Recently I had an opportunity to sit down with friend and Fatbol supporter Aaron Brink to discuss life, music, and his new album release. Aaron has been making an impact on the west coast bass scene as Muti Music artist HYPHA. We met a a coffee shop in Arcata Ca, Humboldt County, hometown of Aaron and Fatbol Clothing
BOA: Where did you grow up
HYPHA: Here in Arcata
BOA: When you were young what influenced you as far as music
HYPHA: Well in fourth or fifth grade they sat us down and asked us what instruments do you want to play, so I started playing trombone in jazz band for a few years, so thats what really got me started in music.
BOA: What were you listening to?
HYPHA: Well through my uncles and family members I listened to a lot of 60’s folk music and rock and roll. Then at 13 years old some friends brought me to Reggae on the River and that gave me a whole different idea of what live music was and could be.
BOA: What was the first album that you could never let go of
HYPHA: Probably Bob Marley. As a little kid I kept seeing a number of stickers with this guy with dreadlocks and I kept asking my folks who’s that… so they bought me Legend for Christmas which …. turned out well.
BOA: You just completed your first full length album, did you have an intention going into this album?
HYPHA: Well i had the intention of putting together a cohesive album but it wasn’t until I had a couple of tracks that the sound was moving in a different direction than i had previously worked with, so I took it from there and tried to fill in the pieces. There are a lot of common elements--water samples, percusive sounds like xylophones, marimbas, kalimbas, things like that--I like where it went and I am looking forward to taking what i learned with this album and applying it to the next project
BOA: In a world of genres and fashion statements, is there a label that you could put on this?
HYPHA: I don’t know it really pulls from a lot of different directions. Its all bass music essentially--there's some dubby stuff in there, and some more upbeat house style tunes, as well as some downtempo vibes. I have always had a hard time writing in one BPM.
BOA: When your playing live do you feed off the crowd to where you might change your game plan based on what the crowd is feeling?
HYPHA: Yes totally. Its kinda like when I go out to eat food I will change my mind at the very last second. Sometimes I will put together a set with a solid plan to it where i won;t deviate very much other than leaving a little room for interpretation,and other times i will just completely wing it. I depends on how formal the gig is.
BOA: When you sit down to write do you find that you have a ritual or plan or do you find yourself writing based off of your mood?
HYPHA: A lot of times I will have a solid idea of I want to make a track at this tempo with these elements to it and this vocal…or remix when i have the stems and an outline thats great, but starting from scratch sometimes i’ll need to wake up fresh in the morning, have a cup of coffee, I can’t smoke, i need to just sit down and start with a beat or melody and go from there. Now sometimes I will take the field recorder out and go on a walk or go to the beach, i love water sounds, its a good way to kick start the creative process. I am tired of hearing the same drums on every track and I am not into making big club tracks all the time, so Making drums with organic sounds has a better feel for me.
BOA: We live in an ever-changing world with a lot of different political and evolutionary dynamics. What makes you angry and what inspires you?
HYPHA: Everything and everything…. I try not to be too political as an artist because it can have the effect of polarizing your audience and when i see that in other artists it can kinda rub me the wrong way…but I am addicted to international politics and talk radio… and am definitely very liberal. I try to keep in touch with nature to ground out…. being outside in nature inspires me.
BOA: You spent some time living in Europe how did that influence you?
HYPHA: It exposed me to a lot of music and a different way of living your life. Where i was living in Spain was kind of the heartland of Flamenco music and they are so passionate about everything, there is a kind of sorcery in the air. Everyone's more concerned with being happy, living their life, eating good and living good, then slaving away to a machine and working themselves to death. I like to work to live, not live to work. That definitely rubbed off on me. I am a self taught spanish guitar player as well so it was incredible being surrounded by that.
BOA: If you were a superhero what would your superpower be?
HYPHA: I was just thinking about this the other day… I think it might be aqua man like breathe underwater and communicate with fish and dolphins and octopi… I think he’s got it pretty good.
BOA: As far as the music scene is concerned how do you see it?
HYPHA: Its a fluid thing that is always changing obviously. If you want to do music full time you have to engage the business side of things it to a large degree. Its important to be in touch with it but also important to see it for what it is... you know attention spans are so short these days. Some people think they have to sprint and drop single after single because people don’t have the capacity to keep up with EP’s or full length albums. I try not to stress myself out about where i am at in the stream I just keep working and keep networking.
BOA: In 5 words what would you write on your tombstone?
HYPHA: He was a decent man.
HYPHA's self titled release can be found here and it is definitely worth the dime.
released 23 March 2015
If there ever was a soundtrack to someone bouncing around in a paisley pink and blue padded room in an asylum for the happily insane, this could be it. Dosed on a solid regimen of comfort and bliss, every so often the room tilts sideways and you roll smiling into another softly padded wall. Hypha has truly outdone himself this time with glitches produced with such care that they appear gentle and comforting, twists that seem like a good idea every time they happen and a good amount of melody and use of atmospheric pads to warm the whole thing up.