Dust Masta Hiss returns with another round of “Cinematic Soul”, as well as sharing a few words with me (audio)
I’m not sure where my first introduction to Dust Masta Hiss came from but I remembered when I first heard his Crates of Danger Mix that it was exactly what I was looking for at the time. Shortly after posting it, I contacted the man and we struck up a little back and forth. About a month ago, he contacted me this time around, letting me know that his latest mix was out and ready for listening. Me being a fan of what could best be described as “cinematic funk and soul” but not being all that knowledgeable, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to ask the man a few questions about his style, his background, and thought process that goes into a mix. Thankfully, Dust Masta Hiss has no shortage of things to say on the matter and gave me a metric tonne of info to check out. So without further ado, here’s the interview.
RAW SELECT MUSIC: Can you give me a little background info about yourself; where are you based, how long you’ve been DJing, etc.?
DUST MASTER HISS: I live in Copenhagen, Denmark and I’ve been collecting records for almost 7 seven years. I started out DJing with some friends but over the last couple of years, I haven’t been doing it for more than a couple of times a year.
I really started diggin’ because I discovered that all the hip-hop I liked was sampled off of something much older, and even though I don’t make beats anymore I still dig for records with the same ear I used to. Now I’m really into making mixes, so I still get to loop all my favorite breaks and grooves, and hopefully somebody will get inspired when they hear some of the tracks that I use in my mixes.
RSM: Is there a hip-hop record in particular that had you thinking, “Oh, I gotta know where this came from.” ?
DMH: I remember hearing a soul mix where the “A Few More Kisses To Go” track by Isaac Hayes was played, and then not too long after hearing Redman’s “Tonight’s Da Night” track where he sampled that track. That was the thing that got me into records.
Later on I heard Lootpack’s “Loopdigga” track and remembering really wanting to know every last track that was sampled on it. And then same thing with Quasimoto’s “Return of the Loopdigga”, which has a similar kind of thing going on, you know, with the skits in between, where they talk in the record shop and there is just these raw loops playing in the background to kind of set the mood, I loved it!
RSM: What was your first exposure to I guess you might call it “soundtrack funk and soul”?
DMH: The first time I heard something with this vibe were from The Dusty Fingers series by Danni Dan The Beat Man and then I got the same kind of vibe from listening to the first Quasimoto album and some stuff from Lord Finesse as well. But I still remember finding some insane tracks on the internet and and not really understanding what it was or where it came from. All I knew was that it was just what i was looking for, than I later became aware of the Library music concept and records, bless.
RSM: Any records in particular?
DMH: Some of the ones I heard at first were the Hanged Man Soundtrack – played by ”Bullet” which contains of Alan Hawkshaw, Alan Parker, Barry Morgan, Frank Ricotti, Les Hurdle and composed by Alan Tew. And Dick Walter’s “Spooky Do”o track, off of the Sound Stage 3 – Thematic Scenarios – Pastoral/Scenic. (Editor’s note: I know absolutely none of these. Need to get to work…)
RSM: What was the thought process you went into with this mix? Was there anything as far as an emotion or something else that you wanted to convey?
DMH: I wanted this mix to work/function and progress as a movie kind of would, so kind of like an imaginary soundtrack to a fictional film, but at the same time keeping to what I’m used to heaing when i hear people mix breaks and hip hop. When i make mixes i always have a ‘film’ or maybe just an idea for a film that would work to the tracks that I decide on.
RSM: Did you have a film in mind when you were making this mix?
DMH: I did have small parts or scenes for it yes, but mostly in terms of – This track might work great for a car chase and this one for a sneaky, spooky or love making scene.
For example, the intro starts off with a very gloomy track that builds to this break coming in and that was supposed to be the intro to the film where the historie gets kicked off with a murder or something like that. And the track before the last track was supposed to be a somewhat happy ending but then as the pause stops you realise, that not everything was as you thought – that something villainous is still at work…
RSM: Currently, what would you say are your 5 favorite library/soundtrack records and why?
DMH: I can’t say that these are my favorite library/soundtrack records ever but they’re definitely SOME of my favorites/
”Freedom Power” on the Cometa Edizioni Musicali (CEM) label is an incredible piece of wax, you can literally listen to this all the way through: car chase, crime and drama beats all over plus the big orchestration is on point; All killer no filler. Favorite tracks are ”Metropolis Notte” and ”Love For Sale” (Still on the lookout for this)
Beat action on the RKM label which also holds many different feels, all very funky! i especially like the Moody Feelings track, very beautiful and groovy (also still on my want list)!
Daniele Patucchi – Sharks And Men and Stefano Liberti – Pericolo Negli Abissi are both soundtracks to some sort of Shark documentaries and they both deliver some of the most gloomy, hard hitting underwater funk I have ever heard. The ”Shark Jazz Band” Track from Pericolo Negli abissi and the ”Tragica Fine Del Squalo” track on Sharks And Men. Both of em actually uses library tracks from the CAM label.
Other stuff I’m really diggin would be
Ruud Bos – Naakt Over De Schutting – OST
The Music Factory – Scoop! – Library
A Musical Wildlife Vol.2 Dramatic – Library
Pool Pah – The Flasher – OST
Zé Rodrix – O Esquadrão Da Morte – OST
R. D. Burman – Mukti – OST
All of these holds heavy crime breaks and the Wildlife series are some of the best recorded records that I know of.
RSM: I got one more question for ya then I’ll stop bugging ya. Since you strike me as something of a record head given your answers, what’s your take on reissues and compilations? Here in Japan, people buy them but for a lot of break/hip-hop heads frown upon them. Just curious if there’s any sort of stigma surrounding them in Denmark.
DMH: I think that the idea of the original record being the pure stuff all comes from the crate diggin’ culture back in the days. People would keep their breaks secret and if you wanted to find out what it was, you had to go dig it up for yourself. So it’s the work behind finding the stuff that gets cut off, and i think that in many break/hiphop folks eyes this is why the reissue is looked down at.
I’m a big fan of the reissue stuff, tho i almost never buy em.
When you reissue a very obscure and hard to get album, you are letting more people in, instead of sitting on everything yourself and don’t get me wrong, I like and respects the idea of keeping some stuff secret for people too then go find it and maybe stumble upon some other thing on their way. It’s a way of keeping the itch, you know. But to let go of something once in a while is another way of motivate and then you maybe get a connection with the people seeking for it as well- share the wealth!
RSM: Thanks for all your answers. Before we wrap this up, anything you say and where can people get in contact with you?
DMH: Not really, just keep digging, hehe. Contact is via my Instagram and my Soundcloud
Peace da Dust!
RSM: I think that’s a great way to end things. Thanks again for doing this and I definitely look forward to more mixes from you!
Keep digging indeed.