Ill Gates is getting some help from Masia One.
ILL GATES with STARKEY, BOMBAMAN, SEKONE, JAWBONE and SIDENOTE at Augusta House (152 Augusta), Saturday (December 6). $12. sensoria.me.
Local DJ/producer Ill Gates made a name for himself in the breaks scene as the Phat Conductor, but things really took off when he created his more offbeat and quirky Ill Gates persona.
"As Phat Conductor, I basically got signed on the second tune I'd ever made," he says. "The label wanted me to keep doing UK party breaks, and as a young producer I was stoked to be putting stuff out, so that kind of moulded my style. I was more interested in doing b-boy hip-hop breaks, but they said no one would buy those records.
"It's strange. I was listening to all these people in the music industry telling me that it had to be one way, but as soon as I started to do it my own way and developing my own voice, all the doors started opening."
As Ill Gates, he's dropped the tempo, embraced those wobbly chest-crushing dubstep bass lines, piled on the glitchy stutters and effects and started to work with hip-hop MCs to come up with something much more contemporary and unique.
He did add MCs until he recorded Autopirate, his debut album as Ill Gates, which features vocals on only one song. But the current live show and upcoming releases have moved wholeheartedly in that direction, with well-loved local MC Masia One coming on board.
"I called her up while she was on tour in Asia with the Roots. I sent her the MP3 and she liked it, so she found a studio in Kuala Lumpur with some tech who didn't even speak English, and three days later I had the finished vocals. We've been working together ever since."
Ill Gates talks about music he did for an upcoming Frank Gerry DVD