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Q&A: Cobblestone Jazz

In India for the first time, Vancouver-based Cobblestone Jazz offers a peek into their minimal techno and jazz mash-up

rsiwebadmin Dec 10, 2008
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Berlin-based percussionist/DJ Mathew Jonson, jazz pianist Danuel Tate and loop master Tyger Dhula form Cobblestone Jazz. The group that has stuck it out for six years and is known for their stripped-down techno beats driven by vintage synths and computers, discuss how their music has evolved and why they love going live.

How did Cobblestone Jazz come to be? Where did your paths cross?

Danuel Tate: We knew each other from playing in different groups. We played as session players in other projects in a small scene, so we started working together.

Mathew Jonson: The Modern Deep Left Quartet is what gave birth to Cobblestone Jazz. It was Danuel’s idea to start MDLQ and after one of the band members left for Montreal we started Cobblestone as a new idea for just the three of us. The other member of MDLQ was the Mole who also records on Wagon Repair.

Tyger Dhula: We all grew up interested in electronic music in Victoria (British Columbia), which is quite a small town, so it was quite easy and natural for all of us to hook up in such a small place.

Three musicians from varied backgrounds and disciplines such as jazz; how did you guys finally settle on live electronic?

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Tate: I’m not sure if we have settled yet.

Jonson: Ya, I’m pretty much with Dan on this. I’ve been looking at drum kits. I’ve decided I want to start playing live drums with all the electronic stuff so I guess the idea behind the music we are doing will always evolve.

Dhula: It was just a merging of the styles we were feeling when we got together. We all pretty much like all sorts of music, dub, breakbeat, drum and bass, classic house, techno, with all sorts of emotions – deep, intense and uplifting as well.

It is your first time in India. Are you excited to play for an audience you have heard little about or vice versa? And why the song title ”˜India in me’?

Tate: I’m very excited about India…

Jonson: I’m super excited to go. There are so many facets of Indian music that I respect. I actually don’t know what to expect in India at all. Not sure about the title either but I know that the track reminds me of the transcendental feeling I get if I’m meditating or doing yoga.

Dhula: I’m excited to experience a culture very different from our own, and to meet some people with similar interests such a long way from home. I am also very curious to see what the reaction to our music will be.

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Have you heard any Indian electronica? What are the band’s thoughts on collaborating with some Indian electronic artists in the future? A compilation album perhaps?

Dhula: To be honest Talvin Singh is about the only one I can think of off the top of my head, and he is phenomenal. I would certainly be interested in getting exposed to more, and we are always up for new and fresh collaborations

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