This particular mix story starts with three well known words in the DJ vernacular… ‘Got any dubs?’
The response was overwhelming. Especially a certain folder sent to me by tshabee, a Hungarian artist who’s been neck deep in beats since the turn of the century and released on labels such as Demand Records, Babylon Records and Gamma Audio.
I’d linked with him on Instagram since playing a track of his on Vision Radio last summer, but did not expect the folder that came my way one otherwise unassuming Sunday evening. All dubs ranging from 120-140 BPM, with a few cheeky unofficial edits in for good measure, the tracks popped out with a resounding energy and vitality. Tribally, percussive, full of bass and ideas and samples firing off in all directions. It was exactly the sound I was looking for.
I followed it up with a few more recognisable words a DJ might hear… ‘Fancy doing a mix?’
The response was equally overwhelming. An hour comprised strictly of tshabee’s own creations, it flexes across the spectrum from house to drum & bass via all manner of beatsy designs from hip-hop to dubstep, all presented with his cosmic signature that’s heavily eastern influenced, percussive and not shy of an experimental twist or turn. I needed to find out more. Check the mix and get to know…
No no, I have no rat race job now. I quit three years ago to focus only on music. When I was working I had no creativity or fulfilment. When quit I started to make stock music selling its licences in stores – hoping a growing income from it. But it’s hard to be visible. Also Covid came and stopped that little growth I reached. Recently I spent more time with tshabee music and do some acting as an extra sometimes.
Have you been in anything interesting?
I’ve been in five or six productions so far. Something for Netflix, a BBC series, also this week I’m going to a casting for a series. It’s interesting from a certain aspect, on the other hand, basically my roles have been just a member of a crowd, so not that big deal.
Sounds better than a 9-5 though. Congrats on leaving the rat race.
Thank you. I needed to leave it. I was an anti-virus software supporter helping people on chat and email.
Every day the same…
That and other issues.
Ha! Thanks for the music, I have to say! Those 120-140 productions were exactly what I was looking for…
So you must like eastern influences, tribal sounds, electronic eclectic things and lots and lots of bass?
You got my number!
I sent them to labels but on two or three occasions I saw they only hit a play on Soundcloud and nothing more. Only Rob fom Houndstooth replied to me that he very liked my music, but for a while they planned with only inner artists. Much respect to him for answering, especially that he didn’t need the track that time.
Fair play. Too many demos, too many artists, not enough ears and definitely not enough time. It’s great to hear them on the mix, though. Among lots of IDs…
Lots of IDs! They’re only in a state for me to mix and need more work but I wanted to include them. I wanted to showcase the most current things I’m working on as well as older dubs I have.
So many flavours…
I don’t believe in limiting to one genre. Vibe matters much more than anything else. I love the world you can represent with your sound. Back in the day I used to love playing Lego. Not building from the instructions but building something new, mixing all the items and creating something new. Later I recognised that’s what I’m doing when I’m working with sounds and music. Every track is a new world. But don’t misunderstand that as a god mentality, it’s the love of building and creating.
I totally understand that. So take us back to the start of your musical journey…
I must mention that my father was a keyboardist in a band, they played on weddings, so I was introduced to keys at a very young age and I have always loved music. However, more seriously, it started in 2000 when I got my first computer because I applied to learn informatics in school. In a short time I got Fruity Loops 1.65. Very old version. I enjoyed playing with the sounds and exploring ideas.
What music were you hearing growing up?
Well I went to my first drum & bass party in autumn 2002. I was meant to meet a girl there, she didn’t come but I was there alone and I enjoyed the party. Dancing the night away. That was a big, big inspiration for me. Then after that I was trying to make drum & bass but I needed to learn a lot more. I also played guitar and wrote lyrics. Before electronic music I loved guitar music. Started with Led Zeppelin, then widened from punk to metal. But I’d say that after the D&B party I was hooked and explored it more and more going to parties. This was in Debrecen, which is the second largest city in Hungary on the very east of the country. We moved to Budapest 1-2 months just before Covid exploded.
When did you start DJing?
