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JASE (Nubreed/ Beathedz) interview: Connecting the Beat Hedz

Author: KalliN
Wednesday, 12 July 2006
Dance music fans who listen exclusively to breaks must be scratching their heads, wondering why a member of Nubreed has suddenly turned to hip-hop. Is it a reversal of Puff Daddy who famously went from hip-hop hero to techno transporter in the blink of an eye, hand delivering copies of his dance tune to the likes of Paul Oakenfold and Erick Morillo- Far from it! As most followers of Australian hip hop will know, Jase has played an integral role within the scene for over a decade. Scratch beneath the surface and you'll find this reflected in his discography. It not only features a 'who's who' of Australian hip-hop, but partially explains how his debut album, 'Jase Connection Beathedz Vol.1' brings us undoubtedly the finest Australian hip-hop talent ever assembled, collectively, on one album. KalliN gets the scoop for TranZfusion during an interview in which Jase relates his past, reveals the method behind his (far from) madness and forecasts the future. Yet more than anything else, it is his integrity and passion for the scene that shine throughout the interview.

Did you purposely keep your involvement within the hip-hop community 'behind the scenes' over the last few years to ensure the focus was on Nubreed-

I think that I became a little more focused on Nubreed and our style development because breakbeat was so much more technically challenging and the ideas of what you could do over that tempo were limitless. I never really saw the instant reaction to my hip hop records apart from the street cred, but with breaks I would be on the dancefloor when our records got played by DJs, which I really enjoyed. The more records we put out the more doors opened to being signed for 12" / albums and overseas tours. So that was a big attraction whereas with hip hop you had to do it all yourself as far as releasing records because the industry and radio weren't touching any Australian hip hop at the time. I constantly made beats behind the scenes in my downtime to prepare myself for a producer album, something I have wanted to do since we formed Nubreed in 1998. I just never found the time as I can only focus on one release at a time.

Despite this being your debut album, you certainly did find the time to be very active within the hip-hop scene on a number of other fronts while remaining focused on Nubreed and the hectic touring schedule that came with it. How could you possibly fit it all in-

I became an insomniac! After Nubreed sessions I would work on hip hop from around 10pm to 6am. Towards the finishing stages of the compilation I was doing 18hr studio days, totally obsessed with finishing and perfecting these records because the production standard had been raised as far as hip hop here. I really felt I had to make an impact on the scene again because I was known for my past releases with Nuffsaid Records.

What was the catalyst behind your finally deciding it was time to release the album that you earlier mentioned as being a dream of yours for almost a decade-

The time in between Nubreed albums made it possible for sure. I think it was coming back from an overseas tour of the U.S. and the U.K. that made it clear I had to make this record for my sanity and for the new artists I was developing around me. Having been totally saturated with breaks everywhere we went and played overseas, just had me making and listening to other forms of music as well. I think the sound of Nuskool breaks was killing itself as the records were starting to sound like they were made in two hours. I was spending less time on the dancefloor, where as when we started everyone took a lot more care in their production, spent up to a week making a record and it was epic when you heard them. Nowadays a record has a deck life of about a weekend and a few spins.

It's well documented that over the past three years Australian hip-hop's exposure has exploded, so I'm interested in hearing your view on where you see it in the
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