Twenty four year old Stu Tyson was just an 8 year old when he caught the bug for drum breaks. “They had everyone in the school band to write down a list of the instruments we would want to play in order of preference. Being 1988, the first thing I wrote down was obvious… Saxophone! But I didn’t have a second choice. So, I actually looked at the guy’s paper next to me, and saw on his “Drums”. I immediately added that to the top of my list of now two instruments,” and in a twist of fate in losing out to drums, from that moment on Tyson was hooked to the sound of sticks banging canvas.
He found his way into numerous bands as a drummer, but like a lot of performers, found rock to be a little lacking, and moved into listening to dance music. “Initially, it was the drums that got me. Most of the dance music I’d heard was house and techno. I liked it, especially the production quality and mix style, as the drums were massive, but being a drummer, the old ‘4 on the floor’ couldn’t hold my attention for too long. It was actually drum and bass that got me first, and then breaks eventually took over. When I heard these huge broken beats and deep bass, I was hooked. See you have to remember; I was coming from rock music where that style is all about guitarists. Finally I’d found a style that was all about me,” he laughs.
Shaking the shackles of rock, Tyson began his career as Bass Kleph, which Tyson claims “is the medical term for leaving a watch inside a patient… and also a musical symbol to define all instruments in the lower frequency region,” he laughs. And his career has been on the up and up ever since winning the Triple J Australia wide remix comp of Downsyde’s El Questro. “Ah, Downsyde,” he muses with a smile, “that was so long ago. It’s so flattering that people still talk about it. It was great, especially for the national exposure. Before then I hadn’t released any of my original tunes, so being able to play a little bit of Bass Kleph (via that song) to the whole of Australia was a great introduction for me. I’m so thankful we have a national radio station that plays breaks!” he cheers.
Since the win, Tyson has burst on to the international breakbeat scene with a string of chart smashing releases; receiving rave reviews the world over. Wild Card was added to Triple Js daily rotation and since featured on Kid Kenobi’s “Clubbers Guide To Breaks 04”, Triple J’s “Home Grown” CD, “Future Breaks”, Ministry Of Sound TV commercials and more. His tunes with Boiling Point stable mate Nick Thayer Fucking The Groove and Fucking The Synth sold out in the first week in the UK, and their next release, the remix of Feelin’ Kinda Strange by Drumattic Twins, is soon to be launched on Finger Lickin’ Records. This came about from the Twins’ seeing how they used the vox from the tune looped in a set. “We’d just loop the breakdown, cut the bass and – instant acapella! They thought it was great and suggested we do a remix. There was never a guarantee it would be released, but we thought we’d give it a nudge anyway. Since then it’s blown up all over the world.”
Fantastic news for the Australian breaks scene, although I was surprised to hear that Tyson doesn’t have a club residency anywhere. “I play different places every week. There are clubs in Sydney I play at whenever I’m in town, like Hijack (which unfortunately was recently closed down), Kink, Chinese Laundry and so on, but I wouldn’t call them residencies. I prefer to take my music to as many different places as possible, and luckily for me there is enough interest to do this.”
Tyson is coming to Adelaide, so what can we expect? “I use mostly CDs these days, and still some vinyl. The CD players are so good now, and most of the freshest music I get is digital. Think about it,” he adds, “the people who wrote it are gonna have it on CD from the day its finished. It’s only on vinyl when it gets signed and cut.” I mention three decks, and he laughs, “buy me and drink and maybe I’ll do four! Trick wise there is plenty of stuff going on, but only in a musical sense. I’m only really into things that sound like part of the song, or sound like they are complimenting the song. As for scratching, I leave that to the professionals!”