Lunch with Able8 by Chris
July 14, 2014, 12:00 AM
Filed under: Interview, Lunch With | Tags: , , ,

Able8 is a Melbourne-based beatmaker with ties to The Operatives, Uncomfortable Beats, Boom Bap Professionals, Innit Records & The Community Records. Kassie sat down with him  for our ongoing ‘Lunch with‘ interview series.

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How was the gig at Black Cat last night?

It was good, I think everyone was so hungover (laughs) myself included. It was definitely a very hungover gig, but it was good vibes.

It’s a bit like that on Sundays!


What are you up to today?

I’m meeting my friend James, U-wish. We’re going to work on some beats for awhile. And then later tonight I’m going to be mixing tracks for a local rapper called Slackjaw, most likely.

Is that who you went to Wide Open Space with? With Melody Myla as well?


How was that?

It was amazing. A really great festival. I’d recommend it.

And it’s in Alice Springs isn’t it?

Yeah, in the middle of nowhere really. I think it’s on a traditional Aboriginal ground. So they have permission to use the ground for the festival. There are just really good vibes there. We got really good feedback for our set as well, so hopefully we’ll be back next year.

Do you have any more collaborations planned?

Well, today I’m starting one with U-wish. I have a Dubstep collaboration in the works with 2fuddha. And also started a future beatsy, chill thing with Dr. Res from Barcelona, but he’s now living here. A few other random little bits and pieces.. I just finished one with Dusty Ohms, from London. That’s coming out on Free The Beats, which is a compilation label based out of Sydney.

You’ve got so much going at the same time!

Yeah (laughs) I like to keep busy.

And how’s Uncomfortable Beats going? Are you still spending time working on that?

Lots of it. The last couple of months have been particularly busy, we’ve released a compilation with 21 different beat makers from around the world. It’s a free compilation called Outer Crust. That’s online. There’s another by an artist called Wermonster, who lives in Berlin. He’s french, and makes really nice Hip-Hop beats. There’s 28 tracks, really short loops. We printed cassette tapes for that one. So there’s digital and physical copies up in stores here and around Europe, which is great. Just the other day I also released a new free track called Nintendoe, which is up there too.

How do you make all these connections from around the world? Do you meet them online, or while touring or…

It’s a mixture of a lot of things really. Sometimes there will be artists who come to Melbourne and other friends will get in touch with me online and say “hey, this guy is coming to Melbourne, can you show him around, or do you have any gigs?”

So for instance, with Dr. Res… My friend Tamin from Barcelona, came to Melbourne and I helped him out with a gig. He’s now back home and has since said I should meet his friend who’s now visiting Melbourne. So we made contact and just from his music we got chatting and kind of realised that we’re into the same stuff and started a collaboration from there.

I guess some of it is online too. For example, there’s a compilation called Pure Dopeness, on the label Sinoptic International, which is based in France and the US. They just released one today which has 38 different artists. I’m on that as well. I feel like every time I do a track on one of those sort of compilations I always have beat makers adding me on facebook and other social medias, and we just stay in touch. But travelling is another good big one. The first time I travelled to Europe I didn’t know many people at all, so I was on my own looking for gigs, making contact from SoundCloud and things like that. I met a lot of people through that and we just organised to meet up in various cities. It’s a bit of column A and column B. I’m always open to connecting and collaborating with like-minded individuals, and I think a lot of people feel the same, they just want to be around people that feel or think the same way they do, or are into the same shit. The internet makes that easier for sure.

And is that how you book your artists for Tastemakers?

Sort of, most of the artists I know already. It’s different to Uncomfortable Beats. Tastemakers is more driving bass music. So it’s artists that I’ve always liked but who might not necessarily fit the Uncomfortable Beats sound. Tastemakers is more it’s own thing. But yeah, often there are artists online who I haven’t heard of before who will hit me up to play, and if their style fits I will book them.

And how has Tastemakers been going at Lounge?

It’s been great! Lounge are a good great venue to deal with. The nights themselves, they go from low attendance to high attendance, so it’s quite random, but it’s more hit than miss. Sometimes it doesn’t even feel like a Tuesday, it feels like a Saturday or something. So when it’s going off, it’s really going off. Overall it’s been going great!

