Trash Audio have this cool regular section called Workspace and Environment where they ask artists a series of set questions. I always like reading it and imagining my own answers, so I thought I'd write my own response.
I grew up in Canberra, the capital city of Australia. I spent my teens playing bass guitar and was in a few short-lived bands in my early 20s, like the Pongrass Brothers. When I left town I sold my bass but ended up buying another one a few years later. Then I started making music on the computer. My track Cycleslut is one of the first things I wrote, built from samples off my CDs.
I've now lived in Wagga Wagga for about seven years and, as much as I'm ready to leave, I don't think I'll be able to go anytime soon. Having kids and another on the way means the decision isn't mine to make anymore. Luckily I live on a beautiful hill outside town.
The name bassling came to me when I misread something and it seems apt since bass is where I started and where I keep coming back - although these days I prefer synth bass sounds, the wires (a large-scale aeolian harp) and different things through an octave pedal or similarly manipulated with software.
There are two bassling albums so far, SHAKES (2004) and YOUR (2007).
The next bassling album is based on my recordings of the wires. You can hear some of the raw files at soundclick.com/aeolianharp and there's the bassling remix of a ShowcaseJase track written for the wires. There's also a dubby sorta track I made with the wires up at the Wired Lab site for Alan Lamb's current project at Cootamundra.
What are your current favourite pieces of hardware?
Macbook, drumkit, Zoom H4, Rode NT4, Epiphone 335, Boss OC3 and Nintendo DS.
What are some softwares or plugins you prefer?
Ohmboyz has been a huge part of the bassling sound, I usually only use the presets but the filters and the tempo-locked delay create a swelling sound that's in most things I record. Thinking of Ohmforce software, everyone should have their Frohmage VST since it's free and does interesting stuff to sounds.
Steinberg's Cubase and Nuendo have a lovely sound about them but are a bit of a pain in the arse to use compared to Ableton Live. And I'm still shitty that I forked out all that cash for Nuendo 3 only to find it runs like a dog on Mac.
Glitch DS is genius IMO. I enjoy it lots and have been meaning to figure out how to make my own samples, probably of the wires and quartz percussion.
Also, for generative sound applications, I like jamming along with Forester on my drumkit. Since it's winter at the moment, I'm not inspired to take my drumkit up to play along with the wires, so I find that putting recordings of the wires into this software gets similar effect.
How does your physical space surroundings influence your workflow?
This is a really interesting question. A few years ago I hung out with some noisemakers who called themselves the Wagga Space Program and they had a philosophy about recognising how the rural environment shaped their practices. It's something I've come to appreciate through living with the wires that were built on the property where I live by Alan Lamb and Scott Baker (AKA Abre Ojos) as part of their Unsound festival in 2004.
In 2006 I was fortunate to be invited to be part of Unsound but it wasn't until last year that I found myself more fully appreciating the stuff they were doing. Sadly, most of them have left town so there isn't going to be an Unsound 2008.
Could you describe what you might think your ideal location would be?
I'd really like a room of my own to set up my gear. It'd be good to not have to worry about my kids getting into my stuff but it's also fun seeing them bash on the drumkit and sometimes we make music together.
Other than that, it's pretty inspiring to play drums on top of the hill on a warm evening.
What is on your current 'wish list'?
I've been lusting after a Musicman Stingray bass but don't really play bass enough to justify the expense. I'm also looking at the Alessis Performance Pad in the window of the local instrument shop but they're asking almost twice what it can be found for online. I'm also considering buying Native Instruments Komplete but might wait until I'm studying again so I can claim the student discount.
Do you have a setup for live performances
No, I've only started thinking about live performance in the last couple of years and at the moment it's usually just one-off sketches that I videotape and put online. I like making music but I hate the late nights involved in playing gigs and, frankly, there isn't much of an audience for the stuff I do locally.
Are you involved in any other projects?
Yep, I've always got a few things on the boil. There's an album of guitar-based songs I recorded for the RPM Challenge this year under the name ShowcaseJase that needs to be re-evaluated and produced and possibly re-recorded in parts.
Mic Main$tream asked if I'd make some techno tunes for his label and I was so flattered that I agreed but it's been hard to find the hi-NRG needed and also hard to find the time to work on them since I returned to full-time work. I decided to use the bassling moniker for my more experimental acoustic electronica-inspired stuff with drums and the wires but the dance music I've been making for him is more like the bassling albums I've released. He suggested calling it Jase of Bass, it kinda brings together all my pseudonyms.
Coles Custard Creams - *When I was a child I had a scented eraser that resembled these biscuits, so maybe I've a sentimental interest in Coles Custard Creams.* Their smell is ho...