Innamorati have a lot going for them this year. With exposure from international music blog Generation Bass including a feature on the upcoming Transnational Dubstep compilation alongside the likes of Engine Earz! They are also perfecting a live act that is constantly evolving around the core structures created by the gentleman under the spotlight. Watch out for an exclusive download at the end of this interview. Peace
HJ: Welcome to EMW! Please introduce yourself to those who may not know your work.
BBH: Hi, my names Albert aka Bertie Bass-Hits aka Monsignor Basso. I am a producer from Pembs, West Wales now based in Bristol. Alongside producing I also teach Ableton Live and am an MC. I work on many different projects but my main focus at the moment is my live gypsy dubstep act 'Innamorati'.
HJ: You have a unique sound that takes from bass music and the Balkan/Gypsy beats. Who or what do you draw your influences from?
BBH: I have taken influence from a huge range of genres and artists through my time. I would say in recent times it has been the likes of Four-Tet, Burial, Trifonic, Shazalakazoo, Caravan Palace and recently discovered a very inspiring French band called Watcha Clan. I think you will hear a lot more of these guys in 2011. I would also say I take a lot of influence from the people I surround myself with in Bristol, there are so many inspiring musicians around.
HJ: You're the producer/beat maker for the group Innamorati. Who else is invovled in this project?
BBH: Innamorati is currently very changeable line up wise. The core team is me(obviously), Alex Taylor on violin and composition, Virus on guitar, Jamie Morrison on percussion and Zefire on vocals. We have also recently taken on board an MC, Dilexik Lingo who you can expect to hear a lot from over the next few months. Alongside this core team we also have accordion, harp and various other vocalists. It's kind of like a big family and is always growing. I usually say if someone has something real to add to our music then I'm interested in working with them.
HJ: What should one expect from an Innamorati live show?
BBH: We try to keep our live shows as varied as possible so I would say expect the unexpected. But you can always be sure of huge bass and haunting live violins as for the rest well you will have to come see for yourself.
HJ: You work with both machines and live instruments. How did you find combining the two in your live show?
BBH: It can be quite trying at times working the two together but Ableton Live is brilliant for it. It allows you to be much more fluid as an electronic musician and become another member of the band rather than just a computer or backing track.
HJ: Describe your live set up briefly for the tech heads.
BBH: My current live set up is ;
Macbook running Ableton Live
Native Instruments Maschine
MOTU 828 Firewire interface
At the moment I use Ableton as my main sequencer and have Maschine running basically as a huge bank of drums and instruments that I can load up and play live through Maschine or Ableton. These leaves me with a lot of flexibility to manipulate or stuff whilst playing live.
HJ: What one piece of gear could you not live without?
BBH: I would have to say Maschine. It is without doubt the best bit of equipment I have every had. So flexible and hands on. Makes jamming and live performance so much more interesting and enjoyable. It basically takes the laptop out of the live set in many ways so no more staring at a screen when you could be enjoying the moment.
HJ: On some of your tracks you feature a singer. Can we expect more collabs with vocalists in the future?
BBH: Yes definitely. As I already mentioned we have recently hooked up with an MC so will be working on stuff with him over the next month or so. Also we have various other vocalist waiting in the wings so keep your eyes peeled for them. I'm also planning to get back on some vocals myself so look out.
"Playing the legendary Drop Beats not Bombs in Birmingham was definitely up there."
HJ: You have played some amazing gigs over the last year. Which one stands out as the set of 2010?
BBH: Yeah 2010 has had a lot of highlights for us. Playing the legendary Drop Beats not Bombs in Birmingham was definitely up there. However I think for me it has to be our last show on tour in Latvia. We played at a place called Media Station in the capital Riga. The venue was amazing, it looked like an abandoned communist warehouse straight outta one of those war games set in the future. The guys who ran the venue were awesome, very hospitable. We got plied with food and Absinthe and then after countless shots we stumbled on stage and gave one of the best performances I've ever done. And the crowd went wild. And to top it all of WE WERE ON TOUR!!! Hehe.
HJ: Currently residing in Bristol you have surrounded yourself with bass music culture. Does where you are affect your work?
BBH: Definitely. I think that Bristol has affected my sound greatly. Its such a close community of creative people here there is never a shortage of inspiration. Also my favourite part of it is the sheer open mindedness amongst people. Everyone seems to be striving to push the boundaries in whatever it is they are doing and that is very inspirational.
"We were lucky enough to have been spotted by DJ UMB on soundcloud and since then he has been a great help to us."
HJ: You got some well deserved exposure on the excellent Generation Bass blog last year. How important are websites like GB for artists like yourself?
BBH: Absolutely. Generation Bass has been amazing for us. We were lucky enough to have been spotted by DJ UMB on soundcloud and since then he has been a great help to us. We have a track coming out on their 'Transnational Dubstep' compilation CD on Feb 1st which is amazing for us, and hopefully an EP of our own later in the year. I think websites like GB are vital for up and coming artists. They are trend setters amongst their scene so getting a mention by them can open you up to a whole new section of listeners. It's great that there are people out there like DJ UMB who have a passion for good music and want to spread the word.
HJ: In terms of future projects what can we expect from Bertie Bass Hits and Innamorati?
BBH: Well were taking some time at the moment to really nail our full live show so you can expect some exciting new additions to that over the next few months. As I mentioned before we are planning to do an Innamorati EP through Generation Bass later in the year. Also starting on Feb 4th were doing our own monthly night in a wicked little cafe/venue 'The Arts House on Stokes Croft. Its going to be a chance to showcase new material and new collaborations as well as hear some of our friends spinning some fresh tunes. We aim to create a nice friendly front room vibe with some wicked live music, lots of improv and raw creativity. Thats 'Innamorati Familia presents..' starting Feb 4th @ The Arts House. (Facebook event page) As well as all that you can expect a lot of new tunes from us in the near future.
HJ: Where in the world would you most like to perform?
BBH: Hmmm thats a real toughie. I really want to do some more roots type gigs, in the jungle, in the desert or on a mountain. I think playing our music in a location that really blows you away would be great. I don't have any specific places I really want to play more just vibes I really want to experience. But rest assured Innamorati will be doing some serious traveling soon.
HJ: How should promoters go about getting in touch for bookings?
BBH: email@example.com is our bookings contact. Feel free to contact us for anything.
HJ: Favourite beverage?
BBH: Well Absinthe has always seemed a good one before a set. But I usually go for Rum and Ginger Beer.
In conjunction with this interview Innamorati have very kindly offered EMW an exclusive download of their track Avatar. Have a listen below and if you like it email - firstname.lastname@example.org for your very own download code. Limited to 100 codes so first come first served. Peace