Starkey and Dev79 Interview [Street Bass Anthem’s Vol. 6]


“If my calculations are correct, certain harmonic frequencies can slow the planets speed towards the black hole by interfering with its gravitational pull and thus maintaining Keplar 10 b’s existence for up to 3 million years. Quardon explains to Starkey that he is the only person that posseses the ability to produce such frequencies and is the planet’s only hope for survival beyond the year 2240.” – Starkobeats off Space Traitor Vol. 2

PJ Geissinger aka. Starkey aka. Starkbot aka. The Space Traitor has been turning out intergalactic bass jams for over a decade now and still shows no signs of slowing down. And I mean thank god for that, who else could protect us from the treacherous lord oscillator and his army of evil bots? For those of you who are unfamiliar with Starkey’s two part album Space Traitor Vol. 1 and 2, each album kicks off with a piece of narration that gives the listener the back story of the futuristic sonic journey that proceeds on each of his albums. Since the release of these two albums in 2011, the cosmic adventures of Starkey have not ceased. The release of his album Orbits at the end of last year was a much needed break from the trivial distractions of life on earth, taking me and you (the listeners) on a galactic roundabout.

Not only has Starkey been killing it with his space music, but also his music label Seclusiasis and its sister label Slit Jockey Records have been hard at work churning out new heavy tracks for all of us to enjoy. The most recent of which has just been released on Seclusiasis on August 5th is Street Bass Anthems Vol. 6,  a compilation series that for years now has yet disappointed me. Peep the new tracks tracks bellow!

Be sure to check out Seclusiasis on both Soundcloud and Facebook!

We got a chance to talk with both Starkey and Dev79, the head honchos of these two music labels to get a better look at their creative process and the effort put in behind Street Bass music.

Here at Metrojolt we are all big fans of the Street Bass Anthems.  Now that you guys are about to successfully release your 6th volume what would you say has been the biggest change Seclusiasis has been through since you first started this series?

Starkey: When we first started the series we started it as like a bootleg CDR kind of thing and now we are doing it as official releases. We kind of split Street Bass Anthems up to Street Bass Bootlegs which is kind of all the bootleg remixes and then we have Street Bass Anthems which is now a legitimate mix series like with original content, exclusive content as well.

Dev79: I would say on our end, on a climate end as far as this thing goes that when we started doing it, it was more unique.  There is clearly other people doing it then but it wasn’t really a movement like it is now. We did it then and we do it now but there has been a big change in the climate of things.

How did you two end up meeting for the first time? What is it that initially inspired Street Bass Music?

Starkey: We met at shows and Gair (Dev79) was throwing parties and events in Philly and I kind of was starting to do my live laptop electronic music and we found that we had a mutual understanding of what was going on with the U.K grime scene at the time and there are not many people in America in particular Philly who even knew what that was, so we immediately made that connection. And then the whole street bass thing came out of a time when there was lots of different genres being thrown on party flyers there was like this big rush to name things like “electro-house”, “grime” or whatever buzz where it was what it was and what I thought was interesting that’s when we thought “Street Bass” that sounds cool. Yeah I thought that Street Bass would be a cool way of describing what it is that we do so why don’t we just use that as a way to describe the music that we are DJ-ing and what we were playing and it kind of just stuck from there.

On the about page of Slit Jockey Records it states that the label was originally founded in order to bring UK Grime to the states, would you say since you started the label back in 2005 that people today have a better understanding of Grime Music?

Dev79: Certainly there is a larger understanding of grime music in America now but I wouldn’t say its blown up by any means. There are a couple moments here and there where people thought it was going to pop in America but it never did. And I’m not sure if it ever will because… you know, there are other sounds that have had bigger moments in America and with Grime it’s the accent that sets it apart. The instrumentals have more of a chance to breathe in America but true grime with vocals and stuff, the accent really makes it difficult for Americans to get into it. It’s always going to be some kind of a factor. Even though reggae is still big here and there is an accent there, for whatever reason as far as rap is concerned, rap with an English accent is always going to be considered lower then American rap.

What is it like running two music labels?

Starkey: They are both independent and symbiotic at the same time. Slit Jockey definitely has more a grime aspect to it and it’s expanded somewhat but there is still definitely a narrower grime focus in Slit Jockey Music. It’s still a niche and a focus but there is more weird and poppy music that could fit in with the label, it definitely has the potential to cover a wider range of genres.

So much of your music revolves around some sort of cosmic theme, how did the concept of space first find itself getting tied into your music? What made you decide on that aesthetic?

Starkey: I mean I’ve always been into like science fiction and comics and all that kind of stuff. I grew up watching a lot of science fiction movies; everything big like Star Wars and stuff like that but even more odd sci-fi movies like Solaris, THX-1138. and stuff like that. I’ve always just been into that, and also a lot of that sci-fi stuff had a pretty strong soundtrack thinking of like Planet of the Apes and movies like that, there is this weird connection between both music and movies that I am really into. For example, Vangellis’ score from Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner” are the types of sounds I try and connect with, so I’ve just tied that in with stuff like Grime Music and that’s something that I’ve used to help with creating my music.

Something that’s unique and special about your musical background is the time you spent in the UK and please correct me if I’m wrong but I think its safe to say your time over there connecting with Artists from Night Slugs and Ninja Tune and all those killer music labels must have helped you develop as both a producer and a DJ. Were there any really memorable, eye opening musical moments that you remember when first arriving there?

Starkey: This was in 2001 and this was even before grime was really even popping off. It was more like the Garage scene and people like So Solid Crew and The Streets had just come out and THAT was like one of the biggest moments for me when I was actually living there. I remember getting the single on Monday and being like, “this music is so strange and different!” It was pretty eye opening and I was surrounded by lots of people making electronic music at the time, but there was nothing like that. It was all still garage and that kind of thing. I think The Streets was the first person I heard that bridged the gap and crossed over to what became Grime Music that led to people like Roll Deep and Nasty Crew, but still in 2001 was super familiar with them because they were literally just bubbling up at that time.

Is there any new music in particular that has really caught your attention recently?

Dev79: I mean I listen to a lot of rap music like Raider Klan that’s pretty dope.

Starkey: I listen to lots of old jazz records. I like Billie Holiday type vocal stuff but I was listening to Ace Hood’s album and all sorts of hip hop stuff as well. I really like Apparat and John Hopkins’ new albums as well.

If you could save only one record from your whole collection what would it be?

Dev79: Something from Cam’ron but I don’t know what.

Starkey: I’d get real dorkey and I’d probably save one of my parents’ Beatles records.

Dev79: Cam’ron… “Purple Haze”, that’s the one.

Starkey: I would prob keep my parents’ White Album that I stole from them. I would keep it but like sell it on ebay so I could buy a bunch of other music… its super old (laughs).

Are there any artists that you really want to try and collaborate with?

Dev79: Cam’ron (laughs)

Starkey: I would love to do a record with Bjork, she’s one of my favorites. She has a style that changes over the years and keeps things interesting. I’m not really sure I think it would be weird to do a record with lil B too (laughs) you know something really strange I’m into that.

Great choices, I would love to hear what those collaborations would sound like.  Thanks for your time guys and good luck to you both.

Starkey: For sure, take it easy.

Dev79: Word.