ill.Gates, Stephan Jacobs, and Jay Fay Interviews – West Coast Church of Bass

Pledge your allegiance to sound with the Church of Bass. Master of design ill.Gates has set out to span North America unveiling his newest project, the Church of Bass Tour. Starting on the West Coast and ending on the East, the tour will continue through mid December. Chosen to make the rounds alongside ill.Gates was Stephan Jacobs out of Los Angeles and Jay Fay of St Louis. Each of these artists embodies a unique avenue within the electronic music scene, from electro-house to moonbahton, dub-step, IDM and glitch. Monstrous bass is the unifying element, and an emphasis has been put on this aspect of production with the help and partnership of PK Sound. PK Sound is set to bring forth additional subwoofers to each show, literally doubling the bass. In synthesis with the tour, an alliance has also been formed with Fusion Visuals and Aeon Child, who have worked closely with production to bring the shows a cutting edge sensory experience. All the low end sounds and wild visuals make for a truly mind altering experience.

On their second west coast stop, the crew was at downtown San Diego’s Stingaree nightclub for Halloween night. Here I had the opportunity to sit down with each artist individually. On the second level of this grand three-story club was the merch booth featuring the ill. Gates exclusive Church of Bass USB sticks. The USB’s come in two different versions, one containing 5GBs of 13 different releases, the entire ill.Gates discography, and the other consisting of the complete ill.Gates Ableton Live templates suite. This includes all the ill.Methodology studio templates, DJ templates, and even a book he wrote on producing music. These drives are momentarily only available on the tour but will be available on the merch section of the ill.Gates website sometime in 2013. All the content in itself is currently downloadable at the ill.Gates site as well.

“I decided that selling CDs was just going to be impractical… A. because nobody wants CDs anymore, B. because their plastic, toxic and create lots of garbage, and C, because you know, people who buy your music could pirate it if they wanted to, they are buying it because they support you and they wanna have some cool physical thing. So I was thinking about what I could do to make my data cool, physical and useful beyond merely being files. So I had the idea to make these ill.Gates USB sticks. They’re wood with leather straps, you can’t loose the cap cause its physically attached.”

ill. Gates is a legitimately certified reverend and claims music as his religion. One of the intentions for the tour is to gather signatures from people that are in advocacy for also listing music as their official religion. After the tour he will be filing the paperwork to register his events as official “church events”. This will  lead to more rights, protection and less restrictions put on his shows and events. Even with a good excuse to miss your city’s show, you can still join the cause by adding your name, here, at the official Church of Bass website. After opening his set with this disclaimer, the lights dimmed and the intensity built up to the drop of his new “Ransom Rap” song, “I’m EEL”. “Im EEL” is an introduction to his spawn of rap music, defined by cutting up every syllable to a vocal track and sampling every different piece, mixed with the voices of others.

The visualizers were a focal point of his show. ill.Gates and his team were able to figure out a way he could DJ his tracks live as well as control his own visual content without the use of triggers, allowing room for improvisation within his audio and visual sets. With support from Aeon Child and Fusion Visuals, the technical obstacles that once restricted this were overcome. Taking this further, they went on to create a 3D mapped stage where each geometric pane of the stage could be sequenced.

“To be able to do this live and to be able to do it practically you would need to have two computers. One connected to the video system and one connected to the audio, because it is just to much to process that in a live context for any computer. When you play a DVD in your house, the audio and video stay the same because its one device… So really, that has caused most people who do try and do this, to do whats called a “push play set” in the industry… Because you have a set timeline, so that all of the queues stay in sync. So it’s like hitting “play” on a DVD… Which means when you’re playing live you can’t change the order of the tracks that you play, and basically you’re just kind of decorating this timeline. I didn’t wanna do that… So I worked really hard to find a way that I could do that only for the central video elements, but be able to play my rap videos I made for some of my rap songs, and other video content, over it while having it be totally in sync…Once we figured that out, we were like okay, well let’s built a stage and let’s really take it to the next level… I hooked up with Teva from Fusion Visuals, as well as Aeon Child… They jam on the stage with their content and what they created and I jam on the main screens with my content that I created. So we create a collaboration on this video environment.”

2012 has been an exciting and climactic year for turning visions into tangible reality for artist Stephan Jacobs. He has been connecting and collaborating with a number of other artists, like NiT GRiT, who together form Pizza Party. As well as beginning to implement a live vocalists such as Delevo, into his live sets. His focus and dedication has been paying off with multiple tours, a new album, and the launching of his label Bass Cartel.Through his natural mystique, Jacobs displays an aptitude for performance and takes you on a journey by weaving melodic, dream like elements with dark and heavy, glitched out bass sequences. My favorite moment was in set closing when he mixed in my favorite Gui Boratto track, “No Turning Back”. I met up with Stephan after the show to ask him about his label, whats next and pry at his broader visions.

