Wednesday, 16 February 2011


The second in the 'In Leeds We Trust' series sees Uncle Albert chat to Pasteman, an eclectic bass-selector and producer from Peterborough who has established himself as one of Leeds' biggest underground deejays over the last three years. Growing up surrounded by records and influenced by everything from Soul to Grime, before long Pasteman was at University carving out a considerable reputation. Now with a 'Bigger than Barry' residency and a slot on 'Get Darker' under his belt, Pasteman's ready to break the mould and establish himself on a national scale:


"My dad worked in radio and he was a deejay so I was always surrounded by music - I grew up around a massive collection of records! From there, as I got older, I started to collect the stuff my dad listened to - 60's Soul and Blues mainly but I got into Rock Steady and more generally, Reggae too. I ended up going to University in Leeds with quite a big, rare collection of records and it wasn't long before I discovered Dub and the sounds of the time. I actually remember coming home and speaking to people about what I'd been listening to in Leeds and people just couldn't fathom it! I started deejaying when I was about 13 and played my first rave when I was 15 I think - back then I was playing proper German Techno! Having said that, it was around that time that I got really into Grime - I actually released a 'Peterborough' Mixtape with local emcees on a few tracks when I was about 16! It's odd how that sounds almost become 'cool' now - I used to lock in when Grime was first starting to come together and I actually didn't even understand what it was at first. I've always loved to push the 'underdog' sound though, a sound less recognised by the those at the top. As a producer, it's also interesting to see how influences are changing too - I always sought out Soul samples when I was looking to make a tune but now everyone seems to be using RnB samples. There's no music I don't like though - I can always relate to something I'm listening to."

"I moved into halls with a guy called Tom ('Peeper') and he really wanted to learn how to deejay. He had some bait decks and wanted advice on what to get so I went with him to buy his first pair of Technics and from there we just got into it. We ended up buying speakers, subs, everything - it wasn't long before we had a full-on rave system ready! We decided to call the system 'Cut and Paste' and from there we were always looking to improve - we spent days on Ebay and Gumtree buying old rickety subs and whacked out speakers and eventually it started to pay off.We started to get lots of system rentals and like eventually, we were having 3-4 seperate bookings for house parties a week - we developed a reputation for having the best house party system in the area! With that reputation intact, we started to run 'Cut and Paste' nights at 'Wire' with the idea of doing something different - we essentially wanted to bring the house party to the club. We managed to bring guys like Chimpo, Marchmellow and Mensah to Leeds for the first time and I guess push artists that we felt weren't getting the recognition they deserved at the time. After the 'Cut and Paste' nights, me and 'Phat Pat' managed to get the 'Bigger than Barry' residency at Mint Club and from there the whole thing blew. We were playing with massive deejays every week for almost a year. 
As a producer, it didn't really kick off properly until I was in second year when I blew my student loan on an IMac. I started writing music again almost straight away and fell back into it seamlessly really. I tend to write a lot of vocal stuff because I like music to have a soul to it and to be contextualized in different environments, although I do write the odd instrumental track. I've managed to get a bit of airplay on 1Xtra and had interest from a few labels (a lot of 'EP' requests) but I've ignored it because the material they want to sign isn't reflective of what I'm really trying to do now. I've just finished a tune with 'Wachs Lyrical' and I'm now represented by an agent so things are looking up. I guess what I want to do now is break away from Leeds and re-establish myself as someone who's evolved from what i used to be.
I also managed to get a slot on 'Get Darker'  in November alongside Kromestar, Dark Tantrums and ICU Audio which was a really big look. I managed to speak to Cyrus about it after I played 'Outlook' last summer and it came off. It was just such a good opportunity to show what I could do - i think I played almost 60 tunes in that set! It was indicative of what I've been trying to do though - i want to push myself as much as I possibly can."

Pasteman on 'Get Darker' (First Set)


"I think one thing cemented in a lot of deejays is the idea of slow start - steady build up - crescendo that results in dropping your biggest tune. It's either that or a mashup of 15 genres in one set! For me, it's all about selecting a cohesive body of music that fits together according to the vibe of the individual tunes, not the tempo. I guess I like surprising people by bringing in things they wouldn't expect to hear - I find tunes you wouldn't even think of mixing and cut them! Like, for example, I could throw some old school vocal over 'Woo Riddim' and people will be asking 'Is this a bootleg?!' It's about trying to bend the rules of music and teasing the crowd if you can. I guess I want to be able to play one really big, heavy tune and then follow that up by cutting down to a more mellow Todd Edwards-style beat but somehow keep the vibe the same. People these days seem to be focusing on blending classic and new though which is good to see - i saw Oneman a few weeks back and he mixed 'Ghetto Kyote' with Redlight's 'What You Talkin' About?' - it was sick! I tip my hat to that to be honest - music's relative but i just want to keep it sounding fresh and different!"


"I'm looking to move to London to purse things a bit differently to be honest - I just feel that I need to do it in order to really give it a go. As for the music I'm writing at the moment, I can't really describe it! I'm going in with 134 BPM stuff which sounds a bit 'Night Slugs' but with my own twist. I'm putting out a free album in a couple of weeks too - it's basically gonna be a collecton of my old work, to draw a line under it really; I almost want to bury that era to make way for all my new stuff! It'd be good to get support from a label that's releasing music I respect too and that's something I'm gonna be actively pursuing. At the end of the day though, the dream is to earn recognition as a producer for making and supporting a new and different sound - I just want to be comfortable making the music I want to make."


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