How do you manage to keep all of these going at the same time? What keeps you inspired?

It’s both a blessing and a curse. For me, I really enjoy doing it but sometimes I get bored of booking, and I’ll have a big binge of writing music and then a big binge of events and promotion and things like that. So I kind of bounce between my own desires to different creative outlets. I don’t do too much stuff apart from all of this. My day job at the moment essentially is working with kids on music in Juvenile detention centres. So most days I’m doing something music related.

That’s great! Yeah I admire people who can maintain that level of creativity. Some days I just wake up and think, I don’t want to be creative today.

Yeah totally. So when I’m not writing music, I’ll think, well what can I do to help promote this release or future releases? Or I’ll go through samples or download new music to listen to. Having the gig every Tuesday inspires me to go out and look for new music. It’s also influenced the way I write music as well to a degree. I’m still writing really mellow hip-hop stuff, and electronic bits but I’m also trying to write stuff that I would DJ out at say Tastemakers or in more of a club environment. So that’s been cool. My Tuesday ritual is basically going through music people have sent me. Sometimes it’s a drag, but most of the time it’s really inspiring just to listen to new music.

And where do you hope Uncomfortable Beats, Tastemakers and ABLE8 will be in the future?

Well I definitely have long term visions for Uncomfy Beats. I want to be doing vinyl releases at some point and doing more worldwide releases. I guess, up until recently, all of the compilations and releases were by Australian artists, or at least artists who were currently residing in Australia. So more recently, trying to make it a bit more international and get releases from say Wermonster from Berlin, and the last compilation was artists from all over. So that was one of the things that I can tick of the list. But I’m going to try and keep going on that tangent, making it a bit more worldwide. For myself as ABLE8, I just want to keep expanding what I’m writing, on a bigger scale. I want my stuff to be heard more, tour more places, I haven’t been to the states or anything like that, yet. I want to be able to, in the long run, survive by just solely doing my own music and tours.

Do you have any gigs coming up?

Actually Benny Diction, who’s from London, he’s coming to Melbourne in August. So we’re teeing up some gigs while he’s down. The 25th of July I’ll be playing at the Gertrude Street Projections Festival. Where they have lots of gigs at different venues on Gertrude Street.


So is it a bit like White Night?

Yeah, like a smaller White Night. I think they do projections on the footpaths and little things like that, it’s pretty cool. On the 31st of July, that’s the day after Benny arrives, I’ll be doing an Uncomfy Beats takeover at Section 8. So there’s going to be a whole lot of people playing there, should be quite fun. And then on the 19th of August, just before Benny leaves, I’ve organised a Tastemakers gig, but rather than just being about the DJs, each DJ is going to be paired with a vocalist. So there’s going to be Alaska playing with Fraksha, Lady Banton with Nikki Finn, and I’ll be playing with Benny Diction. It will be a mix between grime, dubstep and reggae, dub etc.

Sounds great! I will be there! And if I (or anyone) were to buy you a drink, what drink would you ask for?

(laughs) It’s either going to be like a pint of beer or a scotch on dry.

So what determines the choice?

I guess most likely it would a pint of beer (laughs), and then probably later in the night I’ll be on the Scotch.

And what are you eating for lunch?

It’s from Coconut House. I got barbecue pork, barbecue chicken with egg noodles. It’s one of my favourite places to eat in the city, in a hurry. Malaysian, good stuff.

Whenever I’m in a hurry in the city, I go for Don Dons.

Don Dons is great.

I’ve never been to Coconut House. Where is it?

It’s on Elizabeth Street, near Latrobe. It’s around there. There’s another really good Japanese place that’s really similar to Don Dons; it’s less busy, less take awayish, but it’s still the same prices. It’s called Kanada, it’s in a little mall in between Little Bourke and Bourke Street. It’s really good.

I’ll check it out! I love Japanese food.

Yeah me too. I love all Asian cuisine. I’m always eating Asian food.

Yeah same here, except I’ve actually got this kind of gross Macaroni cheese. It’s one of those frozen meals…

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[…] is a busy man, as Kassie found out when she sat down with him for our Lunch With ______ series. For this release he has teamed up with familiar collaborators MC Points (see: I’m […]

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