What is your plan for Bass Cartel? Have you signed any artists?

“We’re actually working more on Bass Cartel right now, we thought launching my album would be a good way to start it. I have releases that are sent to me but we are really focused on the backend work at the moment… We’re in development of the new website, my team (Curtis, Matt and Terrance) are working really diligently with me on the label side and online branding… We put out merch on my website and are getting the trademark for it… My roommate and I are working more on the event side of everything. I just want to release music from the artists and ideally have them come to play the Bass Cartel shows Im going to be throwing in LA.”

Is bass music the focus? Or are you open to a variety of genres?

“Good bass music, yes! Stuff that is really capturing… But totally, I mean if I like it, and we all like it, it would be considered.”

Whats in the near future?

“I have a new video for ‘Tap my Shoulder’ with Delevo that should be coming out in a week or two… A release coming out I did with Metaphase that I believe is coming out through Rotten Records around January, Excision‘s label… I am producing a beat for Sergio Flores, the sexy sax man. I’m actually really excited about this. He’s a really good singer, instrumentalist and melody maker…

I also am going to be incorporating a lot more live aspects next year, like drumming… I’d like to do some cool synced up stuff like ill.Gates is doing too… Curtis designed my logo and is putting it into cinema 4D and making some custom pieces. We are slowly collecting original footage to have a full set of solid stuff.”

Favorite/least favorite aspects of being on the road?

“Its definitely a double edge sword… When Im at home, I like my home routine too, its comfy its chill. I like to try to live a life, and work on music at the same time… My favorite aspects is that you kind of get in to a routine, you have fun. Making friends and playing shows. Which in many ways is the reward to making music, being able to perform… But personally when I see other DJs on stage, I don’t see myself as that guy standing up there… I am starting to…”

What separates you from that image?

“I dunno its wierd, I was just realizing this recently. Im just going up there and playing my music, thats it, you know? And people go off, its crazy. My creations are like an extension to my personality… its trippy. Its me. I notice it now that I have my style pretty dialed in.”

Top 3 artists you’d like to work with??

“Pretty Lights, that would be one of the top. But he doesnt really collab but I would love to sit in the studio with him and learn, he’s one of my favorites… Vocalist wise… Maybe some old legends or something, Snoop Dogg… Not just on the electronic end, I’d just like to see where I can take it.”


Killin it on the electro, moombahton, and trap style tip is Producer and DJ JayFay. Hearing how young he is, I was intrigued and eager to talk to him to find out more on his story. Jay Fay, being 19, is fairly green to the game, but you’d never know it from his sound. He acts out of obvious maturity, portraying a keen professional sense in conversation as he represents a new generation of producers.  He’s got big goals and taking control of life, with his age and talent he holds endless growth potential. We cant wait to hear what will come out of the studio from Jay Fay going into 2013.

“This is my second time out on the West Coast, ever… I really like California, so I’m really excited to be on the West Coast… I did a couple of off dates over the summer but this is my first time being on an extended tour for a long time and it just started. I never traveled as a kid, so going to all these places I have never seen is really exciting… especially meeting all these new people… I’ve known Dillion for a little bit and we share the same manager so this tour just kind of worked out.

I have always loved music – before I started producing and everything, I played drums for 10 years… I was doing mash up music early high school, me and my friends would always have like these basement shows and parties in our house… So electronic music has always been really appealing to me and music has always been something Iv wanted to do. Once I discovered DJing I realized where I wanted to focus that, my absolute love for music in general is what really drives me. And then in 2010 I saw Major Lazor at Pitchfork Music Festival… That was really the defining moment when I was like okay,  ‘I want to DJ, I want to produce’ and started really taking it seriously… After this tour I’m gonna start working on a lot of new matieral, EPs, and doing more touring for sure and just keep going forward and getting my name out there.”

Free D/L Official Church of Bass EP

Upcoming cities:

Nov 28 – Lawrence, KS – The Granada Theatre

Nov 29 – St. Louis, MO – 2720 Cherokee

Nov 30 – Chicago, IL – The Bottom Lounge

Dec 1 – Madison, WI – Segredo

Dec 2 – Ann Arbor, MI – Bling Pig

Dec 4 – Charleston, SC – The Music Farm

Dec 5 – Greensboro, NC – Greene Street Music Hall

Dec 6 – West Springfield, VA – Empire

Dec 7 – Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Soundstage

Dec 8 – Richmond, VA – Kingdom

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