#LabLife

Member Spotlight: Kid Blast Sound System

Kid Blast Sound System is a music project that combines old-school “Dub & Bass” with storytelling visuals.
Influenced by some of the big names in the genre, Kid Blast is creating a unique experience that takes people on a journey. Their music does what music is supposed to do: take you out of your thoughts, take you out of your troubles and does it in a more exaggerated way. When you hear a big reverb splash you know you’re on a ride somewhere. You know you’re in a different environment, in a different dimension!

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Can you tell me a
little about your background?

My name is Steven Mathieu. I am a bassist and electronic musician. I perform as the Kid Blast Sound System.
I had always wanted to do dub mixing in a live environment. So I started to go down that road and what I wanted to do was to try and emulate my heroes in dub: King Tubby, Adrian Sherwood and Mad Professor. What I started doing was listening all over with a different ear to try to figure out how they were getting the sounds they were getting. 
Susan is a visual IPad Artist and recently we decided we’re going to collaborate and add visuals to the show.

 

What is your genre?

I call it Dub & Bass, what I do is heavily influenced by music called Dub and it’s also a little DubSteppy at times- it can be a little psychedelic! And when you add it to what Susan is doing it becomes an immersive environment. 

When you practice it’s really the set-up. It’s not instinctual or intellectual. There’s a set-up, so it’s technical. And then my talent is what makes that happen. It’s not intellectual; it’s more emotional. You know, another thing I like about dub is— I’m a bassist and I love heavy bass! I love a deep groove and dub has a deep groove. So there’s a physical side to it. There’s an emotional side to it. The intellectual part I guess comes before when you’re setting up the possibilities.

I was just talking about adding some hip-hop vibe or house vibes. It’s not because I’m trying to get gigs, it’s because if people want to hear that I can make them happy.  Everything I do artistically is because I want to do it and I want to make people happy. I really don’t do anything because I think it will be financially expedient. I’ve done that already in my career. I just want to create now.

What is Dub?

Dub is basically studio manipulations of reggae recordings- or that’s what it was! It’s gone on to mean other things now. It comes from Jamaica. A producer in Jamaica would record tracks for a song, and in order to stretch out the product, he would do remixes of those tracks and bring them in and out with delay, echo, and phaser. There’s a language of dub now: the tape echo, the spring reverb, and the phaser, particularly the Mutron Bi-Phase. That’s what King Tubby, Prince Jammy, and Mad Professor used. It’s a lineage; they all use the same tools.

When I perform, anything goes. Another thing about this kind of set-up is that you never do it the same way twice. In any given moment I have many different directions I can go in. And then depending on what I choose the piece is going to sound different. And it’s going to go a different way the next time I do it.

What do use for music production?

Nobody was really using Ableton Live when we were doing music under “Law Of Accident” years ago. Now everyone is using Ableton Live. So first I looked around to find out what I wanted to use, and just by looking on YouTube and all the different media, I realized everyone was using Ableton Live and so I started using it.

Do you have any upcoming events in Miami? 

We have done some events in Miami, now we’re working on the integration and then we are going do some stuff. I would be interested to see what’s going on around here, trying to get a little bit out of the club environment.
I’m looking more for galleries, performance arts, and spoken word artists. In March we will put something together (More info to come).

Why did you choose the LAB Miami?

The LAB is an ideal space for our music project. It’s in the heart of Wynwood, it has a unique entrepreneurial creative environment, and the networking opportunities are endless. We look forward to host an event and get to know the other LAB members.

 

An excerpt of Kid Blast’s music:

Interviewed by: Mohammad Ali Mazloum