In 2011. A long time after I was producing. I got some very old CDJs and a Gemini 626 mixer and I played dubstepback in that time. Also we – Prodee and me – had a radio show called DEBstep on Sub.hu radio in Debrecen. Before that though I was doing lots of productions and entering lots of competitions. In 2004 I started entering remix contests. One with a radio station where the prize was to be on a various artists CD with all the remixes. I think there were 14 of us. I managed to get there and I applied for so many remix contests after. I won a Photek one and came runner up in a Black Sun Empire one. One was a producer contest organised by Gamma Audio. That was my first release on the stores, which was a big moment.
That was followed by some releases on Chi Recordings, right?
Yes I did a few remixes for them and did an EP for them. In that time I made 140 BPM music then I started to open up to 120-130 BPM bass music, also drum & bass again. It was all a bit tribal. Lots of bass but very organic. Music to get you on a trip. I love feeling the music in that type of mindset. You lie on the waves of the music and let yourself float away in soundwaves, like a big ocean.
This was a good time for me as I joined Babylon Records. They were very impressive and it was a big era for me. A friend of mine suggested to give my music to them and I had a number of releases. They invited me to their showcase parties in Budapest and Pécs. I really enjoyed them and enjoyed that there were people who appreciate my sound. It is good for me when someone likes what I do.
It’s a confidence boost isn’t it?
For me music is to hide from the world and make my own world and take refuge. When people share my pleasure it’s very encouraging.
Yes! So then the most recent release was on Demand Records, right? I love the title Laziness Of A Perfectionist.
Yes, I am a perfectionist. I don’t know if it’s a blessing or a cursing but due to this situation I only want to make everything perfect because I’m afraid of causing disappointment. Because when I do, my energy goes down. At the same time I know nothing is perfect, so it’s tough. But Demand came about through a remix competition of BTK’s 40 Channels Of Funk.
Vinicius didn’t expect the sound I sent him, but he told me it’s so creative that it wsa important to be released, so he expanded the originally planned four places on the release to five. It was a huge appreciation for me. This was the track that Carlos, the Demand label boss heard and contacted me whether I had something unreleased.
I was very happy that he also appreciated my sound. He signed two tracks, one was five or six years old and one will be 10 years old this year. Also I made two brand new tracks beside them. Turning back to the laziness thing, it was kind of a motto making myself not to overthink it. Just listen to the last track till the end and find out whether it succeeded…
Hold up, so one of those tunes was six years old? Completely as you’d produced it back then or updated?
The older ones were polished just a bit in the mixing to sound better but the original arrangement and sounds were the same. That track was Present From You, which you played on Vision Radio. It was so great and strange to hear on the show. I will not forget that moment.
Oh that’s awesome. So wrapping up, you’ve launched your own label haven’t you?
Yes, just for my own things sometimes. It is Invisible Corner, which relates to my refuge that no one sees. It’s something I can put music on when I like.
Like those IDs and the music on the mix!
Well maybe I will release three tracks and a few of the IDs. But I don’t want to tempt fate or say any sure thing just in case things change. Of course I would like to release many things in the future, but like I said, I’m a perfectionist so you may have to wait. I hope you enjoy the mix.
1 More Mix 005: tshabee
tshabee – ID tshabee – High Voltage (dub) tshabee feat. Missy Elliott – I’m Really Hot (free) tshabee – ID tshabee – Feel Like Me (dub) tshabee – ID tshabee – Rota Killer (dub) tshabee – Secret (feat. Yakubu) (dub) tshabee – Mary Guinea (Babylon Records) tshabee – Spell (140 Budapest) tshabee – Apache (dub) tshabee – ID tshabee – Sub Night (Babylon Records) tshabee – Statue (dub) tshabee – Punishment (Babylon Records) tshabee – ID tshabee – S.L.I.M. (Demand Records) tshabee – Calling the Storm (forthcoming on Inception:Audio) tshabee – Maybe It Was Real (Demand Records) tshabee – Rising Sun (Invisible Corner) tshabee – City Lights (dub) tshabee feat. 2hzkzt – Kihűlt Forróság (Sub.hu Radio)
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