in a club or play a set without hearing Skrillex or having flat-brimmed kids yell ‘play fucking Borgore’ in your face. In 2011, it seems that everyone loves dubstep, or is at least doing a damn good job of pretending to. Hell, even Benny Benassi‘s dropping wobble.

So how does a 24-year-old misogynist (check his Twitter) from Israel become one of the biggest names in a genre that’s really only starting its ascendency into the mainstream without even dropping an album? That Asaf Borger, better known as Borgore to his millions of fans, only plans to release his debut longplayer next March is testament to the power of the internet and social networking. Six million YouTube hits rarely lie. He even has a website, Buygore. Some of the t-shirt designs are off the hook.

The Tel Aviv native only starting producing in 2007, re-editing artists including Britney Spears, Gorillaz, Rusko and Passion Pit in his rough, trademark style. Borgore definitely sits on the more hectic, tougher side of the dubstep fence, alongside artists such as Bassnectar, Excision, Flux Pavilion and Skrillex – there is little respite in his music, few liquid or chilled moments, just a pounding mash of sawing bass and tweaked melody that threatens speakers around the world. His music is the sort of stuff a demented clown might enjoy before going out and committing demented clown crime. That’s a huge compliment, by the way.

Like a few of his harder dubstep contemporaries, Asaf’s roots lie in metal. He used to be the drummer in a death metal band before joining friend Tomba in beatboxing crew Amp. He releases tracks through a variety of labels including Diplo’s Mad Decent and Shift Recordings. For one so popular, Borgore is somewhat enigmatic; it’s hard to get much background on him. He creates his ‘Gorestep’ on two CDJs loaded with Serato and keeps active in the booth, jumping around and working the crowd, occasionally crowd surfing. He’s just completed his first, sold-out tour of the US and should be in fine form by the time he hits Australian crowds.

A couple of friends recently returned from playing sets at Burning Man and Shambala said you could not move without hearing dubstep; that almost every DJ, even techno purists, was spinning it at some stage in their sets. Love it or hate it, dubstep is the new new black, and Borgore is one of the genre’s reigning kings. You can absolutely bet that come set time at Blah Blah Blah, he’ll be tearing the entire crowd a new one.
By: Alex Roche

Borgore plays Blah Blah Blah alongside A. Skillz and LTJ Bukem at Southbank Parklands on Wed Dec 28.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010 15:28

Ras_G & The Afrikan Space Program Interview

Spaced Sonics

A fixture on the underground scene since the early 90s, Ras_G is now a key player in the genre-shaping beat movement that has emerged from the Los Angeles area.

Presenting conceptual ideas rooted as much in the sound of Sun-Ra as it does in hip hop and dubstyle, Ras_G’s acceptance into the influential Brainfeeder family really announced his arrival on the worldwide scene. Last year’s ‘Brotha From Anotha Planet’ album was an organic collection of audio concepts that are as random as they are challenging. With such a multiplicity of sounds it’s a wonder Ras manages to find the inspiration and methods to perpetuate the diversification of his sound.

“I deal with ancient places and ancient things in my music,” he explains. “I'm influenced by sight and sounds and vibrations that speak beauty, like the pyramids, and I’m also influenced by the chaos that the people on this planet put themselves through.

“I use records, tapes, movies, whatever ... just to get the idea recorded so I can smoke my trees and listen to it. It ain’t no particular thought or idea I have in my mind when I’m working – I’m just having out-of-body experiences, making the music, smoking trees and nodding my head or whatever. Sometimes I don’t want to make headnod shit so, like I said, it varies.”

Having been bred on a varied diet of music from a young age, it was no shock that he would begin to present the world with his futuristic vision of sound. From his earliest works, including releases on his own Poo-Bah imprint, it was clear that Ras_G was fulfilling his own musical destiny.

“I got into music from birth. Pops kept the Parliament Funkadelic on blast with mad trees when I was a kid and Moms kept the turntable spinning R&B/ soul shit loud while vacuuming on Saturday mornings. My brother had the first Technic 1200s I ever seen and he had hella records. Then my cousin used to come through with his SP-1200 and hella trees and that’s when the beats started so it was a natural progression.”

Describing his show as “bass heavy cosmic chaos” may be a little contrived but those locals lucky enough to catch label mates Flying Lotus and The Gaslamp Killer will surely attest to the fact that this is one night not to be missed.

RAS_G & THE AFRIKAN SPACE PROGRAM PLAYS FOR THE DANK MORASS CREW AT THE STEP INN ON FRIDAY JULY 23.

Wednesday, 09 June 2010 14:29

Robin Fox Interview

Sensory Stimulation

The association between audio and visual is a much-examined relationship, but Melbourne-based conceptual artist Robin Fox intends to present a unique view on the theme. His upcoming performance forms part of the Inhabit Fiesta, a celebration of the many nooks and crannies our city has to offer and it promises to morph an unassuming Spencer Lane into an all-encompassing sensory exhibition.

Bringing his much-lauded laser show to Brisbane, Fox intends to present an inimitable perspective on the correlation between light and sound.

“I’m doing this audio visual show where I try and make an equivalence between sound electricity and light electricity using a laser. Basically, there’s a sound that generates a corresponding three-dimensional image,” he explains. “The idea is that you are standing inside a television tube and the sound is turned into electricity that’s happening all around you.”

Starting out as a heavy metal drummer, Fox’s musical interests would lead him to study composition and move him into the very different style of improvisation and experimental computer music. His subsequent progression into the visual world stemmed from an accidental discovery when playing around with the effect sounds had on the display generated by an oscilloscope.

“The correspondence between the sound and the geometric patterns that were created initially was really strong so I decided to look into that further. I spent years making these audio visual films which were two-dimensional for the oscilloscope but what I got frustrated with was the resolution,” he muses. “So I thought if I can make a laser behave in the same way as an oscilloscope, essentially, I can do it on a big scale and also do it three-dimensionally.”

This idea of the relationship between sound and light forms the basis of the show, but Fox develops the concept even further to create an experience that is not merely aimed at stimulating the audience's sight and hearing.

“I’m very interested in the physical and the neurological aspects of the appreciation of art generally. When you’re making artworks you’re dealing with people’s sense organs, you’re dealing with their eyes, you’re dealing with their ears and if you can make the sound physical enough then you’re dealing with their bodies. The experience is actually overwhelming in the sense that all of their senses are involved and they’re engaged.”

ROBIN FOX PLAYS SPENCER LANE AS PART OF INHABIT FIESTA ON FRIDAY JUNE 11.

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