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
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
"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
"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