Today, The Dankles is proud to present to you our interview with the Denver based Basscrooks. In 2010, DJ Wushu and DJ Empir3 joined forces to create BASSCROOKS, a powerful electronic duo that is fusing its roots in hip hop, house music and turntablism with some heavy electronic flavor. Their debut EP Thick as Thieves is a three song compilation of heavy bass-driven melodies and spacey synths available via Bandcamp for free, so fancy yourself a listen as we delve into the minds of these talented dj/producers!
The Dankles: Hey Guys! Thanks for giving us some time to get to know Basscrooks! Lets start with the basics and get your names, ages, and current living situations.
Akbar Mohabbat: Single bachelor, sweet house in West Washington Park. Age? Old enough to drink.
Elliot Oveson: Fuck man, I don’t feel 30, but it sounds old when you say it. I live in Park Hill in Denver. I’ve lived here for 5 years after moving from Cali.
D: What would you say are some of your earliest musical influences?
EO: Beastie Boys, Bob Marley, DJ Dan, Diesel Boy, and Bad Boy Bill. Those are just the first ones that pop in my head.
AM: For me, I would definitely have to say Prodigy’s “Fat of the Land” was one of the first albums I would listen to through and through. I would be doing homework and find myself listening to it on repeat. Also in those days, I was huge into Korn. And this might sound like a bandwagon jump-on, but truly Daft Punk. Lastly, I-Cue and AK1200 were key in my introduction to bass music.
D: When did you decide to go from listener’s side to DJ/producer’s side?
EO: When I was 16 I had an older friend who was sick at DJing. I used to kick it with him and over time I learned how to use turntables with his guidance. I got my first pair of Technics when I was 19 and that marked the beginning of my DJing career. It seems like I’ve been into DJing as long as I’ve been listening to music. I know that’s not true, but it feels it. After a while I started recording mash-ups to use in my sets, which progressed into production. I’ve been focusing full-time on this production for the past 4 years or so.
AM: After seeing the Moonshine “Over America” tour in 2003 (I think), I purchased my first belt-driven Numark Tyco “turntable set”. Sadly at that time, since those were my hazy partying years, I wasn’t as passionate about DJing as I was about “raving”. About 3 years later, I bought a set of Technics and decided to stick with it this time! I was practicing in my parents’ basement for years. DJing became a profession for me one night when I was walking down Washington Ave. in St. Louis when a club owner saw me walking and asked on the spot if I could spin that night (about 20 minutes later) since his resident DJ had bailed. That started my days as “DJ Empir3” playing open format in bottle-service clubs. It took me about 3 or 4 years of playing repetitive radio music to make me realize I need to go back to my more-artistic underground roots. That’s when I fell back in love with electronic music and have been focusing my time on producing fresh music since.
D: What is your favorite thing about turntablism?
EO: I like the fact that someone who knows how to scratch and/or juggle can make any DJ set 10x better. It’s always a nice touch when venues allow us to use turntables. I think it makes our set better; that’s just my opinion.
AM: That’s Elliot’s department. He’s more of a turntable-ist than I am.
D: When you guys are performing live, what equipment set-up do you guys prefer?
AM+EO: Ideally, 2 CDJ 2000s, a Pioneer Nexus 900, a Rane SL4 box, 1 Rane 62 and 1 Technic 1200.
D: Everyone’s got their own way to get into “show-mode”; do you guys have any special pre-show rituals?
AM: Those #3OhTrees.
EO: A weed-nap.
D: What would you say is your favorite/best moment from performing?
EO: I have a feeling it’s gonna be this Saturday [at Life in Color]…
AM: I agree. But, the last two Dayglows we played with Nervo and Swanky Tunes were amazing! They were cloud 9 shit!
D: What was the process like creating the Thick as Thieves EP?
AM+EO: We spent about a month on those 3 songs. It was a lot of tedious work to make sure everything sounded authentic and the way we wanted. Overall it went pretty smooth and it gave us a good solid foundation for the new stuff we’re working on now for our next EP.
D: What can we expect from Life in Color with Borgore and Seven Lions?
AM+EO: LIC’s live show this year is beyond amazing. To go with their scenic production, we look forward to playing some melodic drum-step, main-room trap, and a couple of our new remixes. It’ll be a great marriage.
D: If you could collaborate with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
AM: I don’t know man… that’s a pretty deep question. That’s like someone willing to grant my one and only wish. I would honestly say Afrika Bambaataa.
D: Anything planned as far as releases, shows, etc?
AM+EO: Oh yeah… We have about 3 or 4 songs in the vault that are almost complete for our next EP. Should be coming out late March, stay tuned! Aside from that, we have a brand new mixtape on our SoundCloud page (Meet Me In The Trap Vol. 2). We’re playing with Seven Lions again on 2/23, as well as jumping on a few Connectorville “Road to 420” dates—the Denver stop at Cervantes’ on 4/10 and St. Louis on 4/20 at The Skatium—and a Wisconsin music festival this Summer! Looking forward to meeting you guys in the crowd!