The Tuskegee mainstay delivers an Ibiza Voice podcast and stops off by the pool for chat.
Bas Ibellini takes it all in his stride. It’s three years since he debuted on Damian Lazarus’s Rebellion imprint and since then he’s also appeared on Seth Troxler’s Tuskegee twice. The Londoner is a part of the furniture in Troxler and The Martinez Brothers crew, rolling worldwide with the boys and seemingly a part of the furniture in DC10. As DJ careers go, he’s firmly in the dance music fast lane, but unlike a lot of up and coming DJs ceaselessly on the hustle, he’s not in a hurry. In person, he has a calm, humble presence and a wise head on young shoulders. Behind the decks, he is skilled in the art of maintaining fluid energy flow with house music and is a consummate collector who is seemingly permanently on the road.
Ibiza Voice: what’s new with you?
Bas Ibellini: I’ve been lucky to be playing abroad a lot and have really enjoyed travelling. Recently, Mexico and Colombia for Social Festival definitely stood out. I’ve been taking friends with me to explore new parts of the world, and it has really made me appreciate what I do.
On the production front, I’ve done a couple remixes, one for SET on my friend’s label Secret Music, and another a few weeks ago on 20/20. My schedule has meant I haven’t been in the studio much, but I’ve been making lots of edits to keep my sets fresh.
Where do you get your music from?
We’re lucky to have some amazing record stores in London. Phonica is my go-to for a full refresh and I’ve been going there since I was 15. Since moving to East London, I’ve had a few more options. Kristina and Cosmo Records are within walking distance and have a great variety of music allowing me to explore non-electronic genres. Online for vinyl it’s the usual suspects; Discogs, Deejay, Decks. For digital music I’m spending more time sharing tracks with friends and exploring online platforms like Bandcamp.
How much time are you spending digging a week?
I spend around 12 hours a week in record stores and online. I prefer the personal experience, going to a record store and having someone who knows what you’re about can make your life a lot easier. I do wish there were more stores for digging older electronic music like Spacehall in Berlin or A1 in NYC.
Tell us about your record collection?
I started collecting in 2002 with a few hand downs from family friends which got me familiar with 90s and early 2000s Hip Hop. 2005 was when I delved deeper into the electronic world, shopping regularly in Soho stores and being that kid who would ask DJ’s what tracks they were playing. Record labels like Minus and Cadenza influenced me around then, as well as more accessible labels such as Africanism and Defected’s earlier releases. I was generally buying anything that I enjoyed and that I knew could work in clubs. It’s satisfying to see how I’ve refined my purchases and am trying to be more mindful.
Time is precious for a DJ, what do you wish you had more time for?
Time management and balance are the key to having a successful career in anything. I wish I had more time in the studio. I was always warned that when you start touring it becomes very difficult. My goal for the Winter is to figure out a music making setup for the road. Luckily for me, I love what I do so, I don’t separate fun and work.
There's lots of talk about how tough it is to be an artist in London, but what's the most positive thing about London's music scene right now?
It’s the best city in the world. We have access to such a wide range of music across town. Venues like Fabric, Village Underground and The Lion and Lamb offer contrasting experiences and will always have inspiring bookings from a music lover’s point of view. The scene has always been consistent with an established underground scene, which doesn’t get affected by global trends.
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