Dublin’s All City Records relationship with the city of Los Angeles is an unlikely one. Their 10 part “L.A Series” of 7 inch releases has earned the label a place of importance in the city’s thriving ‘beats’ scene. With artists like Ras G and Daedulus already having contributed to the series, the 7th instalment is in the hands of Master Blazter band members Dam Funk and Computer Jay. Representing one third of Master Blazter, Computer Jay is a relative new comer, his first release came last year on Ramp Records, however, this synth fiend is turning a lot of heads with his crunchy analogue jams. He answered a few of our questions, touching on hardware, the city of angels, and Funkadelic.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background with music?
Music has always played a major roll in my life. My father worked for Motown as a youth. So you always heard that Motown sound coming out of our house. They were also huge on funk so I grew with a lot of that as well. I’m an 80’s baby so of coarse Hip Hop Played a huge roll in my youth as well. As far as playing, I was trained with jazz… But for the most part I’m self-taught.
Are you a Los Angeles native or did you migrate? How much inspiration do you draw from the city around you?
I’m a Native to Los Angeles. It’s definitely helped shape who I am, and what I do. Fortunately L.A is a huge artistic hub. Throw a rock in any direction and you’ll find someone talented. When you hang around talented people it’s easy to be inspired and learn a thing or 2 as well.
The “beats” scene in LA seems to be thriving, how closely knit is the community there?
Very. We’re all homies, no egos, no set trippin.
How did your relation ship with Dam Funk and J-1 come about?
Before Master Blazter we were all just friends. We decided to do a freestyle Jam session at our friend Ty-G’s Gallery called Hvw8. It ended up being a 120-minute podcast of original music. From that point on we knew that we were on to something and began nurturing Master Blazter from there.
It’s a beautiful balance. I love working on my own cause I can really dig in and try anything I want… Be the master of my own world. On the other hand I love playing with Master Blazter and bouncing of Dam and J1’s energy. It pushes me to play styles and feels I might not be able to do on my own.
You guys played at the Electric Picnic this year, any more trips to Ireland on the Horizon?
Ahh yes, Electric Picnic was incredible. Great experience. It was actually my birthday when we performed and Ireland most definitely celebrated it with me. I don’t think we have anything on the calendar at the moment but I know we plan on coming back in 2011.
For all the tech heads out there would you mind giving us a run down on your studio/live equipment?
Well I’m really big on Moogs. Currently I have a Moog Voyager and A Opus. I also have a Keyboard I built called the “Moogodore 2600”. It’s part Moog, part Commodore 64, and part Atari. I even threw a touch screen on it. I use that, the Voyager, and a Rhodes for my live set up usually. I come from an MPC background for the most part as far as Drum Machines and Sequencers… But I also use Pro Tools and Ableton. Other things I have are an Optigan, Omnichord, Compurhythm, Rhythm ace, and of coarse Technics 1200.
There’s a mix you made in tribute to Robert Moog kicking around the Internet. There are a lot of old gems on there. Are you a big record collector?
Most Definitely. My collection started by inheriting a crate or 2 from my parents. This turned into a life long obsession. It’s broadened my musical horizons a 1000 fold.
Your music belies a wide musical taste, which album/ep have you listened to more than any other?
Whew. I just don’t know how one could answer this question. I can say I played these records till they wouldn’t play anymore:
1.Funkadelic – Maggot Brains
2. Slum Village – Fantastic Vol. 2
3. Gary Numan – The Pleasure Principle
Words: Paddy O’Mahoney