Bass Kleph is a year-round touring DJ and an electro/house musician with a slew of Beatport chart-topping singles to his name. Nevertheless, his passion for new and exciting music hasn’t dwindled, AUGUSTUS WELBY reports.
There’s any number of all things that might encourage people to have a crack at the music industry, from parties to self-expression, but perhaps the most common catalyst is a desire to imitate the music one finds so enthralling. This is what sucked Stu Tyson, AKA Bass Kleph, into the world of electronics back in 2000 – and the Sydney-born, LA-based DJ and producer hasn’t considered another vocation since.
“Because I was obsessed with the music, I wanted to learn how to write it,” Tyson says. “Then DJing came about because I wanted people to hear this music that I was obsessed with. I was, like, 16 and I’d just play at everybody’s house party I could for free.”
Alongside his success onstage and in the studio, Tyson presents the monthly online radio broadcast Klephtomania and is the founder and head of Vacation Records. “The radio show stuff came about, again, because I wanted more people to hear [the music I love],” he says. “It’s another way to play to people when you’re not in a nightclub. [It’s] a different format where you’re not thinking about the dancefloor, you’re playing the tracks you like.
“The label came about because I was with another label and there were some problems. At one point I was stuck in a contract exclusively and they weren’t releasing my music because they didn’t have their shit together. My friends had similar problems too and I was like, ‘This way all of us can be sorted and we can get our tracks out,’ and you know, ‘Here’s a song I’ve written – now it’s available.’ It should be that simple.”
With all of these responsibilities to take care of, Tyson’s surely at risk of overworking himself. Conversely, he explains that the separate pursuits exist in mutually contributive accord.
“For me to scour music for my radio show, through promos and through buying tracks, that sets me up with my favourite songs for the next month that I’m going to be DJing. It’s also going to inspire me for what I’m going to be working on writing and it’s going to inspire me for what I’m going to be looking for to sign to the label. Everything crosses over.”
Bass Kleph has been based out of LA for the last two-and-a-half years. A major boost came late last year from a US tour supporting Wolfgang Gartner and countryman Tommy Trash. As well as being Tyson’s good mates, Gartner and Trash are both past collaborators and on the Vacation roster. While he’s not tempted to mimic passing fads, Tyson admits the work of his talented associates is a big motivator.
“They’d play me something they’re doing and I’d just be like, ‘That’s awesome! I’ve got to work harder.’ Me and Tommy used to live together for a year and a half when we were both in Sydney and that would happen all the time. We’d always be playing each other stuff we were working on and be like, ‘You just gave me so many ideas for something, I’m going to go and write a couple of tracks now.’”