Uberzone Nabs Beenie Man, Afrika Bambaataa, Crystal Method For Future

Breaks producer hitting clubs, summer festivals to support debut LP.

Southern California breaks producer Überzone will warm up for his performances at the late summer Mekka and Creamfields festivals with a handful of headlining club dates.

The quirky electronic artist, otherwise known as Timothy Wiles or Q (named

after the James Bond character), is promoting his debut LP, Faith in the

Future, due August 7 on Astralwerks.

The 12-track album includes collaborations with former Helmet singer Page

Hamilton, former City of Angels label mates the Crystal Method, dancehall

singer Beenie Man, rap legends Afrika Bambaataa and Soul Sonic Force, U.K.

breakbeat producer Rennie Pilgrem, Los Angeles turntablist Davey Dave and

singer Lida Husik.

Überzone built a considerable following with his early singles "Botz" and

"Freaks" and followed with three seminal breakbeat EPs — 1996's

Braindust and Space Kadet and 1997's The Freaks Believe in

Beats — but it has been four years since the producer released music

under the Überzone alias.

"Every time I sat down to do an album, I'd get asked to do another tour I

couldn't pass up or a Sarah McLachlan remix or whatever," Überzone said last week.

"It's pretty tiring being a one-man act."

Over the years, Überzone has come to carry the torch in the U.S. for new

school breaks, a genre founded overseas as a response to breakbeat.

"They weren't hearing enough newer sounding breaks with deeper bass lines

and complex drum programming. It was almost like a slowed down drum'n'bass," Überzone said of U.K. acts like Pilgrem, for which he is the

American equivalent. "New school breaks is like funky breakbeat music with a

very open mind that doesn't fall back on the early '90s breakbeat sound.

It's almost like intelligent drum'n'bass."

When the producer finally found time to work on an album as Überzone, which

was intended to be a project with various singers and musicians from the

beginning, he knew exactly which artists he wanted to bring into the studio.

"I've always been a big fan of dancehall and I went on a quest to get Beenie

Man," Überzone said. "And any time I get a chance to work with either one of

the Crystal Method guys is great. Ken [Jordan] and I spend time outside of

the industry, so to come in and work together is nice."

Überzone and the Crystal Method, whose new album Tweekend is due July

31, have toured together in the past and will do so again in the fall on a

nine-week, 60-date tour, Überzone said. Crystal Method's management said the

tour would be called the Seven Day Tweekend and dates will be announced

soon.

Überzone teamed up with Helmet's Hamilton after both artists' mutual

publisher suggested the collaboration. Überzone was intrigued with the idea

of mixing his tongue-in-cheek bouncy dance music with hard and edgy rock.

The end results came in the form of "Frequency," one of the album's

strongest tracks.

"You really find out where your heart is when you hook two musicians up,"

Überzone said. "You almost transcend genre and all of the specifics that

maybe people think of music as having. You find out that all of those rules

are just imposed by humans. People that love music can write a song that

sounds like a jazz song one minute and can write something dark and hard the

next minute. We put these limitations on ourselves."

For his collaboration with Husik, Überzone invited her to sing a song he had

written called "Dreamtime." After her vocals were done, however, he realized

he didn't like his lyrics.

"She sang them beautifully, but I wasn't happy with my words," he said. "So

I tried to rewrite the song using the tonality of her voice, but not

acknowledging any of the lyrical content. I chopped it up so it is

gibberish. It was a personal victory for me."

The album's first single will be "Bounce," his collaboration with Davey

Dave. It will include remixes by Pilgrem, Max Graham and Überzone. The

producer said an EP of Faith in the Future remixes is likely to be

released later this year.

Überzone plans to play a few new tracks during his club shows, in which he

will begin DJing and gradually bring in elements from his live show. He will

be fully live when he takes the stage at Mekka, Creamfields and Seven

Day Tweekend.

"I am doing a transitional set from our DJ set into the live show, so we can

make sure everything kind of runs smoothly," he said. "We'll do some very

minimal visual programs and we'll do some of the sequences for the beginning

and end of the set."

Überzone's club dates, according to Astralwerks:

  • 6/16 - Seattle, WA @ Stadium Exhibition Center

  • 6/21 - Orlando, FL @ The Roxy

  • 6/22 - Boynton Beach, FL @ Orbit

  • 6/23 - Jacksonville, FL @ DV8

  • 6/30 - Dallas, TX @ Bronco Bowl

  • 8/17 - Denver, CO @ Rave on the Rocks