This Is How We Never Die is the refreshingly on-point third instalment from prestigious Sydney producer Chasm. Joined by local and international artists; Chasm approaches beats like a learned artist with a brush, building on classic principles to create evolutionary new music.
aahh: This Is How We Never is the title to this absolute masterpiece of a production album. Explain to us the concept behind the title of the LP and what the you wanted to accomplish with this album?
Chasm: The title is taken from a Currensy line I heard on one of his latest tapes, ‘Real music lasts forever, this is how we never die’. I just really like the phrase and I have always loved that idea with music, that it’s a legacy, something you can leave behind when your gone and people can hear it twenty, fifty years later and still feel it. With this album, I was just making music that I was feeling, I was just interested in working with MC’s that I loved and respected and making good soul music, that’s it.
aahh: When did you begin developing the concept to this album and how long did it take you to complete from start to finish?
Chasm: I sat down with my manager and kinda said ok let’s do this now, maybe eight months ago, something like that. Before that I just had a verse done here, a verse done there and had a bunch of beats I knew I wanted to use. But I was busy with other projects so it was just a matter of organising a timeline and making the whole thing happen, but once it got underway it came together quite quickly really. For this album I used the MPC 5000, Logic, Maschine, records, a bunch of soft synths and a Moog Source. That was the artillery.
aahh: The emcee’s featured on This Is How We Never Die reads out like a who’s who of hip hop. We’d like to ask you about all the artists involved, but can you just give us a little background on a few of your favourites and how the relationships came about.
Chasm: I had a great session with Guilty Simpson and Phat Kat when they were in town, such humble good dudes and we had a dope studio session. Both were inspiring to be in the lab with. Also to collaborate with Lazy Grey, Delta and Brad Strut was for me a huge thing. All legends of the scene and crazy talents so to have them bless my joints was killer. Gappy Ranks was another highlight, he came down to my studio when he was on tour out here, he just vibed on that beat in the lab and wrote and recorded it on the spot, another inspiring session watching him work like that.
aahh: The first single from the album is titled The Truth and features The Tongue, Hau and Dazastah. Tell us a bit about the recording process with this one we hear it was knocked out pretty quickly by the MC’s?
Chasm: Yeah Daz had a day booked at 301 studios here in Sydney. He was out here on tour, and had a day in the studio finishing off collabs I think. So he had invited a few people down to work on stuff and asked me to pass through. So I took my MPC down with the original of ‘The Truth’ just chopped really simply on the sampler. When I played the tune those guys were all vibing on it and the energy in the studio was ill that day, just a good creative vibe, so they all ended up writing that afternoon and recording later that night. It was dope. Hau put down the chorus a couple of months later.
aahh: Your no stranger to the music scene in Australia, you’ve released albums with Astronomy Class through Elefant Traks and also solo work through Obese Records including numerous other side projects. What keeps you inspired and motivated to keep producing music?
Chasm: I just love music and I love being creative so it’s just something I always will do, even if I get frustrated and sick of the industry, give myself a few days off and I’m excited again to get in the studio and make something. I guess mainly its just hearing music old or new that is inspiring that gets me pumped to make more music, and just life, things in my life motivate me to express myself through the music.
aahh: What was one of the hardest challenges you faced on producing an album like this, especially with its international artists?
Chasm: It was just time-consuming organising everyone, making sure I got all the parts back when I needed them and making sure everyone recorded when they said they would. The hardest thing though was the different microphones and booths that were in the mix! For one track you could have two or three different recordings so there was no consistency with the mic and room sound for all the vocals which made it tricky when it came to mixing. Trying to make it all sound cohesive was a tough one.
aahh: You launched This Is How We Never Die at the GoodGod Small Club in Sydney earlier in the month with a host of local names plus a special guest in DJ Neil Armstrong. Tell us about that.
Chasm: It was a great night, all my people’s showed up so it was a nice vibe man, I appreciated the love that was shown from the crowd and all the rappers that jumped up with me, it was a mad night, I had a ball. We busted out a bunch of Astronomy Class tunes which is always fun, having Ozi Batla and The Tongue and Sir Robbo on stage and Thundamentals fellas got up and did some older joints that we did together which was cool.
aahh: Four dates have been announced in the This Is How We Never Die tour, are there any more dates planned and do you have any details you’d like to share on that?
Chasm: Through July I’ll be touring the country in support of the album. The show will be a sound system style show with Hau on the mic to hype the crowd for me, should be a lot of fun. Will be having guests jump up at certain shows too!
aahh: What’s next for Chasm? We know you have many side projects, will we see say a Dr Don Don album soon?
Chasm: Yes Dr Don Don album is pretty much done so gonna drop that after a couple more singles. Astronomy Class are hopefully gonna do an EP this year too and I have some ideas for the next Chasm release so hopefully will begin that too.