Friday, April 23, 2010

Basement Freaks Interview & Exclusive Track!

George Fotiadis AKA Basement Freaks has gone from strength to strength in the last few years and is now at the top of his game.  With the launch of his new label - Bombastic Jam - he prepares to take the scene by storm.  He talks candidly to in our first ever exclusive interview and offers a special little treat for our members...

Why did you launch the new Bombastic Jam label?

I’ve started the label because I'd like to release all of my tracks.  There are many tunes which I couldn’t find deals for a vinyl release and they would have gone to waste without Bombastic Jam.
It's hard times for vinyl and there's the Serato revolution!  I truly believe my label has a lot to give to the Nu Funk scene.  I owe a special thanks to Goodgroove Records, they have created a large family of great breakbeat producers that I'm happy to work with on Bombastic Jam.

Tell us about how you got into music and the Nu Funk scene?

I started messing around with music in 1993, playing in an indie rock band for four years and finally set up a home studio in my basement in 2000.  The first 5 years I was experimenting and learning about music production, which led to the birth of the Basement Freaks project back in 2005.  I was amazed what I could record with my guitar, amp and bass - I used samplers at the same time as a platform.  I played blues guitar, funky bass and produced beats and in 2009 started making band-style songs again.  I released an album with a side project with Quasamodo called Smokey Bandits on Klik Records - the best indie label in Greece.  It's a unique blend of mexican-balkan-latin music with jazz-funk influences and fat beats!  It's the biggest music project I've ever done.  I've been working on it for three years with 20 musicians.  It's dedicated to the memory of my father.

What are your biggest influences when it comes to making music?

All retro boogie!

Who should we be keeping an eye on in the Nu Funk scene this year?

DJ Wood

Who is your favourite Nu Funk DJ?

DJ A.Skillz

What is your proudest achievement in life?

What I do. I've chosen not to work a regular job.  It's hard, but gives me the freedom to do what I want in life.

Why do you think the Nu Funk scene is not as recognised as it deserves to be?

Easy - I blame people.  They should stop listening to commercial music and be more eclectic, but even more than this - the artists involved in producing this kind of music, too.

Funky music is for cool people, but when you step into a club there are not many. They'll always be a request for Lady Gaga or whatever.  You end up playing mash-up hits to please the crowd.  You sneak back to the real funk only for people to remember the Michael Jackson track and not your own funky mix! Yes, the promoter is happy because his party runs well and you say to yourself “what should I do? I couldn't leave without rocking the party!" I love Nu Funk and would play it all night, but have to make a living!

There's a lot of mash-up tracks out there, made mostly from starter producers that have a lot of funky elements, but that's not nu funk.  On most you'll hear an instrumental track patched with an acapella.  For me, what represents the true scene is original tracks with great use of samples such as you'll find on Bombstrikes, Goodgroove and Jalapeno Records.

I admire bands like Smoove & Turrell because they have produced the most fresh Nu Funk sound without using any samples.  The Nu Funk scene in Canada and Australia are great and growing, but I still believe the UK is the king of the beats! 

Nu Funk should be about funk music and not from turntablism.  For me, this effect on Nu Funk is a pain in the ass, especially when 18 years old boys swagger over to the DJ  booth and ask why I don't play records or use Serato, or shout: "Why don't you scratch?".  Yet the club is on fire and the crowd are rocking.  It's not because I can't scratch, I was never interested in doing it myself. I like it, but it's not the absolute thing for my music.  People should go to a Nu Funk party to hear and dance to the music, not to see a DJ  scratching his records.  That said, of course there are a few DJs that use these skills in a good way in a Nu Funk set and they are the best around, but it's not a tip that everybody has to follow.

And the Nu Funk scene in Greece?  Do the Greeks dig Nu Funk?

Most of them still don’t, but a lot of good funky producers have come from Greece in recent years.  Maybe in the future we‘ll be able to say for the first time that there is a kind of underground music scene coming outta Greece!

What do you think about the launch of   

Love the idea to spread the Nu Funk word!  Seriously - this is the first time I have said so much in an interview. I find the whole venture special.

Can you reveal a killer production tip for our members?

Oops - I've learnt music production by myself, but I'm not a good teacher.

OK, here's a tip:

The frequencies that can't be produced by real instruments can be produced by synthesizers and effect processors.  Frequencies like extra lows or highs!

For example, adding a synthetic bass line, which plays the same riff as the bass guitar, but subtly turns funk to Nu Funk and of course then the sound is able to stand up in a club.  The same thing can be done by adding a hi-hat on an old drum loop or snare to get more punch from the loop without missing the old recording feeling!  In conclusion, you can use sounds to add frequencies on a production - not only as notes.

Any exclusive info on upper coming Freaks releases?

I’m recording new tracks at the moment for my forthcoming album on Jalapeno Records, working with George Perin (vocalist of Something Freaky), Jasmin Stocker (vocalist - Disco Life) and MC Coppa - for some hot dancefloor funky bombs.

I also have an upper coming release on Bombastic Jam called Basement Freaks EP - Beat Dilla
featuring four down tempo funky joints I did last summer in Greece while working with my friends and musicians -  John Marinos (Trombone), George Bogkias (Trumpet), Jasmin Stocker (Vocals), Jazzy Jap: (Flute) & Petar Savic (Jazz Guitar).

Tell us about the free joint you've kindly offered up and produced especially for members to download?

Surprise!  It's called And That's NuFunk.  I've used James Brown's Funky Drummer beat  and a Bootsie Collins bass guitar loop.  It's a bridge between the two biggest funky schools blended with my own electronic bass line to make it sound fresh.  I think it's a cool example and I've put it up on Soundcloud as a tribute to and to let people now about your fantastic new community.  I hope your members enjoy it.

Download the exclusive Basement Freaks production for here and join our community via the Forum to ensure you stay in touch with the Nu Funk scene and get to hear about our future free downloads and wealth of exclusive material.

  Basement Freaks- And Thats NuFunk by Basement Freaks


  1. good interview, a little bit sad when it comes to parties and people knowledge but true!

  2. all my best follow the best or die with rest tony brush aka dancephoria